Internet Phenoms: Then and Now

Tay Zonday

Then: Chocolate Rain
Tay Zonday's Chocolate Rain video was released almost three years ago. By the end of 2009 it had 46 milliion YouTube views and a few dozen spoofs, including one by John Mayer.

The song is an interesting combination of poetry, melodic repetition and Tay's surreal baritone voice.

Now: "You You You"
Today, Tay Zonday is focusing on original music and is also finding some success in acting and social commentary.

His video You You You was released last November.

Marie Digby

Then: Like a Star
In the summer of 2007, Marie Digby released a short video clip of her cover of Corinne Bailey Rae's Like a Star. For better acoustics, she recorded it in her bathroom on a Mac Powerbook.

Despite these limitations, Marie displayed awesome talent and amazing potential.

Now: Avalanche
Marie isn't just like a star now. She is one. She's released three studio albums that have spawned seven singles.

She's responded to allegations of astroturfing by saying that her early homemade video clips were required to make up for a lack of promotion by Hollywood Records, whom she had previously signed with.

Personally, we don't care. We're just happy this great young talent is getting exposure..

Gary Brolsma

Then: The Numa Numa Guy

Gary's Numa Numa video was a shot heard round the world. In 2004, Gary used his bedroom webcam to make a video as he lip-synced the song "Dragostea din tei" by Moldovan pop band O-Zone.

Something about Gary's arm-waving and eye-brow cocking struck a chord with YouTube viewers worldwide. The video got an amazing 700 million hits. VH1 named Gary the Number 1 internet icon.

Now: The Numa Network Guy
Gary's homemade video actually inspired Dan Balan, formerly of O-Zone, to re-issue Dragostea Din Tei, as a new single "Sugar Tunes Numa Numa."

Gary has launched The Numa Network on the web which offers videos and other original programming, like the Kristy Storms Show: