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Teen Takeover Week

The Top 19 Biggest Teen Musicians of 2017

From the most promising singers and groups to the new teen kings and queens, here are the young musicians shaking up the industry and growing into dazzling artists before our eyes

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Billie Eilish, 15

Birthday: December 19, 2001

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why She's Great: Fuse's second-annual list of incredible teen musicians is packed with promising talent and we kick off our 2017 iteration with one of the newest. Billie Eilish is a budding new signing with Interscope Records with her few singles already proving herself a songwriter and voice beyond her years. Songs like "Ocean Eyes" highlight her command of traditional harmonies while the half-acoustic, half-electropop jam "Bellyache" demonstrates the special freshness she's bringing to the scene. Jeff Benjamin


Fuse is celebrating Teen Takeover Week right now! Stay tuned for lists, interviews and videos all week and be sure to tune in to our Teen Takeover music video block on Fuse on Friday morning, April 28 at 9:30/8:30c. Find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder.

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Somi, 16

Birthday: March 9, 2001

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why She's Great: A major part of your teens are all about the unexpected ups and downs you experienced and Somi is a prime example of never giving up. While she initially entered K-pop fans' radars for competing for a spot in girl group Twice on the reality show Sixteen, a year after failing to make the group she wound up earning No. 1 on singing competition show Produce 101 which saw her a part of another super-successful outfit, I.O.I. While I.O.I was only meant to last for a year (and it was a hugely successful year), Somi has parlayed her opportunity into solo music (her collaboration with Eric Nam "You, Who?" is a perfect spring duet) and TV opportunities meaning this teen isn't wasting any time to ensure she's a star. –Jeff Benjamin

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Olivia O’Brien, 17

Birthday: November 26, 1999

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why She's Great: Olivia O’Brien is pop’s new face and she’s bringing her Los Angeles swagger to the genre. She first made waves with the sweeping gnash collaboration “I Hate U, I Love U” single back in February, which peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The singer kept the momentum going with new single “Empty” that will have you captivated by her effortless cool factor. It’ll be interesting to see what O’Brien brings to the table with her pending debut album. Bianca Gracie

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Sabrina Carpenter, 17

Birthday: May 11, 1999

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why She's Great: Sabrina Carpenter comes from Disney—just like the Gomez’s, Cyrus’ and Lovatos of the world—where she transitioned from rising actress to must-know singer. While also starring in Phineas and Ferb, Sofia the First and Girl Meets World, she dropped two albums. Carpenter continued to soar by landing the opening slot of an Ariana Grande tour. It’s only up from there! –Bianca Gracie

Listen to our interview with Sabrina Carpenter in this Pop Chat podcast episode:

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NCT Dream

Birthdays: Mark, August 2, 1999 (age 17); Renjun, March 23, 2000 (age 17); Jeno, April 23, 2000 (age 16); Haechan, June 6, 2000 (age 16); Jaemin, August 13, 2000 (age 16); Chenle, November 22, 2001 (age 15); Jisung, February 5, 2002 (age 15)

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why They're Great: They might be one of K-pop's youngest acts, but the NCT unit has already shown loads of promise. While the only thing truly connecting these boys is their age (everyone is under 18), NCT Dream has a cohesive, fresh take on what we typically expect from a boy band with smooth harmonies and captivating choreography. While we've only gotten a few releases from the guys, tracks like "My First and Last," "Chewing Gum" and "Dunk Shot" capture a youthful energy with which anyone can groove along. –Jeff Benjamin

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Bea Miller, 18

Birthday: February 7, 1999

Last Year's Rank: No. 15

Why She's Great: Bea Miller comes from the world of reality competition shows (she came in ninth place on Season 2 of America's The X Factor), but she’s definitely shaking off that popcorn artist stigma. The Brooklyn-born singer is solidifying her voice in pop with vulnerable, emotive and at times very intense singles that are attention-grabbing. Yet her music isn’t catchy in the “let’s make a quick radio hit!” sense. Miller’s current unveiling of EPs (Feb.’s Chapter One: Blue, May’s Chapter Two: Red and Aug.’s Chapter Three: Yellow) tell a story of a young woman finding herself—and it’s beautiful one. –Bianca Gracie

Watch a classic Fuse interview with Bea Miller below:

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Hey Violet's Rena Lovelis, 19

Birthday: April 6, 1998

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why She's Great: No one should be surprised to see a badass young female fronting a rock-pop band these days, but Hey Violet is the exciting new act making an impact all while being led by their youngest member. Rena Lovelis is the group's 19-year-old lead singer for the group that's already scored a Billboard Hot 100 hit with "Guys My Age," a feisty, racing single about looking for a guy who can act his age. While everyone must own and know their role for a successful band, having a confident lead singer is a key element to ensuring their future and Rena's is making Hey Violet's future so bright. –Jeff Benjamin

