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Melanie Martinez

Martinez achieved what was impossible for almost all other ‘Voice’ veterans, including most ‘Voice’ winners: selling a cool half-million copies of her critically acclaimed, gold-certified debut album, ‘Crybaby.’ The 20-year-old Goth-pop chanteuse also credibly (and incredibly) crossed over to the alt-rock world, appearing on the cover of Alternative Press and playing rock festivals like Lollapalooza, Beach Goth, and Voodoo. And she did it all without ‘The Voice’s’ help, initially as a self-made YouTube sensation (her first video, for 2014’s “Dollhouse,” has racked up more than 84 million views), and then as a recording artist for an actually supportive record label, Atlantic – notably NOT Republic, the ‘Voice’-affiliated label that failed so many other ‘Voice’ contestants. 

8 Reality Stars You Forgot Were Reality Stars

Lyndsey Parker
Managing Editor

It is probably the ultimate goal of all aspiring musicians who try out for televised talent competitions that they will one day become so successful, their reality TV stints will be mere footnotes on their multi-page résumés. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are great examples of this sort of crossover phenomenon – but let’s face it, even those singers will forever be associated with American Idol.

What’s actually even more impressive are the ex-contestants that have been able to establish themselves outside of their respective TV shows – and often without those shows’ help in any way. Here are eight such rare cases. (All photos Getty Images, except Todrick Hall, Fifth Harmony, and Danny Noriega courtesy of Fox.)