50 Most Important Musical Artists in 2014: 35-31

Who are the most significant musical artists in the United States today? That is the question that this list attempts to answer. Below, numbers 35 through 31 are featured, running the gamut from modern vampires to modern boy bands.


35 – Vampire Weekend

These darlings of the music press and college radio released Modern Vampires of the City last year, their third and most acclaimed album. Formerly best known for breezy, soukous aping songs about college and upper-middle class life, on Modern Vampires the band instead wrote a series of meditations on religion. Even though no single charted on the Hot 100, the album debuted at #1 with first-week sales of over 100,000.


34 – Miguel

The acclaimed R&B musician released Kaleidoscope Dream in 2012, an eclectic album that solidified him as one of the most intriguing performers active. The album produced the hit “Adorn” and has been inching toward gold certification. In the meantime, Miguel has upped his commercial profile by guest spots on songs by Mariah Carey (“#Beautiful”) and J. Cole (“Power Trip”). His forthcoming third album is one of the most anticipated releases of 2014.


33 – Carly Rae Jepsen

Her single “Call Me Maybe” (originally released in 2011) was nearly inescapable throughout 2012. It stands as a perfectly constructed pop song, going to #1 on the Billboard chart, topping the Pazz & Jop singles poll, and getting nominated for a Best Song Grammy.  Her follow-up single “Good Time,” a collaboration with Owl City released in the summer of 2012, also went to #1 on the Hot 100.


32 – Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line can reasonably lay claim to the title of biggest country group in the business. The duo’s penchant for rapping and hip hop makes them stand out from their country pop peers, and a remix featuring Nelly helped their single “Cruise” become one of the biggest hits of 2013. Their debut Here’s to the Good Times has sold over 1.6 million copies and was the sixth best-selling album of 2013.


 31 – One Direction

One Direction is the leading act of the boy band revival. Each of their first three albums debuted at #1 and went platinum. The band’s cute looks and family-friendly dance-pop tunes have made them perhaps the premier teen idols in the world today. If you do not like their music, at least like their generous nature: only Taylor Swift was a more charitable celebrity in 2013.


Image Credit: Getty Images / Christopher Polk

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