Who will be 2019’s breakout artists? By checking in with our curators, analyzing music industry trends and poring over data from Pandora and Next Big Sound, we’ve selected the singers, rappers, DJs and bands we believe are poised for greatness in the coming year. Whether you’re into hip-hop or R&B, country or K-pop, rock or Latin, there’s a new face waiting to become your next fave.

Hear our Artists to Watch.

NORMANI

WHO: Former Fifth Harmony member who’s stepping out on her own. She’ll be opening for Ariana Grande on this spring’s Sweetener world tour.

HOMETOWN: Born in Atlanta, raised in New Orleans.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: Her duet with Khalid, “Love Lies,” topped the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart. Her two current singles with Calvin Harris are “Checklist” and “Slow Down.”


CITY GIRLS

WHO: Female rap duo.

HOMETOWN: Miami.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: They guested on Drake’s “In My Feelings,” which went to No. 1 on Billboard’s 2018 Songs of the Summer chart and topped the Hot 100 for 10 weeks.


ALEC BENJAMIN

WHO: Singer-songwriter who has been on fire this year, and is a regular on our Trendsetters and Top Spins charts. He’ll be hitting the road this fall on a two-month headline tour.

HOMETOWN: Phoenix.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Let Me Down Slowly.”


BROCKHAMPTON

WHO: Self-described as the “hardest working boyband in show business,” this 14-member hip-hop collective challenges gender stereotypes across four studio albums.

HOMETOWN: San Marcos, TX.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “District,” from their latest album, Iridescence, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Albums chart.


YELLA BEEZY

WHO: Rapper who has dropped project after project and performed at this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards. He’s the very definition of a Trendsetter, going to No. 1 on our charts and spending multiple weeks on our Top Spins chart.

HOMETOWN: Dallas.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: Hit single “That’s on Me” reached No. 1 on the Mediabase urban radio chart, and his album Ain’t No Going Bacc dropped Nov. 16.


FLIPP DINERO

WHO: Haitian-American rapper who was catapulted into viral fame when New York Giants player Odell Beckham Jr. posted a video of himself dancing to Dinero’s smash hit “Leave Me Alone.” Dinero is a frequent flyer on our Trendsetters, Top Spins and Predictions charts.

HOMETOWN: Brooklyn.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Leave Me Alone” peaked at No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 23 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.


SUMMER WALKER

WHO: R&B singer-songwriter and producer who has appeared on our Predictions chart and reached No. 1 on our Trendsetters chart.

HOMETOWN: Atlanta.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “CPR,” from her debut album Last Day of Summer.


GUNNA

WHO: Rapper and songwriter who’s featured on some of this year’s hottest records. He recently dropped an album with Lil Baby, one of our 2018 Artists to Watch.

HOMETOWN: College Park, GA.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Drip Too Hard.”


MASEGO

WHO: Singer-songwriter who describes his style of music as “TrapHouseJazz.”

HOMETOWN: Born in Kingston, Jamaica, with roots in South Africa.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Old Age (feat. SiR),” from his album Lady Lady, which dropped in September and behind which he’s currently touring.


KING PRINCESS

WHO: Multi-talented singer-songwriter, producer and instrumentalist.

HOMETOWN: Brooklyn.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “1950” landed her on our Predictions chart for nine consecutive weeks.


MITCHELL TENPENNY

WHO: Country singer-songwriter. His grandmother, Donna Hilley, spent 31 years at Sony/ATV Nashville, working her way from receptionist to president and CEO. Tenpenny credits his grandmother for introducing him to Country Music Hall of Fame songwriters Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman.

HOMETOWN: Nashville.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Drunk Me.”


YOUNG NUDY

WHO: Rapper, songwriter and cousin of 21 Savage, so it’s safe to say music runs in the family. Nudy has appeared on our Trendsetters and Predictions charts.

HOMETOWN: Atlanta.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Zone 6,” from this month’s SlimeBall 3.


LELE PONS

WHO: Bi-cultural, multi-talented actress, singer, content creator and larger-than-life personality.

