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Every professional singer gets their start somewhere, and many began their expansive careers on Disney Channel. It’s one of the most common places to land a solid footing in the musical world.
If you’re interested in learning more about singers who started on the Disney Channel, you’re in the right place. Let’s discuss 27 artists who began their careers on this famous (and infamous) network.
1. Hilary Duff
One of the top singers who started on the Disney Channel is Hilary Duff, a Disney favorite after starring in the titular role in Disney’s Lizzie McGuire sitcom, followed by a staring role in the Lizzie McGuire Movie.
She’s since created five albums, some of which were first played on Radio Disney, although her music career has toned down in the years since.
2. Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo has had quite the past couple of years, releasing her first studio album, Sour, and recently coming out with her second, Guts. Although many were unaware of her before, Rodrigo’s first acting appearances were on the show Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, the second of which elevated her fame significantly.
3. Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko is one of the prominent child stars who became singers, starring in the well-loved Lemonade Mouth in 2010. Her music career has been on an incline since then, with the release of two studio albums – Expectations and Panorama.
4. Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens is easily one of the most recognizable figures from the Disney Channel era, making a name for herself as Gabriella in all three High School Musical movies. She released two albums – V and Identified – and also held a singing role in Tick, Tick, Boom!
Vanessa starred alongside Zac Efron for many of her hit Disney roles before they both went on to star in movies not associated with the Disney channel. Arguably, Efron has hit it bigger than Hudgens, but they both have impressive acting careers.
5. Britney Spears
Britney Spears is a household name at this point in her life, and she’s become so big as a pop star with nine studio albums that many forgot about her origins on the Disney Channel in her younger years. Spears began her life in the spotlight as a 1992 cast member of The Mickey Mouse Club.
6. Bridgit Mendler
Bridgit Mendler began as recurring Juliet Van Heusen on Wizards of Waverly Place, a singer in Lemonade Mouth, and big sister Teddy Duncan in Good Luck Charlie. She later released her album, Hello My Name Is… and an EP, “Nemesis.”
7. Olivia Holt
Next on our list of singers who started on the Disney Channel is Olivia Holt, a powerhouse actor who appeared in Disney creations like the TV show Kickin’ It, the movie Girl Vs. Monster, and the TV show I Didn’t Do It. Since she ended her Disney Channel career, she’s put forward two EPs.
8. Ross Lynch
Ross Lynch had an early start to his career when he appeared as the male lead, Austin Moon, in the hit show Austin and Ally. He was in the band R5 with his siblings for almost ten years, leaving in 2018 when he began The Driver Era – a duo production with his brother, Rocky.
9. Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne has become a prominent actress and singer, releasing two EPs and an album. Her fame began when she played CeCe in Shake It Up alongside her iconic co-star Zendaya, another actress and singer around the same age.
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10. Jonas Brothers
Next on our list of singers who started on the Disney Channel are The Jonas Brothers, who pushed their fame to new heights after appearing in the unforgettable Camp Rock.
They went on to pursue an expansive career together, with Nick Jonas taking on a solo position with songs like “Closer” and Joe Jonas creating the band DNCE, which fell apart after the brothers rejoined in 2022 and 2023.
11. Sofia Carson
Sofia Carson has slowly grown in fame, first appearing as a guest star on Austin & Ally and then making a real name for herself as Evie in Disney’s Descendants alongside fellow professional Dove Cameron. Since then, she’s produced a debut album and likely will bring on more in the coming years.
12. Justin Timberlake
Next on our list of child stars who became singers is Justin Timberlake, who, like many of his musical careers, got his start after starring in The Mickey Mouse Club. He joined NSYNC and eventually became a solo artist, finding extreme success in both positions.
13. Rowan Blanchard
Rowan Blanchard had her breakthrough role alongside Sabrina Carpenter in Girl Meets World. She sang the theme song for the show, “Take On The World.”
