Let’s get it straight: 2013 was a great year for new music. Even as the year opened with music critics lamenting the auto-tuned state of pop music and the slow death of the album as an art form, new and creative acts emerged from seemingly nowhere to revitalize the charts (and established acts reinvented themselves as musical vanguards).
2013 will be remembered as the year when a 16-year-old girl conquered the world from New Zealand, three rocking sisters from California lived up to their hype and a viral video from Sweden couldn’t get out of our heads. Oh, and it will also be remembered as the year of “new Miley.”
When 2013 started, it seemed like the music charts would be dominated by the usual suspects: Katy Perry, Jay Z, Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Beyonce. And while each of those larger-than-life stars did make a sizable impact on the music charts, they got some healthy competition from newcomers like Lorde, Miguel, Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar and the reinvented Miley Cyrus.
Pop got an edgy spin with Lorde’s hypnotically catchy “Royals” and Miley’s crazy stage antics. R&B got its groove back with the smooth vocals of Miguel and Jhene Aiko. Alternative rock found new freshness with Chvrches‘s tight synthpop sounds and HAIM‘s introspective hooks. And Ylvis‘s viral music video, “The Fox,” somehow crossed over from the world of Swedish comedy to the world music charts.
Here are the 13 breakout musical stars of 2013. Only time will tell if we’ll be hearing more from them in 2014…
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]