Christina Aguilera, Lotus – Aguilera has had a tumultuous two years since the 2010 release of Bionic – she’s divorced, released a critically panned movie, joined a hit TV show and recorded a hit song with her The Voice co-star Adam Levine’s band Maroon 5. She says she’s channeled all those experiences into her seventh studio album, including the debut single “Your Body,” which debuted Sept. 17.
OneRepublic, Native – The Colorado Springs-based rock band fronted by Tulsa native Ryan Tedder shot to stardom with the hit single “Apologize” from the 2007 album Dreaming Out Loud and the subsequent Timbaland remix of the song. Tedder’s songwriting prowess and clear falsetto also made hits of “All the Right Moves” and “Good Life” from their sophomore album, Waking Up. Tedder says the band’s third studio album is shaping up to be their most up-tempo effort to date, and the debut single “Feel Again” seems to bear that out.
Soundgarden, King Animal – Soundgarden put a heavy dose of heavy metal into the Seattle grunge movement and became one of the biggest acts of the 90s with hits including “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell on Black Days” and “The Day I Tried to Live.” The band split in 1997, but surprised fans by reuniting 2010. Now, they’re set to release their first album in 16 years. While they’ve kept the new material largely under wraps, the snippets that have emerged make critics wonder if they’ve actually managed to blend grunge with a pop sensibility that will appeal contemporary audiences.
Rihanna, Unapologetic – The 24-year-old Barbadian pop and R&B diva has been a major player in the music world since her 2005 debut. She’s also one of pop’s most prolific artists, producing an album every year. With each effort she’s explored new sounds, constantly keeping things fresh. She’s promising a “great mish-mash of genres,” with her seventh studio album, and, if the debut single “Diamonds” is any indication, she’ll delight fans with many more hits.