Awards show season is all about the glitz and the glamour, and last night’s Grammys was no exception. While the night is dedicated to recognizing success in the music industry, it’s easy to forget that not all artists found an easy way to the top.
Before they took home those shiny Grammy awards, our favorite artists worked hard — and at some pretty terrible jobs — to fight their way to success on music’s biggest night.
+ Frank Ocean: Sandwich Artist
Before he discovered he could make money writing and performing his own music, Frank Ocean held down a job as a “sandwich artist” at his local Subway! His other jobs included working at “Fatburger, Kinko’s, AT&T, and as a claims processor at Allstate.” While we’re not surprised Ocean had such a great work ethic, we’re glad he found his true calling: sharing his incredible music with the world. We wonder if Ocean ever daydreamed about taking home the Grammy for Urban Contemporary Album while slinging six inch subs at Subway…
+ Carrie Underwood: Gas Station Attendant
Carrie Underwood definitely blew the audience away with her performance last night: from the glowing dress to the vocals to the jewels, all eyes were on the former “American Idol” contestant. She’s come a long way over the past few years, and not just from her reality TV days: Carrie used to work as a gas station attendant during her freshman year of high school! No more pumping gas for this country girl; we’re sure she’s just plain pumped to have that Grammy for Country Solo Performance on her shelf.
+ Kelly Clarkson: Vacuum Salesperson
The original “American Idol” winner might have enjoyed some major success over the years, including taking home the Grammy for Pop Vocal Album last night, but it hasn’t always been that way. Kelly Clarkson worked some pretty crazy jobs: “I had to go door to door (as a) salesman for Kirby vacuum cleaners. I did it for like a day. I was like, ‘This ain’t gonna work.’” Thankfully for music lovers everywhere, Clarkson eventually found herself right where she was meant to be all along: on stage.
+ Nate Ruess of fun.: “Busy” Law Clerk
Nate Ruess might be one-third of fun., but this singer hasn’t always had the most enjoyable jobs. One of his first jobs included working as a clerk in a law firm, where he mostly pretended to be busy: “I just got on the Internet all the time. I would act like I was busy but I didn’t realize there were IT guys who monitored everything. I had a pretty stern talking to about my use of the Internet.” Thankfully, this artist’s days of pretending to be busy are over. After taking home the Grammy for New Artist, we’re sure the band is going to be working non-stop. And don’t worry, guys, you’re not as “old” as you think you are, we promise.
+ Miguel: Pool Cleaner
Not all first jobs are bad — just ask Miguel. “I cleaned pools for a summer. That was actually a fun job, and I made pretty good money. That was a good summer.” However, not all good jobs can last; Miguel eventually found work as a bank teller and, at his lowest point, as an extended car warranty salesman. Now that he won the Grammy for R&B song, let’s hope Miguel never has to sweet-talk anyone into purchasing car warranties again. But sweet-talking ladies? Welp, he already does that with such ease on Kaleidoscope Dream.
+ Dan Auerbach: Vegetarian Brunches
Last night was a big one for The Black Keys, with the band taking home the Grammys for Rock Album, Rock Song, and Rock Performance. Guitarist and singer Dan Auerbach won for producer of the year too! It wasn’t too long ago, however, that Auerbach and bandmate Patrick Carney were playing much smaller venues. Auerbach told GQ about one of his early performances: “I played a brunch at a vegetarian restaurant. That’s embarrassing.” We think he’ll finally be able to move past that embarrassment now. All he needs to do is look over at all those shiny, new Grammys and think about how he never has to play another brunch again.
While none of these jobs were glamorous, we’re sure the artists would agree that having any job in this economy is a stroke of good fortune. If you’ve just graduated and are looking for resources on becoming an entrepreneur, you can find them at the Young Entrepreneur Council. If you already found a job and want to increase your karmic standing, consider donating to CrowdRise’s JobRaising challenge and help others find work.
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