It takes very hard work to make it in the entertainment industry — and these six stars are living proof!

You might be surprised to learn a Scandal star, an American Idol judge and these four other big names got their start thanks to some other big names!

Columbus Short: Backup Dancer for Britney Spears (2003)

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Before Columbus Short was entertaining audiences on the hit show Scandal alongside Kerry Washington, he was dancing up a storm for **Britney Spears!

He shared the stage with her at the NFL Kickoff in Washington D.C. in 2003 and appeared in the pop star’s “Me Against the Music” video and choreographed her Onyx Hotel tour.

He even admitted to sharing a bed with her! “It’s true I slept with Britney,” he claimed in 2004. “[But] we never had sex because another person was in the room at the time. We shared a bed and were really close, kissing and hugging. The chemistry was magical. Our feelings were so strong.”

Jenna Dewan-Tatum: Backup Dancer for ‘N Sync (2002)

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Married to Channing Tatum and danced with Justin Timberlake?! Jenna Dewan-Tatum has lived a pretty awesome life.

You might be surprised to see her performing with ‘N Sync at the 2002 Grammys. (Rumor has it she may have been the reason behind JT’s split with Britney Spears!)

Mariah Carey: Backup Singer for Brenda K. Starr (Late 1980s)

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Without Brenda K. Starr, Mariah Carey might not be the powerhouse she is today. The Long Island native sang background vocals for Brenda during the late 1980s – and the singer helped Mariah’s career when she showed a demo tape to Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola.

It’s rumored Brenda’s career suffered because of Mariah’s success.

In 1998, Mariah covered Brenda’s hit “I Still Believe,” which landed in the No. 4 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 — nine spots higher than when the original song was released.

Heather Morris: Backup Dancer for Beyoncé (Late 2000s)

beyonce and heather morris

The Glee star got her big break when Queen B took notice of her in 2007. Heather Morris was one of Beyoncé’s backup dancers on The Beyoncé Experience world tour – and worked with the songstress again on a mini “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” promotional tour the next year.

Yeah, we’ve pretty much had this video of the pair at the 2008 American Music Awards on repeat.

Sheryl Crow: Backing Singer for Michael Jackson (1987 — 1989)

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See that lady with the BIG ‘80s hair? That’s Sheryl Crow!

The now super-successful singer-songwriter hit the road with Michael Jackson on his Bad tour in the late 1980s.

“I was in my mid-20s. I hadn’t released any records. I didn’t even own a passport when I landed the job. And there I was, traveling the world with the biggest pop star on the planet. Walking out in front of full stadiums every night was exhilarating enough,” recalls Sheryl.

“To be performing alongside Jackson was something else altogether. Seeing him dance a few feet away from me was an other-worldly experience. It was the happiest of times.”

Jennifer Lopez: Backup Dancer for New Kids on the Block (1991)

Can’t spot Jenny From the Block? Don’t worry. Jay Leno did it for ya!