In 2014, boundaries, whether music or geographical, will matter less than ever. Case in point: the eight exciting new stars-to-be here. They hail from the Bay Area, Britain, Guam and their mother's suburban Illinois basement, representing rap to pop to country and everything in between. Their back stories, and ambitions, are just as varied: Singer Sam Smith, who rode two dance and pop collaborations to stardom in Britain, is looking to become the male Adele.

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