Film and television actors, stage performers, musicians, comedians; they all have one thing in common that many individuals lack comprehending. They work a lot longer than it appears. Many of these public celebrities appear to hit the big time out of nowhere. But many of them work for years perfecting their craft or finding the right roles or projects to showcase their talent, drive and passion so that they can build a career based on their desires.
Many of these famous folk go through rough patches, often times disappearing from the limelight. Some say that certain acts have an expiration date. And others, well, they may get lost along the way. We have seen a bulk of individuals not know how to manage their finances, how to deal with public scrutiny and tabloid fodder, get addicted to the lifestyle and its self-sabotaging perks, or even keep an interest in their original intention to be artists and creators.
However, many performers stick to their craft and surprise the masses when they keep lingering and coming back for more. Projecting who will make it the long haul is a fallacy, for many factors apply to justify the reasoning behind that. Yet here is a list of twenty artists across the genres of popular music today, who have proven with their staying power and social grasp that they are likely to still be around, in harmony with the universal laws, for the next twenty-five years or more.
20 Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has sold over twenty million albums, and one hundred and forty million songs in the world since her 2008 debut. The Fame, with its extension, The Fame Monster, is one of the best-selling debut albums of the past decade. With three number-one albums, and songs, she has been cited for making dance/electronica music popular again.
But beyond her collaborations with Christina Aguilera, Tony Bennett and even RuPaul, Lady Gaga is known for her social and political sides. She has been a supporter of LGBTQ rights and recently released a song for an up-coming documentary, The Hunting Ground, which discusses rape in campuses.
19 Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys has thus far sold over thirty-five million albums, and over thirty million singles. The biracial pianist from New York has released five studio albums, and has amassed five number-one albums in the US, including a version of MTV’s Unplugged. Since 2001, she has accumulated four number-one songs, won seventeen Billboard Awards, and fifteen Grammy Awards.
18 Frank Ocean
Adele came quietly in 2008 and successfully create a platform where she was able to build an astonishing career. After winning two Grammys, she took a long break before unleashing her sophomore album, 21. In the UK, the album is the best-selling album of the 2010s, the 21st century, and fourth of all time. The album, which sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, is the tenth best-selling in the US since Nielsen Soundscan in 1991, and third best-selling in Canada. “Rolling In The Deep”, “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire to the Rain” have become record breakers around the world.
With ten Grammy Awards under her belt, she has also won four Brit Awards, thirteen Billboard Awards, and a Golden Globe and Oscar for “Skyfall”, the theme to the James Bond film of the same name.
16 Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz is quietly and effectively one of the most charitable musicians in pop music today. The vegan singer-songwriter has supported the Human Rights Campaign, Harvey Milk Foundation, Free the Slaves, and other organizations helping the LGBTQ community, human trafficking, and saving the environment.
15 Kacey Musgraves
The twenty-seven year-old from Texas has released two successful albums, Same Trailer, Different Park and Pageant Material. The Nashville Star contestant has enjoyed success on the country charts with “Merry Go ‘Round”, “Biscuits” and “Follow Your Arrow”, which gave her a CMA Awards for Song of The Year. The artist has won two Grammy Awards. She has toured with Katy Perry and Willie Nelson.
14 Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has six number-one albums on the Billboard 200, more than most of her pop contemporaries. The twenty-two year-old has enjoyed success in television, film, and music since her involvement in Disney’s Hannah Montana empire. She has broken sales and Vevo records with songs like “Party in the USA”, “Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball”.
13 Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera has been called the voice of this generation. The thirty-four year-old has achieved a lot in her seventeen years as a recording artist. Her debut has sold over seventeen million worldwide, becoming one of the most successful debut albums in the US, spawning three number-one singles. Stripped followed with over twelve million. Overall, she has sold over fifty million albums worldwide.
She has amassed five number-one singles, twelve Billboard Awards, six Grammy Awards and has been nominated for a Golden Globe. In 2010 she starred in her first feature film with top billing, next to Cher. Aguilera wrote and produced most of the album, which has sold over a million opies worldwide.
