The 12 Biggest Breakout Stars of 2012: Carly Rae Jepsen, Sam Claflin & More!

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While there are plenty of stars we know and love, 2012 brought us a slew of talent that we’ll certainly be talking about for years to come! Though some might be familiar faces, 2012 was really their year to shine. Whether they created one of the biggest songs of the year (Carly Rae Jepsen), or had us laughing hysterically at the movies (Rebel Wilson), we fell in love with these celebs in 2012.

In no particular order — see who Teen chose as their biggest breakout stars of 2012 below!

Austin Mahone

Much like Justin Bieber (who he is often compared to), 16-year-old Austin Mahone got his start thanks to a number of videos of him singing that went viral on YouTube. Thanks to his charming good looks, and talent to boot, Austin released two singles this year, “11:11,” and “Say Somethin'” which had fans going crazy. 2012 was obviously a good year for him, and 2013 only proves to be bigger!


Chase/Universal Republic

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Bridgit Mendler

Bridgit is known for her roles on Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie, as well as her musical turn in the 2011 DCOM Lemonade Mouth, but in 2012, Bridgit debuted the infectious single, “Ready Or Not.” And on top of that, she released her first album Hello My Name Is… and topped off the year by performing on The X Factor.



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Carly Rae Jepsen

To say 2012 was a HUGE year for CRJ would be a complete understatement. Her first single “Call Me Maybe” burnt up not only the charts, but YouTube video views (it has 362 million…and counting!), and she toured with Justin Bieber on his Believe tour. Though some believed she might be a one hit wonder, her catchy tune proved to have a life of its own as it spawned a number of sing-along vids. Also, the 27-year-old Canadian released her first album, Kiss, which certainly proved nay-sayers wrong. Only good things in this gal’s future, we predict!


Interscope Records

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Cher Lloyd

Our friends over in the U.K. have been loving Cher since her season of The X Factor back in 2010 (yes, the same season as One Direction!), and even though she only came in fourth during the competition, she’s finally had a breakout year over here in the states! Thanks to her single “Want U Back,” she had millions singing along to her feisty tune. Not only that, but she performed the hit song on the U.S. version of The X Factor, truly coming full circle. And now we can’t help thinking of her every time we hear someone grunt “UH!”


Epic Records

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Dean Geyer

Glee fans were devastated when Finchel broke up in the third season finale, but when sexy NYADA senior Brody (Dean) came into Rachel Berry’s life, he had people saying “Finn, who?!” Thanks to his many shirtless scenes and sexy dance moves, people can’t get enough of him. Although, his desirableness did take a bit of a dive when he hooked up with their teacher, played by Kate Hudson.



Ellie Goulding

OK, so we know that Ellie had people talking when she performed at Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s wedding last year, but 2012 was really the year she made a name for herself. Between her hit single “Lights,” which got an insane amount of airtime on the radio, her uplifting new single “Anything Could Happen,” and the fact that she dated dubstep DJ Skrillex, Ellie definitely made a name for herself in 2012!


Interscope Records

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Fierce Five

The Fierce Five, other wise known as Jordyn Wieber, Kyla RossMcKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas, had everyone talking during the Olympic games this summer. These gymnasts not only brought home the gold, but stole the hearts of millions! McKayla Maroney particularly had the world talking when she won the silver medal in the vault finals, and was caught making a less than pleased face. The “Not Impressed” meme spread like wild fire, with even President Barack Obama joining in on the fun! Also, Gabby Douglas scored herself a guest spot on The Vampire Diaries. What a year for these talented young ladies!



Phillips Phillips

Phillip Phillips — the singer so nice, they named him twice! The adorable singer won the 11th season of American Idol back in May, and managed to do it all while suffering from major kidney problems! Phillip was such a trooper during the whole thing, it made America fall in love with him even more. Not to mention, his single “Home” had millions singing along, while his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon, just dropped in November. Oh, and he’ll also be hitting the road with Matchbox 20 in 2013. Way to go, Phillip!


19 Entertainment

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Rebel Wilson

The world took notice of Rebel Wilson in 2011 when she had a hilarious bit part as Kristen Wiig‘s roommate in Bridesmaids, but 2012 was certainly her year to shine. Not only did the Australian actress star in the ensemble comedy What to Expect When You’re Expecting back in May, but she also showed off her vocal chops in the sleeper hit, Pitch Perfect. She already has a number of projects lined up for 2013 including Chris Colfer‘s Struck By Lightning, Pain and Gain with Mark Wahlberg but she also has a TV show titled Super Fun Night in the works. We have a feeling Rebel is here to stay!


Universal Pictures

Ryan Beatty

Ryan Beatty has made quite the name for himself on the music scene! Thanks to music videos such as “Hey L.A.” and “Every Little Thing,” millions have been singing along to his tunes on YouTube!


Ryan Beatty

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Sam Claflin

One of Sam’s first big roles was in 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and his career has only gotten hotter from there! Not only did he star alongside Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman, but he got cast as Finnick Odair in a little film called The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, maybe you’ve heard of it? Sam nabbed the highly-coveted role, and we predict he’ll be a household name by this time next year!


Universal Pictures

The Wanted

Though they’ve been labeled “bad boys” thanks to their on-going feud with One Direction, there’s no denying the guys of The Wanted have released some catchy tunes this year! The guys were first noticed for their hit song “Glad You Came” then followed it up with “I Found You.” 2012 was big for them, and we’re sure 2013 will only be bigger!


Mercury Records

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2012 was a big year for new talent — who do you think had the biggest 2012? Was there anyone we missed? Sound off in the comments!