by Albert Rodriguez -
SGN A&E Write
2009 was a very good year for Lady GaGa and Taylor Swift, and while some of their success will spill over to 2010, it's this next batch of artists that we'll be talking about in December.
Red-hot success: The young country trio - Charles Kelley, Dave Harwood, Hillary Scott - won their first Grammy in January for the single "I Run to You," performed on Oprah two weeks later, had back-to-back shows at the historic Ryman Auditorium sell out in 30 minutes, and they just re-claimed the #1 spot on Billboard's top albums chart with the sophomore release Need You Now.
What's ahead: Lady A (as they're known in inner music circles) lead all Academy of Country Music nominees with seven nods, including Album and Song of the Year - they're a frontrunner in three of the seven categories. The three-piece also hits the road soon with Tim McGraw for a three-month tour, which brings them to Seattle's Key Arena on May 21.
Gay interest: Kelley (lead singer) and Harwood (guitar) are the genre's newest hunks, while the lone female member - Scott - is spunky and cute, like Carrie Bradshaw without the drama.
Red-hot success: LA 20-something scored her first #1 single with "Tik Tok," then earned a double by nabbing Billboard's top album position with her CD Animal, and broke Debby Boone's record for the longest-running #1 debut by a female artist.
What's ahead: Ke$ha (pronounced "KESH-uh") will join Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair this summer for select dates, her newest single "Blah Blah Blah" is already blazing up the charts, and expect a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording at the end of 2010 and quite possibly one for Best New Artist.
Gay interest: With lyrics like "boys tryin' to touch my junk, junk" and a party girl image that would get her kicked out of most spring break bashes, she's easily the new fave amongst young Gay men.
Red-hot success: Brooklyn's studious-looking quartet was the musical guest last week on Saturday Night Live, released their much-anticipated second album Contra to rave reviews, and is selling out a slate of spring concerts across the U.S. and Australia.
What's ahead: Prime appearances at the upcoming Coachella, Sasquatch and Isle of Wight festivals, plus the strong possibility of multiple MTV VMA and Brit Award nominations later this year.
Gay interest: The group's preppy looks (two members are Columbia alums) and their Afro-infused blend of soft rock has earned them a Gay hipster following, not to mention lead singer Ezra Koenig is an indie fashionista and drummer Chris Tomson is tall, lean and ridiculously adorable.
Cast of Glee
Red-hot success: TV's most celebrated ensemble received Golden Globe and SAG statues for their initial season, Volume 1 and 2 of the show's soundtracks were top downloads on iTunes, and the DVD for the first season has been a top seller and rental since its late December release.
What's ahead: A nine-date tour kicks off in May, the second season is rumored to include an all-Madonna music episode, and look for double-digit Emmy nominations in July.
Gay interest: No one appreciates a cheer squad vs. glee club throw-down as much as non-heteros, not to mention Gay character Kurt (Chris Colfer) breaking out the Broadway showtunes and hot jock Finn (Cory Monteith) singing REO Speedwagon in the shower.
Red-hot success: The Barbadian beauty is enjoying critical kudos for her newest album Rated R, the single "Rude Boy" is a big hit and club favorite, and she won a second Grammy in January for her collaboration with rap giants Jay-Z and Kanye West for the track "Run This Town."
What's ahead: Don't be surprised if she comes away with the most MTV VMA nominations this fall, and Rated R is a current shoo-in for Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards. Plus, her 2010 tour - between April and June in Europe - could swing this direction in the summer months.
Gay interest: Um, we were listening to Rihanna way back when she dropped "Pon de Replay," and we always stand behind our domestically assaulted divas (i.e. Tina Turner).
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Red-hot success: One of rock's most influential female artists, Jett's songs like "I Love Rock and Roll," "Crimson and Clover," and "I Hate Myself for Loving You" are still immensely popular some 20 years after they were released.
What's ahead: The Runaways, a feature film starring Kristen Stewart (Twilight series) and Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds), is set for release in the coming weeks - it chronicles Jett's pre-Blackheart days with her girl-power band, The Runaways. And Jett is currently touring with a scheduled concert at the Little Creek Casino in Shelton on March 27.
Gay interest: Her biker chick image has earned her longtime adoration from Lesbians, and older Gay men cling to aggressive female musicians.
Red-hot success: The glam-pop English duo - Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory - has enjoyed popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, received two Grammy nominations in 2007 for the album Supernatural, and just released the music video for their new single "Rocket."
What's ahead: Head First, the newest work by Goldfrapp, is out March 23 with the aforementioned leadoff single currently sizzling on the dance charts. And an expected tour later this year could return them to Seattle, where they literally pack the crowds in wall to wall.
Gay interest: Alison Goldfrapp, who stitches her own clothes, is considered a diva within the dance music community - who else adds a wind machine to their live concerts, besides that other Brit diva, Bono?
Red-hot success: Brooklyn's experimental-pop twosome - Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden - got their first two Grammy nominations last winter, broke through in 2008 with the debut Oracular Spectacular, and their song "Kids" was illegally used by the French government for an advertising campaign.
What's ahead: The release of Congratulations, the duo's sophomore album, is set for release next month, and a to-be-announced tour with festival and headlining appearances.
Gay interest: Both men, Goldwasser and VanWyngarden, are undeniably attractive, and neither seems to mind being shirtless half the time, or mounted on a horse.
Red-hot success: With the exception of Tiesto, no one is hotter on the dance circuit right now than Canadian whiz kid Deadmau5, who nabbed a prestigious headlining slot at this month's Ultra Music Festival in Miami (50,000 people expected), and his sold-out performance at The Showbox Market last year in Seattle was insane.
What's ahead: A string of sold-out appearances in the U.K. this spring, and rumored U.S. dates to follow for those who missed him in 2009.
Gay interest: Underneath his usual mouse-like headpiece is a sexy, geekish guy who always manages to wear the coolest sneaks.
Band of Horses
Red-hot success: Former Seattle act has now signed to a major label, Everything All the Time and Cease to Begin were critics' favorites, and they've opened for numerous artists, including Beck and Snow Patrol.
What's ahead: Infinite Arms, the group's new album, comes out May 18 on Columbia Records, to be followed by a tour that includes a showing at the Sasquatch Festival.
Gay interest: Not a lot, though lead singer Ben Bridwell - who's interviewed with Seattle Gay News before - is handsome, if you remove the multiple layers of facial hair.
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