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Readers’ Poll: The Best New Artists of 2011

Your picks include Lana Del Rey, Tyler the Creator and Sleeper Agent

Donato Sardella/WireImage; Carlos Nunez; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

As 2011 wound down last week, we asked you to name your favorite new artist of the year. Your picks are pretty eclectic, including acts representing garage rock, dubstep, hip-hop, R&B and pop balladry. Some of your choices have broken into the big time with full-on pop hits, while others are right on the verge of mainstream fame. Click through to see your selections.

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10. James Blake

Dubstep musician James Blake surprised his audience by releasing a debut album early in 2011 that bridged the gap between the latest trends in electronic music production and classic singer-songwriter pop. The hybrid style, which can be heard in this video for the single "The Wilhelm Scream," is quite striking and surprisingly sexy.

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9. Frank Ocean

Odd Future-affiliated R&B singer Frank Ocean turned heads with his debut mixtape nostalgia, ULTRA in early 2011, but hit the mainstream when his soulful voice graced a handful of tracks on Jay-Z and Kanye West's blockbuster hit Watch the Throne. The singer's first proper album is expected to be released sometime in 2012.

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8. Lana Del Rey

Glamorous singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey made a big splash on the internet over the summer with her viral hit "Video Games." She wrapped up the year by releasing a slick, incredibly campy clip for "Born to Die," the first single from her debut album of the same name, due out in early 2012. It remains to be seen whether or not Del Rey can translate internet hype into mainstream success, but she's clearly poised to make a play for stardom in the coming months.

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7. Yuck

The kids in Yuck are so young than most of the classic indie records that influenced the sound of their excellent debut album came out before they were even born. The British rockers nail their retro-Nineties aesthetic, but even better, they write songs that match the quality of inspirations such as the Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr. and Yo La Tengo.

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6. Civil Wars

Folk-pop duo the Civil Wars gained a lot of new fans in 2011 on the strength of powerful, emotionally raw duets like "Poison and Wine." The band is likely to get even bigger in the new year thanks to their collaboration with Taylor Swift on the soundtrack of The Hunger Games.

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5. Tyler, the Creator

Odd Future leader Tyler, the Creator may have divided audiences with his abrasive, often overtly misogynistic and homophobic lyrics, but he won a lot of fans during the past year, including enough Rolling Stone readers to get place him at Number Five on this list. The rapper/producer is set for an even bigger 2012, with more new music on the way with his Odd Future collaborators, plus a new TV show on Adult Swim.

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4. The Weeknd

The prolific and mysterious R&B singer known as the Weeknd released three album-length free mixtapes in 2011, immediately establishing himself as one of the most intriguing new voices in pop. It might not be much longer before the Canadian singer finds himself on the same level of mainstream popularity as his friend and supporter Drake.

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3. Foster the People

Foster the People came from out of nowhere to score one of the year's most unlikely pop hits with the single "Pumped Up Kicks." It remains to be seen whether or not they'll stick around in the pop charts, but foll0w-up singles like "Helena Beat" indicate that the group may have a bright future as a cult band either way.

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2. Sleeper Agent

The young rockers in Sleeper Agent broke out of Kentucky onto the national stage this year with Celebrasion, an album of energetic earworms showcasing the vocals of 18-year-old frontwoman Alex Kandel, followed by nonstop touring with fellow Kentuckians Cage the Elephant.

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1. Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant aren't technically a new band – their debut album actually came out in 2008 – but the Kentucky rockers were nevertheless your favorite new act of 2011 after breaking through to rock radio with their hard-rocking second album Thank You, Happy Birthday.

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