Every year sees a new crop of hot recording artists and 2011 is no exception. These are the best of new musicians on the charts ranging from hip hop to alternative music and mainstream pop.
1. Wiz Khalifa
It has been a dizzying year of success for rapper Wiz Khalifa. He built a buzz with previous independent releases and mixtapes, but it was his breakthrough single "Black and Yellow," a tribute to Wiz Khalifa's hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that put him on the map as a household name with pop audiences. "Black and Yellow" went all the way to #1 on the charts. A #2 hit album Rolling Papers and very well received festival performances complete the picture of a stellar year thus far for Wiz Khalifa.
Watch "Roll Up" video
2. Tinie Tempah
With four top 10 pop singles and a #1 debut album, Tinie Tempah was one of the biggest new stars in the UK in 2010. This year he set his sights on a successful Atlantic crossing. The song "Written In the Stars" climbed all the way to #12 and is one of the top artistic achievements of the year so far. Tinie Tempah has made himself known to concert fans through a number of festival appearances, and his album Disc-Overy opened at #21.
Watch "Written In the Stars" video
3. Hot Chelle Rae
Nashville based pop-rock band Hot Chelle Rae eased on to national pop charts in late 2010, but they made their major breakthrough in 2011. The single "Tonight Tonight" blasted to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was an adult pop #1 smash. The group followed up with the single "I Like It Like That" pulling in hip hop duo New Boyz. The future is very bright for this young group just formed in 2005.
Watch "Tonight Tonight" video
4. Jessie J
There is something about pop singer Dev that rivets your attention. She first gained major notice with pop audiences as the singer of the hook driving Far East Movement's breakthrough hit "Like a G6" to #1. Now Dev has branched out on her own. The single "Bass Down Low" peaked at #61 and she has made another pop top 30 appearance with a featured vocal on the New Boyz' party hit "Backseat." Later in the year "In the Dark" proved to be her biggest hit yet. The debut album The Night the Sun Came Up hits stores in September 2011.
Watch "In the Dark"
6. Foster the People
Indie pop band Foster the People are the left field new artist success story of the year thus far. The group only came together in 2009, but their song "Pumped Up Kicks" with its fuzzed out, catchy pop sound and introspective, somewhat chilling, lyrics has made a powerful impact. It is one of the best pop singles of the year so far. It topped the alternative songs chart and climbed into the pop top 3. The group's debut album Torches landed in the top 10.
Watch "Pumped Up Kicks"
7. The Band Perry
Following in the footsteps of Lady Antebellum last year, The Band Perry are this year's country crossover story. Their #1 country single "If I Die Young" received a pop remix this year that has boosted it into the pop top 20. The song is now a two million seller. The group's debut album was a top five hit and is certified gold. The three siblings appeal to a wide range of country and pop fans from young to old.
Watch "If I Die Young" video
8. J. Cole
Rapper and singer J. Cole was the first artist signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label back in 2009. His reputation was nurtured with a series of well-received mixtapes. A single "Who Dat" appeared in 2010 and was originally planned to be the lead single from J. Cole's debut album. However, it was ultimately only included as a bonus track. J. Cole's true debut as an artist came with the release in September 2011 of his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story which went to #1. A new single "Work Out" reached the top 10 on the rap chart and began climbing the pop chart late in 2011.
Watch "Work Out"
9. Lana Del Rey
There may be controversy surrounding Lana Del Rey's self-described "gangsta Nancy Sinatra" style. It is inevitable some will see her signing to Interscope as a bit of a sell-out. However, there is no denying that the song "Video Games" is instantly memorable to hear, and the accompanying music video is arresting as well. Lana Del Rey is one of the most compelling new artists of the year.
Watch "Video Games"
10. Andy Grammer
The effervescent good humor of singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is irresistible. He has gained attention with an innovative interactive video format for the first release of the "Keep Your Head Up" music video. In addition he has endeared himself to Plain White T's fans as an opening tour act. "Keep Your Head Up" has turned into a top 10 adult pop hit and is climbing the Billboard Hot 100.
Watch "Keep Your Head Up"