No artist in the music industry dazzled these last twelve months more than Julia Michaels, who has passionately taken the world by storm as she transformed from a sagacious songwriter behind-the-scenes into a flourished soloist. Let’s take a look at everything the 24-year-old has accomplished throughout 2017, reintroducing herself as a rising pop-star and rapidly becoming one-to-watch.
Though we have previously fallen in love with Michaels through her lyrics sang by the likes of Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears and more, it wasn’t until this past January when the Iowa native fully bared us her heart and soul, allowing her own voice to be heard. Under Republic Records, who signed Michaels for a solo deal last October, she dropped her debut single “Issues.” A handful of A-list artists wanted the song for themselves, but Michaels couldn’t bare to see someone else take what hit too close to home.
“When I write for other people, or with other people, I tend to put a little bit of myself in everything that I write, but not this much,” she revealed earlier this year. “I’m uncomfortable with the idea of someone singing such a personal song of mine. And here we are.” The popular single reached number 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and became Michaels’ first top 10 hit in the United Kingdom.
In March, Michaels made her late night television debut, where she performed “Issues” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The following month, she took the stage again at the Radio Disney Music Awards. “Issues” also graced the MTV Video Music Awards and viewers at home, most notably fellow collaborator Adam Levine, publicly slammed the award show after the network cut off Michaels mid-performance. She earned a Best New Artist nod that evening as well, making it to the final two behind Khalid. The singer also received the same category nomination at this year’s American Music Awards and MTV Europe Music Awards.
Julia Michaels gets cut off while she's singing and Lorde gets to NOT sing her whole song
— Adam Levine (@adamlevine) August 28, 2017
In April, during the series finale of HBO’s Girls, a new song by Michaels titled “How Do We Get Back to Love” was premiered. In June, the T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist went on to release her second single “Uh Huh,” followed by her highly anticipated EP Nervous System on July 28.
While it was a stellar year for Michaels’ solo endeavors, she also stuck to her roots and continued working with other artists in the studio. Penning Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar” with songwriting husband Justin Tranter, the track was named the number one song on Billboard’s Top Songs of 2017 list. “Issues” also made the list, coming in at number 11. Michaels provided vocals on Clean Bandits’ “I Miss You,” Maroon 5’s “Help Me Out,” as well as “Friends” with Justin Bieber and BloodPop.
In October, the Grammy Preview edition of Billboard magazine featured Michaels on the cover alongside future fellow nominees Khalid and SZA.
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Y'all… I can't believe I'm actually going to say this but.. IM ON THE DAMN COVER OF BILLBOARD MAGAZINE!!!!! AND I'm on it with two of the most inspiring people I've met this year. so proud to share this with such beautiful people, and a fellow female Scorpio :) Thank you so much @billboard for shining light on new artists. This really is one of those "dreams really do come true" moments. ???? (p.s shout out to @ericraydavidson for getting all our good sides! ???)
That same month, Michaels, a co-writer on Linkin Park’s hit “Heavy,” performed at the band’s tribute concert to celebrate the life of late lead singer Chester Bennington, who passed away in July. While some criticized the singer for “jumping” and “smiling” on stage, Michaels took to Twitter to defend her comprehensible choices.
“I refused to look bored and solemn for someone that wasn’t either of those things,” she wrote. “I was there to help celebrate his life and his art and everything he’s accomplished and all the lives he’s changed. Not to mourn him.”
Rounding out 2017, Michaels scored the role of opening act on the Oceania leg of Shawn Mendes’ Illuminate World Tour. She also took the stage at a handful of iHeartRadio’s annual Jingle Ball shows, including Z100’s at Madison Square Garden.
Michaels will go into the new year with two prestigious Grammy nominations under her belt; one for Song of the Year and another for Best New Artist. Those she is up against some strong contenders in both categories, we are confident 2018 will pan out in Michaels’ favor. After all, she has merely scratched the surface of her ongoing success. Come spring, be sure to catch her out on the road with Niall Horan, followed by a North American trek opening for Maroon 5.
What was your favorite Julia Michaels highlight of the year? Tweet us your thoughts, @CelebMix.