What do Miguelito, Victoria Justice, Demi Lovato, Scotty McCreery and Selena Gomez have in common? They’re all tweenage Latino artists who’ve made the cut to be placed on Billboard.com’s latest installment of 21 Under 21, the website’s annual ranking of music’s most influential minors.
Here’s a closer look at the “Fantastic Five,” fresh-faced Latino stars who’ve made this year’s “Teenage Dream” list:
It’s no surprise that Gomez is the highest-ranking Latino/a on the list. In the last year, the Mexican-American’s star has shined brighter than ever. Along with the buzz surrounding her romance with the Justin Bieber, the 19-year-old singer/actress released her third album with her band the Scene, “When the Sun Goes Down.” Released this summer, the dancetastic album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, fueled by the hit singles “Who Says” and “Love You Like a Love Song.” Gomez ended her run on the Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” and hit the big screen with a starring role in “Monte Carlo.” She hosted the pre-show portion of MTV’s Video Music Awards and she’ll host the 2011 MTV Europe Awards in November. But wait, there’s more! She also launched her own clothing line, Dream Out Loud, and she’s set to debut her own fragrance line next spring.
Last year, McCreery wasn’t even a 21 Under 21 contender. Now he ranks at No. 4 on the list. So what changed in a year? Two words… “American Idol,” the hit show that has forever changed his life. The part-Puerto Rican McCreery first captured the attention of the judges with his bombastic baritone voice at the Milwaukee auditions for “American Idol” season 10. And the North Carolina teen stole the hearts of millions of viewers, mainly young girls who instantly fell for his boyish good looks, as the season progressed. After being named “Idol” champ, McCreery signed with Mercury Nashville and released his first smash single, “I Love You This Big.” He’s now readying for the release of his debut album, “Clear as Day,” next week.
Coming in a No. 7 is the part-Mexican actress/singer who saw her star rise after starring roles in the Disney Channel’s “Sonny with a Chance” and “Camp Rock.” After dropping out as the opening act on the Jonas Brothers tour last fall and entering a treatment facility for an eating disorder and self-injury, 18-year-old Demi Lovato is back and better than ever after what she calls “the darkest time” of her life. Earlier this month, Lovato returned to the spotlight from with a new album, “Unbroken,” which features collaborations with Missy Elliott and Timbaland. Her lead single, “Skyscraper,” debuted in the Top 10 of the Hot 100.
The 18-year-old star of Nickelodeon’s hit show “Victorious” ranks at No. 10 on this year’s list of 21 Under 21. The half-Puerto Rican singer/actress may be most recognized for her role as Tori Vega on “Victorious,” but she’s starting to make a real name for herself as a musician as well. Earlier this summer the “Victorious” soundtrack, which features the Hollywood, Florida native on nearly every track, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart. She’s now hard at work on her first solo album and will be re-recording the love theme from the original “Footloose” film with rising country star Hunter Hayes for the soundtrack to the 2011 remake of the movie.
Coming in at No. 20, rising reggaetón star Miguelito. He may only be 12-years-old, but the pint-sized Puerto Rican singer has already won a Latin Grammy—the youngest person to win the award. Mentored by reggaetón star Daddy Yankee, Miguelito launched his recording career at the age of 7. And he’s been making chart-topping music ever since. He’s currently preparing to release his fifth album, “Nadie Sabe lo que Tiene,” next month, and he’s starring in his first feature film of the same name. But that’s not all; he’s also launched several products, including a video game, a line of party goods, a clothing line, hair gel, children’s vitamins, a summer camp and a Christmas cruise.
Click here to check out the complete list of musicians making up Billboard.com’s 21 Under 21.