50 Most Important Musical Artists in 2014: 45-41

Who are the most significant musical artists in the United States today? That is the question that this list attempts to answer. Today, numbers 45 through 41 are released, featuring well-established rappers and emerging indie pop darlings.

45 – Pitbull

The rapper has had considerable success on the mainstream singles charts, with his 2011 song “Give Me Everything” ranking among the top 5 singles of its year. His 2013 #1 “Timber” was release too late to be a factor in Billboard’s 2013 year-end list, but could make an appearance on the 2014 chart. Despite this, sales of his albums have been relatively sluggish, with none of his most recent releases selling over 500,000 units.

 44 – Haim

These three sisters have won over the music press in a big way thanks to their fusion of Fleetwood Mac with modern pop sensibilities. Their debut album placed seventh on the 2013 Pazz & Jop poll while their single “The Wire” was ranked third. Despite a top ten debut, the general public in the United States has thus far slept on their album Days Are Gone. However, a few more appearances in commercials and movie trailers could change that.

43 – Eminem

Now finding himself in the once unlikely role of an elder statesman, Eminem has lost some of the fire that made him such a forceful presence circa 2000. Even though he seems less vital now than in his heyday, Eminem’s 2013 effort The Marshall Mather’s LP2 has moved over two-million units and was met with generally positive reviews.

42 – T.I.

T.I. is in the midst of an impressive return to form, flexing his flow and lyricism with a stellar guest verse on Killer Mike’s “Big Beast” in 2012 and proving that he has not lost his charm or commercial relevance with his appearance on Robin Thicke’s 2013 smash hit “Blurred Lines.” He released his eighth studio album Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head in December of 2012, which has been certified gold by the RIAA.

41 – Beyonce

More than a few people have tipped Beyonce as the most important musician of the current century. She is among a select group of artists who are met with equal enthusiasm by music critics and the music listening public, as evidenced by the strong sales and rapturous reviews that welcomed her self-titled album. Her ranking is hurt by Beyonce’s late-season release, so expect her to make a major move up the list in next year’s edition of this feature.

Image Credit: British Vogue / Arthur Elgort


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