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How did these 10 celebrities get their start? Faith
Katy Perry
According to MTV, Katy Perry got her start in a Christian community and soon after tried to make her mark in the gospel music industry. But when things didn't work out and her albums wouldn't sell, she transitioned into pop. And the rest is history. - photo by Tim Whitby, istockphoto.com

 

Faith has been said to move mountains.

It may also be making people famous.

Reports have found that kids who grow up attending religious services, reading scriptures or learning values from their religious families are more likely to have higher self-esteem and do better socially, according to Time magazine.

“Religion,” said Bill Hathaway, a clinical psychologist of religion at Regent University, to Time, “is related to the child having a higher sense of self-esteem, better academic adjustment and lower rates of substance abuse and delinquent or criminal behavior.”

In fact, there are plenty of examples of people who got their start in the pews before making it big in the entertainment world. Here are 10 celebrities who were inspired by faith before becoming famous.

Elvis could have been a cantor.

Elvis got his start in a small house in Memphis, Tennessee where he lived under the same roof as Rabbi Alfred and Jeannette Fruchter, according to Forward. While spending time there, he became close with the rabbi’s family -- close enough, according to Forward, that much of the King’s music was influenced by Jewish cantorial music.

“My husband listened to his records every Sunday, with the windows open, because it was so hot in Memphis, and you could hear them all over,” Jeannette Fruchter said, according to Forward.

Katy Perry almost went into gospel music.

Ever heard of Katy Hudson? Here, listen to her on YouTube real quick. Sound familiar? That’s because she’s Katy Perry, the larger-than-life pop star that’s been making waves across the country.

According to MTV, Perry got her start in a Christian community and soon after tried to make her mark in the gospel music industry. But when things didn’t work out and her albums wouldn’t sell, she transitioned into pop. And the rest is history.

Martin Scorsese was almost a priest.

Scorsese’s movies aren’t known for being that family friendly (example: “The Departed”). But he actually comes from a very Christian background. In fact, Scorsese almost became a priest, according to Relevant magazine.

“Few people know Scorsese planned to become a priest before pursuing film. Raised in a religious home, he attended Catholic school and spent a year in seminary. His life was once solely dedicated to the gospel,” Relevant reported.

Denzel Washington was the son of a minister.

Who knows if Washington would have gone into a more faithful line of work if he didn’t leave his hometown in New York for boarding school. According to Godreports, a religions news institution, Washington’s father was a Pentecostal minister and required Washington to read the Bible every day and attend church every Sunday -- something he said was a job in itself. But once he moved away to boarding school after his parents’ divorce, he took his life down a different path and became the hit actor he is today.

Kristin Chenoweth was almost a missionary.

Known for her work in the “Wicked” Broadway musical, Chenoweth also comes from Christian beginnings -- and she was almost a missionary. When she turned 14, she was debating whether she should sing or preach the word of the Southern Baptist church as a missionary, according to The 700 Club.

“She knew the Lord had put a love for musical theater in her heart,” The 700 Club reported. And thus, Chenoweth chose to go to theater school and become the famous singer she now is.

Faith Hill sang Christian music and was in a band.

Faith is in her name, and it’s in her blood. Country singer Hill got her beginnings in a local Baptist church, according to Biography. Around the same time, Hill joined a band that toured the local spots and played at both fairs and rodeos, Biography reported.

Brad Pitt worked in services at a Baptist church.

Brad Pitt’s looks were admired from a young age. According to a profile written on him by Celebrities Then and Now, Pitt attended local services at his Baptist church, where he both sang and acted. His face, the profile says, caught the attention of many. He would later go into singing during college.

Carrie Underwood was a Christian singer.

Underwood’s fame didn’t come easily, according to BeliefNet. In fact, Underwood got her start singing in the choir at the First Free Will Baptist Church in Oklahoma, according to Beliefnet. It wasn’t until she performed on “American Idol” that Underwood rose to her current status of fame.

Jessica Simpson almost went into Christian music.
Simpson is the daughter of a pastor, and she used to sing in her local church as a child. However, things came to a halt when she realized how tough some critics in those circles can be, according to “The Today Show.”

“It didn’t really surprise me because I grew up with a lot of that backlash,” Simpson said, according to “The Today Show.” “That’s why I didn’t end up going into the Christian music industry. I think that if they’re really good Christians the judgment wouldn’t be there.”

Jack White was almost a priest.

Lead singer of the White Stripes almost became a priest. In fact, he felt he was being called to it, according to Gigwise, an entertainment and music news website. White was accepted to seminary in Wisconsin, but at the last minute decided to pull away and get into music, CBS News reported.

“I’d got accepted to the seminary in Wisconsin, and I was gonna become a priest,” White said, according to CBS News. “But the last second I thought, ‘I’ll just go to public school.’”

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @herbscribner