The top young movers and shakers in the world of music have been revealed in Spotify’s list of the hottest 25 artists under 25 years old.
A champion of fresh talent, Spotify has examined number-one hits, volume and growth of streams and shares, as well as viral chart success from the past year, to extract the top 25 young artists.
The first-ever ranking of this kind by the music streaming service highlights the most influential young musicians – with UK talent taking the list by storm.
In addition to established US superstars, such as Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, up and coming artists from closer to home, such as Irish singer-songwriter Hozier and teen star Birdy, have made the list of pop’s youngest over-achievers.
Swedish superstar Avicii – the first artist to reach one billion streams on Spotify – tops the list, followed by our very own One Direction at number four, who are currently delighting their fans on their ‘Where We Are’ stadium tour in South America.
London-born Sam Smith, in at number twelve, has also been taking the American music scene by storm having recently completed his first tour of the U.S. With hit ‘Money on My Mind’ reaching over 32 million streams on Spotify, the young star has earned a deserved spot on the Hottest 25 Under 25 list.
UK pop sensation Rita Ora breaks into the list at number nine, with John Newman – who also exploded onto the American scene, appearing at Coachella in California – makes the Spotify list at number 19. BRIT and Grammy nominated duo Disclosure continue to represent the UK at number 20.
List-topper Avicii comments, “This has been such an incredible year, and taking the top spot on Spotify’s 25 Under 25 (just a few months before my 25th birthday!) is unbelievable. I truly love what I do and I’m so grateful to my fans and to Spotify for being such enthusiastic supporters of my music.”
Spotify’s 25 Under 25:
At 24, Avicii has broken almost as many records as he’s spun. The Swedish DJ is Spotify’s first artist to cross the one billion streams threshold, and his unforgettable breakout song “Wake Me Up” is our most played track, with more than 235 million streams globally.
Spotify listeners were early adopters of Lorde’s music, sharing her Grammy-winning song “Royals” and adding it to playlists months before it hit the mainstream charts. Lorde is proving to be as enduring as royalty itself; her follow-up track “Team” is enjoying a hot streak with more than 70 million streams and counting.
3. Miley Cyrus
Her Bangerz tour might have stalled recently due to illness, but Miley’s fan base is as healthy as ever. Our listeners stream her music more than 1.5 million times a day – and we’ve seen a near 50/50 split between genders for her top two Spotify hits “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop.”
4. One Direction
One Direction’s music gets more than one million streams globally every day. And while these heartthrobs make young ladies go weak at the knees, nearly half of listeners of their hit song “Story of My Life” are guys.
5. Taylor Swift
Statuesque, red-lipped, but not tight-lipped, Taylor Swift’s lyrics read like a young woman’s diary. Whether she’s releasing an album, touring, or plucking her eyebrows, Taylor’s music is steadily streamed about 800,000 times globally.
6. Jason Derulo
With more than 100 million streams, Jason Derulo’s horn-infused single “Talk Dirty” is one of Spotify’s consistently top performing tracks of the year.
7. Ariana Grande
It’s easy to see why Ariana Grande gets compared to Mariah Carey – the 20-year-old reaches those tricky high notes effortlessly and her live performances are downright dazzling. Ariana’s first album “Yours Truly” had a strong debut and her newest song “Problem” with Iggy Azalea, was an instant hit.
8. Hunter Hayes
His latest track “Invisible” has won over listeners with its anti-bullying stance and heartfelt delivery, and with his sophomore album “Storyline” on the way, Hunter is poised for big things in 2014.
9. Rita Ora
This sassy British powerhouse possesses one of the coolest voices in pop music. Signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label, Rita’s new single “I Will Never Let You Down,” was produced by boyfriend Calvin Harris and has song-of-the-summer written all over it.
10. Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea’s hit “Fancy” is currently one of our most streamed hip-hop songs in the US. Born Amethyst Amelia Kelly and raised in Australia, she headed to the US at age 16 to pursue her dream career as a rap artist. In April, Iggy released her debut album “The New Classic” – the title reflecting the idea that hip-hop is evolving.
11. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber’s image has taken a bit of a beating recently, but that doesn’t stop our younger listeners from streaming his music like crazy. With close to 900,000 streams daily, no amount of bad press can count Justin out as a musical force. Bieber’s top track on Spotify is “Beauty and a Beat” (more than 50M streams) followed closely by “As Long As You Love Me.”
12. Sam Smith
All eyes (and ears) are on UK crooner Sam Smith to be one of the year’s biggest breakout stars. His listener base has been growing steadily on Spotify since the year began.
Birdy might be soft-spoken, but she’s making a lot of noise. The 17-year-old singer from Britain won us over with her take on Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” (nearly 50 million streams) a few years ago. Currently touring North America and gearing up for her album “Fire Within” to be released stateside, Birdy is flying high.
American rapper YG, a name created from Young Gangsta) released his debut single, "Toot It and Boot It", in 2009, and has been on the up since then. In March, the 24-year-old raised his profile with his major label debut album “My Krazy Life” with Spotify listens growing for the Young Gangsta daily.
German DJ Anton Zaslavski, better known as Zedd, is classically trained and his bombastic beats rival those of Calvin Harris and Tiesto. He scooped up a Grammy for his track “Clarity” featuring Foxes, and he’s enjoyed rapid success with our listeners with nearly 200 million streams in the past two years.
16. Demi Lovato
If you haven't heard singer Demi Lovato's hit song "Neon Lights" yet, you must be living in darkness; the dance-heavy ditty is everywhere and continues to climb on Spotify. Our listeners stream Demi's music about 650,000 times a day and are especially fond of her version of "Let it Go" from the Frozen soundtrack (more than 28 million streams).
17. The Neighbourhood
Hailing from Los Angeles, the alt rockers – who also go by The NBHD – have impressed with the hazy song “Sweater Weather,” which has been streamed more than 45 million times. The band’s debut album “I Love You” came out a year ago, yet our listeners still stream it steadily in high numbers. We recommend The NBHD’s new song “Honest” which is featured on “The Amazing Spiderman 2” soundtrack.
18. Phillip Phillips
Phillip Phillips has it all: wholesome good looks, a gorgeously raspy voice, a gentle disposition – as well as the American Idol title from the show’s 11th season. His Idol victory song “Home” as well as the memorable follow-up “Gone, Gone, Gone” have been streamed more than 70 million times.
19. John Newman
Inspired by the soul music his mother played for him growing up, Yorkshire-born John’s throwback style has found an audience with our listeners; with more than 65 million streams, his breakout hit “Love Me Again” is one of Spotify’s most popular dance songs of the past six months.
Disclosure is the flavor of the moment and Spotify listeners have latched onto the UK producer duo in a big way, streaming dance hit “Latch” more than 30 million times (the song features vocals from our another young star artist Sam Smith).
21. Earl Sweatshirt
In 2013 the young MC dropped his major label debut album “Doris,” complete with the intensity and impressive wordplay skills that had become his calling card. His most popular song with our listeners is “Chum” (4 million plus streams).
22. Jake Bugg
Jake’s throwback sound is distinctly Dylan-esque, with shades of The Beatles and Neil Young. It’s perhaps not surprising that this 20-year-old appeals to older fans – we see strong interest from our listeners in their 30s and 40s. His top song, “Lightning Bolt,” has 10M plus streams.
Long-haired Irish troubadour Hozier (pronounced hoh-zee-er) has been a mainstay on Spotify thanks to his powerful song “Take Me to Church.” With his deep, bluesy voice, Hozier’s performance was one of the highlights at the Spotify House during the American festival SXSW.
24. Joey Bada$$
Brooklyn MC Joey Bada$$ rose through the ranks with a gritty video for the song “Survival Tactics” and a highly praised mixtape called “1999.” Tracks from Joey’s 2013 debut album “Summer Knights” graced the viral chart in the US with listeners especially digging “Waves,” which has enjoyed more than two million streams.
25. Sky Ferreira
Sky Ferreira is a singer-songwriter, model and straight-shooter. She also dared to bare her naked bod on the cover of her debut album, “Night Time, My Time,” which generated the 80s-tinged “Everything Is Embarrassing.” Our listeners in the UK and Australia love Sky, and so does Miley Cyrus, who invited her on her Bangerz Tour as an opening act.