Female Artists Made British Music Tick In 2021 - Here's Five Success Stories

Female Artists Made British Music Tick In 2021 - Here's Five Success Stories

Hand-picked by Apple Music 1 host Rebecca Judd...

If you’re reading this, I'm Rebecca Judd, a host on Apple Music 1, where I celebrate and champion great music from around the world. It’s my pleasure today to drop off five super success stories of 2021 from five incredible female artists that I feel really passionate about - three out of the five being previous Ascending Artists on the show.

If you’re wondering what is an Ascending Artist?! That’s where every Wednesday I’m joined by some of the most exciting and talented new artists the world has to offer. I've had the likes of Kamille, Mnelia, Bellah, Amaria BB, Olivia Dean and loads more pass through, plus Griff, Enny and Pink Pantheress who you will hear more about below.

Hope you enjoy!

Oh and feel free to check out The Rebecca Judd show sometime on Apple Music 1, I’m live Monday to Thursday from 9am GMT.

Little Simz

Let’s start off with some Little Simz, I just adore her. A musician who has always stayed true to herself and constantly exhibits great artistry. From winning ‘Best Female Act’ at this year's MOBO awards, to her amazing NPR Tiny Desk performance, plus being nominated for four awards at next year's BRITs and touring all around the UK and US - she’s just so amazing!

Her incredible fourth album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’ which she released back in September is right up there with one of my favourite albums of the year and she is definitely one of my most played artists on the show in 2021. Everything from her music videos to her song writing is so well thought through and it felt so good seeing her get the love and flowers she deserves on this album. I had my whole Twitter timeline talking about how great she is!

More than 10 years into her career, I’m really excited to see the heights she takes it to. We love you Simz!

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I've got a special place in my heart for Griff, the super talented singer and songwriter. She was one of my first ever ‘Ascending Artists’ on the show back in 2020. Since then, we’ve been catching up every couple of months so I feel like I’ve really been there experiencing some of the biggest moments of her career so far and it’s brought me so much joy!

One of her biggest achievements this year was getting her first UK top 20 single with 'Black Hole' which I loved celebrating with her. I know that one of the biggest days of her life was back in May when she both performed at the BRITs and won the Rising Star award. Plus, this was also the day she met her idol Taylor Swift, who I know showered her with loads of love and even sent her flowers to wish her good luck! 2021 was also the year she sold out Shepherds Bush Empire, made her US TV debut, dropped a mixtape called ‘One Foot In Front Of The Other’ and flew on a private jet with Ed Sheeran.

Looking on to 2022 - she’s already received 2 nominations at the BRITs next year, she's supporting Dua Lipa on the European leg of the long-awaited 'Future Nostalgia' tour and she's already sold out her very own US and Canada tour. Already so accomplished for 2022, you go Griff!

Arlo Parks

Where do I even start with Arlo Parks' success this year?! Firstly, let's start with her ground-breaking open and honest debut album ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’. Released at the end of January, it reached number three in the UK and won the 2021 Mercury Prize award which is HUGE!

Speaking to her for the first time at the end of 2020 during a shoot for Nike, she was so lovely and gentle just like her music. It’s been so amazing to witness all her success this year, it really has been continuous. She was featured as an Apple Music Up Next artist, Apple Music’s monthly artist programme geared towards showcasing rising star talent, won Best Breakthrough Artist at the BRITs, and has billboards all the way from New York to LA. As well as that, she's been performing on TV all over the world, making appearances on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden and The Graham Norton Show to name a few, which are all iconic.

2022 is already looking real exciting for her, with loads of rescheduled tour dates all over the world and TWO GRAMMY NOMINATIONS for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album. Keep winning Arlo!


Queen Enny! Enny’s single 'Peng Black Girls' was released at the end of 2020 and still managed to be one of my most played songs throughout 2021. She just makes it look so effortless, rapping the realness and giving us great music.

Since releasing her debut single last year she's had her foot on the gas, dropping a cold remix of ‘Peng Black Girls’ with Jorja Smith on 'A Colors Show', which now has over 15 million views! I just had to get her on the show early in 2021 to chat for the first time as my Ascending Artist and congratulate her on everything.

Back in July she dropped her debut EP ‘Under 25’. Knowing this had been a long time coming for her, I think it really proved she is here to stay.

A super refreshing sound in the UK rap scene, Enny is one of the most exciting artists hailing from London right now. She's already had a track on Fifa 2022, sold out her headline show back in August and performed at the MOBO's with Bellah. Plus, she's rounded off the year supporting Little Simz at her sold out show! Keep smashing it Enny.

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Pink Pantheress

Now I’m not afraid to own up to this, I spend countless hours a day on TikTok when I probably should be working hard on other things, but the biggest positive from that was discovering Pink Pantheress. I kept hearing her songs on everyone's videos and thought who is this?! Tried so hard to find out about her online but couldn't find a thing, she was like a mystery! I had to go back and listen to all her releases and heard her sample the UK classic 'Starz In Their Eyes' by Just Jack and I knew she must have been from the UK. So you already know I had to get her on the show and make her my Ascending Artist for the week.

She was so calm, lovely and just taking every day as it comes and we spoke about her balancing university and her songs going viral on TikTok. Just like Enny, she creates music that no one else is making and it's just so refreshing.

Since then she's released her super short mixtape 'TO HELL WITH IT’, performed sold out shows and even had Central Cee sample her viral sensation 'Just For Me' on his track 'Obsessed With You' which went on to be a top 5 single here in the UK.  

In her own words “This year has been a madness”. With still so much to come, I’m so excited to see it all.

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Rebecca presents The Rebecca Judd Show Monday-Thursday 9-11am on Apple Music 1, and Party Starters Radio on Saturdays from 5pm on Apple Music Hits.

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