These are the 2010 new pop artists with the biggest chart impact and highest likelihood for a long term impact on the pop music world.
1. Bruno Mars
Prior to 2010, Bruno Mars had shown promise particularly as one of the writers working on Flo Rida's massive #1 hit "Right Round." However, this is the year Bruno Mars exploded into public consciousness as songwriter, producer, featured singer, and solo artist in his own right. Early in the year he hit the top 5 twice as the featured vocalist on B.o.B.'s #1 debut "Nothin' On You" and Travie McCoy's big solo hit "Billionaire." By fall Bruno Mars was at #1 with "Just the Way You Are," the lead single from his debut album Doo-Wops and Hooligans. He was also one of the writers and producers working on Cee Lo Green's big viral hit "F**k You!" Bruno Mars' voice is one the key sounds of pop music in 2010.
B.o.B. gained some attention in rap circles from music off two early EPs, but it was his major label single debut "Nothin' On You" that brought B.o.B. hordes of appreciative fans. It was not long after "Nothin' On You" began its descent off the chart before another massive hit "Airplanes" appeared. Both singles were tremendously aided by the hooks provided by featured artists. On "Nothin' On You " it was the sweet voice of Bruno Mars, while "Airplanes" benefits from the somewhat more vulnerable sound of Hayley Williams from Paramore. These huge hits were followed by the single "Magic" featuring Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. It was a third top 10 hit.
3. Nicki Minaj
Although her debut album Pink Friday was not due until late November, rapper Nicki Minaj propelled herself on to the Billboard Hot 100 a jaw-dropping 14 times in 2010 as either lead or featured artist. Her biggest solo hit thus far is "Your Love" which peaked at #14.
4. Taio Cruz
British R&B singer Taio Cruz made his breakthrough at home in 2008 with the release of the album Departure. However, it was the release of his second album Rokstarr in the US in early 2010 that made a successful Atlantic crossing. The debut single "Break Your Heart" rolled to #1 and it was followed quickly by a second #1 smash "Dynamite." Rokstarr was a top 10 album hit in the US when it was released in June 2010.
5. Mike Posner
College student Mike Posner received strong recognition in the music industry with the release of his mixtape A Matter Of Time in the spring of 2009. He was given a major label contract by J Records, but elected to complete his college education. The single "Cooler Than Me" was released in April 2010, and it quickly climbed into the pop top 10. The debut album 31 Minutes to Takeoff hit the top 10, and, in the fall, a second single "Please Don't Go" began climbing the charts.
7. La Roux
80s influenced electropop duo La Roux were one of the breakthrough new acts of 2009 in the UK. The self-titled album and single "Bulletproof" were released in 2009 in the US, but the band did not gain traction on US charts until 2010. "Bulletproof" ultimately was a top 10 hit and sold nearly two million digital copies.
8. Neon Trees
Neon Trees are another band heavily influenced by the sound of the 80s. In this case its more a rock new wave sound. The group released their first album Habits in the spring of 2010, but it took some time for the single "Animal" to catch on. By the fall it was a multi-format smash hitting the top 10 at rock, alternative, and adult pop radio.
9. Mumford and Sons
Folk-rock collective Mumford and Sons are one of the most critically acclaimed new recording acts to break out in the US in 2010. They hail from London, England. Their debut album Sigh No More is double platinum at home in the UK and reached #16 on the US album chart. The single "Little Lion Man" is a #1 alternative hit in the US.
10. Willow Smith
10 year old Willow Smith, daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, emerged late in the year with the ultra-catchy single "Whip My Hair." She sounded like a pint-sized version of Rihanna and had energy to run circles around older, more mature artists. Shortly after release "Whip My Hair" landed at #2 on the iTunes digital sales chart.