HOMETOWN: Caracas, Venezuela-born, Miami and Los Angeles-raised.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: Debut single “Celoso,” a slow-burning reggaeton vamp featuring production and songwriting from DVLP and Fuego, dropped in August.


JADE BIRD

WHO: Up-and-coming singer, songwriter and guitarist.

HOMETOWN: Hexham, U.K.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Uh Huh.”


LAUREN DAIGLE

WHO: Singer-songwriter and pop-soul-gospel hybrid. Her singles are on fire, thanks to appearances on Ellen and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and coverage in Rolling Stone.

HOMETOWN: Lafayette, LA.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “You Say,” the lead single from her sophomore smash Look Up Child, is her first to make the Billboard Hot 100.


MONSTA X

WHO: Seven-member K-pop and hip-hop boy band. They’re the first K-pop group to perform at iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball and their newest album, Take.1 Are You There?, peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard World Albums chart.

HOMETOWN: Seoul, South Korea.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: The English version of “Shoot Out,” premiering on American radio this week, is helping the band cross over with U.S. audiences. The Korean version is their ninth top 10 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart.


RUEL

WHO: Singer-songwriter and the youngest-ever featured performer on Triple J’s Like a Version. He’s already appeared on our Predictions chart.

HOMETOWN: Sydney.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Younger,” from his debut EP Ready.


BIG WILD

WHO: Electronic producer, instrumentalist, composer, engineer and vocalist. He’s had several releases via ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective, plus remixes for Chvrches, Snakehips, Zhu and Gallant. He boasts huge touring numbers, and is poised to blow up once his album Superdream launches in February.

HOMETOWN: Lancaster, MA, now based in Portland, OR.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Joypunks.”


QUEEN NAIJA

WHO: Singer-songwriter and social media star who independently released her hit single “Medicine.”

HOMETOWN: Ypsilanti, MI.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Karma,” her current single, reached No. 3 on Today’s Hip Hop and R&B Hits.


BRI STEVES

WHO: Rapper and singer who hit the stage with Kendrick Lamar during the 2018 Made in America festival and recorded an album on the road while finishing her senior year at Temple University.

HOMETOWN: Philadelphia.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: We’re still enjoying “Jealousy,” but the equally-great “Regrets is Steves’s current single.


BÜLOW

WHO: 18-year-old alt-pop singer.

HOMETOWN: Germany by way of Canada, the U.K., the U.S. and the Netherlands.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Not a Love Song.”


EMPRESS OF

WHO: The experimental solo project of singer-songwriter Lorely Rodriguez.

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “I Don’t Even Smoke Weed.”


RÜFUS DÜ SOL

WHO: Three-piece electronic group who are already a preeminent live act in their native Australia. They’re poised to break out worldwide with the release of their new album, Solace.

HOMETOWN: Sydney.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Treat You Better.”


J.S. ONDARA

WHO: Singer-songwriter who fell in love with Bob Dylan and moved to Minneapolis at age 20 to pursue music. He notes Neil Young, Damien Rice and Ray LaMontagne as musical influences. Catch him on tour with Lindsey Buckingham.

HOMETOWN: Nairobi, Kenya.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: His debut album, Tales of America, features the single “American Dream.”


GRANDSON

WHO: Rock artist known for his highly political lyrics and thought-provoking music videos.

HOMETOWN: Toronto.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Blood // Water,” which cracked the Top 40 on multiple Billboard charts.


SHENSEEA

WHO: She’s been dubbed the “Dancehall Princess” by fans and was featured on our Predictions chart in 2018. Her song “Loodi,” featuring Vybz Kartel, was a breakout hit at the beginning of last year, and she’s since gone on to release a string of electrifying singles, including crowd favorite “Shen Yeng Anthem.” She was featured on Christina Aguilera’s latest album, Liberation.

HOMETOWN: Kingston, Jamaica.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Trending Gyal.”


TEKNO

WHO: Producer and singer who’s had a tremendous influence on African pop music over the past couple of years. He featured on Ciara’s latest single, “Freak Me,” and produced Davido’s global hit “If.”

HOMETOWN: Bauchi, Nigeria.

ESSENTIAL TRACK: Drake cited “Jogodo” as an influence during the making of Scorpion.