21 Under 21: Ones To Watch 2012
21 Under 21: Ones To Watch 2012

21 Under 21 ONes To Watch

You've already seen Billboard's 2012 list of 21 young stars under 21 who are burning the brightest in the music world, but these 12 brand-new artists could soon find their way onto the list.

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Ryan Beatty

(Age 16)

On his way to becoming Justin Bieber 2.0, Ryan Beatty has made a name for himself via YouTube, recording covers of songs by artists like Cee-Lo Green and Bruno Mars. The tipping point? Doppelganger Bieber recently did his own cover of Beatty's new single, "Every Little Thing." If that's not enough ammo to ensure Beatty's rising success, we don't know what is.

Conor Maynard

(Age 19)

R&B crooner Conor Maynard has made quite a name for himself after signing to EMI subsidiary Parlophone and winning MTV's Brand New for 2012 Award. He also seems to have found a fan and mentor in Ne-Yo after the R&B powerhouse heard a cover of his own "Beautiful Monster" that Maynard recorded. Could their budding bromance be the next Usher/Biebs relationship? Only time will tell.

Chief Keef

(Age 17)

After spending time under house arrest on a weapons charge, Chicago-based rapper Chief Keef (real name Keith Cozart) put his energy toward producing several mixtapes and singles including "Bang," "3Hunna" and "I Don't Like" -- the latter attracting major label attention and a fan in fellow Chicago rapper Kanye West. Now an Interscope/BDG-signed artist, Keef is sure to make big waves in 2013.

Charli XCX

(Age 20)

You may have heard already heard from U.K. goth-pop darling Charli XCX, whose catchy, synth-heavy "Nuclear Seasons" seemed to be everywhere last fall. Now, with her first EP, "You're the One," out in the U.S. and tours supporting Coldplay and Santigold, it looks like Charli (real name Charlotte Aitchison) is ready to hit the ground running. Look for her debut LP, produced by Ariel Rechtshaid, to be released in February 2013.

Cherri Bomb

Miranda Miller (age 16), Julia Cole (age 15), Nia Lovelis (age 15), Rena Lovelis (age 14)

LA girl-rock group Cherri Bomb has solidified itself as a band to watch, following a deal with Hollywood Records and tour dates supporting the Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Bush and Staind. Formed in 2008 when guitarist Julia Pierce was only 11 years old, Cherri Bomb quickly moved from basement covers to performing at festivals. With the release of the group's debut studio album, "This Is the End of Control" in May of this year, the four girls are inching toward the big leagues.

Madison Beer

(Age 13)

When Justin Bieber tweets your video with the hashtag #futurestar, chances are you're headed for big things. The last time he cosigned a musician on Twitter, it was Carly Rae Jepsen. Now he's promoting 13-year-old Madison Beer, whose YouTube page has now racked up almost 2 million views. Jepsen told MTV that she's worked on songs for manager, and Bieber's manager Scooter Braun has been tweeting about the young

Leslie Grace

(Age 17)

This teen Latin artist from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. has a soulful voice and the backing of Grammy-winning Latin music producer Sergio George. The result? Leslie Grace's debut single, a bachata-influenced cover of The Shirelles' classic "Will U Still Love Me," landed high on the Billboard Tropical Songs chart in advance of her February 2013 debut release.

Jacob Latimore

(Age 16)

After catching the eye of RCA Records at age 14, Jacob Latimore has only continued to blossom, with catchy singles and major film debuts. His suave R&B single, "You Come First," and classically good looks channel a 16-year-old Justin Timberlake -- so be on the lookout for his album debut later this fall.

Danny Avila

(Age 17)

Danny Avila has played on the same stages as DJs David Guetta and Tiesto in London and Ibiza, and now this 17-year-old DJ from Madrid, Spain is a rising electrohouse sensation. Plus he has the swooping hair and boyish looks of Justin Bieber. After touring across Europe, Danny Avila's debut single, "Breaking Your Fall," comes out this fall.

Megan Nicole

(Age 19)

Following in the footsteps of past YouTube stars, Megan Nicole caught the hearts of the internet with viral covers of Kings of Leon and Bruno Mars. After the 18-year-old pop star released "B-e-a-utiful" to the tune of 15 million YouTube views last summer, she signed to P. Diddy's Bad Boy Records this year and tours with the Wonder Girls this fall.

Austin Mahone

(Age 16)

Austin Mahone, a 16-year-old from San Antonio, Texas, is a musical marketing mastermind, Skyping with his dedicated fans -- who are nicknamed "Mahomies" -- for a fee. Last September, he became the youngest artist to appear on the Billboard Social 50, and since then, the pop star sold out a show at NYC's Best Buy Theater in less than an hour and released his first single, "Say Something." His debut album, sure to be a hit, will be released this fall.

Joey Bada$$

(Age 17)

This Brooklyn-based MC dropped his first two mixtapes this summer: "1999" and "Rejex," the B-sides to "1999." Before the age of 18, Joey Bada$$ was already featured on rapper Mac Miller's spring 2012 mixtape, "Macadelic."

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