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Jaden Smith, 18

Birthday: July 8, 1998

Last Year's Rank: No. 12

Why He's Great: Jaden could become a Will Smith–sized movie star with the blink of an eye, but instead embodies his utterly unique self to the fullest, sans big screen. He's known as a rapper without having ever dropped an album, scoring guest spots on tracks by Childish GambinoJustin Bieber and Jhené Aiko. Twitter hangs on his every philosophical word, he stars on Netflix's The Get Down and he's got a sense of humor about himself. Oh, and he’s starting a rock band and a K-pop career this year. Zach Dionne

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CNCO

Birthdays: Erick Brian Colon, January 3, 2001, (age 16); Joel Pimentel, February 28, 1999, (age 18); Zabdiel De Jesus, December 13, 1997, (age 19); Richard Camacho, January 22, 1997 (age 20); Christopher Velez, November 23, 1995 (age 21)

Last Year's Ranking: N/A

Why They're Great: With One DirectionLittle Mix and last year's No. 1 teenage musician Fifth Harmony as shining examples, Simon Cowell knows how to create pop sensations from reality shows and CNCO looks poised to be his latest success. Created on the American Idol exec's singing competition La Banda, the five members (three of which are in their teen years) have already become sensations throughout Latin America as their Primera Cita album going Top 40 in America and rising single "Reggaetón Lento (Bailemos)" becoming a YouTube hit with more than half a billion views. While slowing becoming go-to collaborators after working with the likes of Becky G and Río Roma, we don't expect this boy band to be a short-lived fad. –Jeff Benjamin

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Grace VanderWaal, 13

Birthday: January 15, 2004

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why She's Great: It's not every year that an America's Got Talent competitor—even a winner, like VanderWaal—goes beyond a viral performance or two and claims sustained international attention. This little ukelele-playing singer-songwriter did exactly that, leading hard-to-please talent-scouting wizard Simon Cowell to call her "the next Taylor Swift.” The kid released her debut EP, Perfectly Imperfect, less than three months after her AGT victory, and already boasts a huge 1.6 million followers on Instagram. She's just shy of 1 mill on Facebook as well as YouTube, where original songs and covers of Meghan TrainorMelanie Martinez, Elle King and more have earned her 46 million views. –Zach Dionne

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Daya, 18

Birthday: October 24, 1998

Last Year's Rank: No. 13

Why She's Great: Daya first made a name for herself with her debut single “Hide Away” back in 2015, and she continues to prove why she’s one of the coolest faces in pop two years later. The Pittsburgh native has since collaborated with The Chainsmokers on the massive (and GRAMMY-winning) “Don’t Let Me Down” single that took over the airwaves and plenty of festival seasons. Daya wrapped up her successful 2016 with the release of her debut album, Sit Still, Look Pretty and is ready to own the rest of this year. –Bianca Gracie

Listen to Daya discuss her “Hide Away” success on this episode of Pop Chat:

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Chloe x Halle

Birth Dates: Halle Bailey, March 27, 2000 (age 17); Chloe Bailey, July 1, 1998 (age 18)

Last Year's Rank: No. 18

Why They're Great: What other teens can claim a Beyoncé cosign? In 2011, Atlanta-born teen sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey started by singing covers on YouTube. At just 13 and 11 years old, they were racking up millions of views for their gorgeous takes on hits by Bey, Adele and more. In December 2013 the girls' cover of Beyoncé track "Pretty Hurts" went viral, with Bey herself even sharing it on Facebook. In 2015, Beyoncé signed the duo to her Parkwood Entertainment label and featured them in her Lemonade film in 2016. The same week, the girls released Sugar Symphony, their debut EP of original music. The sisters have been performing across the country at events and festivals since, and just dropped new mixtape The Two of Us. Find out why they're the singers to watch by listening above.Mark Sundstrom

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Willow Smith, 16

Birthday: Oct. 31, 2000

Last Year's Rank: No. 6

Why She's Great: One thing's clear to anyone keeping an eye on Will and Jada's daughter: She's constantly working on her musical craft, and she's content to simply give us stream-of-consciousness glimpses and let the trickle of songs speak for themselves. Her Soundcloud is a rapidly expanding body of impressionistic, ethereal tunes she's produced herself; she's gotten great at guitar, we know from the occasional Instagram clip. She surprise-dropped her debut album, the 54-minute Ardipithecus, in December 2015 and did almost no press in support. She's collaborated with Kid CudiSean Lennon, SZA and, many times over, her brother Jaden. Ages before all this, a 10-year-old Willow dropped three giant pop singles that have now totaled 290 million views on YouTube...only to decide the life of a mini-Rihanna wasn't really for her. "I just want to make music so that I can raise the consciousness level on this planet,” reads her Soundcloud bio now. "Lets [sic] all come together in light, love and harmony through oneness with ourselves and All That Is. Enjoy." –Zach Dionne

