Here Are TikTok’s Top 20 Emerging Artists Of 2021

By 12/15/2021
Here Are TikTok’s Top 20 Emerging Artists Of 2021

According to TikTok, 430 songs brought in at least one billion views each on its platform this year—a 144% increase from the 176 songs that garnered one billion in 2020.

“The most popular of these songs approach, and even exceed, 20 billion views on videos they soundtrack,” the company said in the 2021 iteration of its annual Year on TikTok Music Report.

TikTok added that these view counts “do not exist in a vacuum, but directly translate to commercial success for trending songs and artists,” and pointed out that more than 175 songs that trended on TikTok this year also charted on Billboard’s Hot 100. (It’s worth noting here that while there have been demonstrable cases of songs trending on TikTok and then going on to chart, it’s likely some of these songs trended because they were already charting, not vice-versa.)


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As for which artists saw the most success on TikTok this year, things are looking a lot like 2020: For the second year in a row, Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat were, respectively, the No. 1 and No. 2 top music artists on TikTok.

TikTok judged “top” by the number of videos that were created using artists’ songs.

On Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat’s heels were Popp Hunna at No. 3, then Olivia Rodrigo, Cardi B, YungManny, Soulja Boy, Drake, Kevin Gates, and Coi Leray at No. 10.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of these artists also appear on TikTok’s top tracks of 2021:

In addition to naming most popular artists, songs, genre trends (hip hop/rap and pop on top), music artists with the most follower growth (No. 1, Billie Eilish; No. 2, Lil Nas X), and users who made the year’s most-used sound clips (No. 1, @coileray; No. 2, @saucysantana), TikTok highlighted 20 “Emerging Artists of the Year.”

These artists, it said, “used TikTok to raise their profiles in a major way this year.” Some, like Amaarae and CKay, hit the charts after their songs got popular on TikTok. Others, like Navos and his song “Believe Me,” became the soundtrack for one of TikTok’s many dance trends.

You can check out TikTok’s full list of emerging artists below, and see its entire 2021 report here.

  • Amaarae (Ghana/US) – Fusing R&B and Afrobeats into a one-of-a-kind mix, the Ghanaian-American singer-songwriter scored her first ever Hot 100 hit after “SAD GIRLS LOVE MONEY” (Remix) ft. Kali Uchis & Molly trended on TikTok.
  • Baby Tate (US) – Baby Tate uses her TikTok account to create dances and promote body positivity. Her hit anthem “I Am” became a mantra for confident feminists on TIkTok.
  • bbno$ (Canada) – The internet-savvy Canadian rapper first gained notice on TikTok in 2019 with the megahit, Y2K-produced “LaLaLa,” but he demonstrated his versatility and star quality with trending hits like the energetic “edamame” and the wistful “Help Herself.”
  • CKay (Nigeria) – CKay’s “Love Nwantiti” was inescapable on TikTok and IRL during 2021, generating over a million video creations on its many remixes, reaching #1 in several countries (incl. India, The Netherlands, and France), and reaching #2 on Billboard’s Global 200 songs list.
  • Cochise (US) – After breaking out last year with his song “Hatchback,” Cochise proved his staying power with his addictive hits “Tell Em” ft. $NOT and “Knicks.”
  • Coi Leray (US) – Coi loves to show off her playful personality on her account (8.8 million followers), which helps boost her hits like the massive “TWINNEM,” her breakout “No More Parties “(eventually graced with a Lil Durk remix), and her NSFW verse on BfB Da Packman’s “Ocean Prime.”
  • Doechii (US) – Introducing herself with her bold and brash “YUCKY BLUCKY FRUITCAKE,” Doechii inspired hundreds of thousands of TikTok users to flaunt their glowed-up selves to the tune of her song.
  • Eyedress (Philippines) – Eyedress’s hazy and heartfelt “Something About You” ft. Dent May provided the perfect soundtrack for users who wanted to express love for a special someone–including Eydress himself, who revealed the inspiration for the song on his own account.
  • Feid (Colombia) – A rising star in the world of reggaeton, Feid repaid his loyal fans on TIkTok when he released “Vacaxiones”–a song TikTok has been clamoring for ever since Feid unveiled a snippet last year.
  • Jay Wheeler (Puerto Rico) – With over 4.4 million followers, part of a massive and growing fanbase that gave him the nickname La Voz Favorita, Jay Wheeler is one of the most popular ascendant Latin stars on TikTok.
  • Kali (US) – The rising Atlanta rapper inspired TikTok creators to coyly answer questions about themselves with her hit song “MMM MMM” (842k video creations), which eventually earned a remix featuring Latto and Moneybagg Yo.
  • Magdelena Bay (US) – Captivating with their unique, early-digital aesthetic and their sugar-coated shoegaze pop, California duo Magdalena Bay built a loyal TikTok following with cute sketches, music industry explainers, and of course, great music.
  • Måneskin (Italy) – Italy’s finest rock band conquered the globe in 2021 with the help of TikTok-trending hits like “Beggin'” (10m+ creations), “MAMMAMIA,” and more.
  • Navos (UK) – Based in Liverpool, this rising DJ inspired one of the year’s funniest dance crazes with his house anthem “Believe Me.”
  • PinkPantheress (UK) – The mysterious, DIY pop star mesmerized the TikTok community by combining deftly sweet melodies with nostalgic samples of UK club bangers.
  • RealestK (Canada) – Trending on TikTok with his song “WFM” (which earned a co-sign from GIVEON), the Toronto teenager is one of the most promising voices in his city’s deep R&B scene.
  • Saucy Santana (US) – Making waves as both an artist and a TikTok creator, Saucy Santana’s songs inspired a universe of memes and even more dances.
  • Shygirl (UK) – An rapper, producer, and DJ from South London, Shygirl made a major impact when her banger “Uckers” soundtracked videos of glow-ups and shocking transformations.
  • TisaKorean (US) – There’s nothing TisaKorean can’t do–he can rap, dance, produce, and even model his new Puma slides. Trending is as easy as drinking water (or mopping a floor?) for the boisterous Houston native.
  • YungManny (US) – Maryland teenager YungManny is a promising rapper with a certified TikTok smash in “Clap For Em” ft. Sada Baby & Flo Milli, but he’s also a prolific and frequently hilarious creator on his own account.

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