It’s been well over a decade since the first wave of ex-Disney stars immersed into the music industry, including Britney Spears and members of N’Sync. Long before the discovery of talent on YouTube, entertainers were discovered on Disney Channel. Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake were two of the many stars, who began by singing their hearts out on Disney’s Mickey Club, while others like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez got their start on Disney television series. Looking at record sales, endorsements, movie deals and the like, we put together IMC’s Top 10 most successful Disney turned Pop Stars. You probably won’t be surprised at who made it to the number 1 spot, but have fun guessing!
Words: Rachel George
The young activist has made quite the impact on America being named one of TIME’s 30 most influential teens of 2015. Zendaya took her starring role on Disney’s Shake It Up. Her breakout single “Replay” peaked at No. 40 in 2013 from her self-titled debut album. Known for her iconic fashion sense and her strong activist views, Zendaya is one to definitely watch as she is working on her next album with music producer Timbaland. Check out her new single “Something New” ft. Chris Brown.
Net Worth: $1.5 million
Zac Efron has become quite the sex symbol since his days on High School Musical and Hairspray. He spent years transitioning from tween star into buff, comedic actor, while struggling to stay afloat with roles such as That Awkward Moment, Neighbors and The Lucky One. Like any other child star, his travails were well documented from his substance abuse and alcoholism to his violent altercation in Skid Row. Zac Efron is rising up the Hollywood box office, with his most recent film Dirty Grandpa, alongside Robert De Niro and upcoming Neighbors 2.
Net Worth: $18 million
Nick Jonas has become an R&B/Pop soul sensation since his departure from the Jonas Brothers in 2013. He emerged from Disney’s Camp Rock and later began focusing on his career as a solo artist, emerging into broadway musicals and film, landing a recurring role on Scream Queens (horror-comedy). His second studio album Nick Jonas housed hits like “Chains” and “Jealous” and debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200. Nick is currently forming a new label with Camp Rock cast mate Demi Lovato (Safehouse Records).
Net Worth: $18 million
Ex- Jonas Brother Joe made the decision to complete his long-brewing plan to form an offbeat pop project inspired by Earth, Wind &Fire and Hall & Oates after his solo debut Fastlife went nowhere. His Band DNCE released their single last September “Cake by the Ocean”, a mix of swaggy 70’s and R&B. The quartet joined the cast of GREASE: Live last month as Johnny Casino and the Gamblers. Joe Jonas has also been DJing and dating some elite bachelorettes.
Net Worth: $18 million
Demi Lovato, one pop’s leading ladies, rose to fame from the Disney Channel Film duology of Camp Rock and Sonny with a Chance. With top hits “Skyscraper,” “Heart Attack” and now, “Cool for the Summer,” the singer’s success is attributed to a MTV Video Music Award, 5 People’s Choice Awards and 1 Billboard Touring Award. Overcoming her issues with bipolar disorder, Demi has catapulted her life and career into an empowering, sexy songstress. She recently signed a major modeling deal with Wilhelmina Models and will co-headline the Future Now world tour with Nick Jonas this summer for her fifth studio album Confident.
Net Worth: $20 million
Solo artist and philanthropist Selena Gomez got her first breakthrough role as the lead in Wizards of Waverly Place in 2007. Her most recent, personal album yet, Revival recently entered the Billboard 200 list. Selena has racked up several Hot 100 hits, including “Good for You” “and “Hands to Myself.” Aside from her clothing line Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez and her fragrance, she is the new ambassador for Pantene. Selena joined Season 9’s cast of The Voice as a mentor for Gwen Stefani’s team.
Net Worth: $45 million
Christina Aguilera amazed audience members with her powerhouse vocals on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club. Known for hit songs such as “What a Girl Wants,” “Beautiful,” “Dirty,” and “Lady Marmalade,” Aguilera is recognized as a pop icon, earning the title “Princess of Pop”. Her work has earned numerous awards and accolades including 5 Grammy Awards, 1 Latin Grammy Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Rolling Stone said “Aguilera has had the finesse and power of a blues queen ever since she was a child star. The Grammy Award winning singer returns to The Voice this season, while hinting at upcoming music.
Net Worth: $130 million
The wildly, vivacious Miley Cyrus has kept the media in a frenzy with her risqué music, hair and sense of fashion, since her days as Hannah Montana, scoring seven top-ten hits and six top-ten albums. While causing with her VMA performances, Miley founded the Happy Hippie Foundation to fight injustice facing homeless youth and LGBTQ. Last year, she released her fifth-studio album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, a more psychedelic genre. Cyrus is set to join season 10 of The Voice as an advisor and Woody Allen’s first-ever TV series for Amazon.
Net Worth: $160 million
Known for hits “Baby One More Time,” “I’m A Slave 4 U,” “Gimme More,” and “Toxic,” Britney Spears has become a triple threat in the entertainment industry. She began singing on Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Club in 1993. Listed by the Guinness World Records as having the “Best-selling album by a teenage solo artist” for her debut album …Baby One More Time, She was also ranked No.4 on VH1’s “50 Greatest Women of the Video Era” list, ahead of most of her contemporaries and behind veterans Madonna and Whitney Houston. Britney recently extended her residency in Las Vegas by two years for her show Piece of Me.
Net Worth: $185 million
Triple threat Justin Timberlake began his career on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club. He launched a successful solo career, after becoming one of the lead vocalists in N’SYNC. His hits include “Cry Me River,” “SexyBack,” and “Suit & Tie.” Throughout his career, Timberlake has won 9 Grammy Awards, 10 Billboard Music Awards, and more. Timberlake has acted in a variety of films including Friends with Benefits and 2013 crime thriller Runner Runner. He currently is the executive music producer for upcoming DreamWorks film Trolls. This will be the first music we hear from Justin since his 2013 album, The 20/20 Experience.
Net Worth: $200 million