Best New Artists of the Year

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Established musicians such as Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift populate the list of 2019’s most popular songs — but they were not the only ones.

All artists start somewhere, and quite a few performers received their first taste of major success this year. Some of these breakthrough artists have had such noteworthy years that they have already become household names.

24/7 Tempo identified the best new artists of the year based on Billboard Hot 100 chart performance throughout 2019. The Hot 100 is the industry standard in the U.S., ranking songs based on sales, radio play, and online streaming.

Some of the year’s best artists have been releasing music for years, only to now break into the mainstream. Recent rap sensation Lizzo, for example, released her debut album in 2013. Yet it was not until this year that she charted on the Hot 100. Three of her singles — “Truth Hurts,” “Good as Hell,” and “Juice” — blew up this year. In addition, two of her albums appeared on the Billboard 200 albums chart. One of these — “Cuz I Love You” — is among the best albums of the year.

Other new artists have had much more rapid rise to fame. Rapper Lil Tecca released his debut album in August and saw five singles peak on the Hot 100 in September. At age 17, Tecca is one of the youngest musicians to make the chart this year, but surprisingly not the youngest. Here are 2019’s youngest pop stars.

 

To determine the best new artists of 2019, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on the number of songs by each artist to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and each song’s chart performance, including rank and number of weeks spent on the chart. To be considered, a musician had to be either the primary artist of a song or an equal collaborator. Each artist’s first single to appear on the Hot 100 had to reach its peak within the weeks of Oct. 6, 2018, through Dec. 21, 2019. The inclusion of artists that had hit songs in late 2018 was done so as not to exclude those who may have had a minor hit that year with greater success in 2019.