Billboard's annual ranking of powerful young voices includes arena headliners and promising new talent, familiar names and new musicians quickly rising toward the mainstream. From brand-new stars crashing into the Top 5 to list mainstays still representing the power of youth to the No. 1 artist taking the top spot for the first time, check out the full list below. (For groups, if most members are under 21, they were considered eligible.)
1. Shawn Mendes, 19
Since learning to play guitar at the age of 13 in 2012, Mendes has redefined the mainstream appeal of modern teenage songwriting. The Ontario native’s albums -- 2015’s Handwritten and last year’s Illuminate -- both hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, while current smash “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” -- his fifth top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 -- echoed throughout arenas on his sold-out summer tour, which has earned more than $32 million, per Billboard Boxscore. "I can't believe how fast things have happened," Mendes tells Billboard, "and I'm just so honored that people are able to look to me as a leader." Read the full Shawn Mendes Q&A here.
2. Lorde, 20
The New Zealand native’s radio silence in 2016 was followed by a creative and commercial blitz this year: Lorde dodged a slump with sophomore LP Melodrama, which debuted atop the Billboard 200 and could earn some Grammy attention. After playing the main stages of Coachella and Bonnaroo, the singer-songwriter will tour U.S. arenas in early 2018.
3. Khalid, 19
Khalid celebrated his high school graduation by dropping debut album American Teen; multiple top 40 hits, plus collaborations with Lorde and Calvin Harris, followed. “There’s a lot of people who will say they look up to me,” says Khalid, adding that he tries to be a role model by “staying true to being myself, 100 percent.”
4. Lil Yachty, 20
The self-proclaimed “King of the Youth” effectively translated viral renown into music industry success: “Lil Boat” has hit the Hot 100 four times, earned a 2017 Grammy nomination and works crowds into a frenzy of teenage emotions.
5. Camila Cabello, 20
Following her December 2016 departure from successful girl group Fifth Harmony, Cabello has already landed six songs on the Hot 100, including debut solo track “Crying in the Club,” previewing an in-the-works debut LP.
6. Kodak Black, 20
While in jail on misdemeanor drug charges and later for a probation violation (he was freed in June), Black’s single “Tunnel Vision” reached No. 6 on the Hot 100, and its parent album, Painting Pictures, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. “I’ve had to learn some hard lessons,” says the MC (real name: Dieuson Octave). “I don’t know if I’ve handled everything well, but I’m learning from my mistakes.”
7. Hailee Steinfeld, 20
A Hollywood star in search of a radio smash, Steinfeld finally connected with the Zedd-produced “Starving,” which became her highest-charting single to date. Along with Hot 100 hits “Most Girls” and “Let Me Go,” she spent the past year focused on acting projects like Pitch Perfect 3, due out days after her 21st birthday this December.
8. Grace VanderWaal, 13
A year after winning America’s Got Talent, VanderWaal has a top 10 Billboard 200 entry (her Perfectly Imperfect EP), more than 81 million Spotify streams and 1 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. Her debut LP, Just the Beginning, is slated for a Nov. 3 release; she says that older audiences underestimate her, but “once people get to know me, they change their minds.”
9. CNCO, 16-21
The victors of reality show La Banda’s inaugural season have been learning about pop stardom while on tour with Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias and Ariana Grande. International hit “Reggaetón Lento” has racked up over 300 million plays on Spotify and 1 billion YouTube views.
10. Desiigner, 20
After scoring a Hot 100 chart-topper last year with the rambunctious “Panda,” Desiigner has been prepping new music while working with artists like Gucci Mane and Mura Masa in 2017. “Being young makes me feel like I’m growing with my success,” he says. “I have the chance to entertain the youth and inspire their lives.”
11. Noah Cyrus, 17
This year, Cyrus displayed the audacity her older sister Miley left behind on 2013’s Bangerz. “Fuck what everybody else is saying,” she says. “You can do whatever you want -- that’s how I want to influence young girls and boys.” Cyrus has practiced what she has preached by working with an array of artists (Labrinth, marshmello, XXXTentacion) ahead of her first album, NC-17.
