Pop star and rapper Drake beat all kinds of records this week, including one long held by The Beatles, with the 31 year old superstar claiming seven of the top 10 spots on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Several other established pop stars have songs on the chart, including Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. But there is also a lot of relatively new blood – newer music stars who have only broken into the scene in the past two years and already managed to turn heads.
The pop music industry consistently requires fresh talent in order to remain relevant, youthful, and cool. While Drake dominates the top of the charts, there are countless newer performers who have made their mark and may one day rise to Drake’s superstardom status.
24/7 Wall St. has identified America’s 40 hottest new music stars, based on Billboard performance and internet popularity. We defined new music stars as artists who have only had songs reach their peaks on the charts beginning in 2016 or later.
R&B/hip-hop is the country’s most popular genre, accounting for nearly 25% of total music consumption in the U.S. in 2017, according to music tracking company Nielsen Music. This is reflected in the fact that 14 of the 40 artists on our list are rappers.
Many of these rappers, such as Lil Yachty and Lil Pump, are exceptionally young and found early success using internet music platforms such as Soundcloud. Unfortunately, XXXTentacion and Lil Peep, two promising performers who were finding similar success and would have been included on our list, recently lost their lives.
A few of music’s newest superstars aren’t necessarily known for pop music but have found success nevertheless. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is best known for his acting. Yet the movie star had a musical hit with his performance of “You’re Welcome” from Disney’s “Moana,” which spent 13 weeks on the Hot 100. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also appears on our list, is famous for his work on Broadway, including writing and starring in “Hamilton.” Yet he, too, has found pop success with four charting hits since 2016.