In this world, nothing is certain but death, taxes and the fact that teen stars grow up. Most of the kids who have dominated pop culture for the better part of the past decade—Miley, Taylor, Demi, Selena, Rihanna, Jordin and three guys with the last name Jonas—are old enough to vote, smoke, drink and get in all sorts of tabloid-y trouble, Meanwhile, boy-king-of-the-world Justin Bieber turned 17 last month, which means that there's already a significant portion of his audience who have already outgrown him. So, which freakishly talented prodigies will dominate the Twittersphere and the Ellen DeGeneres Show in the months and years to come? Popdust presents "17 Under 17," our picks for the artists, age 16 and under, who are best poised to capture the hearts and allowance money of young America.

Click NEXT to find out who made the grade.

1) THE SMITHS

Justin Bieber became the King of Underage Pop under the tutelage of former teen star Usher, and Rihanna was signed to Def Jam by Jay-Z. Now the children of Will Smith have the support of heavy hitters—including the Biebs himself.

WILLOW SMITH

Age: 10

Sounds Like: Rihanna.

Notable Achievements: She whips her hair back and forth, obviously. But did you know she's also a 21st century girl?

What Her Fans Are Saying: "She has an energy and enthusiasm about her music that is truly infectious. It's rare to find an artist with such innate talent and creativity at such a young age."—Jay-Z, who signed Willow to his Roc Nation label and announced plans to develop a remake of the musical Annie around her.

 

JADEN SMITH

Age: 12

Sounds Like: The Fresh Prince, with parents who are slightly more understanding.

Notable Achievements: Like his sister, Jaden dropped a slickly produced single late last year—but unlike his sister, he didn't have to go it alone. He teamed up with Justin Bieber on "Never Say Never," which got a second wind as the theme to Bieber's behind-the-scenes documentary (also called Never Say Never). Jaden’s no stranger to the big screen, either: he played the son of Will Smith’s character in The Pursuit of Happyness and the title character in the remake of The Karate Kid.

What His Fans Are Saying: "Jaden Smith > Justin Beiber"—YouTube commenter MisterBlue2011.

To watch our supersized 17 Under 17 slideshow, click here.

 

2) THE YOUTUBERS

Justin Bieber may be the most important head of hair in the world now, but a few years ago he was just a humble busker, posting videos of his performances on YouTube in the hopes that he might catch a record exec's eye. These kids are following in his home-video footsteps—and getting attention from major producers and pop stars.

 

LYRIKKAL

Age: 10

Sounds Like: A littler Lil’ Mama.

Notable Achievements: Also known as Young Lyric, preteen rapper Lyrikkal's been doing the hip-hop thing since she was six years old. The are two videos on her YouTube page at the moment: she raps over the beat of Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" and brags about being on the honor roll in "Whatever I Want," and re-works "Black & Yellow," Wiz Khalifa's ode to Pittsburgh, into "Pink & Purple," an ode to her own girly swag. She doesn't have a record deal yet, but judging by the amount of love she gets on the Internet, she will soon.

What Her Fans Are Saying: "Kanye needs to tell Lyrikkal that no one girl should have all that swagger, because she is putting us all to shame."—Blanca Méndez, TheHairpin.com

 

REBECCA BLACK

Age: 13

Sounds Like: A cleaned-up Ke$ha singing Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”

Notable Achievements: Rebecca has mastered the days of the week and become a viral-video sensation with her sweetly awkward music video for her song "Friday"—and the negative response inspired by the song, which has a hook that grows like a fungus, has turned her into a spokesperson for the evils of cyberbullying. The clip has cracked the 43-million view mark on YouTube, and she's already taking the step that so many pop stars do when they want to be taken seriously—she's showing off her musical chops by going expand=1] unplugged.

What Her Fans Are Saying: "what the balls is this?"—YouTube commenter AbbeyRoad808.

GREYSON CHANCE

Age: 13

Sounds Like: A drama-club kid who looks up to Augustana.

Notable Achievements: After covering Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" at a school talent show, he posted the performance on YouTube. Within two weeks the video was featured on Ryan Seacrest's official site and had earned Greyson an invitation to appear on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show. Interscope signed Greyson, and his first single, "Waiting Outside the Lines," was released just five months after he first posted the clip. He’s also surrounding himself with elder statesmen of teenpop, touring with Miranda Cosgrove and working with Nick Jonas.

What His Fans Are Saying: Watch the faces of the girls in the background about 41 seconds into his "Paparazzi" video—that should tell you all you need to know.

 

CODY SIMPSON

Age: 14

Sounds Like: Justin Bieber before his haircut.

Notable Achievements: The shaggy-haired Australian began posting his covers of Justin Timberlake, Jackson 5 and Jason Mraz on YouTube in the summer of 2009. A year later, he was in Los Angeles, signing a deal with Atlantic Records and recording songs for his first EP, 4 U, which spawned the singles "iYiYi" and "All Day." Now, he's heading out on tour with Greyson Chance.

