Kevin Winter, Getty
Music superstardom seemed an unattainable dream a decade ago. Chances of being plucked from your Average Joe life and signed to a major label were pretty slim unless you happened to make it on Star Search
or the Mickey Mouse Club
star growing up.
But with rise of reality shows came American Idol
in 2002. The American spin-off of the U.K.'s Pop Idol,
which began the year before, offered up the opportunity to audition for industry insiders and a spotlight that was designed to discover talents hidden all over America. The original idea, along with reality show innovators at the time like Survivor
or The Real World,
captured the imagination of a mass audience and created instant stars such as season one winner Kelly Clarkson
and season four winner Carrie Underwood
As the years went by, though, various networks have spun similar singing competitions such as The X Factor, Rock Star INXS, Pussycat Dolls Presents: The Search for the Next Doll
and more recently, The Voice
and the upcoming Duets
, which actually stars Clarkson as a judge.
Gareth Cattermole, Getty
Even though Ed Sheeran
can pull off the odd rap or beatbox, don't expect him to ever become a full-time hip-hop artist.
"I never want to be a rapper," Sheeran
tells AOL Music Blog. "I'm influenced by hip-hop and I guess, somewhere down the line, there might be a song that's more hip-hop than anything else I've done, but I just want to be the chubby ginger kid with the acoustic guitar who occasionally raps.
"I also wouldn't pride myself on being a beatboxer."
The British singer-songwriter admittedly does draw inspiration from a lot of hip-hop artists when writing his own music, though. Sheeran says that listening to rappers is "more interesting to listen to because they fit more lyrics into it than singer-songwriters."