2014 was packed with brand new talent that took over the charts. Sam Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour went platinum, Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” broke a record for longest hold at the number one spot for a female rapper, and Meghan Trainor made Beyonce a fan. The insane amount of success these new comers have experienced this year was seriously not normal but definitely well deserved. Check out our list of the year’s biggest breakout stars before 2015 comes rolling in with a new class of up-and-coming superstars.
Watch as the Big Morning Buzz Live crew weigh in on who they think was the breakout artist of 2014!
UK’s own Sam Smith can thank his loneliest hours for creating a masterpiece. Smith by far had the biggest breakout year so it will be interesting to see how he will follow it up in 2015.
Top Hits: “Stay With Me” reached number two on the Billboard 100 chart, “I’m Not The Only One” hit number five and his debut album In the Lonely Hour went platinum. “Stay With Me” was also number one on Pandora’s Top 25 Spun Songs of 2014 and number three on Facebook’s Year In Review.
Awards: He’s tied for the most Grammy nominations (six) with Beyonce and Pharrell Williams in categories including Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Pop Solo Performance. He won VH1’s You Oughta Know Artist of the Year, Favorite Male Artist in the Pop/Rock category at the American Music Awards, MTV’s Best Artist of 2014 and was Billboard’s December cover story.
Major Moments: Sang “Stay With Me” live with legendary Mary J. Blige and was the only artist in the world who sold 1 million albums in the UK and US.
Swedish star Tove Lo blew up singing about eating dinner in her bathtub. She may have the most epic lyrics but it’s her voice that’s made her a standout artist.
Top Hits: “Habits” (Stay High) hit number one on Billboard 200 and number 23 on Rolling Stone’s Singles of the Year list.
Awards: VH1’s You Oughta Know “Artist of the Year” finalist.
Major Moments: Toured with Katy Perry on her Prismatic World Tour, was featured in Billboard’s Year In Music 2014 with artists like Nick Jonas and Kiesza, “Scream My Name” made The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack.
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea came from down under, only to land on top in the US. Azalea has faced mounds of criticism over her authenticity in hip hop but that hasn’t stopped her from breaking records and getting Grammy nominations.
Top Hits: The New Classic debuted at number three on Billboard 200, “Fancy” made Billboard Hot 100 history as the longest number one hit by a female rapper.
Awards: Won Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Album and Best Rap Artist at the American Music Awards, four Grammy nominations for Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Duo Group Performance and Best Rap Album, and Billboard’s Top New Artist.
Major Moments: Billboard Women in Music Honoree, will tour with Nick Jonas in 2015 for The Great Escape Tour, landed Forever 21’s Holiday campaign with boyfriend Nick Young, performed on Saturday Night Live
London Queen Charli XCX has brought back pop rock in a huge way and you’d be a Sucker if you didn’t agree. XCX has come out of the shadows as a hit song writer to take the stage as a powerful solo artist ready to f-ck sh-t up with her new LP, Sucker.
Top Hits: Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, which she features on, made Billboard Hot 100 history as the longest number one hit by a female rapper.
Awards: Grammy nominated for Record of the Year for featuring on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”.
Major Moments: Billboard Women in Music Honoree, “Kingdom” makes The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack, featured as Billboard’s October cover story, Complex’s October/November cover story, and “Boom Clap” featured on The Fault In Our Stars soundtrack.
Irish singer-songwriter Hozier took us to church at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with the best man bun we’ve ever seen.
Top Hits: Hozier debuted at number one on the Top Rock Albums chart and number two on Billboard 200.
Awards: Grammy nominated for Song of the Year, made worldwide number one on Spotify for “Take Me to Church,” which also went platinum in the US and Canada.
Major Moments: Performed at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Pop star Meghan Trainor broke through the superficiality of pop music to become this year’s breakout favorite.
Top Hits: “Lips Are Movin” went certified gold, “All About That Bass” was the most shared song of autumn on Spotify, went platinum and surpassed Michael Jackson’s record of seven weeks on Billboard Hot 100.
Awards: Grammy nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year, People’s Choice Award nominee for Favorite Breakout Artist, American Music Award nominee for Best New Artist of the Year.
Major Moments: Performed on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
Souled Out singer Jhene Aiko did not have to sell out to come out on top. Aiko’s free spirit and realness brought her closer to her fans who ride hard for this R&B queen.
Top Hits: Souled Out hit number one on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.
Awards: Nominated for Favorite R&B Artist at the People’s Choice Awards, Grammy nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Song, American Music Award nominated for Favorite Female Artist (soul & R&B).
Major Moments: Debuts new “Jhene Aiko and Luv AJ” jewelry line.