What His Fans Are Saying: "I don't know what, but this guy has something special in his voice, I swear. When I listen to iyiyiy, I have to listen to it again, he's awesome, it might be justin's better, but this guy's gonna be big, too."—YouTube commenter LiFeh08

 

KHALIL

Age: 15

Sounds Like: Chris Brown meets Lloyd.

Notable Achievements: After Khalil's aunt heard the high-school basketball star singing to himself, she decided he had what it took to be the next teen idol, and convinced him to upload a video. A few weeks later, he received an email from Island Def Jam asking him to audition for label president L.A. Reid—the same guy who signed Usher, P!nk, and Justin Bieber. Khalil's first album for the label isn't due out till later this year, but he's been keeping busy in the meantime: He's popped up on a mixtape with Diggy Simmons, opened for Usher, and released two singles, "Girlfriend Ringtone" and "Hey Lil Mama."

What His Fans Are Saying: "i swear this boy is to fine he has the whole package 1. Fine 2. can sing 3. can dance 4. has a nice smile and more i swear omg he is to cute."—YouTube commenter tygagoraww234

To watch our supersized 17 Under 17 slideshow, click here.

 

3) DISNEY: THE NEW CLASS

With a record label, a cable channel and a radio network at its disposal, Disney is a pop marketing powerhouse. But its reputation for syrup-sweet tunes and by-the-numbers artists isn't entirely accurate—it's been home to scrappy rockabilly-tinged singles, dance diva beats, a former metalhead and ambitious power-poppers. These kids have some pretty big mouse ears to fill, but they're up to the challenge.

 

CHERRI BOMB

Ages: 12-14

Sounds Like: The Pretty Reckless after listening to Hole’s Celebrity Skin.

Notable Achievements: The four slightly goth-y girls (on their official site, the youngest member confesses that she's "in love with a dead person") of Cherri Bomb recently signed a deal with Hollywood Records, home to the most musical Disney Channel stars—but if their single "Spin" is any indication, Julia, Nia, Miranda and Rena aren't about to tone down their metal-influenced crunch. They also have some serious rock cred: they're managed by a former drummer for Hole and have toured with the Smashing Pumpkins.

What Their Fans Are Saying: "Thank freaking god there is real music like this still being made, while the likes of Orianthe and Avril just crank out generic crap!!!! This song kicks ass! Congrats!"—YouTube commenter headlandsa

 

CHINA MCCLAIN

Age: 13

Sounds Like: Selena Gomez with a smidge more soul.

Notable Achievements: China seems to have stolen a page from the Miley Cyrus playbook. Got her start with a small role on a family-friendly cable show? Check—she played the oldest daughter on Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Bounced around the Disney Channel for a few years? Check—she's appeared on Hannah Montana, Jonas L.A. and Wizards of Waverly Place. Shared a first name with the character she'll play on the network's newest sitcom? Check—she's signed on to portray spunky Chyna Sparks on A.N.T. Farm. She doesn't have a record deal yet, but she did sing with the Jonas Brothers, and if she’s learned anything from Miley, she’ll have a successful music career soon.

What Her Fans Are Saying: "I really enjoy watching her because she is just so talented."—YouTube commenter Lexi1014ful

 

KICKING DAISIES

Ages: 14-17

Sounds Like: A supergroup made up of Hey Monday and the Hush Sound.

Notable Achievements: Duran, Ben, Carly and Caitlin won the most recent N.B.T. after impressing voters with their harmony-heavy pop-rock. (Caitlin was crowned the world's fastest female drummer back in 2007.) Following their win, they made appearances at Radio Disney events, worked with one of the JoBros' producers, and released ten original songs on K D: The EP.

What Their Fans Are Saying: "this band is AMAZING!! and 2 all u guys who dont like them, u have NO taste in music!!"—N.B.T. voter coolieAwesome

 

JASMINE SAGGINARIO

Age: 16

Sounds Like: A home-schooled Vanessa Hudgens.

Notable Achievements: After winning Radio Disney's N.B.T.—that's Next Big Thing, the annual contest that helped Allstar Weekend score their deal with Hollywood Records—in 2009, the Nashville native took part in a Radio Disney tour, opened two shows for Justin Bieber and landed a song on the soundtrack of the Disney Channel movie Starstruck. She hasn't been picked up by a label yet, but she's forging ahead on her own; her new single, "Knock Knock," was produced by her dad.

What Her Fans Are Saying: "this song is a great song! i think she will be famous after selena gomez, demi lovato, and miley cyrus."—YouTube commenter DwightHChrisawesome3

To watch our supersized 17 Under 17 slideshow, click here.

 

4) THE TALENT-SHOW COMPETITORS

When it comes to talent shows, little girls with big voices are the ones to beat. Just ask Charice, who got her start singing Whitney Houston hits on a talent show when she was barely a teenager—or any contestant who's ever caused the American Idol judges to marvel, "You're just sixteen!" Maybe that's why Idol lowered its age limit to fifteen this year.

