Revisit the hottest breakthrough artists SiriusXM championed throughout 2021

Meet the artists that SiriusXM channels helped launch into stardom last year, including country singer Walker Hayes, hard rock artist Zero 9:36, British band Glass Animals and others.

Matt Simeone
December 8, 2021

Wrap up 2021 with a look back at the SiriusXM-supported artists that broke through this year, including some of which were named Future Five artists to watch at the end of 2020. The Class of 2021 is composed of artists that SiriusXM was first to commit airplay and playlist support to and subsequently went on to have a major breakthrough year; this commitment extends across multiple channels and genres. The Class of 2021 includes Fousheé*, girl in red, Glass Animals, Jax, Morray, Royal & The Serpent*, Shane Codd, Tai Verdes, Vedo, Walker Hayes, and Zero 9:36*.

FousheéThe Heat (Ch. 46) became the first broadcast outlet to play “Deep End” in late 2020, and Fousheé was also selected as one of SiriusXM’s Future Five for 2021. After continued support into 2021 from The Heat and Alt Nation (Ch. 36), Fousheé has gone on to accumulate over 125 million streams.

girl in redSiriusXMU’s (Ch. 35) history of support of Norwegian artist girl in red began in 2019 with airplay and an XMU Live Session. In early March 2021, two months prior to her highly-anticipated debut album, if i could make it go quiet, XMU and Alt Nation added “Serotonin.” With support on this track from both channels, the song reached No. 2 on the alternative chart in September. XMU became the first broadcast outlet to commit airplay on “I’ll Call You Mine” and “Midnight Love” in May. In early October, Alt Nation also added “I’ll Call you Mine,” landing both channels as the leaders in airplay of the song at the alternative format. This year, girl in red performed her second XMU Live Session and served as a guest host on Alt Nation.

Glass AnimalsAlt Nation has championed this UK band on air since their 2014 debut album, Zaba, and has supported them more than any other broadcast outlet since. Alt Nation has added six songs from their most recent album, 2020’s Dreamland, and was the first broadcast outlet to commit airplay to “Heat Waves,” which landed at No. 2 on the channel’s 2020 year-end countdown. Since then, the song has become a massive success at multiple formats in 2021. “Heat Waves” reached No. 1 on the alternative chart in late March, garnered 1 billion streams to date, and is currently in the top 10 at Top 40. In 2021, Alt Nation continued airplay support of the band’s songs “Space Ghost to Coast” and “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance),” both of which reached No.1 on Alt Nation’s weekly countdown show Alt 18. Glass Animals have also guest-hosted on the channel and performed as a part of SiriusXM and Pandora’s Small Stage Series.

JaxIn May, Hits 1 (Ch. 2) named this New Jersey singer-songwriter a Hits 1 to Watch artist and became the first broadcast outlet to play her song “’90s Kid,” which has since accumulated over 30 million streams. In August, The Pulse (Ch. 5) became the first outlet to add her follow-up single “Like My Father” into rotation. In response, Jax recorded a video of herself reacting to hearing her song on radio for the first time and posted it on all of her social platforms. The video immediately went viral and has garnered 19 million streams to date.

MorrayHip-Hop Nation (Ch. 44) was the first broadcast outlet to add the North Carolina rapper’s song “Bad Situations.” It became the channel’s First Alert in September, followed by additional support from Shade 45 (Ch. 45). To date, these two channels continue to be Morray’s leading national radio support. Recently, Morray received two GRAMMY Award nominations for his work alongside J. Cole and 21 Savage in the Best Rap Performance category and in the Best Rap Song category, all before his own debut album drops.

Royal & The SerpentThe LA-based singer-songwriter closed out 2020 being named one of SiriusXM’s Future Five for 2021 and participating in the debut volume of SiriusXM’s Next Wave Concert Series. Alt Nation was the first outlet in America to support her top-5 breakthrough song “Overwhelmed,” which has received over 100 million streams to date.

Shane CoddIn early December 2020, Diplo’s Revolution (Ch. 52) became the first broadcast outlet to add “Get Outta My Head.” Support from bpm (Ch. 51) in January 2021 followed, earning the song the No. 1 spot on the channel’s top 20 for 10 weeks. Early support from both channels ultimately helped the song reach No. 1 on the dance chart earlier this year. With Diplo’s Revolution again as the first broadcast outlet to add Codd’s second single, “Always on My Mind,” followed by continued support from bpm, SiriusXM led overall radio support as the song reached No. 1 on the dance chart in September.

Tai VerdesBeginning in January, Alt Nation was the first and only broadcast outlet to commit airplay to Verdes’ song “Drugs” and also introduced listeners to his song  “A-O-K” in early May on the channel’s new music show Advanced Placement. Within that week, the song was named Hitbound on Hits 1 and also added to Venus 303 (Ch. 303). “A-O-K” is on track to garner over 150 million streams by year’s end.

VedoThe Heat’s support of the Benton, MI, singer began when the channel was one of the first to broadcast his breakthrough single “You Got It” in late September of 2020. Support continued into October of that year when the channel became the first broadcast outlet to add the song into rotation, followed by support from Heart & Soul (Ch. 48) the following month. The Heat remains the leader in on-air support, and by April of 2021, the song reached No. 10 on the Urban chart, No. 8 on the R&B chart, and accumulated 262 million streams, while The Heat remains the leader in on-air support of the song.

Walker Hayes: The Highway (Ch. 56) became the first broadcast outlet to add “Fancy Like” on June 8, 2021, before Hayes enlisted his daughter to create a TikTok dance video for his single, which went viral. Following on-air support from Hits 1 and The Pulse, “Fancy Like” has since been certified RIAA 2x Platinum and garnered a GRAMMY Award nomination for Best Country Song. In October, The Highway once again became the first broadcast outlet to add a song from Hayes with “U Girl.” Hits 1 added the song in November and leads in airplay among all broadcast outlets thus far.

Zero 9:36Selected as one of SiriusXM’s Future Five for 2021, Zero 9:36 has proven to be a force in hard rock this year. Since his single “Adrenaline” world premiered on Octane (Ch. 37) as an Accelerator in October 2020, the song reached No.1 on the channel’s weekly countdown Big Uns in February of 2021 and ultimately reached No. 1 on the active rock chart in mid-August. “Adrenaline” remains the most-played song at the format in 2021. Octane continued support this year with Zero 9:36 headlining the second volume of Octane’s Next Wave Concert Series and world-premiering the artist’s only release of the year, “I’m Not,” on December 2.

*Artist is also a member of the SiriusXM Future Five for 2021