20 Pop Artists & Actors Who Skyrocketed Their Career With Disney

It’s hard to imagine a world without Disney. Many of today’s biggest and brightest stars got their career started with Disney, whether it was on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” all of their newer sitcoms, or even blockbuster films.

We made a list of the singers and actors that should be thanking Disney for getting them where there are now.

Justin Timberlake

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(Photo by Getty Images)

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The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, a.k.a MMC, was a big hit in the 1990s. The sixth season during 1993-1994 featured [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Justin Timberlake[/lastfm], along with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Academy Award-nominated actor Ryan Gosling.


Watch Britney Spears and Justin’s duet for “I’ll Take You There.”

Britney Spears

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Britney Spears performing during the Femme Fatale tour in Antwerp, Belgium. (Photo by Tim De Backer/Getty Images)

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Looking back, it’s hard to imagine [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Britney Spears[/lastfm]’ natural voice, without auto-tune and effects.

She was a young girl with charisma and talent.

She was usually the center of attention in the MMC performances she was in. She sings “I’m Gonna Get You” along with her fellow Mouseketeers, with cute dance moves and all!

Christina Aguilera

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Christina Aguilera performs at the 'Michael Forever' concert on October 8, 2011 (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

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We all know that [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Christina Aguilera[/lastfm] can sing, and she can thank Disney for picking her out of the thousands of kids that auditioned for this show. Lately her style has been a little out of whack, so it’s nice to see her with her natural hair and 90s bangs!


Christina shows off her amazing pipes in “Love Can Move Mountains” on MMC, featuring JT and Britney. She even remembers all the song lyrics!

Ryan Gosling

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Actor Ryan Gosling attends the Premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'The Ides Of March' (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Another member from the unforgettable sixth season of MMC, Ryan Gosling showcased his smart aleck attitude at a young age. He looks exactly the same, and pretty much has the same hairstyle. If you’ve seen Drive, Ides of March, or Stupid Crazy Love this year, you know that you’ll be seeing even more of him in the next few years.


This opening scene from an MMC episode features Ryan Gosling acting with Justin Timberlake. They are great together, so maybe we’ll see them co-star in a movie one day.


This video was thrown together by PopSugar in honor of Ryan’s 30th birthday, and shows off his singing over the years.

Miley Cyrus

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Singer Miley Cyrus arrives at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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Daughter of singer Billy Ray Cyrus, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Miley Cyrus[/lastfm] achieved her fame from her dual role as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana, which debuted in 2006. Even though she has a rebellious attitude now, deep down she knows that Disney started her road to worldwide success.


She played her characters so well in this series, and was a real icon for little girls. Watch Miley as Hannah Montana performing “Who Said.”

JC Chasez

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Actor JC Chasez attends the Premiere of MTV's 'Teen Wolf' (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The fourth season of MMC introduced [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]JC Chasez[/lastfm], and future Golden Globe-winning actress Keri Russell. JC was on the show from 1991-1994.


JC sings “Cry For You” on MMC, also featuring his future N*SYNC co member Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling.

Keri Russell

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Actress Keri Russell attends the premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1' (Photo by Getty Images)

Keri Russell first appeared on MMC when she was 15 and was on the show from 1991 to 1993 along with Ryan Gosling, Christina, Britney, JC, and JT. She later played the lead role of Felicity Porter on the series Felicity, which ran from 1998 to 2002 and earned her a Golden Globe award.


On MMC, Keri went to Boston to meet one of her fans. She was so bubbly and friendly.Joe Jonas

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Joe Jonas performs at the BBC Teen Awards (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

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In 2007, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Joe Jonas[/lastfm], along with his brothers Nick and Kevin, guest starred in an episode of Hannah Montana. Since the episode broke basic cable records, Disney had the brothers star in their own Disney Channel Original Movie called Camp Rock, where they play a band called “Connect Three.”


In this scene from Camp Rock, Joe sings “I Gotta Find You” to the character Mitchie, played by Demi Lovato.

Demi Lovato

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Demi Lovato visits 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' (Photo by Getty Images)

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In the summer of 2007, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Demi Lovato[/lastfm] auditioned for the Disney Channel television film Camp Rock and the television series Sonny with a Chance in the same day, and got both parts!

