Top 10 New Pop Artists Of 2013 - Their Hits and Legacy

2013 was a great year for pop groups.  Seven of the top new artists of the year were duos or groups. These are the top 10 new pop artists of 2013.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images

The hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were an overnight success that was more than 10 years in the making dating back to Macklemore's debut EP Open Your Eyes released in 2000 under the name Professor Macklemore.  Macklemore met Ryan Lewis in 2006, the pair became good friends and were soon working together. Their debut album as a duo The Heist was released in October 2012 and with the wind of critical buzz at their back it debuted at #2.  Soon "Thrift Shop" climbed into the Billboard Hot 100 and it became a massive hit early in 2001 when it hit #1 on the pop singles chart.  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis followed it with the #1 smash "Can't Hold Us" and the powerful "Same Love" supporting marriage equality.

The duo earned seven Grammy Award nominations and won four. Their victories included Best New Artist and Best Rap Album. "Same Love" earned a nomination for Song of the Year. The pair followed up with the 2016 album This Unruly Mess I've Made. It was a moderate commercial success peaking at #4 on the album chart and including the #12 charting single "Downtown."

Watch "Can't Hold Us"


Lorde. Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

When 2013 began very few Americans knew who then 16-year-old New Zealander Ella Yelich-O'Connor, aka Lorde, was.  The songs from her debut EP The Love Club had been released for free via SoundCloud.  However, it was not officially released commercially until March of 2013.  When her debut single "Royals" began to gather steam, the floodgates opened.  By the end of summer it had topped the alternative songs chart and then "Royals" spent two months at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 making it one of the biggest hit singles of the year.  Her critically acclaimed debut album debuted at #3. She followed the success of "Royals" with "Team," another top 10 pop hit.

Lorde earned four Grammy Award nominations and she took home two awards. They included Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Royals." She lost the Record of the Year award. In 2014 Lorde returned to the pop top 40 with the song "Yellow Flicker Beat" from the soundtrack to the hit film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.

Watch "Royals"

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande. Photo by Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images

20-year-old Ariana Grande first gained major notice as a star of the hit Nickelodeon TV show Victorious beginning in 2010.  In 2013 she elected to concentrate on a music career.  Her voice was compared favorably with the early work of Mariah Carey.  The debut single "The Way" featuring rapper Mac Miller soared into the pop top 10.  She followed it with another hit "Baby I," and in September Ariana Grande's debut album Yours Truly opened on the album chart at #1.  

Ariana Grande truly exploded into pop stardom in 2014. Her second album My Everything soared to #1 and included four top 10 pop hits including the #2 charting "Problem." Ariana Grande continued her phenomenal success in 2016 with the album Dangerous Woman and three more top 10 pop hits.

Watch "The Way"

Icona Pop

Icona Pop
Icona Pop. Photo by Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Swedish female duo Icona Pop were first signed to a recording contract in 2009.  Their first single "Manners" bubbled under the Billboard Hot 100 in the US in 2011.  With the release of the debut EP Iconic in late 2012, buzz began to build around Icona Pop.  The single "I Love It" received year end critical acclaim and the commercial turning point was its inclusion on the soundtrack of the hit HBO series Girls in January 2013.  "I Love It" finally became a top 10 smash in the US and hit #1 in the UK in the summer.  The follow up "All Night" became a top 40 hit at mainstream pop radio and a #1 dance hit. Icona Pop worked to build their audience with opening spots on concert tours by both Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry in 2014.

In 2015 they returned to the top of the dance chart with the single "Emergency." A new single "Brightside" was released in October 2016 while the duo continued work on their second full-length album.

Watch "I Love It"

Capital Cities

Capital Cities
Capital Cities. Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian first worked together writing commercial jingles.  In 2011 they chose to pursue success as the duo Capital Cities.  Following a self-titled debut EP the pair were signed to a major label contract with Capitol Records.  The single "Safe and Sound" began to gain traction with audiences in 2013 and it topped the alternative songs chart.  "Safe and Sound" then gained traction across radio genres and peaked at #1 or #2 on the adult pop, rock, and alternative charts while climbing into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Capital Cities hit the road in the fall of 2013 co-headlining the Bright Futures concert tour with Fitz and the Tantrums. The music video for "Safe and Sound" earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Music Video.

