In our recent podcast episode about Child Stars, we asked our guest, former child star herself, Anna Sundstrand (girl group Play) to choose between several groups of child stars. We also gave our social media followers the same “Child Star Blitz”. Here are the results! Want to post your votes? Download our template here and upload to your InstaStories. Don’t forget to tag @StarShineMag!
Oh Aaron is right... this innocent little blond boy burst onto the music scene in 1997 following in big bro, Nick Carter's footsteps.
Aaron was big on Nickelodeon and Disney, and had a tabloid-worthy love triangle with fellow teen stars Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan.
These days, Aaron is no longer a kid but is still making music... and plenty of Instagram live videos. You can literally catch one every five seconds if you want to see him doing everyday things like arguing with his followers and talking about how healthy he is.
Jesse McCartney was a child actor on "All My Children", but also 1/5 of the boy band, Dream Street.
After the group disbanded, JMac had some solo success with songs like "Beautiful Soul" and "Leavin'". His acting career continues to take off and he's currently playing Dick Grayson (Robin) in the TV series "Young Justice".
Lil Bow Bow
Shad Gregory Moss, better known as Lil Bow Wow, or simply Bow Wow, was an adorable child rapper. Fortunately for him, he stayed adorable as a young actor on shows like "Entourage" and as a host of 106 & Park.
He was arrested earlier this year for battery and is rumored to have some money issues. Currently, he's on the show "Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta".
Percy Romeo Miller, the child prodigy of Master P has continued making music into his adult years, but has also kept up an acting and occasional modeling career. His credits include "Madea's Witness Protection" and Freeform's "Famous In Love".
"Diff'rent Strokes" aired from 1978-1986. If you weren't around for those years, that's no excuse. These days you can find reruns of most classic TV shows. They don't make TV like they did back then...
Little Arnold stole America's hearts as an adopted boy who was as sensitive as he was funny. Played by the late Gary Coleman, Arnold's famous catch phrase was "Whatch'you talking 'bout Willis?"
Not as successful or prolific of a sitcom as "Diff'rent Strokes", "Webster" featured child star Emmanuel Lewis as the eponymous character. Tiny and adorable, Webster, like Arnold, was also adopted.
Emmanuel Lewis was also a spokesperson for Burger King and later on, a singer in Japan.
Hilary Duff's breakout role was that of preteen "Lizzie McGuire" on the Disney Channel. From there, Duff became a pop singer and appeared in teen rom-coms like "A Cinderella Story" and "The Perfect Man".
As an adult, Duff published a young adult novel and appeared on shows like "Gossip Girl". Currently, Duff is on the hit TV Land show "Younger". This is one teen star who gracefully migrated into adulthood without any trips to rehab, arrests, or drama.
Lindsay Lohan was one of Disney's golden stars in the early 2000s that fell from grace. She starred in hit movies like "The Parent Trap", "Freaky Friday", and her most iconic role in "Mean Girls". But drugs and too much partying killed her career.
Maybe it's time for a comeback... "Rumors" (pun intended) of a new album are in the works!
Recognize the little one? That's a young Ricky Martin! Menudo was a Latino boy band big in the '70s and '80s that shattered girls' hearts with songs like "Hold Me" and "Si Tú No Estás"/"If You're Not Here (By My Side)".
There has been a revolving door of members and even a Making The Band reboot in the mid-2010s.
"Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike, if I like the girl, who cares who you like?" Angel-voiced Ralph Tresvant sang to his bandmates on their hit single, "Cool It Now". New Edition made young girls swoon and boys want to emulate them.
Spawning a smash solo career for Bobby Brown and the hit trio, Bell, Biv, DeVoe, New Edition has had a long career, not without its hardships. Their story was made into a BET movie not too long ago. (Editor's Note: I highly recommend you watch the movie and listen to all of New Edition's music on Spotify.)
David Cassidy became a teen idol thanks to his success playing Keith Partridge on "The Partridge Family".
Although he didn't appreciate his teen heartthrob status, he continued to work in the industry and is missed. "The Partridge Family" gave us the upbeat songs, "Come on Get Happy" and "I Think I Love You".
One of America's first televised "blended" familes, "The Brady Bunch" was a story of a man with three boys and a woman with three girls who got married and tried to make their large family work, which often turned out to be a battle of the sexes. Led by Mike Brady's cheesy life lessons, the Brady kids were a classic hit! Two parody movies were made in their honor solidifying the Bradys in pop culture forever.
Miley Cyrus was thrust into super stardom when she landed the role of Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel, which not only had her acting in her own show, but also singing and touring. Now one of the biggest stars in music today, Miley did all she could to shed her Disney image with a seemingly personal goal to shock and awe her audience.
Like Miley, Selena Gomez landed the starring role on a Disney show. She played Alex on "Wizards Of Waverly Place", and also sang the theme song. While her start with fame grew a little slower than Miley's, soon Selena was doing less acting and more music with hit songs on the radio like "Hands To Myself" and "Same Old Love".
Nick Jonas was only 13 when he and his brothers started driving little girls crazy! After the group disbanded, Nick, Joe, and Kevin had success with other endeavors, but nothing felt quite as good as when the news came this year that the band of brothers were getting back together!
Hanson is much more than an "MmmBop" (which for the record is supposed to be a measurement of time according to the band). Isaac, Taylor, and Zac were passed off as a bubblegum pop fad, but if you've been paying attention then you'd know Hanson is a true band with real talent! Check out some of their other music and you'll understand what I mean.
Listen to our Kid Pop Child Star Playlist on Spotify!
Sandy Lo is an author, blogger, journalist, and digital strategist. Her personal story is inspiring. Sandy started StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees.