Here’s Every Top New Artist of the Year Since 1977

Every week, Billboard celebrates artists making their first chart appearances with our “10 First-Timers” spotlight.

Ten a week … times 52 … equals over 500 acts new to Billboard charts every year.

Of those, one stands highest at year’s end — No. 1 on Billboard’s Top New Artists chart.

As of 2023, the Top New Artists recap ranks the year’s best-performing breakthrough acts based on activity on the Billboard 200 albums chart and the Billboard Hot 100 songs survey, as well as Billboard Boxscore, which reflects touring data. All winners have been published in each year-end Billboard issue since the category began in 1977.


Rock ruled the Top New Artists retrospective’s first three years, with Foreigner winning in 1977, Meat Loaf in 1978 and The Knack in 1979. In 2023, the genre reigns again, thanks to Zach Bryan, who has found success on both rock and country charts. He also topped both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100 for the first time this year, thanks to his self-titled album and its lead single, “I Remember Everything,” with Kacey Musgraves.

The 2020s, meanwhile, feature a variety of styles at No. 1 on Top New Artists. Prior to Bryan, rappers Latto and Roddy Ricch won in 2022 and 2020, respectively, while Olivia Rodrigo’s alt/pop album Sour sparked her triumph in 2021.

Below, browse below every reigning rookie, and some of the most notable feats, in the history of Billboard’s Top New Artists chart. In many cases, acts’ breakout years were only the start of more chart greatness ahead, with many eventual pop culture cornerstones among the award’s winners.

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