The success of "Safe and Sound" helped the duo's debut album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery climb to #66 on the US album chart. The follow up single "One Minute More" broke into the top 40 at adult pop, rock, and alternative radio.

Watch "Safe and Sound"


Haim. Photo by Christopher Polk / WireImage

The three Haim sisters have been one of the most critically acclaimed pop-rock groups to emerge into the spotlight in 2013.  They kicked off the year topping the BBC's prestigious Sound of 2013 poll.  Haim appeared at the Glastonbury Music Festival in the summer of 2013.  Their debut album Days Are Gone was released to critical acclaim in September and it reached #6 on the album chart. Haim appeared on Calvin Harris' 2015 single "Pray To God." It brought them into the top 30 of the mainstream pop radio chart. The trio earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist.

Watch "The Wire"


Passenger. Photo by C. Brandon / Redferns

British singer Michael Rosenberg, aka Passenger, first recorded as a part of the group then named Passenger.  When the band broke up in 2009 he chose to continue recording under the name.  The single "Let Her Go" was initially released in the summer of 2012 as a lead in to his fourth studio album All the Little Lights.  The song was a massive success around the world heading to #1 on pop songs charts in more than a dozen countries.  Finally, in 2013 "Let Her Go" began to climb the US pop charts and ultimately peaked at #5 on the US pop singles chart.  The success of the single helped push the album All the Little Lights to #26 on the album chart.

Passenger released a follow up album Whispers in the summer of 2014. It reached #5 on the UK album chart and #12 in the US. It failed to produce any significant hit singles. The 2016 album Young as the Morning Old as the Sea was more successful in the UK. It became Passenger's first #1 album there but only reached #70 in the US.

Watch "Let Her Go"

The Neighbourhood

The Neighbourhood
The Neighbourhood. Photo by Gary Wolstenholme / Redferns

Rock band The Neighbourhood was formed in the summer of 2011.  Their single "Sweater Weather" first appeared in early 2012.  It helped lead to the band's signing with Columbia Records.  "Sweater Weather" took off in popularity among alternative audiences early in 2013 topping the alternative songs chart in June.  The song then crossed over to mainstream pop radio climbing inside the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The Neighbourhood's debut album I Love You reached the top 40 on the album chart. The next single "Afraid" was another top 5 alternative radio success but failed to generate mainstream pop interest.

The Neighbourhood's second studio album Wiped Out! was released in October 2015. It topped the alternative album chart and climbed to #13 on the overall album chart, but it failed to produce significant hit singles.

Watch "Sweater Weather"

Fifth Harmony

Fifth Harmony
Fifth Harmony. Photo by Gabriel Olsen / Getty Images

Girl group Fifth Harmony finished third in the second season of .  They ultimately became the most successful act to emerge from the show.  The debut single "Miss Movin' On" was released in the summer of 2013.  It climbed inside the top 30 at mainstream pop radio.  Fifth Harmony's debut EP Better Together hit stores in October and debuted at #6 on the album chart. The next four successive singles were more successful than the one before ultimately resulting in the #4 charting pop smash "Work From Home" in 2016.

Fifth Harmony have released a pair of top 5 charting albums Reflection and 7/27. Both have been certified gold for sales. Fifth Harmony are quickly establishing themselves as one of the most successful girl groups of all time.

Watch "Miss Movin' On"


Krewella. Photo by Isaac Brekken / Getty Images

Electronic dance trio Krewella was formed in Chicago in 2007.  Their summer 2012 EP Play Hard received significant attention in dance music communities.  The single "Alive" began to appear on mainstream pop radio playlists in early 2013.  The song eventually climbed inside the top 10 at mainstream pop radio and was certified platinum for sales.  It was followed by the first full-length album Get Wet which hit the top 10 on the album chart.  The follow up single "Live For the Night" was another dance music success.

In September 2014, a founding member of Krewella departed leaving the act officially a duo. Krewella released a new EP Ammunition in May 2016.

Watch "Alive"