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Justin Bieber tops Billboard's "21 under 21" list

Jaclyn is an Idaho native who currently lives in Milwaukee. Having worked in radio, TV and as a newspaper reporter, she is an avid pop culture and news junkie. She also has a passion for photography and cooking (but is still learning to ...

But One Direction is not far behind

It's no surprise that the 18-year-old singer had a great year, but who else's year was almost as great? Billboard lists their top 21 musicians under age 21.

Justin Bieber

Billboard released their annual “21 Under 21” list today, and the musician at the top was no surprise. Justin Bieber was number one on their list of the world's top young musical acts for the second year in a row.

Even taking into account the success Bieber has had since he was first discovered, this year has been especially great for him. He released his new album Believe and sold out a nationwide tour (as well as selling out some overseas concert venues, some with seating capacities of a couple hundred thousand).

"Since earning last year's crown, Bieber has snagged two more Number 1 albums — the holiday set Under the Mistletoe and the more adult-leaning, full-length Believe," said Billboard. “[He] converted more Beliebers with slick award-show performances, radio hits like 'Boyfriend' and 'As Long As You Love Me,' tabloid-ready pictures with girlfriend Selena Gomez and those adorable, now-legal good looks."

Justin Bieber was born in 1994 (yes, really), which means he's just barely turned 18, but he didn't reclaim his title easily this year. He had plenty of competition right behind him. One Direction came in second this year, a tough feat for a band because all members have to be under 21.

"This time last year, One Direction was a U.K. phenomenon that had yet to make a blip on this side of the pond. A lot has changed in 12 months," said Billboard. "In March 2012, 1D saw the U.S. release of their debut album Up All Night and became the first British group in history to bow at Number 1 on the U.S. Billboard charts with their debut album. The group has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide (Up All Night is currently the second biggest selling album of the year in the U.S)." They also won three MTV Video Music Awards at this year's ceremony.

Singer and The X Factor judge Demi Lovato comes in at number three this year. Selena Gomez, Bieber's girlfriend, is almost as powerful as he is, coming in at number six. An interesting entry on the top 21 list is Miley Cyrus, who is number 18. For the singer/actress, the ranking seems a little low.

Photo courtesy WENN.com
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