Tobias Jesso Jr.
Adele didn't just shatter sales records this year: She was so powerful that a single tweet from her account could launch another artist's career. That was what happened when she touted Tobias Jesso Jr., the Canadian singer-songwriter behind Goon, an album of emotionally arresting ballads that evoked great singer-songwriters of the Seventies like Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. Jesso accompanied himself on piano masterfully, despite having just learned the instrument (he was a bassist through his mid-20s). By the end of the year, Jesso had come full circle, placing one of his signature wistful ballads ("When We Were Young") on Adele's 25.