In Sonny With a Chance, she starred as Sonny Munroe, the new cast member of a live sketch comedy show called So Random! In this episode, Selena Gomez guest stars to play Sonny for the “Chad Dylan Cooper” story.

Selena Gomez

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Singer Selena Gomez arrives at the premiere 'The Thing' (Photo by Getty Images)

In 2007, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Selena Gomez[/lastfm] made herself a household name when she began portraying Alex Russo in the Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place.


This episode of Wizards of Waverly Place shows Selena studying for her exam.


This is a video featuring Selena’s first audition, and it shows her then and now.Taylor Swift

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Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift celebrates the launch of her new debut fragrance 'Wonderstruck' (Photo by Getty Images)

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[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Taylor Swift[/lastfm] already had a huge singing career when she collaborated with the Jonas Brothers in their 3D Concert Film, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience in 2009. It doesn’t hurt to be part of one of the biggest opening weekends for a Disney movie.

Taylor joins the Jonas Brothers on stage to perform “Should’ve Said No” during their movie.

Lindsay Lohan

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Actress Lindsay Lohan arrives for a progress report hearing (Photo by Getty Images)

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Lindsay Lohan has been getting into a lot of trouble during the past few years, so it makes it very hard to remember her as the 11 year old actress who played twins in Disney’s remake of The Parent Trap in 1998.


She had a spunky attiude and star power from the start. In this scene from The Parent Trap, she’s introduced to her dad’s new girlfriend.Hilary Duff

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Hilary Duff Signs Copies Of "Devoted" (Photo by Getty Images)

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Hilary Duff is currently pregnant with her first child, and she still has the sweet charm she exuded when she played the title role in the Disney Channel television series Lizzie McGuire, which debuted in 2001.


In this clip from a Lizzie McGuire episode, she has a nightmare about being a role model.
Ashley Tisdale

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Actress Ashley at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Footloose' (Photo by Getty Images)

Ashley Tisdale launched her career when she played the female antagonist Sharpay Evans in Disney’s High School Musical film series in 2006.

This is the music video for the High School Musical 2 song by Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel called “Fabulous.”
Vanessa Hudgens

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Actress Vanessa Hudgens attends IRIS, A Journey Through the World of Cinema by Cirque du Soleil (Photo by Getty Images)

In late 2005, Vanessa Hudgens landed her breakout role as the shy and meek Gabriella Montez in Disney’s High School Musical, opposite to Zac Efron.

In this clip from High School Musical 2, Vanessa sings “Gotta Go My Own Way” with Zac.

Zac Efron

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Actor Zac Efron stands on pit road beside a race car prior to the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (Photo by Getty Images)

In 2006, Zac Efron starred in the Disney Channel original movie High School Musical as Troy Bolton, a popular student and captain of the basketball team, whose love interest was played by Vanessa Hudgens.


This clip from High School Musical 2 showcases Zac’s singing skills and stage presence.

Raven-Symoné

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Actress Raven Symone arrives at the 10th Annual InStyle Summer Soiree (Photo by Getty Images)

Raven first launched her successful career in 1989 after appearing in The Cosby Show as Olivia. She had a comeback when she played the lead character Raven Baxter in the Disney series That’s So Raven, which debuted in 2003.


This video features clips from I’m So Raven when she has different visions.
Anne Hathaway

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Anne Hathaway attends the European premiere of 'One Day' (Photo by Getty Images)

The world got to know Anne Hathaway when she played the nerd turned princess Mia Thermopolis in the Disney movie The Princess Diaries in 2001.


This clip from the movie shows her playing Mia, talking about what her first kiss should be like.Shia LaBeouf

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Shia LaBeouf during the 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Getty Images)

You may not know this, but Shia LaBeouf became known in the early 2000s from playing Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel weekly program Even Stevens, a role that later earned him a Daytime Emmy Award!

Here’s a clip reel of the Shia’s funniest moments on Even Stevens.

Jaden Smith

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Jaden Smith attends the 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon' premiere (Photo by Getty Images)

In 2008, Jaden Smith appeared on an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody playing Travis.

You can see his snarky attitude in this clip from the show.

Are we missing someone important from the list? Tell us in the comments section below!

There are so many people that got their start with Disney, it’s hard to even fit them all in one place!

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