2012's Brightest New Stars (So Far): Page 2

2012's Brightest New Stars (So Far): Page 3
BRIGHTEST NEW STARS

 

Kimbra

Kimbra is best known as the powerfully piped female who cut off Gotye in his mega-hit single "Somebody That I Used To Know," but make no mistake -- this 22-year-old New Zealander is a rising star in her own right. Her jazzy, alternative album "Vows" peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard 200 and Kimbra has gaining new fans at each stop on her summer tour supporting Foster The People. In the fall, fans can anticipate the singer's headlining North American tour, which kicks off in Vancouver on Sept. 25. -- Carolyn Menyes
 
Avicii

On the back of one massive single -- the Etta James-sampling "Levels" -- 22-year-old DJ/producer Avicii has built an empire. Officially released in October 2011 (although bootlegged online before then), the track quickly became the go-to feel-good dance anthem of the year, appearing in a Bud Light Platinum Super Bowl spot (also featuring the artist), a Buick LaCrosse spot with Shaquille O'Neal, and countless DJs' festival sets. While his first AEG-backed tour reportedly stumbled at the ticket booth, the artist has high-level support from Madonna (who infamously joined him onstage at Ultra Music Festival in March) and Ralph Lauren Denim Supply, which will feature his boyish mug in its fall ad campaign. -- Kerri Mason
 
Kip Moore

Having recently topped the charts with "Somethin' Bout A Truck," the Southern Georgia native is definitely having a 2012 to remember. Though the single has plenty of hook appeal for the radio crowd, Kip Moore is not just a ditty singer. Tracks like "Where You Are Tonight" and "Up All Night" reveal one of the best new vocalists to come down the pike (or, in Moore's case, Interstate 75) in quite some time. And, if you need further proof, take a listen to "Faith When I Fall." -- Chuck Dauphin
 
Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey (the artist formerly known as Lizzy Grant) caught a lot of grief in 2012 -- questions about her authenticity and ability to perform live was blogger fodder for months -- but there's no doubt that she is one of the year's most talked-about new artists and remains a force to be reckoned. Her debut album "Born To Die" debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was also an international hit, reaching No. 1 in many countries such as France, the U.K. and Australia. The "Gangsta Nancy Sinatra," as she's been called, has been rocking the international festival circuit this summer and will continue to do so throughout July. And with her gorgeous new video for "National Anthem" (starring rap phenom A$AP Rocky as a blunt-smoking JFK), Del Rey is back on America's radar in all the right ways. -- Carolyn Menyes
 
A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky, who ascends from Harlem, made his mark on the music world this year after appearing as the opening act for Drake on his Club Paradise tour. He then wowed audiences this April at the Coachella festival, where he played opposite Radiohead. He recently dropped his debut single, "Goldie," from his anticipated major label debut, "LongLiveA$AP," which is due September 11, 2012. Rocky has also made his mark with featuring appearances on tracks by Theophilus London, Swizz Beatz and Usher, and video cameo's (Lana del Rey's "National Anthem"). A$AP Rocky is showing can't-stop-won't-stop attitude that may allow him to Always Strive and Prosper, like his name says. -- Tyler K. McDermott
 
Rita Ora

Jay-Z's plan to cultivate Rita Ora into the pop princess she's meant to be is paying off. In a short period time, the UK singer has caught America's attention with her singles "Hot Right Now" with DJ Fresh, and "R.I.P." featuring Tinie Tempah, both of which hit No. 1 on the U.K. Singles chart. Spending the summer touring Europe with Coldplay, Rita is set to drop her debut album, "O.R.A.," on August 27. Until then, her Notorious B.I.G.-sampled "How We Do (Party)" will keep us entertained. -- Tyler K. McDermott
 
Imagine Dragons

After the production of four separate EPs and the release of their chart-climbing anthem "It's Time," this west-coast indie-rock band is long overdue for a studio album. With help of producer Alex Da Kid, the band's forthcoming album, "Night Visions," is finally due to drop Sept. 4. In addition to touring with Awolnation in the fall, Imagine Dragons will be making the festival rounds, planning appearances at Summerfest, Firefly Music Festival and Riot Fest. -- Perri Tomkiewicz
 

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