Top International Music Artists of 2022

By Kenya Barrett

United Kingdom


Born in the Tottenham district of London, Adele broke out into the music industry after graduating from the BRIT School of Performing Arts in 2006. After signing to XL Recordings the same year, she released her debut album “19” in 2008 to critical acclaim. She went on to release three additional albums, which have earned her several accolades in the UK and the US. Some popular songs by Adele include “Rolling in the Deep,” “Hello,” and “Chasing Pavements.”

Sam Smith

London-born crooner Sam Smith was born on May 19, 1992 and raised in Little Chishill, a village in South Cambridgeshire. In 2012, Smith rose to prominence after their song “Latch,” – a collaboration with English duo Disclosure – hit major music charts. They went on to release their debut album, “In The Lonely Hour,” which achieved 4x platinum status by the end of 2015. Notable songs by Sam Smith include “Stay With Me,” “Too Good at Goodbyes,” and “Dancing with a Stranger.”

Dua Lipa

Raised in West Hampstead, London, Dua Lipa initially pursued a career in modeling as a young teen, but decided to sign a record deal with Warner Bros. in 2014. Her eponymous debut album was released three years later and spawned a few international hits including “IDGAF,” and “New Rules.” Other popular songs by Dua Lipa include “One Kiss,” “Sweetest Pie,” and “Levitating.”

Honorable Mentions: Ed Sheeran, Florence + the Machine


Bad Bunny

Born in Almirante Sur, Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Bad Bunny took the music industry by storm when he integrated latin and reggaeton music with the trap rap music genre. After signing with Hear This Music, he collaborated with rap artist Cardi B and reggaeton artist JBalvin on the former’s single, “I Like It.” In 2020, Bad Bunny released his second solo album, “YHLQMDLG” which went on to reach number two on the Billboard charts. Other notable songs by Bad Bunny include, “Mia,” “Soy Peor,” and “Yo Perreo Sola.”


A native of Jamaica, Koffee was born in Spanish Town on February 16, 2000. After uploading videos of her guitar and singing skills to YouTube during her teenagehood, she finally made strides in her music career in 2018, when she joined reggae artist Chronixx on his UK tour. She also signed with Columbia Records UK that year and her hit debut EP Rapture was released the following year. A few of Koffee’s hit singles include, “Toast,” “Raggamuffin,” and “Lockdown.”


Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, Rihanna was discovered by music producer Evan Rogers before signing with Def Jam Records in 2005. Her first studio album “Music of the Sun" saw much success which led to the release of several projects between 2006 and 2016. As of 2022, Rihanna is considered one of the richest female musical artists in the world with a net worth of approximately $1.4 billion. A successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, she is also the founder and CEO of “Savage x Fenty,” a lingerie brand. Some of Rihanna’s top hits include “Rude Boy,” “Diamonds,” and “Work.”

Honorable Mentions: Shenshea, Ricky Martin



BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a K-pop boy band from Seoul, South Korea. Members of the group include Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook – all of which were scouted by the Bang Si-hyuk CEO of Big Hit Entertainment, who had plans to form a hip hop group around rapper RM. BTS rose to stardom after signing to Big Hit Entertainment and releasing their debut album, “2 Cool 4 Skool,” in 2013. The band went on to see success internationally, having sold 30 million albums worldwide. Some of the group’s hits include “Dynamite,” “Butter,” and “Permission to Dance.”


Members Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa are the quartet that make up the South Korean girl group Blackpink. After signing with YG Entertainment, the group debuted their first single album “Square One,” in 2016. The project was well-received which provided traction for their future hit releases, “The Album,” and “Born Pink.” Within a few years of its inception, Blackpink has been the recipient of numerous international and national awards, and has been named “biggest girl group in the world.” Some of Blackpink’s biggest singles include “Bet You Wanna,” – a collaboration with rapper Cardi B – “Pink Venom,” “Ddu-Ddu-Ddu-Du,” and “Kiss and Make Up.”

