Success in the music industry
Though success certainly can be measured in various ways, some time ago Next Big Sound had numbers measuring success for recording artists. 0.2% were Megastars, and 0.9% were considered mainstream. About 1.4% were mid-sized artists, 6.8% were developing artists - and the rest, 90.7%, were "undiscovered."
Let's take a look at American Idol. Starting in 2001, in the US alone, 12 contestants have made it to the live show each season. Out of the 252 contestants in total, 20 of them, or 7.9%, have sold more than 500,000 records.
Though these two groups might look very different from each other, it's easy to see that it is hard to "make it" in the music industry and make a living as an artist.
Why is this helpful to know?
Because you have to really, really want it. You have to work on your craft. Most do not work on their craft. Become really great. Develop as an artist. Write the songs. Record. Work on your voice, your instruments, work on you. Practice, practice, practice. Don't forget that your value as an artist is within you, your creativity, talents and skills. And when they are great at the point of undeniable, when you are that great, and you have a product to present, you cannot be dismissed.