This year’s edition of our annual 21 Under 21 rankings includes pop mainstays, rising EDM stars, hip-hop heroes and, perhaps most importantly, lots of new talent, as artists like 5 Seconds of Summer, Shawn Mendes and Bobby Shmurda made the leap onto the list this year. Meanwhile, Becky G hopped into our Top 10 after being included in last year’s “Next Class” poll — under-21 artists still bubbling under the main list, but definitely worth watching.
So which under-21 artist do you think could be the next Becky G, and cause a commotion over the next 12 months in order to lock down a debut on the main 21 Under 21 list? A few names come to mind, or you could submit your own entry. Vote now!
Gabi Wilson learned multiple instruments as a child prodigy, but her talent most clearly resides in a soothing voice that invites R&B fans to discover more. “Something to Prove” is a knockout debut single for the 17-year-old RCA artist, who is working on her debut album.
Place your wagers on hip-hop’s next creative force — you might find yourself putting some money on Raury. Fresh off a label deal and much-ballyhooed meeting with Kanye West, the 18-year-old will bring his amorphous anthems like “God’s Whisper” to Outkast’s #ATLast Festival as an opening act.
The youngest contestant to ever win The Voice, Danielle Bradbery has demonstrated that she is not another reality-show winner worth writing off after the cameras stop rolling. The 18-year-old Texas native showcased her country prowess with “The Heart of Dixie,” from her 2013 self-titled debut.
Mentored by Simon Cowell after finishing sixth on the U.K. X Factor, Ella Henderson teamed up with Ryan Tedder for the powerful single “Ghost,” which hit No. 1 in the U.K. The 18-year-old’s soulful pop music has earned comparisons to a young Adele — never a bad thing.
K-pop duo 15& (pronounced ‘Fifteen And’) started when they were, not surprisingly, 15 years old, and now that they’re both 17, Yerin and Jimin have commanded an impressive following. Sugar, 15&’s debut album was highlighted by irresistible singles “I Dream” and “Somebody.”
Nineteen-year-old Bronx native Leslie Grace launched her career with an impressive bachata cover of the Shirelles classic “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” in 2012. Grace’s self-titled debut album scratched the surface of a promising Latin pop career last year.
After startling the Internet with his homemade “Without U” video, the mysterious St. Paul native Spooky Black continued to gain a following with his Leaving EP in August. There’s not much known of this kid, except that he’s got a hauntingly pretty voice (think James Blake) and often rocks a durag (think… not James Blake).
Scroll through the R&B singer Justine Skye‘s Soundcloud page, and you’ll find swaggering original songs like “2 AM In Brooklyn” next to her covers of classics from Michael Jackson. She recently hopped on a beat from the star producer DJ Mustard and transformed it into “Collide,” a steamy and sensuous track. Watch for Skye to start working her way up the charts. – Elias Leight
Finally, Angie Miller is best known for coming in third on American Idol in 2013, but she might be better recognized for an absolutely stunning set of pipes soon enough. A new EP, Weathered, will be out in November, giving the 20-year-old her first major music look since her reality-show debut.
Which of these artists has the best shot at breaking through next year and making our 2015 21 Under 21 list? Vote now (or write in an answer) and defend your selection in the comments section!