Certain musicians believe that a song is better when children sing as part of it. This trope, however, is the concept taken just a little further; the children are
the credited performers.
The reasons vary. Perhaps one of the parents is a musician or a producer and is getting the kids involved young.
Perhaps a Stage Mom
really wants it to happen. Perhaps this is tied into something commercial. Perhaps the kids themselves are Doing It for the Art
. Often, because they don't know what they're doing, they will sound bad
; but you can find a Child Prodigy
here and there.
Child popstar may join a Boy Band
as they mature, assuming they can bear to give up the instrument. Indeed, several boy bands initially fit here. Others become Teen Idols
Not to be confused with Kids Rock
, in which a children's choir
sings backing to a performer.
- The Brady Bunch Kids
- It is implied that the incomplete ending version of "Dreams Dreams" on NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams is sung by either Helen or Will, depending on who you clear the game as. Even before that, Helen herself is revealed to be good at the violin.
- Exaggerated in an episode of Family Guy, in which Stewie Griffin tries to get an appearance on Meg Griffin's album.
- An episode of Baby Looney Tunes saw the cast form a band for Granny. It went as well as could be expected of a gang of infants.
- Lil' Kunt, actually a puppet employed by British musican Kunt And The Gang.
- Phineas and Ferb does this for a sizeable portion of its numbers.
- In an episode of The Flintstones, Pebbles and Bam-Bam become singing sensations. It turns out to be a bad dream of Fred's about his little girl leaving him.
- South Park often overlaps this with From the Mouths of Babes.
- Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li portrayed Chun-Li as a Child Prodigy at the piano.
- The Garbage Pail Kids Movie: featured a rather shoehorned-in musical number courtesy of the titular tykes.
- Home Movies - in an episode highlighting guitar genius Dwayne's fretting over a competition, Brendon, Melissa and Jason start a band - and they are awful!
- Dani from Camp Weedonwantcha was this trope, until his fame was superseded by another singer, eventually leading to his parents abandoning him at the titular camp.
- Swedish Cult Classic Arvid Tuba started at 13, although he didn't release stuff until he was 15.
- Björk started out as one.
- Black Out Band, better known for "Video Games"
- Cex, oddly enough; featured on the Starship Galactica EP was a version of said song done when he was a little kid.
- Charlotte Church
- Experimental band Ctephin comprises, for the most part, a married couple and their eldest daughter, but sometimes invoke this trope when the whole family, some of which aren't even ten, join in.
- Miley Cyrus began her musical career at 12 going on 13 with Hannah Montana.
- Dev2.0 a one-off Devo tribute.
- Included on Dokaka's debut album were some snippets and recordings he did when he was a small child.
- Harsh Noise musician Elizabeth Floersch claims she has been classically trained "from a young age."
- Girls With Attitude
- Hanson, when they started.
- Menudo used to be.
- The Jackson Five started as young children.
- Hailie Jade allegedly held the record as the youngest charting performer for the song "My Dad's Gone Crazy".
- Kidz Bop
- Lady Gaga, who started playing piano at age four.
- Lil Bow Wow started when he was still too young for high school. Indeed, he was once on the Guinness Book of World Records by sheer dint of his age.
- Lil Wayne started when he was twelve.
- The Naked Brothers Band, at least initially.
- Oblive admitted in a May 2011 interview for Musique Machine that when he was eleven, he tried to form a punk band.
- Two members of The Partridge Family
- Prussian Blue were a teen vocal duo who made pop music for the neo-Nazi/white supremacist movement. This is actually what they were, not a satirical premise. To their credit they eventually broke free of this direction, as well as brainwashing from the adults around them.
- RedSK started when he was ten.
- Before getting into the business as Scissor Shock in 2003, Adam Cooley spent from age 12 to his puberty as Stagedive Suicide.
- Connie Talbot reached second place in the first series of Britain's Got Talent in 2007, at the age of six. She has released four full albums and an EP since.
- Notoriously, there's the Tangerine Awkestra, a jazz ensemble composed of 3-7 year olds who had been played free jazz recordings and Art Ensemble of Chicago albums.
- Violent JJ
- Vziel Projet was 13 when his career (and with it, his netlabel) kicked off in earnest, although he has recordings dating back to age 5.
- Willow Smith
- Stevie Wonder, back when he was credited as "the twelve year old genius" — from the beginning, he played the piano, harmonica and percussion and he was about seven in the beginning.
- Cody Simpson and Greyson Chance started out as this in the same year.
- Death Angel drummer Andy Galeon was only 14 when the band's debut album was recorded. You'd never know that to listen to it.
- Salserín, a salsa orchestra full of these. One of their signature songs is even named "Bebé Salsero", "salsa-singing baby", always given to the youngest member (the kid who first recorded it was about four years old at the time). On first their popularity peak in the mid-to-late 1990's they got a movie and a short soap-operas; then two of their oldest singers, the brothers Servando and Florentino Primera, left the band and became a latin pop Teen Idol duo, in a move that give them another teen soap and a movie deal.
- Country Music has had several:
- Brenda Lee first started charting at age 12. Her most famous song, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", charted when she was 14.
- LeAnn Rimes' career had been fostered before she hit double digits, but "Blue" broke her through at age 14.
- Billy Gilman was 12 when "One Voice" made him the youngest solo male with a Top 40 country hit.
- Ashley Gearing was also 12 when she barely charted with "Can You Hear Me When I Talk to You?", breaking Lee's record for the youngest female to chart a Top 40 country hit. However, her career never took off.
- Hunter Hayes had been a child prodigy who won accordion contests as early as age 4. His major label career didn't begin until he was 20, though.
- Danny Cooksey (yes, him) had performed with some respected country veterans by age 8. This would also count as an example of He Also Did.
- Child opera prodigy Jackie Evancho.
- No one from Job for a Cowboy was over the age of sixteen when they formed.
- Lorde was 15 when her extended play The Love Club was released, which featured her first hit "Royals". In fact, the song was first discovered when an agent heard her sing it at a school talent show (!) and got her to record it.
- Mini pop group S Club Juniors (later S Club 8). Spun off from the already-successful S Club 7 (later S Club), the group was made up of 8 children, all 11 and 12 years old when their first single was released. They had 2 hit albums and about 6 singles before breaking up some 4 years later. Some of the 8 children have gone back to normal(ish) lives, while the rest went on to be in other pop groups (notably Frankie Sandford, the lead female singer of S Club Juniors, who went on to be 1/5th of The Saturdays).
- Everyone in Noisem was under the age of 20 when they formed as Necropsy; while the majority of the band is at least 21 at this point, Tyler Carnes is still 20 and Harley Phillips just barely turned 18 and is still in high school (he started touring when he was 15).
- Nikki Yanofsky's professional career began at age 9, when she sang on an Ella Fitzgerald tribute compilation. By the time she turned 20, Quincy Jones had already taken notice.
- A few members of the Osmond family were this. Perhaps most notable is Jimmy Osmond, who became the youngest UK #1 artist at just 9 years old.
- Breze, an English girl group from the 1990s, made up of 4 girls aged between 10 and 12. They had precisely one hit single ("My Heart Goes Boom") before parents began to complain to 19 Management about the perceived exploitation of children by the music industry, and the group's second single (and album) were promptly dropped, the group never to be heard from again. This was about 2 or 3 years before the even-more-popular S Club Juniors (see above) first appeared, and were met much more warmly by the public.
- Marcus & Martinus, a Norwegian teen pop duo who were in their early teens when their first single dropped.