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Billboard just announced it’s “21 under 21” and now we feel old AF

Channing Sargent
Billboard just announced it’s “21 under 21” and now we feel old AF

So Billboard released its selection of the most important young artists, regardless of genre. There are 21 of them, and they’re all under the age of 21 which means they were all born in the late nineties or early 2000s and oh my God we feel so old. Here’s a small selection of some of our favorites.

Lorde, born in 1996, takes spot #8.

She’s only 19 years old, but every teenager, 20-something, 30-something, 40-something, and possibly even more, have her songs in their iTunes. Her song “Royals” spent nine weeks at No. 1, and still holds up. And we’re still eagerly awaiting her follow-up album.

Hailee Steinfeld, also born in 1996, takes spot #9.

After her breakout, gritty performance in the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, Steinfeld appeared in box office hits Ender’s Game and Pitch Perfect 2, while appearing in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video and launching her own singing career. Uh, she went from being that precocious little girl to a full-fledged popstar and where did the time go??

Zendaya, another 1996er, at spot #10

first hit it big on social media promoting her advocacy and activism while singing, acting, modeling and making weird music videos.

Jaden Smith, born in 1998 is at spot #11 and HEISOURFAVORITEWELOVEHIMSOMUCH.

As Billboard says, “Smith seems intent on making his mark in as many different art forms as possible,” and we love his unapologetic individuality in everything he does. He models in skirts, acts like his daddy, designs gender non-conforming clothing, makes totally original music and is all-around rad.

Lennon & Maisy, born in 1999 and 2003 respectively, fill up spot #20 and have more talent between them than most conservatory music schools.

Their YouTube covers made them famous and catapulted them into television fame, with their roles on Nashville.

Finally, Grace VanderWaal, born in 2004, takes spot #21.

She’s only 12, so doesn’t make us feel old yet. But just wait. After winning America’s Got Talent with her own original songs, and flooring us all with her otherworldly talent, she landed a record deal with Columbia. We know VanderWaal is going to be a megastar, so check in with us in another six years. She’ll be 18 then, probably with tons of #1s and gold records, and we’ll really feel old then.

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