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Looking back at 2011 in music, some of the year’s big stories were ruled by major popstars — Katy Perry and Rihanna’s chart domination, Lady Gaga’s ongoing costume changes and baffling videos, Beyonce’s ongoing flawlessness, Adele’s never-ending vocal glory. And, of course hip-hop’s heavy hitters like Jay-Z and Kanye’s collaboration, Drake’s long-awaited (and worth-the-wait) album, and Wiz Khalifa’s big breakthrough.

But what about the bands that broke through in 2011? The groups that grew from music blog acclaim to radio chart-climbers to… wait… are they playing “Cough Syrup” AT MY STARBUCKS? Well we weren’t content to let some of our favorite bands that went from near-obscurity to near-ubiquity in 2011 not get their due. So we took a good hard look at some of the most buzzed-about bands (specifically, big musical acts that consisted of at least two or more people, and no, Lady Gaga and Jo Calderone do NOT count as two people in this case) and came up with a list of our favorite breakthrough bands of the year. A Day To Remember, All Star Weekend, Big Time Rush, Black Veil Brides, Breathe Carolina, Foster The People, Hot Chelle Rae, Karmin, Mindless Behavior, Odd Future, and Young The Giant.

Check out the list of breakthrough bands below, and vote for your favorite breakthrough band of 2011. We’ll announce the winner on Friday, Dec. 16 at 12pm ET!

Big Time Rush: You’re probably thinking, well, of course boy band Big Time Rush made this list. Both Buzzworthy and Nickelodeon are rocking on Viacom’s dime, after all. And true, Big Time Rush the show has been one of Nickelodeon’s top shows since it premiered in early 2010, pulling in over 7 million viewers, making it Nickelodeon’s biggest live-action series debut ever. But Big Time Rush the band has become a runaway success in its own right since the 2011 release of their smash singles, “Worldwide” and “If I Ruled The World,” which have sold millions of downloads. Their sophomore album, Elevate, was just released less than a month ago, debuted at #12 on the Billboard 200 chart, and it’s already poised to outsell their B.T.R. debut. Another year of relentless touring — including a winter stint at Radio City — and their upcoming TV movie, Big Time Movie, should help.

You can vote for Big Time Rush by clicking HERE.

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