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Lorde has beaten out the likes of Justin Bieber, Earl Sweatshirt, Martin Garrix, and our own 5 Seconds of Summer, Cody Simpson, and Troye Sivan in Billboard‘s 21 Under 21 list of music’s hottest young stars. The countdown also featured rapper Chief Keef and teen metallers Unlocking The Truth.
According to Billboard, who called this year’s roster “perhaps the most impressive crop of under-21 stars we’ve ever assembled”, the 17-year-old Kiwi star topped the poll after a year spent dominating the media. Propelled by her hit Royals, Lorde’s short time in the music industry has already seen her play prestigious festivals like Coachella, perform with Nirvana, and work on the Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack.
However, Billboard stress that above all, she was chosen for her far-reaching influence, which extends beyond music. The magazine’s decision to move her up from last year’s sixth position was motivated by her commitment to promoting an image that is “free of touch-ups” and provocative outfits. We’re sure Mama Lorde, who took to Instagram to congratulate her girl, wouldn’t approve of such antics anyway.
Meanwhile, Aussies 5 Seconds of Summer came in second, despite only having released their debut album back in June. According to Billboard, the band’s swift ascent contributed big time to their high entry spot and the industry bible is predicting the Sydney natives have a long career ahead of them.
In addition to Lorde and 5 Seconds of Summer, this year’s strong antipodean contingent was rounded out by pop singer Cody Simpson and YouTube star Troye Sivan, who made the list at 13 and 17 respectively. Simpson is enjoying his fourth consecutive year on the list, while Sivan is making his debut in the poll.
Despite a year of seemingly unending legal troubles, Justin Bieber still nabbed the bronze. The young pop superstar and budding delinquent has slipped one spot in each of the past two years, having topped the list in 2012. In their writeup, Billboard wondered if Biebs will be able to make the move into adult icon.
Martin Garrix was chosen for the impact of his single Animals and tireless collaborating, and Earl Sweatshirt placed seventh for his music and recent criticism of Taylor Swift for “perpetuating black stereotypes”, which Billboard argue helped to spark a dialogue on the divisive cultural issue.
Billboard‘s 21 Under 21 (cont.)
11. Luis Coronel
12. Meghan Trainor
13. Cody Simpson
15. Bobby Shmurda
16. Scotty McCreery
17. Troye Sivan
18. Rae Sremmurd
19. Akdong Musician
20. The Vamps
21. Unlocking the Truth
— Lorde (@lordemusic) September 25, 2014