50 Most Important Musical Artists in 2014: 25-21

Who are the most significant musical artists in the United States today? That is the question that this list attempts to answer. Today, numbers 25 through 21 are presented, featuring performers from a wide array of genres including pop, hip hop, country, and rock.

 


25 – Lady Gaga

Despite being one of the more adventurous artists in pop, her 2013 album ArtPop was viewed as a disappointment as it achieved neither the same level of chart success or critical acclaim as her previous work. Even so, ArtPop debuted at #1 and has sold over 600,000 copies in the U.S., while its lead single “Applause” peaked at #4. She had a stellar 2011, with her album Born This Way becoming one of the year’s top five best sellers and placing well on the Pazz & Jop poll.


 24 – Lil Wayne

The New Orleans rapper has yet to recover the form he had during the second-half of last decade, a time when both his popularity and critical acclaim were peaking. However, much like Lady Gaga, an underperforming Lil Wayne can still demand attention like few others. 2011’s Tha Carter IV went double platinum while 2013’s I Am Not a Human Being II went gold.


 23 – Jason Aldean

The country superstar’s 2010 album My Kinda Party was one of the biggest-selling albums of 2011 and 2012. The top-ten hit “Dirt Road Anthem” bolstered the album’s crossover appeal, helping My KInda Party to go triple platinum. His follow-up, 2012’s Night Train, continued this trend into 2013 by selling over one-million copies, solidifying his status as one of the premier artists in his genre.


 22 – Nicki Minaj

The pink-clad Minaj surprised the world by destroying Rick Ross, Kanye West, and Jay-Z (Bon Iver too, I guess) with her guest verse on West’s “Monster” in 2010. Her debut album Pink Friday was released in late 2010 andproduced the 2011 hit “Super Bass.” Her 2012 album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded followed suit with the top 5 single “Starships.” Minaj has also proved to be an in demand featured artist, appearing on hits by artists as eclectic as Drake, Justin Bieber, and David Guetta.


21 – Imagine Dragons

Suggesting that rock and roll is merely reeling and not dead, Imagine Dragons were perhaps the breakout artist of last year. Their 2012 debut Night Visions spawned the biggest rock hit of 2013 with “Radioactive” and has thus far gone double platinum. The group picked up a Grammy nomination for “Radioactive” but have been ignored our outright dismissed by most music critics.


Image Credit: Inez & Vinoodh / via Billboard

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