Stephane Grappelli would become one of the most renowned violinists of all time, winning a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. But he honed his craft on the mean streets of 1920’s Paris, as a busker. Busking is, of course, the practice of live performance in public places, where performers entertain in hopes of passersby dropping change and small notes. Here’s Stephane Grappelli with “Liza”.

Bruce Springsteen busked, and still does occasionally. Same goes for Guy Laliberte, whose street performance would form the basis for his now famous “Cirque de Soleil”. In 2007, Classical violinist Joshua Bell played for 45 minutes in L’enfant Plaza in DC in an experiment of sorts organized by the Washington Post. He made $32 and 17 cents…playing a 2 million dollar Stradivarius.

Ben Franklin was a busker…and his experience helped form his belief in free speech. Click here to learn all about it.