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The Hottest Breakout Stars of 2011

Teen dreams, starlets, a Muppet and Lenny Kravitz's smokin' daughter
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Photograph by Phil Knott

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Hot Import: Tinie Tempah

The walls of the Hollywood night den Teddy’s are thumping to “Frisky,” the electronic dance tune by U.K. rap phenomenon Tinie Tempah. Over its whomping bass line, Tinie won-ders, “If I tell her I’m a boxer/Will she let me down her knickers?” – and the club goes nuts. Only problem is, the MC is stuck outside – his cashmere cardigan isn’t making the grade at Teddy’s velvet rope.

The next day, Tinie shrugs off the snub: “I could still hear them playing my song – sounded like it was working!” He grins, with good reason: Disc-Overy, his debut LP, went straight to Number One in the U.K. last year (“Chris Martin told me it was his favorite album to work out to”), and a U.S. version is due this spring. The banging “Pass Out” was adopted by Snoop Dogg, who performed it with Tinie at last summer’s Glastonbury Festival – and now the 22-year-old is poised to become the first MC from the U.K.’s raucous “grime” scene to climb the U.S. pop charts.

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