Despite being dominated almost entirely by "Call Me Maybe" and "Somebody That I Used to Know," 2012 turned out to be a pretty strong year in music.
In selecting artist for our Breakout Music Stars list, HuffPost Entertainment chose to focus on two main questions: Did the artist make an undeniable impression on his or her genre, and did he or she release music that won over crossover fans? These paramaters made someone like Gotye, whose pop song translated from the radio to the nightclub, a standout where an artist like the Lumineers, who had a very strong year within their genre, didn't necessarily qualify.
It was undeniably pop music's year, as Gotye and Carly Rae Jepsen were joined by One Direction, fun. and a host of other spunky boy bands (see: 1D's saucy lyrics).
Rap and hip-hop fans saw their genres get caught up in somewhat unfortunate trends like trap, but 2 Chainz's raps about Benihanas almost made it worth it. And not all was lost in the upswell of brash party music: The Dr. Dre-approved Kendrick Lamar made a solid impression with a subtle album that paired classic sounds with moving meditations on growing up in Compton. Rounding out urban/contemporary pack are New York's A$AP Rocky and R&B standouts like Frank Ocean and Miguel.
But if there was a genre that didn't shine as brightly, it was rock. Only the Alabama Shakes made it on our list of standout emerging artists, and the Top 5 ofRolling Stone's Best Albums list didn't include a single rocker under the age of 37 (looking good, Jack White). There was certainly some quality music being made in the space (the Japandroids' "Celebration Rock" comes to mind), but no young rockers' releases dominated and changed a genre in the same way that Frank Ocean changed his, for example.
Take a look at our list of 13 breakout music stars and let us know who you think we missed in the comments.
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