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Noah Cyrus, 17

Birthday: January 8, 2000

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why She's Great: Don’t get it twisted—Noah Cyrus isn’t just Miley’s little sister anymore! The teen is making sure she’s not cast in the pop star’s shadow by establishing herself as her own confident artist. Cyrus made her debut last fall with the stunning electro-pop mid-tempo “Make Me (Cry),” which features Labrinth. And the follow-up tracks are just as great! The defiant “Stay Together” and "Chasing Colors" alongside EDM masters Marshmello and Ookay shows different facets of her artistry. We can’t wait to see what she brings next. –Bianca Gracie

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Khalid, 19

Birthday: February 11, 1998

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why He's Great: This El Paso, Tex. native seemingly rose out of nowhere to add some sparkle to R&B. We first gravitated to Khalid thanks to his refreshingly minimal debut single “Location,” which is currently sitting at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The singer’s American Teen album is filled with soulful gems that will whisk you away to a world of blissful. Add Khalid’s warm personality on top of that, and you have a young artist who is here to stay. –Bianca Gracie

Watch Khalid explain to Fuse how Kylie Jenner helped boost his “Location” single:

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Lil Yachty, 19

Birthday: Aug. 23, 1997

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Why He's Great: Lil Yachty doesn't care what you think Atlanta's supposed to sound like, dubbing his sound "bubblegum trap" and turning Auto-Tune from a powerful, pathos-ridden tool of robo-emoting to a sound of sunshine. "I've got songs that sample Mario Bros., Charlie Brown, the Rugrats theme, the music that plays when you turn on a Gamecube," he told Rolling Stone last fall. With two mixtapes to his name, May's Teenage Emotions will mark Yachty's debut album, and he'll surely keep popping up alongside fellow innovators like Chance the RapperYoung ThugD.R.A.M. and A$AP Mob. –Zach Dionne

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Babymetal

Birthday: Moametal, July 4, 1999 (age 17); Yuimetal, June 20, 1999 (age 17); Su-metal, December 20, 1997 (age 19)

Last Year's Rank: No. 4

Why They're Great: Metalheads can be tough to win over, and pop fans can be allergic to metal. Japanese trio Babymetal seem to have managed to bring both fanbases together with a pitch-perfect presentation, steady release schedule and major cred within the headbanger scene. They've already opened for some of the biggest to do ever do it, including MetallicaKornRed Hot Chili Peppers and Guns N’ Roses, and their sophomore LP was the first Japanese release to hit the Billboard 200’s Top 40 in 53 freakin’ years. –Zach Dionne

Watch Babymetal talk about their famous friends in this Fuse interview below:

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Zara Larsson, 19

Birthday: December 16, 1997

Last Year's Rank: No. 10

Why She's Great: At just 19 years old, Sweden-born Zara Larsson has already been in the music biz for nearly 10 years. In 2008, a 10-year-old Zara won the Swedish version of Got Talent after nailing Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." By the end of 2014, Zara had a string of hit singles in Sweden, her debut album 1 had gone platinum in her home country, and she was signed to Epic Records in the States. Over the next three years, Zara worked her ass off releasing singles and videos making her a name in Europe and the U.K. Originally released in 2015, the MNEK-assisted "Never Forget You" became Zara's breakout hit in the States a year later in summer 2016. New fans found her previous singles online and fell in love. Then in March, 2017 Zara released her highly anticipated international debut album So Good to the joy of fans around the world. –Mark Sundstrom

Watch Zara discuss her new album So Good with Fuse below:

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Shawn Mendes, 18

Birthday: August 8, 1998

Last Year's Rank: No. 2

Why He's Great: With last year's release of sophomore album IlluminateShawn Mendes solidified his spot in pop music with his second No. 1 album boasting his biggest single to date with "Treat You Better." While Mendes initially broke out thanks to Vine, his new material is showing artistic growth ("Treat You Better" and just-released new single "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" all incorporate exciting, instrumental breakdowns), but doesn't forgo the songwriting and performance elements that made so many fall for him initially. Despite being so young, Mendes proves having a stronghold on the type of artist and person you are can only forge a deeper connection to your audience and prove yourself to be more than a fledging social phenomenon. The fact that's he's figured all this out just as he's turning legal makes it all the more impressive and imperative to watch. –Jeff Benjamin


Fuse is celebrating Teen Takeover Week right now! Stay tuned for lists, interviews and videos all week and be sure to tune in to our Teen Takeover music video block on Fuse on Friday morning, April 28 at 9:30/8:30c. Find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder.

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