12. Daya, 18
Along with a pair of top 40 hits (“Hide Away,” “Sit Still, Look Pretty”), the Pittsburgh native collected a Grammy this year for her Chainsmokers team-up “Don’t Let Me Down.” Next is the follow-up to last October’s debut album. “I’ve been living in the studio for the last five months,” she says, “getting to focus on my writing for the first time and take control creatively.”
13. Alan Walker, 20
“Never give up on achieving [your] dreams,” says Walker, “because one can never know what awaits around the corner.” The Norwegian-British EDM artist’s first hit, “Faded,” came out of nowhere, but the dance track charted in 32 countries and led to opening slots on tour with Rihanna and Justin Bieber.
14. Becky G, 20
“What empowers you is acknowledging, ‘I am who I am’ -- I feel like that’s the influence I want to be making,” says Becky G, who followed up 2014’s career-launching hit “Shower” by honing in on her Mexican heritage. In 2016, she kicked off a run of Spanish-language singles with “Sola,” which landed on the Hot Latin Songs chart, and her new Bad Bunny collaboration “Mayores” reached No. 10 on the Sept. 30 chart -- her highest peak yet.
15. Jake Paul, 20
Paul gained a viral following on the now-defunct video app Vine before moving to YouTube, where he has 11 million subscribers. He now finds himself on the Billboard charts, making his Hot 100 debut with “It’s Everyday Bro” in June (No. 94 peak), followed by “Jerika” in July (No. 86). “Artists really have to get creative to start a movement,” he says. “There’s a huge market for younger kids with music centered on social conversation.”
16. Why Don’t We, 16-19
Since joining forces as a five-piece pop group in September 2016, the quintet has garnered more than 85 million YouTube views and went from 300,000 Instagram followers to nearly 2 million. That online reach earned it a deal with Atlantic Records after a summer of sold-out headlining shows across the United States, followed by its fourth EP, Invitation.
17. Zara Larsson, 19
“Music’s been in my life my whole life,” says Larsson, who won the Swedish version of Got Talent at the age of 10. Her U.S. breakthrough came with “Never Forget You,” which peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100, and the Clean Bandit collab “Symphony,” which rocketed to No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart. Her debut full-length, So Good, arrived in March, with a title track that featured Ty Dolla $ign.
18. TWICE, 18-22
Formed by JYP Entertainment in 2015, this robust collective delivers a combination of catchy hooks, kooky concepts and choreography that nabs it consistent No. 1s in Korea, while its 2017 EP Signal landed at No. 3 on the World Albums chart. “The great love we have been receiving is still dreamlike,” the group said in a joint statement. But it acknowledges that, having formed only two years ago, “we still need to grow.”
19. PRETTYMUCH, 17-20
With One Direction’s hiatus leaving a boy band-shaped hole in teens’ hearts, fivesome PRETTYMUCH is gunning for the crown with 1D guru Simon Cowell in its corner. Debut single “Would You Mind” recently bowed on the Mainstream Top 40 chart; a full-length is in the works with contributions from Ed Sheeran and French Montana, plus a choreography-heavy live show to go along with it.
20. Chloe x Halle, 17, 19
Sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey found viral fame after posting a cover of Bey’s “Pretty Hurts” to YouTube in 2013. Two years later, the Atlanta pair signed with her Parkwood Entertainment and released its debut EP in 2016. “Younger artists are able to take more risks,” the duo said in a statement. “We are not afraid and tainted by the world.”
21. Sabrina Carpenter, 18
As the de facto leader of Hollywood Records’ next wave of Disney stars, Carpenter (who from 2014 to 2017 co-starred on Girl Meets World) released her 2015 debut, Eyes Wide Open, prior to last year’s EVOLution, which debuted at No. 28 on the Billboard 200. She has already followed July’s “Why,” her most adult-friendly single to date, with a slew of U.S. headlining shows. “These are the strangest years of our lives,” she says of being a teen. “We have to work a bit harder to prove ourselves.”