14. Aly & AJ
Singing duo Aly and AJ Michalka emerged from Disney Channel, starting with AJ in the comedy series Phil of the Future and ending with the duo starring in the movie Cow Belles together. Since then, they’ve released two EPs and four albums.
15. Christina Aguilera
Next on our list of child stars who became singers is Christina Aguilera, another professional who took her stand in the spotlight on The Mickey Mouse Club. Since then, she’s released nine albums and brought home five Grammys for her work in the music world.
16. China Anne McClain
Next on our list of singers who started on the Disney Channel is China Anne McClain, who released all of her music through the Disney Channel platform. She grew after starring in the show A.N.T. Farm, then took on another role in Disney’s Descendants with Sofia Carson and Dove Cameron.
17. Sabrina Carpenter
Sabrina Carpenter has a low-key start to her career, appearing as the character Maya in the Disney Channel show Girl Meets World. Once the show ended, Carpenter pursued a music career, producing multiple studio albums and recently embarking on tour for excited audiences everywhere.
18. Demi Lovato
Although Demi Lovato’s first appearance onscreen was technically in Barney and Friends, she appeared on Disney Channel in the original Camp Rock movie, moving on afterward to take on the lead role in the show Sonny With a Chance. Today, she’s an influential singer with several studio albums.
Related: 17 Cool Facts About Demi Lovato
One of the most famous singers who started on the Disney Channel is Zendaya, star of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Euphoria, and creator of several solo singles like “Replay” and “Butterflies.” However, her first role before her current fame was as Rocky on Shake It Up alongside Bella Thorne when they were both tweens.
20. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez first appeared on Barney and Friends with fellow singer Demi Lovato, then went on to lead the show Wizards of Waverly Place. She also starred in the Disney Channel original movie Princess Protection Program alongside her best friend, Demi Lovato.
She’s produced three albums of her own, three with Selena Gomez & The Scene and a Spanish-language EP. Of our list of singers who started on the Disney Channel, she is arguably one of the greats, alongside Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.
21. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus might be one of the most popular pop singers in the country, but she once got her start in an acting role on Disney Channel. Cyrus starred as Hannah Montana in the show with the same name, even producing music under the fake name before moving on to put out even studio albums under Miley Cyrus.
Related: 17 Fun Miley Cyrus Facts
22. JC Chasez
JC Chasez hit new heights as a member of NSYNC, but that’s not where his job began. His big break occurred when he was cast in The Mickey Mouse Club.
23. Dove Cameron
Dove Cameron was a powerhouse on the Disney Channel for several years, playing twins in the show Liv and Maddie and taking on the helm as Maleficent’s daughter in Disney’s Descendants. She’s since pushed on and stepped into the music industry, releasing her song “Boyfriend” in 2022.
24. Ryan Gosling
Although many are unaware, Ryan Gosling is in a band called Dead Man’s Bones, which clarifies why he was chosen for singing roles in movies like La La Land and Barbie. He got his start on Disney Channel, like many others, in The Mickey Mouse Club.
25. Ashley Tisdale
Few people remember the days that this singer started out on the Disney Channel Original show, the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. She played Maddie, the girl who worked the snack counter for the entire time the show aired alongside Brenda Song, Dylan Sprouse, and Cole Sprouse.
Although there wasn’t any singing on the show, her next role of Sharpay in High School Musical helped to jumpstart her singing career. She would go on to star in other shows and movies, from Phineas and Ferb to hit movies like Bring it On and even a sequel to her first show titled The Suite Life on Deck.
26. Raven Symone
Raven Symone started out in the Disney Channel original series That’s So Raven before getting her first musician role in the Cheetah Girls. Although she failed to make it big in other Disney Shows, she did release a few musical albums during her time in the spotlight.
27. Shane Harper
Last on our list of singers who started on the Disney Channel is Shane Harper, an actor who appeared alongside Bridgit Medler in Good Luck Charlie. Harper went on to release quality songs such as “Like I Did.”
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