Latin Music Week

2012's Brightest New Stars (So Far)

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

It's only been six months, but 2012 has already had a whole crop of new artists burst into the public's consciousness. From pop princesses and down-home folk bands to controversial rappers, EDM masters and catchy boy bands, new acts have stormed the charts this season, selling out tours and wiggling their way into our ears. Check out our list of 2012's Brightest New Stars (So Far) to see if your favorite new artist made the cut.


One Direction

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've noticed that the boy band has made a triumphant return to popular culture. At the forefront of this resurgence is U.K. quintet One Direction. With a legion of dedicated "Directioners" as fans, these five gorgeous guys have been unstoppable since they hit the scene. Their first-ever North American tour was extended throughout the summer after the massive success of their No. 1 album "Up All Night" and singles "What Makes You Beautiful" and "One Thing." After their tour concludes, the boys will be back in the studio to work on a follow-up album they hope will keep the buzz going through 2013. -- Carolyn Menyes

Though fun. have been around since 2008, the New York trio never really hit the mainstream's radar until this year, all due to their massively huge hit "We Are Young," which features soul sensation Janelle Monae. Their breakthrough is due in large part to the song being featured in a Superbowl commercial and on "Glee," but it's incredibly catchy verses and powerhouse chorus didn't hurt either. "We Are Young" peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100, Radio Chart, Alternative Songs and Rock Songs charts, and their follow-up single, "Some Nights," is working its way up the charts as well. Fans can catch some Fun. on the band's summer tour, which will bring them to stages at the Lollapalooza and Outside Lands festivals in August. -- Carolyn Menyes
Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks is a Harlem firecracker with an exuberance of talent and confidence that's impossible to ignore. This rising femcee has stole the hearts of hip-hop and indie fans alike with her feisty 2011 debut single "212," and her recently released "1991" EP continues to impress. Prepping to release her anticipated "Fantasea" on July 4, Banks never hesitates to speak her mind -- smoothing that female rap rivals Lil Kim and Iggy Azalea know all too well. While her attitude and foul-mouthed rhymes might turn off some listeners, Banks' star is expected to burn brighter than ever when she drops her debut album "Broke With Expensive Tastes" later this year. -- Tyler K. McDermott
Carly Rae Jepsen

Singer-songwriter and former "Canadian Idol" contestant Carly Rae Jepsen had to wait a few years to get her crack at stardom, but the 26-year-old has quickly turned into a chart-topping pop dynamo. Most of the rapid recent success is due to her impossibly fun single "Call Me Maybe," which has topped the U.S. Hot 100 for three straight weeks after storming the Canadian pop charts earlier this year. An alliance with Justin Bieber and his manager Scooter Braun has led to an opening slot on the Biebs' fall arena tour, and with her sophomore album coming out in September, Jepsen will have a handful of new hooks to hypnotize pop fans old and young. -- Jason Lipshutz
Alabama Shakes

The year 2012 has been kind to this crew of southern misfits who met in high school in Athens, Ala. and bonded over their love of music and their ability to write root-rock songs. "Boys & Girls," the band's first studio album, was released on April 28 and scored the Alabama Shakes No. 2 slots on both the Alternative and Independent Album charts. Now, a far ways away from jamming on floorboards after psychology class, the band is shaking it all the way to Europe, where they will be performing on a nine-city tour in November of this year. -- Perri Tomkiewicz
Of Monsters And Men

The latest band to break big from Iceland is the six-piece ensemble Of Monsters And Men. Their poppy brand of folk-rock immediately hit a chord with listeners -- their single "Little Talks" peaked at No. 5 on the Alternative Songs and Rock Songs Charts and has remained on both charts for more than six months. Additionally, their infections debut album was released in North America in April to critical acclaim and climbed all the way to No. 6 on the Billboard 200. With several summer festival appearances certain to increase their momentum, the band is on its way to becoming the biggest thing since Mumford & Sons. -- Carolyn Menyes

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