By Margeaux Watson
Updated January 02, 2009 at 10:44 PM EST

Originally, I set out to compile a list of nine artists to watch in 2009, but I could only think of five that I’m really excited about (or that I haven’t already plugged elsewhere on this blog). Herewith, the chosen few. Got any suggestions for me? Leave a comment and let me know who else I need to check out.

1. Kid Cudi
TheCleveland rapper is one of hip-hop’s hottest indie sensations. Hisunderground mixtapes have caught the attention of everyone from Travis Barker to Kanye West, who swiftly signed him to his GOOD Music imprint, which will release his debut CD later this year.

2. Melanie Fiona
After opening for Kanye West in the U.K. last fall, the soulful Canadian R&B singer-songwriter is poised to win over Jazmine Sullivan‘s audience with the March release of her debut CD, The Bridge.

3. Wale
A protégé of producer Mark Ronson,this buzzworthy D.C. rapper’s upcoming debut CD will reportedly featurebeats by an all-star team of hitmakers, including Kanye West, JustBlaze, 9th Wonder, and Justice.

4. Teyana Taylor
It’s fitting that this stylish teen rapper called her first single “Google Me” because that’s exactly what I did when she boasted about inking a deal with Pharrell‘s Star Trak label on a 2007 episode of MTV’s My Super Sweet 16. Two years later, I’m still Googling her for details about the release of her long-delayed debut CD, From a Planet Called Harlem.

5. Corneille
Though based in Canada, this popular French soul singer (think: Les Nubians meets Seal) was born in Germany and raised in Rwanda. Now he’s preparing to release his upcoming U.S. debut CD, which will also be his first English-language disc.