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Top 40 programmers pick the hits

Allison Iraheta, Matt Morris, Nicki Minaj and more artists you’ll be hearing on the airwaves

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Pop radio cannot live on Beyoncés and Black Eyed Peas alone. We decided to ask the program directors of pop stations around the country to give us a few of their best guesses for the musicians who might soon become the next big things on the dial. Read on for their picks.

Sharon Dastur, Z-100 New York
Taio Cruz
”He’s British, kind of hip-hop, urban, melodic — very Iyaz, very Jason Derulo — and I think he’s got a lot of potential.”
Download this: ”Break Your Heart,” feat. Ludacris

”They’re a boy band who were on The X Factor. There’s not just one strong one — they all stand out. They’re all talented.”
Download this: ”Everybody in Love”

Allison Iraheta
”Her album [Just Like You] came out at the end of the year, and it got a little lost. The next single, ‘Scars,’ is a Pink-style ballad, and it’s amazing.”
Download this: ”Scars”

John Ivey, KIIS Los Angeles
”He’s signed to T.I.’s label. A lot of hip-hop guys are just rappers, but he plays guitar and just kills it.”
Download this: ”Nothin’ on You”

Nicki Minaj
”Nicki reminds me of Lisa from TLC, or Salt-N-Pepa. It’s very throwback, that sassy attitude. She can sing one line on a song and you want more. Her personality is so distinct and witty and fun.”
Download this: Mariah Carey feat. Nicki Minaj, ”Up Out My Face”

Court Yard Hounds
”It’s the sisters from the Dixie Chicks. Martie Maguire was making a bluegrass album and Emily was writing lyrics, and they just started bringing it together.”
Download this: ”See You in the Spring”

Kid Kelly, Sirius XM Hits 1
”He’s a DJ and producer with a live-performance thing going on. It’s time for some of that electro-pop and house to touch the charts.”
Download this: ”Ghosts ‘N’ Stuff”

”They’re from Detroit, currently living in Nashville. It’s not quite rock, not quite pop. [The singer] doesn’t sound like anyone else.”
Download this: ”(I’m Gonna) Party Like a Rock Star”

”They’re a throwback to the kind of old rock that you don’t hear on the radio anymore, but there should be a place for this.”
Download this: ”All I Ever Wanted”

Tony Florentino, WNCI Columbus
Gary Go
”He’s from England, a techno artist with a really clean voice. He should be a star.”
Download this: ”Black and White Days”

”She’s kind of a girl Owl City, who she actually just toured with. They’re really sweet, poppy, AutoTuned songs, but she can really sing!”
Download this: ”Saviour”

Matt Morris
”I was so impressed with him at the Haiti telethon with Justin Timberlake that I bought his CD. It’s a little bit quirky, a little bit sweet.”
Download this: ”Let It Go”