This has been a big year for British pop music crossing the Atlantic. Six of the top 10 new artists this year arrived from the British Isles. Three more are from other nations with only one of the top 10 new artists originating in the US.
1. Carly Rae Jepsen
Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen unleashed one of the biggest debut pop hit singles of all time with "Call Me Maybe." Boosted by a homemade video from Justin Bieber and friends, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June, 2012 and spent nine weeks there becoming the biggest hit song of the summer. Carly Rae Jepsen followed it with "Good Time," a top 10 duet with Owl City, and then her album Kiss which debuted at #6 on the album chart.
Watch "Call Me Maybe" video
2. Ellie Goulding
In early 2010 Ellie Goulding topped the annual BBC Sound Of... critics poll. She followed that with two top 10 pop hit singles and a #1 debut album titled Lights. Her path to the top in the US was a bit slower. The single "Lights" spent over 30 weeks climbing to a #2 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 this year. The success of the single helped Ellie Goulding's second album Halcyon to a top 10 debut in October. The album's first single "Anything Could Happen" has become another top 40 hit on adult pop radio.
Watch "Lights" video
3. One Direction
One Direction was formed in 2010 when X Factor UK mentors put together five singers who originally auditioned as solo artists. The group earned three consecutive top 10 pop hit singles in the UK of their debut album Up All Night. When they crossed the Atlantic this past spring the debut single "What Makes You Beautiful" hit #4 and was certified three times platinum. When Up All Night was released, One Direction became the first British group to open at #1 with their debut album. "Live While We're Young," the first single from the group's second album Take Me Home landed at #3 in its first week of release.
Watch "What Makes You Beautiful" video
4. Ed Sheeran
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran reached #3 on the pop singles chart at home in the UK with his first single "The A Team." He followed it with three more top 10 hit singles off the #1 album +. Ed Sheeran took home the Brit Award for Top Male Artist early this year. Crossing the Atlantic Ed Sheeran's "The A Team" has been slowly climbing pop singles charts all year having reached the top 40 in recent weeks. The album + reached #5 on the US album chart. Ed Sheeran's reputation in the music industry was revealed this fall when both Taylor Swift and One Direction chose to collaborate with him on new music.
Watch "The A Team"
5. The Lumineers
The Lumineers follow in the footsteps of Mumford and Sons as part of a folk pop revival. Their debut single "Ho Hey" reached #1 on both the alternative and rock songs chart while beginning a slow climb on mainstream pop charts. By the fall "Ho Hey" was inside the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Lumineers have received strong critical acclaim for their #11 charting debut album. The group plans to set out on tour with the Dave Matthews Band in December, 2012.
Watch "Ho Hey" video
Belgian-Australian recording artist Gotye arrived on US shores early this year with the arresting pop single "Somebody That I Used To Know." The song went to #1 on alternative, rock, and dance charts as well as mainstream pop while also reaching #1 in most major music markets around the world. Gotye's album Making Mirrors was certified gold in the US, but thus far he has struggled to find a successful follow up pop single. "Eyes Wide Open" climbed briefly into the Billboard Hot 100.
Watch "Somebody That I Used To Know"
7. Cher Lloyd
Cher Lloyd finished fourth on X Factor UK in 2010 just behind One Direction. She stormed on to the UK pop charts with her first single release "Swagger Jagger" climbing to #1. She followed it with another #1 hit single "With Ur Love" and a #4 hit debut album Sticks + Stones. Crossing the Atlantic, Cher Lloyd hit the top 10 at mainstream pop radio with her first single "Want U Back." It was followed by a top 10 debut for Sticks + Stones. The next single "Oath" is a top 40 hit at mainstream pop radio.
Watch "Want U Back" video
Psy is the biggest international pop sensation of the autumn of 2012. He has been a star at home in Korea for a decade but the single "Gangnam Style" is his first to break through into pop music markets outside of Asia. The music video and the song became a viral sensation around the world having peaked so far at #2 in the US.
Watch "Gangnam Style"
9. The Wanted
The Wanted began the British boy band invasion of the US of 2012. One Direction followed in their footsteps. The Wanted had five top 10 pop hit singles at home in the UK and two top 5 charting albums before crossing the Atlantic. The group arrived in the US with the #3 hit single "Glad You Came." It was followed by the top 10 charting self-titled EP and the song "Chasing the Sun" hitting the top 20 at mainstream pop radio.
Watch "Glad You Came"
10. Alex Clare
Alex Clare first gained public notice when dating Amy Winehouse. Sales of his debut album in the UK were so disappointing that his label dropped him. However, Alex Clare became a pop star when his song "Too Close" was chosen to be the theme music of an Internet Explorer 9 ad campaign. The song became a top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic and the album The Lateness Of the Hour" climbed into the top 50 of the US album chart.
Watch "Too Close"