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Hottest artists of the year
Hottest artists of the year
by Albert Rodriguez and Richard Kennedy - SGN A&E Writers

Commercial sales alone don't make you a hot artist; it's also the achievement of an artistic peak or an overnight phenomenon or that singer who managed to survive amidst strong competition. Here then are our choices for 2008's hottest artists in order of selection.

1) Coldplay
British quartet Coldplay had enjoyed beaucoup success prior to 2008, but this year saw the band peak artistically and commercially with their fourth album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. A trio of top 10 singles, "Violet Hill," "Viva la Vida" and "Lost!" and seven Grammy nominations that include Album, Record and Song of the Year mentions, plus a slew of sold-out concerts across multiple continents all in a year's time crowns Coldplay the hottest artist of the year. And, it doesn't hurt to add that Chris Martin can butter my English muffin any day of the week (preferably Saturday mornings). A. Rodriguez

2) Katy Perry
In spite of my hesitancy to accept she would ever really kiss a girl, I cannot deny her incredible Cinderella story this year. It was and still is impossible to go to a dance club without everyone going nuts for one of her hits. Even "Hot n' Cold" is an instant smash, and I'll admit it, the girl is super hot! R. Kennedy

3) Death Cab for Cutie
Seattle's pride and joy is now a world-famous artist, the multiple Grammy-nominated quartet and Billboard chart-topper Death Cab for Cutie. In 2008, they claimed their first #1 album Narrow Stairs, two more Grammy nods and a near year-long tour with every date sold out. Many thought Seattle would lose its musical glimmer after the grunge movement, but they sure didn't see DCFC on the horizon. A. Rodriguez

4) Taylor Swift
Earning a Grammy nomination last year for Best New Artist, selling over three million copies of her self-titled debut, sitting atop Billboard's top albums chart with her second CD, and landing six tracks among the top 100 singles at years end is just the kind of magical 12 months country princess Taylor Swift has had. Get ready for more from this all-American sweetheart in 2009. A. Rodriguez

5) Ne-Yo
2008 saw this songwriter come out of the shadows after penning hits for Rihanna, Beyonce and Leona Lewis and produce his own smash single and hit album. I must mention "Closer," but I'd rather talk about how fucking cute this guy is! His style is so hot, I love everything he wears. Justin who? R. Kennedy

6) Duffy
Though she sounds like a reinvented Dusty Springfield, UK chanteuse Duffy made her mark this year with a string of hits including "Warwick Avenue" and "Mercy," plus a gold-certified album and three Grammy nods to boot. This girl clearly has two feet in the door, and then some. A. Rodriguez

7) Kanye West
His ego is enormous, but at least he has the goods to back it up; not only is his music redefining hip-hop, his groundbreaking tour also took it to the next level. Inventive and thematic, he covered the globe  leaving behind the tired look of baggy clothes and over-sampled beats  before the release of a new album at year's end in which the rapper actually sings. R. Kennedy

8) Vampire Weekend
Ivy League alums Vampire Weekend were the most buzzed-about new band of 2008, hands down. Their music, a yarnball of African pop, classical arrangements and punkish riffs, attracted fans who just wanted something interesting and different. Each Vampire is a babe, in a goody two shoes-college graduate way, and with songs like "M79" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" in tow, they'll likely explode with their sophomore effort. A. Rodriguez

9) Natasha Bedingfield
Even with a string of hits behind her, this London ingénue has managed to stay out of the spotlight. With this years' "Pocketful of Sunshine" and "Love Like This," she made the award show circuit and gave a strong American Idol performance, displaying a beautiful and talented young woman with an extremely hot style. R. Kennedy

10) Lady GaGa
Mixing 70s glam with dance club music seems pretty straightforward, but Lady GaGa did it and created the party song of 08! Even though the red wine-lovin' single was released last spring, it's still going strong on radio, iTunes, and in the clubs, and has now garnered the sexy New Yorker a Grammy nomination. R. Kennedy

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