Pop’s Class Of 2014: The 21 Artists Who Broke Out Big This Year

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In 2013, top acts like Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry chucked out their most recent pop albums. Given the absence of those heavyweights — and the fact that Rihanna has taken an unusually long break from releasing music — this past year proved to be a window of opportunity through which many new acts jumped.

Yes, 2014 created a sort of vacuum wherein, if you were an artist who had a solid viral-ready video under your belt, a rabid, established following on YouTube, an inclination for ’90s house music or a connection with, say, Justin Bieber‘s manager, you could mark your territory on the pop landscape — much like the 21 artists we’ve highlighted above did!

Flip through the gallery to see the 21 acts we singled out as Pop’s Class Of 2014.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.