TV turned YouTube singers into stars

TV turned YouTube singers into stars
Zendee (above) and Taiwanese- American singer Nate Tao got their big break on American television and are now recording artists.

They might be popular singers on YouTube but it still took appearances on a more traditional medium - American television - to help boost their singing careers.

Taiwanese-American singer Nate Tao's popularity soared when he took part in the recent season of American Idol, while Filipino singer Zendee picked up a lot more fans when she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show.

Both singers were in Singapore to perform at the MediaCorp Radio Awards last Friday.

Tao, 25, made it only to the Top 40 round of American Idol this year but the experience of being on the show was priceless. He said: "It was a huge validation. Even people who don't know much about music know American Idol so just appearing on the television show was great.

"For me, it was like going through a personal journey. Putting yourself in front of the famous judges and hearing their opinion, it was great and it helped me believe in myself."

One of the show's judges, R&B star Mariah Carey, praised Tao's "beautiful voice", while another judge, pop/hip-hop star Nicki Minaj, was impressed with his "charisma and unique tone".

For Zendee, whose full name is Zendee Rose Tenerefe, being on popular talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show last October was her "biggest break".

She said: "A lot of singers are discovered on the internet but how many can say they've been on a television show that is popular all over the world?"

The 22-year-old from General Santos City was first noticed when a stranger filmed her belting out American R&B singer Jennifer Holliday's And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going at a karaoke machine in a Manila shopping centre.

The clip, uploaded on YouTube last July, went viral and has attracted close to three million views.

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