12 The Weeknd
Shakira is the best-selling artist from Colombia, and the only artist from the territory to top charts in the US, UK and Australia. She has many singles in the list of best-selling singles of all time. “Wherever, Whenever” and “Underneath Your Clothes” have sold over five million each. “Waka Waka” and “Hips Don’t Lie” have sold over ten million each. Since 2010, she has recorded two official Fifa anthems.
Laundry Service, her first English album in 2001, has sold over twenty million copies worldwide. The following Oral Fixation set of albums have sold a combined twelve million copies. These days, Shakira is a seasonal The Voice coach, has released a fragrance, and is about to release a video game.
10 Ed Sheeran
9 Meghan Trainor
8 Kendrick Lamar
The performer from Barbados debuted on the charts in 2005. In the past decade she has surpassed Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Madonna for the most number-one singles on the Hot 100. She has thirteen, tied with Michael Jackson, just behind Mariah Carey, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. This makes her the youngest, and fastest solo act to achieve this on the chart. Seven of those tracks are with other artists, including Eminem, T.I., Britney Spears and Calvin Harris.
6 Sam Smith
Sam Smith has been the most successful artist worldwide to come out of the UK since Adele. Smith's debut album, In The Lonely Hour, has sold close to nine million copies worldwide. In the UK, he was one of only two artists, including Ed Sheeran, to sell more than one million copies of an album in 2014.
Since his 2013 debut, he has sent six singles to the number-one spot in the UK. "Stay With Me" has sold around eight million downloads worldwide. He has won three Brit Awards, four Grammy Awards, and three Billboard Awards.
5 Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding has two number-one, million-selling albums in her native UK. Her third studio offering, Delirium, is released this coming November. Lights and Halcyon have sold a combined four million copies worldwide. In addition, the twenty-eight year-old has accumulated three number-one singles, and eleven top ten releases in the UK. "Lights" and "Burn" are two of the best-selling singles worldwide in the past five years. "Love Me Like You Do", from the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack, is one of the the most viewed videos and streamed songs of the year.
4 Bruno Mars
The twenty-nine year-old musician is one of the best-selling artists of this decade. His debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, has sold over six million copies worldwide. This album has the record of the longest-charting album by a male artist on the US Billboard catalogue chart, surpassing Michael Jackson's Number Ones. The album spawned three number-ones singles in the UK, and two in the US. His sophomore album, Unorthodox Jukebox, has also sold over six million copies worldwide. The album spawned two number-one singles in the Hot 100. Ever since his debut, he has accumulated six number-ones in the US chart.
3 Janelle Monae
The young singer-songwriter is already a music mogul. Janelle Monae began her own record label, Wondaland Records. Under the label she is launching megastar Jidenna, as well as St. Beauty and Deep Cotton.
The artist became a worldwide superstar due to her involvement in .fun’s “We Are Young”, which has become one of the best-selling songs in history. The track was number-one for six weeks in the US, selling close to seven million downloads, and become a million-seller in the UK (only the 128th song to achieve that).
With two albums under her belt, and collaborations with Erykah Badu, CeeLo Green, and Of Montreal, she is slated to release a new solo set and support the artists on Wondaland in the next year.
2 Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson is still the most successful reality television star in the music industry worldwide. The powerful vocalist often time flies under the radar. Her latest album, Piece by Piece, became her third number-one album, and sixth top five. It is also one of only five albums to hit the top by a female in 2015.
She also made appearances in Sabrina The Teenage Witch, American Dreams, The Voice, Duets, Reba and Nashville.
Since his official debut on the Billboard Charts, Drake has amassed over thirteen rap number-ones. Since his debut album, Thank Me Later, was released in 2010, all of his releases have reached the top of the album charts. In fact, his albums do better and sell more with each release all around the world, including Canada, UK and Australia.
His newest project, a collaborative mixtape release with rapper Future, is slated to debut on top again.
And if this does not get the point home, get this, for the past six years he has been writing successful songs for other artists under the pseudonym Champagne Papi. These include hits by Alicia Keys, Rita Ora, Jamie Foxx and Trey Songz. His fourth solo studio album is slated for a 2016 release.
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