 

JACKIE EVANCHO

Age: 10

Sounds Like: Andrea Bocelli in the body of a fifth-grade girl.

Notable Achievements: When Jackie auditioned for America's Got Talent last summer, she delivered a performance of the Puccini aria "O mio babbino caro" that was so good, some people suspected she was faking it. But she proved she was the real deal, eventually finishing in second place. Since then, she's worked with producer David Foster and signed on to Simon Cowell's label; less than six months after she first appeared on America's Got Talent, she released a short holiday album, performed at the Rockefeller Center tree lighting, and sang for the President at the National Christmas Tree Lighting.

What Her Fans Are Saying: "She is compelling. It is quite unusual to hear a young girl with that level of warmth and roundness."—Christopher Hahn, general director of the Pittsburgh Opera

 

LAUREN ALAINA/THIA MEGIA

Ages: 16

Sounds Like: A perkier Gretchen Wilson; a very serious Disney princess.

Notable Achievements: Both girls took advantage of Idol's rule change, auditioning when they were still fifteen. (Thia had previously appeared on America's Got Talent, which allows contestants of all ages to try out.) Lauren impressed the judges with her soft country twang when she auditioned in Nashville—they proclaimed her the best they had seen in the city. Thia, meanwhile, has earned plenty of praise for her Gleek-y song choices, like "Out Here on My Own" from Fame, and the standard "Smile."

What Their Fans Are Saying: "You've got real, natural, God-given talent."—Randy Jackson on Lauren Alaina; "That beautiful voice is transcendent."—Jennifer Lopez on Thia Megia

To watch our supersized 17 Under 17 slideshow, click here.

 

5) EVERYONE ELSE

They're not signed to Disney or related to Will Smith, and they haven't auditioned for a talent competition or tried their luck on YouTube, but these kids are still on a path to stardom.

 

MINDLESS BEHAVIOR

Ages: 13-14

Sounds Like: Four young Jason Derulos, with some B2K swagger for good measure.

Notable Achievements: Like most boy bands, Mindless Behavior was put together by a producer—in this case, Walter Millsap III, who's written with Timbaland and Alicia Keys, and who served as musical director on Lady Gaga's last tour. Ray Ray, Prodigy, Princeton, and Roc Royal have since released their first single and opened for Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo, and they’re just wrapping up a tour with Janet Jackson. That leaves them plenty of time to finish their first album, which is scheduled for release later this year.

What Their Fans Are Saying: "i love them they are awesome! i saw them at the justin bieber concert and they are gonna be soo famouss!"—YouTube commenter livielulu11

 

DIGGY SIMMONS

Age: 15

Sounds Like: Lil’ Bow Wow, if he repped for New York City

Notable Achievements: Like Jaden Smith, Diggy has rap in his genes: He's the son of Joseph Simmons, a.k.a. Run-D.M.C.'s Rev Run, and the nephew of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. (You may remember a younger Diggy playing the comic relief on his family's reality show, Run's House.) After releasing two mixtapes and afewvideos, Diggy signed with Atlantic Records about a year ago—and at the Never Say Never premiere last month, he hinted at an upcoming collaboration with Justin Bieber.

What His Fans Are Saying: "hes got to be the coolest teenager EVER!!"—YouTube commenter tenny128

 

JACOB LATIMORE

Age: 15

Sounds Like: A hybrid of Justin Bieber and his mentor, Usher

Notable Achievements: Jacob was just nine when he decided to pursue a career in the music business—and six years later, it looks like his decision was a good one. He's still working on his debut album for Jive Records (home to Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears), but he's already dropped a couple of singles, including "Like 'Em All" featuring Diggy Simmons. Jacob will also appear in the thriller Vanishing on 7th Street this spring.

What His Fans Are Saying: "Wow. He Is Really Good. I Love Justin Bieber But Honestly He Is Better Then Justin Bieber. Looks Like The Next Justin Beiber."—YouTube commenter MissJade60

 

BURNHAM

Ages: 15-19

Sounds Like: Early Hanson and the All-American Rejects hanging out in the mall.

Notable Achievements: The three brothers of Burnham—Alex, Andre and preternaturally charismatic lead singer Forrest—had been performing together for over five years when they signed their deal with Island Def Jam. Last fall, they opened for Justin Bieber on his My World Tour and released their Almost Famous EP, which included contributions from some big names: the lead single, "Catch Me If You Can," was co-written by Ryan Tedder. A full-length album is due out this spring.

What Their Fans Are Saying: "OMGGG. #DEAD. I love @burnham so much. You have no idea. There my favorite band aside form @justinbieber <333 Their so sweeet !!! <33333"—Twitter user WeLoveJBsSwagg

Who do YOU think will be the next king and queen of pop? To vote, click on NEXT!