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 Monday, 23 December, 2002, 00:47 GMT
Survey reveals stars of 2003
Some of the stars of 2003

Some of the most influential music critics, broadcasters and opinion-formers in the UK took part in a BBC News Online poll to find the new artists most likely to make it in 2003.

Their responses were compiled into a top 10.

1. 50 Cent

50 Cent
Get Rich or Die Trying is the name of 26-year-old rapper 50 Cent's album - and he is guaranteed to do one or the other. Real name Curtis Jackson, he has been a star on New York's underground scene for several years but is set to break into the big time after signing to Eminem's own Shady Records label for a reported $1m (630,000).

Eminem and Dr Dre have been producing his album, and two tracks appear on the soundtrack to Eminem's film, 8 Mile. But 50 Cent could become even more controversial than his mentor - his press release says he was born into a "drug dynasty", he survived being shot nine times in 2000 and has had public spats with a string of rival rappers.

2. Electric Six

Electric Six
Most music fans thought the wailing, theatrical rock of bands like T-Rex and Kiss was banned in the 1980s - but these wild Detroit newcomers are trying to resurrect it and kick it into the 21st century. Their new single, Danger! High Voltage, is infectious - in a Frank 'n' Furter kind of way - and has won strong radio support.

Part of the buzz is due to the fact that it features The White Stripes' Jack White on vocals - although the band do their best to deny this.

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This three-piece is expected to be the next garage rock band to burst out of New York's fertile music scene thanks to a buzz that has been building for some time.

Fronted by the charismatic Karen O, who does cartwheels and pours beer over herself on stage in the name of "getting the crowd to have a party", their scratchy, infectious tunes could appeal to pop kids as well as rock fans. Their latest single, Machine, went into the UK top 40 without a video or major promotion, and they are now reportedly on the verge of signing a major record deal.

4. The Thrills

The Thrills
Originally from Ireland, The Thrills are now based in California - which fits their deliriously lazy, sun-kissed sound.

Their debut single Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far) was such a luscious slab of open-road rock that Morrissey asked them to support him at the Royal Albert Hall and Bono went backstage in Dublin to tell them that if they made a great album, he would carry their suitcases.

5. Dizzee Rascal

Dizzee Rascal
An energetic MC championed by BBC 1Xtra, the black music station, he has been touted as the UK garage scene's next star. From east London, Dizzee Rascal is a member of the Roll Deep Crew, a group of 13 former schoolmates who began making music in their bedrooms more than 10 years ago.

The crew have remixed The Streets' single Let's Push Things Forward and Dizzee's recent track I Love You has put him on the musical map.

6. Interpol

When a band look this good, it is usually a sign that they are going to sound bad. But Interpol, who wear frighteningly sharp suits and even sharper fringes, are the exception. Their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights, has drawn comparisons with post-punk pioneers like Joy Division - which may be why NME said "we've waited 20 years for a band like this".

Two members are from the UK and two from the US, but they have become absorbed into the New York scene. The album is edgy, intense and often gloomy, with snatches of brilliance bubbling to the surface.

7. Audio Bullys

Audio Bullys
Hot on the heels of Basement Jaxx and The Streets, the Audio Bullys - two west London DJs - are adding some attitude to the alternative scene.

Described as "punk house", they combine deep, grimy beats with cocky lyrics that conjure up the spirit of The Prodigy. Their new single, We Don't Care, started being supported by radio stations weeks before its January release.

8. Mario

The next young US soul sensation, 15-year-old Mario hopes to follow in the footsteps of his hero Usher in translating teen potential into full-grown stardom.

Going for the pop jugular with single Braid My Hair, he is about to tour with another young prodigy, Bow Wow. And other collaborators warn that he should be taken seriously. Alicia Keys plays on his album and said: "He has one of the most original beautiful voices I've ever heard from such a young man."

9. The Datsuns

The Datsuns
Along with The Electric Six, The Datsuns are leading the charge of the wild rock revivalists. Discovered when they supported the White Stripes in their native New Zealand, they have been damaging eardrums with their "unreasonably loud, neighbour-bothering music" (their words) since.

It is all done with tongue in cheek, hair hurled about and an electric live show that thrills fans. Their debut UK single, In Love, went to number 25 in October.

10. Sean Paul

Sean Paul
This Jamaican dancehall singer is the streetwise Shaggy, making reggae with an urban edge. His recent single, Gimme the Light, crept into the UK top 40 with little promotion and has also made it into the US top 10.

He hit the headlines when a man was shot dead on the set of one of his video shoots - but the singer had nothing to do with the incident, saying "we must overcome violence and hatred".

Looking ahead

Looking back



See also:

23 Dec 02 | Entertainment
23 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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