2021’s Upcoming Music Artists: Who’s Rising to the Top?

Sierra Reynolds , Reporter

WOODBURY — This year was very significant for the music industry. After spending so much time in quarantine last year, the entertainment industry is beginning to wake up. In 2021, we have seen so many new music artists that are rising to be the best stars of the year, including Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, Chloe Bailey, Lil Nas X and more. 

“I love her [Olivia] because her music is relatable even for those who haven’t experienced heartbreak,” said Phoebe Criscuolo, a student at Nonnewaug. “She inspires me to become a singer.”

This year, music fans got to see Olivia Rodrigo’s debut with her first single, “Drivers License,” in January, which was a overwhelming success. The song went viral on the internet and was played on almost every radio station. She has only been going up since then after she released her album later in May which almost every song had popularity on it’s own. Rodrigo is only 18 and has become a role model for many in the younger generation in such a short amount of time.

“Olivia is one of my inspirations,” said Nonnewaug student Emily Crawford. “She’s a successful young woman and it’s really refreshing to see.”

Rodrigo has recently been nominated for six Grammys for the 2022 Grammy Awards in only the first year of her music career.

One of the biggest upcoming artists right now is the openly gay rapper, singer and songwriter Lil Nas X. One of his most popular songs out right now is ‘Industry Baby’ featuring Jack Harlow, who is also making a strong impression in the music industry. Lil Nas X released another song called “Montero” earlier this year which already has a billion listens on Spotify.

This song dominated the charts and gained him even more recognition than ever. He has also had past hits such as “Old Town Road” and released his new album Montero a few months ago in September. The rapper has expressed his struggles of being gay in the rap industry and hopes that his music can help other aspiring LGBT music artists follow their dreams. 

Lately, the song “Have Mercy” by Chloe Bailey has been trending on TikTok and there was a viral dance challenge for the song. “Have Mercy” was Chloe’s first solo after being a duo with her twin sister Halle for most of her career as a singer. She was invited to the 2021 AMA’s and her eye-catching performance gained a lot of attention. Chloe is only 23 and has achieved so much in her career and only seems to be going up in the music industry.

“I remember watching Chloe Bailey and her sister Halle sing on Disney Channel when I was younger and being impressed,” said TeAndre LaBeach, a junior. “Years later, I’m still impressed by how well she can put on a performance.” 

In 2021 alone, the music industry has expanded tremendously. The year is ending and 2022 is on it’s way which means a new year and new music.