Normally, YouTube bestows its 15 minutes of stardom upon talentless daredevils and shameless pranksters. But cellists Luka Šulić, 25, and Stjepan Hauser, 24, broke the norm—they actually have talent. In January 2011, these two friends from Croatia, who go by the name 2Cellos, appeared out of the blue with a four-minute and five-second YouTube clip, and their life has never been the same.
After its first week online, their breathtaking cello rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” had garnered more than 100,000 views. After a month, it had sky rocketed to 1 million, and that’s when 2Cellos signed a record deal with Sony Masterworks. Their self-titled album was released in the summer, and it made the Billboard Top 200, No. 1 on iTunes in Germany and No. 1 on Japan’s imported albums. The duo has been on a world tour with Elton John since the fall, which included a stop at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in October. They start a new run as part of Million Dollar Piano on Feb. 9.
“We just want to make more great music and have more and more people familiar with the cello, while pleasing crowds all over the world,” Hauser says. His sentiment is echoed by Šulić, who dreams of being a household name and “having our faces on billboards everywhere.”
The duo stepped toward that goal on Jan. 31, when they appeared on the Michael Jackson tribute episode of Fox’s hit TV show, Glee. If you missed it, you can always see them on YouTube.