Written by Giavanna Foster

Over 800 million people use Apple’s iTunes app to listen to and download music. On December 5, iTunes featured new artists who inspired fans around the world and earned a place in the top 10 charts. The genres range from hip-hop to pop. Here are the Music Monday picks of December 5, 2016.

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The first iTunes pick is Grace VanderWaal, who rose to fame after winning this year’s season of America’s Got Talent. VanderWaal received support from A-listers like Taylor Swift, Lady GaGa, and more. After winning NBC’s America’s Got Talent, VanderWaal appeared on NBC’s Ellen show and achieved an impressive EP debut on iTunes. Perfectly Imperfect, which debuted on December 2, is at #6 on the top 10 iTunes album charts. It features “I Don’t Know My Name”, which Grace sang confidently at the AGT auditions. Also, Grace VanderWaal’s iTunes ad is featured next to Bob Dylan’s iTunes ad. Both albums feature raw acoustics and relatable music.

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The second iTunes pick is The Hamilton Mixtape. This cover album is inspired by the smash-hit musical, Hamilton. The Hamilton Mixtape is at #1 on iTunes album charts. It is inspired by songs from Hamilton, the musical, which focuses on the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. It features collaborations with a long list of celebrities that include Sia, Alicia Keys, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots. This album captures the moving spirit of the play with creative storytelling.

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The third iTunes pick is Pentatonix, a Grammy-winning American a cappella group. Pentatonix received two Grammy awards for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella. Pentatonix is a very popular acapella group, as 12 million people have subscribed to their YouTube channel. Also, their YouTube channel has over 1.9 billion total views. Pentatonix recently collaborated with Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus live on NBC’s The Voice. Their newest album, A Pentatonix Christmas, is #2 in the iTunes albums charts. Pentatonix reached the #1 spot in the iTunes video charts with the music video for “Hallelujah”, which is featured as a single on this album. 

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The fourth, and last, iTunes pick is Moana (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Edition]. This album, inspired by the film Moana, was released to iTunes on November 18. Hawaiian actress and rising star Auli’i Cravalho stars as the heroine Moana. Nicole Scherzinger plays Moana’s mom, Sina Waialiki. Auli’i Cravalho is also a featured guest on Teen Vogue. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Maui, the legendary shapeshifting demigod. The soundtrack album features Alessia Cara, Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and more. This album is uplifting because of its upbeat music and Disney-themed storytelling. Both the album and movie prove that anything is possible with hard work and faith.

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