THE HEAT: Neo soul’s sexy songbird literally struck gold this yea with her debut album, “Ctrl”. Did we mention she’s headlining a national tour? If you’re not daydreaming about her, you will be soon.
2. Karrueche TranSource:Getty
THE HEAT: The petite stunner spent the last two years proving she’s more than a famous singer’s ex. After putting in work with a string of smaller gigs (think “A Weekend with the Family”), she clawed her way to career defining gig on TNT.
3. Trevante RhodesSource:Getty
THE HEAT: The actor may have turned heads by showing off his biceps in “Moonlight”, but he’s got three big screen projects—”Bird Box”, “12 Strong” and “The Predator”—that will keep fans drooling over his…skills as a thespian.
4. Tessa ThompsonSource:Getty
THE HEAT: Marvel fans will recognize Tessa from “Thor: Ragnarok” (out now) but she’s been a working girl for a minute. She can name drop projects ranging from “Veronica Mars” to “Selma”.
5. Yahya Abdul-Mateen IISource:Getty
THE HEAT: Yahya’s scored roles in promising flicks like “Baywatch” but the wave that lies ahead is even bigger. Next, he shows off his super powers—besides that grin—in “Aquaman” (out next year).
THE HEAT: Kelela’s making noise in the music industry by doing her own thing. Her album, “Take Me Apart”, is charting worldwide.
7. Jay EllisSource:Getty
THE HEAT: Landing the role of Lawrence in HBO’s era-defining series, “Insecure”, is opening production suite doors all over Hollywood for Jay. He’s bringing his rom-come vibes to the big screen in 2018.
8. Lakeith StanfieldSource:Getty
THE HEAT: Shame on you if you don’t at least recognize Lakeith’s face. He’s been in some of the biggest projects of 2016/2017, including “Get Out”, “Atlanta” and “The Incredible Jessica James”.
9. Kofi SiriboeSource:Getty
THE HEAT: Thanks to the blockbuster flick “Girls Trip”, “Mr. Steal Your Mom” is a familiar face among ladies across the nation. Kofi’s also been putting in work on OWN’s hit “Queen Sugar” and FOX’s “Snowfall”.
10. Nathalie EmmanuelSource:Getty
THE HEAT: Ever heard of a little show called “Game of Thrones”? Well, Nathalie plays Missandei, Daenerys’ right hand woman. She’s also reprising her role as Harriet in”The Maze Runner” franchise.
11. Y’lan NoelSource:Getty
THE HEAT: You know Y’lan from “Insecure”—and that infamous ejaculation scene. Luckily, he’s getting more play in real life than on the show. Fans will see his face on the big screen next in thriller “The Purge: The Island”.
12. Zazie BeetzSource:Getty
THE HEAT: “Atlanta”. “Geostorm”. “Deadpool 2”. Zazie’s latest projects have propelled her from rubbing elbows with the who’s who of Hollywood to joining the list.
13. Aja Naomi KingSource:Getty
THE HEAT: With a killer gig on ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder”, Aja is spending her down time nabbing roles in films such as “The Birth of a Nation” and “A Girl From Mogadishu”.
14. Jacob Ming-TrentSource:Getty
THE HEAT: It’s finally Showtime for this former theater kid, who plays Jay Pharaoh’s right hand man in the “White Famous”. Jacob’s showing his diversity in the months to come—his work cup runneth over with dramas.
15. Lena WaitheSource:Getty
THE HEAT: She’s the first African-American woman to score a Primetime Emmy Award as a comedy writer. Lena is a fan of writing what she knows and it’s paid off. Showtime picked up her new autobiographical series, “The Chi”.
16. Gary CarrSource:Getty
THE HEAT: The British actor is turning heads stateside with his role on “The Deuce”, which takes a look at the seedy side of Manhattan life in the 70s.
17. Winnie HarlowSource:Getty
THE HEAT: With more than 2 million IG followers, Winnie continues to be a model of beauty and body positive advocacy. When she’s not strutting her physique down runways, the it girl is making appearances in projects such as Beyonce’s “Lemonade”.
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