Following Bieber, comes an influx of young singers
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2011 file photo, singer Cody Simpson, 14, poses for photos during an interview in New York. Simpson is one of many young singers blazing the charts. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)
NEW YORK (AP) — The kids are all right — at least in the music industry.
Take Justin Bieber: He's 17, has released three platinum efforts, earned Grammy nominations, released a top-selling movie and has sold out arenas around the world, putting him in the elite echelon of pop superstars.
But Bieber isn't the only young singer blazing the charts and outdoing his elders. Scotty McCreery was crowned "American Idol" champion this year and last month, the now 18-year-old became the youngest male to have his debut album open at No. 1 on Billboard's 200 albums chart.
Eleven-year-old Jackie Evancho has sold more than 1.5 million copies of her Christmas EP and her debut album, and has another Christmas project on the way; Willow Smith had grown people dancing in the clubs with her song "Whip My Hair"; and even 14-year-old Rebecca Black, though heavily ridiculed, had a viral hit with her song and music video "Friday."
Taylor Swift was only 16 when she released her 2006 self-titled, now multiplatinum debut. The country star believes young performers shouldn't be boxed into a "kids" category.
"I think an artist represents a certain thing that is all their own, and their age doesn't really have too much to do with it, in my opinion," the 21-year-old said.
Bieber, who came on the scene in 2009, knows fame can be fleeting, so he advises newcomers to "make sure you hold on to it and make sure you remember why you're in this position and not get lost in yourself."
Here's a look at three emerging acts poised to follow in Bieber and Swift's footsteps.
CODY SIMSPON - 14
Cody Simpson was already a star on the rise, but the addition of Bieber's manager makes his ascension seem guaranteed.
"I'm really excited that we have someone with so much influence, and he definitely, really believes in me," Simpson said of Scooter Braun. "We have big plans for the future."
Like Bieber, Simpson is taking a slow approach with releasing music: He released his first EP last December, and dropped another last month.
"When I put out a full-length album, I want to it to be like, 'Bam!' And I think I definitely put out these two EPs to grow as an artist (and) to figure out my sound," he said.
Simpson's also growing as a person: The Australian traded a life on the beach for the hustle and bustle of New York City.
"It's a very different lifestyle than I was living before," said Simpson, who has surfer-boy looks and stands at 5'10.