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The 10 Biggest Breakout Stars Of 2017

2017 -The year that will forever be remembered as a time when Australians stopped living in the dark ages and allowed same-sex couples to wed, a year when Donald Trump was sworn into office and the whole world wondered if we were doomed, and a year when Prince Harry caused an uproar in the royal palace by proposing to Meghan Markle.

But while all that was happening, we also got ourselves some major stars hitting airwaves across the past 12 months. Thrown into the spotlight whether for creating a number one hit on the Billboard charts or for just giving us MAJOR hot vibes, we take a look at the 10 biggest breakout stars of 2017…


While no stranger to the limelight, 2017 really was Zendaya’s year. Making her film debut in Spider-Man: Homecoming and then The Greatest Showman, Zendaya’s new career direction has put this one solidly on the map (just ask her 46 million Instagram followers). Check out our red carpet interview with the stunner here.

Camila Cabello

When we first heard Camila Cabello was leaving girl group Fifth Harmony – we questioned her life choices. But then she brought us “Havana” and we realised she’d just made the best decision of her career. It went on to hit #1 in Australia, the UK, and Canada – peaking at #2 in the US and New Zealand. Epic.

Bill Skarsgård

After years of trying to shake off his title as Alexander’s youngest brother, 2017 saw Bill Skarsgård step out from the shadows and straight on to “ones to watch” lists after terrifying us as the dancing clown Pennywise in Stephen King’s It.

Lili Reinhart

While we think the entire cast of Riverdale deserves a place as a breakout star, we’ve agreed to limit ourselves and just pull out two that are seriously going places. Playing Betty Cooper on the popular drama series, 2017 saw Lili actually receive the Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Breakout Star, as well as taking home the Teen Choice Award for Choice TV ’Ship (with Cole Sprouse).

KJ Apa

Biggest breakout star or biggest hottie of 2017, either way, New Zealand actor Keneti James “KJ” Apa sits atop our top picks. Starring alongside Lili Reinhart on Riverdale, when KJ was cast as Archie on the show – the 20-year-old became the latest star from Australasia to hit Hollywood headlines.

Dua Lipa

Boy can this girl sing. From no-one knowing her in 2016 (well… other than in her home continent of Britain), the last 12 months has seen the 22-year-old release three chart-toppers with “Be the One,” “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” and “New Rules”. You go girl.

Joe Keery

Playing Steve Harrington on science-fiction TV show Stranger Things, while we pretty much fell in love with this whole cast (even Winona Ryder’s daggy new boyfriend “Bob The Brain” played by Sean Astin) – we think the biggest breakthrough award has got to go to Joe Keery (and his crazy hair). Watch this space when it comes to this actor/musician…

Cardi B

The Insti famous star was turning up EVERYWHERE in 2017 thanks to her song Bodak Yellow becoming the “rap anthem of summer” (as dubbed by the New York Times). The first female rapper to deliver a number one hit since Lauryn Hill almost 20 years ago… Not bad…

Iain Armitage

Our youngest breakout star. Despite his age – this 9-year-old cutie has managed to already have two major roles that have landed him on our radar. Playing Ziggy Chapman in the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies, the talented youngster also stars as a child Sheldon Cooper in Young Sheldon – a prequel to The Big Bang Theory.

Katherine Langford

We obviously love it when an Australian becomes a “breakout star” – but especially when they are one that was basically unheard of and then goes on to become a Golden Globe-nominated star. Picked to play suicidal teen Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why, prior to this role – Katherine had only starred in a couple of small independent films. There’s still hope for us all…


Words by Yelena Fairfax

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