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Capitol’s Sam Smith leads the way and seems destined for major Grammy love, while his Aussie labelmates 5 Seconds of Summer are coming on strong behind
this week’s runaway #1 album.
THE TOP-SELLING DEBUT ARTISTS OF 2014
It's Said that New Artists Are the Lifeblood of the Industry;
By That Measure, This Is Shaping Up as a Very Good Year
The first seven months of 2014 have been enlivened by the arrivals of a surprising number of potent new acts with fast-tracking debut albums. Capitol’s Sam Smith leads the way and seems destined for major Grammy love, while his Aussie labelmates 5 Seconds of Summer are coming on strong behind this week’s runaway #1 album after kicking open the door with a hot EP.
 

Just a few months into life as a standalone label, Def Jam has propelled three artists into the rookie Top 15: groundbreaking MC Iggy Azalea (another Aussie), homegrown rapper YG and N’awlins new-school crooner August Alsina. Interscope’s ScHoolboy Q is the third hip-hop rookie to make the Top 10, one slot below labelmate Aloe Blacc.
 

Epic’s A Great Big World rode the massive ballad "Say Something" into the major leagues in tandem with diva Christina Aguilera, and the same label’s KONGOS has just cracked the Top 15 behind crossover hit "Come With Me Now." The South African siblings are chasing another rock crossover group, Island’s American Authors, who are clearly having the best year of their lives.
 
RCA’s Magic! scored the year’s most improbable smash with "Rude" (Canadian reggae, anyone?), while Capitol Nashville’s Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland edged closer to pop with her solo debut.

Columbia’s MKTO forged a winning hybrid of pop and hip-hop, while the label’s DJ Snake received a key assist from crunk star Lil Jon, making him one of only two acts to crack the TEA Top 15 on a single alone; the other is WB’s Nico & Vinz.
 

Here are the year-to-date standings as of this week:
HITS LIST: SIGNS OF A
WHOLE NEW DEAL
The sounds of a brighter day to come? (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS:
STEVE COOPER
Turnaround specialist becomes a music man. (1/15a)
BIG CHANGES AT RCA: EDGE UPS PITTS TO PREZ, FLECK TO COO; RICCITELLI TO EXIT
Recalibrating for changing tastes. (1/15a)
DANGEROUS TIMES: A CONVERSATION WITH MORGAN WALLEN
As his song says, "Livin' the Dream." (1/14a)
ACADEMY AND DUGAN
DUE TO SETTLE?
A messy divorce nears its resolution. (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
HOW TO FIND 11,780 VOTES
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
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