Billboard.com is back with its list of this year’s hottest minors in music, with five Latweeno artists/groups making the cut… And Demi Lovato isn’t only the highest ranking Hispanic artist, she’s also the top-ranking female…
The 20-year-old part Mexican singer/actress, who ranked at No. 7 last year, moved up four spots on Billboard.com’s latest 21 Under 21 installment, which ranks the most powerful minors in music.
Here’s a look at the Latweenos making the grade this year:
No. 3: Demi Lovato
Following the personal problems that threatened to derail her career two years ago, Lovato has come back Unbroken, which happens to be name of the album she released last year. It’s an album that’s still garnering attention. The album’s first track “Skyscraper” recently picked up an MTV Video Music Award, while follow up single “Give Your Heart a Break” has resulted in Lovato’s first-ever No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
But that’s not all… Lovato scored a high-profile primetime television gig by joining Fox’s The X Factor, where she’s currently judging other aspiring artists alongside Simon Cowell and Britney Spears.
Throw in a popular summer tour with Hot Chelle Rae and hosting gigs at the Teen Choice Awards and MTV’s live New Year’s Eve Special, and 2012 is proving to be the year the former Disney Channel star is reaching new heights in her already impressive career.
No. 4: Scotty McCreery
Scotty McCreery is holding steady on the 21 Under 21 list, coming in at No. 4 once again. That’s probably because the 18-year-old part-Puerto Rican country singer’s career has been going full steam ahead since he won American Idol in 2011. McCreery, who graduated from high school this year, saw his debut album Clear as Day reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Even though he hasn’t placed a single in the top 10 on the country charts, McCreery has developed a very loyal fan base at a young age. Clear as Day helped him claim prizes from the American Country Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards and the CMT Music Awards.
McCreery is following up his debut album, which was certified platinum, with a holiday set, Christmas with Scotty McCreery, will hit stores on October 16.
No. 6: Selena Gomez
She may have dropped three spots on the 21 Under 21 list, to No. 6, but Selena Gomez has not fallen off the radar. In the last year, she’s released another hugely popular album (When the Sun Goes Down), which spawned the hit singles “Who Says” and “Love You Like a Love Song,” which earned Gomez her first-ever MTV Video Music Award nod. And the 20-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress performed the album’s third single, Hit The Lights, on Dancing with the Stars.
And Gomez has broadened her appeal while taking a break from recording music. This spring, she launched a brand new fragrance and focused on her film career. Her voice will be heard in the animated film Hotel Transylvania, and she’s set to appear in two films that could help shatter her Disney image: Spring Breakers with James Franco and the crime drama Getaway.
And she’s currently dating the No. 1 on the 21 Under 21 list, Justin Bieber, which has resulted in countless tabloid placements. Selena Gomez and the Scene will hopefully be back soon, but in the meantime, she continues to leave her indelible imprint on pop culture.
No. 17: 3BallMTY
3BallMTY may not be huge in the United States, but they could be very soon. The Mexican DJ collective, comprised of 19-year-old Erick Rincón, 19-year-old Alberto Presenda (DJ Otto) and 20-year-old Sergio Zavala (DJ Sheeqo Beat), have managed to turn their hobby into a huge business that’s reached a global audience thanks to their signature “tribal guarachero” sound. They’ve achieved success via radio airplay and synch deals with brands like Pepsi. And they recently dominated the list of finalists for the upcoming Billboard Mexican Music Awards. Despite their newfound fame, 3BallMTY has kept a cool and down-to-earth attitude about the group’s ascent in the music business. This past summer they opened up for Justin Bieber in a special concert at the famous Zócalo, the main square in the heart of historic Mexico City in front of about 200,000 music fans. “It was a bit nerve-wrecking,” says Rincón, “but once we were out on stage it was an amazing experience that we will never forget.”
No. 21: Victoria Justice
Victoria Justice has taken a tumble on the 21 Under 21 list, dropping from No. 10 to No. 21. But that has nothing to do with the 19-year-old half-Puerto Rican singer/actress’ talent. The star of had a relatively quiet recording year. She’s the breakout star of the Nickelodeon hit show, even while co-stars like Ariana Grande are seeing their stock rise. The release of the show’s latest soundtrack, Victorious 2.0, coincided with the release of Justice’s recent solo single, “Make It In America,” and in August Justice embarked on her first solo tour in support of the pop tune.
With Victorious ending it’s run on cable, Justice will be setting her sights elsewhere. She has a new film Fun Size coming out this October; and she plans to release a solo album shortly after that.
Click here to see this year’s complete list of music’s hottest minors.