Age can be a difficult thing to gauge, especially when it comes to entertainers. You take one look at they're massively successful and self-supporting careers, maybe think about what you were doing (or not doing) in your teens, and it becomes very easy to completely overlook the fact that some of these musicians are still minors. These artists might be young, but they’re already making waves in the music world with talents beyond their years and impressive levels of success. The average age of John, George, Paul, and Ringo was 22 when The Beatles got their first number one hit in the US in 1964 — but nowadays, it seems like music stars are getting younger and younger.
Lorde (age 18)
Her debut single “Royals” took this unknown 16-year-old to the top of the Hot 100 chart back in 2013. But since then, Ella Yelich-O’Connor’s (AKA Lorde) success has grown far beyond the song that introduced her to the masses. Her follow-up singles, “Team” and “Tennis Court” also became smash hits, and were included on her critically-acclaimed debut album, Pure Heroine. In 2014, she won a Grammy for song of the year (at 17 years old, she is one of the youngest winners ever), played to massive crowds at huge festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, and performed “All Apologies” alongside Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl when Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With much-anticipated album number two in the works and some side work with The Hunger Games soundtrack in the meantime, this pop teen-queen has made a solid name for herself, and all before the age of 20.
Martin Garrix (age 19)
Martin Garrix’s breakout single “Animals” conquered the EDM circuit in 2013, and since then he has quickly established himself as one of the fastest-rising artists in the genre. 2014 was a big year for the electronic superstar: In the span of 12 months, the 18-year-old Garrix not only completed school, but went from attending the world’s largest music festivals to performing on their main stages. How did he manage to establish his career so quickly? Garrix says he started by playing his first gigs at weddings and birthday parties, then went on to win several DJ competitions in Holland before getting signed with dance label Spinnin’ Records in 2012. This record deal allowed platform to create and release “Animals,” which eventually found its way to Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s infamous manager, who had heard an early demo from a member of his staff, Michael George. George met Garrix while on trips to UMF 2013 to scout for new electronic music talent. Now, at the age of 19, Garrix is still pumping out hit EDM tracks, including a recent collaboration with Tiesto, and playing some of the largest festivals in the world.
The Strypes (ages 16-18)
The Strypes are a 4-piece R&B-indie band hailing from Ireland who have attracted almost as much attention for their members’ ages as they have for their hefty music industry backing, which has come in the form of none other than Sir Elton John. During a February 2013 TV appearance on Chelsea Lately guest hosted by Dave Grohl, Sir Elton — who eventually signed the band to his label after they began to play gigs in London — said of The Strypes: ”They have a knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I have only amassed in my 65 years. They're just like a breath of fresh air.” In 2013, The Strypes released their debut album ‘Snapshot’, which entered the UK charts at an impressive #4 spot. In that same year, they landed a sweet gig opening for the Arctic Monkeys on their UK stadium tour. Since then, The Strypes have gone on to play headline tours in Europe, Japan and North America, as well as massive festivals like Glastonbury. This year will see them release their sophomore record, having recently announced a brand new EP to accompany a UK/Europe tour, which they are currently completing.