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Taylor Swift Leads Pack For Billboard’s ’21 Under 21′ List

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Music industry bible Billboard magazine has just released its "21 under 21" list--a tally of the hottest minors in music today. The talented kiddos who made the list were picked for their "white-hot winning streaks" as well as "their potential to rule the pop culture zeitgeist over the next 12 months."

I bet you can't guess who was number one? No, really, it's not too hard. You're right. It's Taylor Swift, of course--yet another country artist to forge to the head of an all-genre pack (if you don't remember, I wrote about Tim McGraw being the top-played artist of the decade just last month).

Swift, who will be 21 in December, managed beat out fellow power-playing young'uns Justin Bieber (who landed at No. 2), Selena Gomez (No. 3), Nick Jonas (No. 6), and Miley Cyrus (No. 10); as well as a scad of currently buzzing types such as Will Smith's daughter Willow Smith (No. 7) and Glee's Charice (No. 4) and Chris Colfer (No. 13).

As Billboard put it: "Lots of young stars will be making waves over the next year, but Taylor is geared up to hit the music world like a tsunami. Brace for the impact."

Now, Swift's already hit the music world several times over with considerable force before she even hit her 20s, but no doubt driving this prediction is the upcoming release of her third album, Speak Now, which will hit stores October 25. The viral leak of first single "Mine" resulted in a chart smash, and she's fielding a huge wave of attention for her tune "Innocent," written for Kanye West and performed at this year's VMAs.

Of course, some will insist on saying she's crossed over to pop--therefore negating this latest triumph for country music as a genre--but hey, we'll certainly keep her in the Nashville family, won't we folks?

Do you think Taylor deserves the title of hottest not-quite-legal musician out there? Be sure to let me know what you think.

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