There are some musicians and artists who are able to achieve overnight success, whether through a televised contest like The Voice, garnering the endorsement of an existing celebrity, or just blind luck. More often than not, however, artists struggle to reach the desired level of fame and notoriety, or even muster small-time gigs. While the digital space has alleviated part of the pains of "paying dues," i.e. shilling CDs at venue after venue, some of today's most beloved artists took the long road to stardom, paved by failures and closed doors, before reaching the spotlight. 

Danny Brown pursued music his whole life, but the 33-year-old rapper didn't gain traction until 2011 when he signed with Fool's Gold Records, releasing his second album, XXX, online for free. Today, Brown is seeing the fruits of his labors with the announcement that he wrote the theme song for the new ABC series Fresh Off the Boat.

Other artists on the list of those who took years, even decades, to see stardom include Solange, Kanye West, and indie darlings the National. Check out the full roster at

[via Courvoisier]