Who are the most significant musical artists in the United States today? That is the question that this list attempts to answer. Below, numbers 30 through 26 are revealed, with a Canadian traditional pop vocalist and the first American Idol.
30 – Michael Buble
Michael Buble has not placed a single in the Billboard top 50 since 2009. How, then, is the Canadian crooner sitting at #30 on this list? Simple, his albums consistently place among the best-selling of a given year, with his last five debuting at #1. His 2011 holiday album Christmas has become a perennial best-seller around the holidays.
29 – Gotye
Gotye’s 2011 single “Somebody That I Used to Know” became the biggest hit of 2012. At the time, it sounded unlike anything on radio (as Sting and Peter Gabriel had not charted in some time) on the way to being certified platinum eight times and winning a Grammy for Record of the Year. The success of this single helped his Making Mirrors album sell over 500,000 copies.
28 – Kelly Clarkson
The inaugural American Idol winner possesses one of the most impressive vocal ranges in pop and scored one of 2012’s biggest hits with “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill).” “Stronger” was nominated for both Record and Song of the Year at the Grammys. Meanwhile, both of her two most recent albums have been certified platinum, despite her 2013 effort Wrapped in Red having yet to produce a legitimate hit.
27 – Robin Thicke
The R&B singer’s 2006 album The Evolution of Robin Thicke was a hit on R&B / Hip Hop formatted radio stations but his commercial career waned until the eponymous single from last year’s Blurred Lines became one of the biggest songs of 2013. The strong chart performance of “Blurred Lines” was augmented by a few Grammy nominations and a placement in the Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop top 5.
26 – The Black Keys
The Black Keys are the only rock band on this list that are still firmly in the blues tradition that has dominated mainstream rock since its emergence in the 1950s. This seems to be working in the band’s favor, as 2011’s El Camino went platinum and produced the minor hit “Lonely Boy.” The band also snagged Grammy nominations for Album and Record of the Year and fared well on the Pazz & Jop poll.
Image Credit: Nonesuch Records / via MTV.com