Rina Sawayama

Japanese born singer Rina Sawayama first broke out into the industry as an independent artist in 2017 when she self-released her debut EP, “Rina.” The EP spawned a few hits including “Afterlife,” and “Tunnel Vision,” and later secured her a record deal with British record label Dirty Hit in 2020. Sawayama went on to release her studio album, “Sawayama,” which was a commercial success. Rina Sawayama's top songs include “STFU!,” “Comme des Garcons,” and “Bad Friends.”

Honorable Mentions: AESPA, Big Bang

Latin America


Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born on February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. The proclaimed “Queen of Latin Music” got her start in the music industry at the age of 13 when she recorded her very first project with Sony Music Colombia. However, she saw major success after the release of her fifth studio album Laundry Service which sold more than 13 million copies internationally. Some of Shakira notable hits include “Whenever, Wherever,” “Underneath Your Clothes,” and “Hips Don’t Lie.”


JBalvin was born Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin on May 7, 1985 in Medellin, Colombia. He initially began his career in music at the age of 19, after meeting his business partner and DJ David Rivera Mazo. The duo began booking shows in Colombia before signing a record deal with EMI Colombia in 2009. Since then, he has released 6 studio albums with “Jose” being the latest in 2020. Known as the “Prince of Reggaeton,” JBalvin has become one of the best-selling Latin artists of all time as well as the recipient of numerous awards including 11 Billboard Latin Music Awards, six Latin Grammy Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards, and much more. Popular songs of JBalvin’s include “Bobo,” “Mi Gente,” and “Ginza.”


Julieta Emilia Cazzuchelli also known as Cazzu was born on December 16, 1993 in Ledesma, Argentina. She knew at the young age of 11 that she wanted to pursue a career in music and started by singing with a local musician. Cazzu later decided to fully invest her time into the genre of Latin trap music after failed attempts in the cumbia and rock genres. Her first commercially successful project Bonus Trap was released in 2020 and spawned the singles, “Esquina,” and “Me Prefiere.” Other notable singles by Cazzu include “Todo (Remix),” Las Nenas,” and “Loca.”

Honorable Mentions: Karol G, Maluma



Afrobeats artist Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun also known as Wizkid was born on July 16, 1990 in Lagos, Nigeria. He began singing and songwriting at the young of 11 before signing a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment in 2009. Wizkid first saw commercial success after the release of his debut album, “Superstar,” which spawned the hit singles "Holla at Your Boy” and “Tease Me/Bad Guys.” He later shot to stardom after collaborating with rapper Drake on his single “One Dance” which topped the charts in 15 countries including the U.S. Some of Wizkid's most popular songs include “Essence,” “Brown Skin Girl,” and “Come Closer.”

Burna Boy

Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu also known as Burna Boy was born on July 2, 1991 in Rivers State, Nigeria. A singer, songwriter, and record producer, Burna Boy first rose to prominence after the release of his lead single “Like to Party,” from his debut album L.I.F.E. As he continued to progress in his career, he was featured on Beyonce’s Lion King soundtrack album and was later nominated for three Grammy Awards, having won the Best World Music Grammy in 2021. A few of Burna Boy’s top hits include “Ye,” “My Money, My Baby,” and “Last Last.”


Singer Tems, also known as Temilade Openiyi, was born on June 11, 1995 in Lagos, Nigeria. She began her music career while attending Monash South Africa. It was there that she learned to play the piano through her music teacher and would often practice during school hours. In 2018, Tems dropped out of college to fully pursue her music career and released her debut single “Mr. Rebel,” that year. After completing a collaboration with Davido, she released her EP "For Broken Ears" to critical acclaim in 2020. That same year, she was featured on a song with fellow Nigerian artist Wizkid which further accelerated her success in the industry. Notable songs of Tems include “Damages,” “Free Mind,” and “Wait For U.”

Honorable Mentions: Davido, Tiwa Savage

Now that you know where some of your favorite musicians are from, why not go visit their home countries and celebrate their music?


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