8 Superstar Musicians and Their Larger Than Life Protégés (Have These Mentees’ Stolen Their Mentors’ Shine?)

While it can be hard to imagine now, a lot of the musicians currently ripping down stages and burning up the Billboard charts, at one point, needed a helping hand getting into the recording industry. Everybody needs to start somewhere and luckily for these artists they were introduced and mentored by just the right person to set off their careers. From mixtapes to million-dollar deals, check out our gallery of Superstar Musicians and the Larger Than Life Protégés.


Jay-Z & Kanye West

As two equally strong rappers on their own, its hard to remember the time when Kayne was the little brother in awe of Jay-Z. Last summer their joint album,Watch The Throne, dominated the charts and the accompanying tour sold out arenas.


Kanye West & John Legend

While John Legend has evolved into artist whose sound is more in the Adult Contemporary lane, he started out as the first artist signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label.


Jay-Z & Rihanna

Big brother Jay-Z strikes again with a winning larger than life protege with starting Rihanna’s career. Six albums later Jay still puts his stamp on RiRi’s tracks and appeared on her latest album Talk That Talk.


Bird Man & Lil Wayne

One can consider the original Cash Money Crew the generational fathers of our current rap scene. Bird Man has continued to hang tight as a mentor to Lil’ Wayne, who calls him his “Daddy.”


Lil Wayne & Drake

Next in the Cash Money lineage, Lil’ Wayne put the cosign stamp on a Toronto child-actor who was running around doing freestyles and garnering buzz. With that much needed mentor at the helm, Drake burst onto the music scene and continues to dominate it all on his own.


Lil Wayne & Nicki Minaj

Lil’ Wayne, father to many in the rap game, also brought out Nicki Minaj, who has transformed from a mixtape rappin’ Nicki Miraj to a platinum selling Harajuki Barbie.


Usher & Justin Beiber


From his floppy mop top origins to his current psuedo-tatted up heartthrob status, pop star Justin Beiber can attribute his entrance into the limelight to R&B singer Usher Raymond.



Diana Ross & Michael Jackson

For this last protege and larger than life profile, we’re gonna take it way back!
The late and great Michael Jackson got his introduction to the world under the loving wings of Miss Diana Ross. Ross, a living legend in her own right, remained friends with Michael for decades until his passing in 2009. Jackson was the epitome of a larger than life star.



 StyleBlazers, do you think these mentees’ have stolen their mentors’ shine?



Deidre Dyer



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  • CriticXtreme

    I would like to know when rappers and people who can’t sing are now considered Musicians? You make the truly gifted at The Jullilard School of Music, BIT, Musicians Institute, The Conservatory and other high level music training facilities want to put a bullet in the brain for this unearned “musician” distinction. These people who you identify are just extremely lucky…..

    • http://twitter.com/fay_jay Faith J.

      As someone with a master’s degree in music, I have to disagree. There are plenty of musicians who haven’t studied  a lick, but are great musicians.  Their are people who have studied, but who aren’t good musicians. Maybe a rapper is more of a poet than a musician, but I would definitely say that Kanye is a musician. The medium that he uses to make music may be different, but I’ve heard from people who’ve worked with him as to how disciplined he is. Musician= one who makes music.

    • icanbutiwont

      GOOD music isn’t limited to vocal prowess nor educational background; but involves hard work and discipline in creating the art.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.meade.7 Jason Meade

    Shouldn’t akon be on this list for finding lady gaga?

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