The latest annual CMJ Music Marathon took over the live music venues of New York City for the better part of last week, showcasing a new batch of talent in pretty much every genre that falls under pop’s broad umbrella. During the grueling, well, marathon does seem pretty much the right word for it, EW saw more acts than we can remember, but these nine made a particular impression. All of them are destined for big things, so here’s a good chance to catch them on the way up.
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At long last, the Hot 100, which has been jammed with just a handful of artists all summer—especially at the top—has started to break up. Like a breath of fresh air, a clutch of new songs debuted on the chart this week, including three that have benefitted greatly from the attention of obsessive internet rap fans.
The big news this week is the appearance of “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj at number 6, the second-highest Hot 100 debut of the year. It’s not surprising that the single opened strongly—Grande’s Iggy Azalea-featuring “Problem” currently sits at number 5, while her track with EDM producer Zedd, “Break Free,” rose to number 18 (from 21) this week, and Minaj’s “Pills N Potions” climbed to number 41 (from 48). While Grande and Azalea have been sort of cooperatively battling to be the biggest star of the summer, Minaj has spent the past few months waging an internet-based viral campaign. While it incorporates official singles like “Pills N Potions” and her upcoming Sir Mix-a-Lot-sampling “Anaconda,“ she’s been generating more buzz–especially among her more rap-leaning base–with unofficial releases alongside rappers like Soulja Boy and Lil Herb, who qualify as stars in certain corners of the hip-hop world despite the fact that the mainstream doesn’t know (or in Soulja Boy’s case, has forgotten) that they exist.
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