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It’s the beginning of 2007, and publications everywhere are placing their bets on the would-be stars who will command the radiowaves in the coming year. The Guardian‘s list is surprisingly American, with the L.A.-based band, The Little Ones, at No. 1. The BBC, patting itself on the back for getting Corinne Bailey Rae right last year, has begun to reveal its list for 2007. The Times goes straight to the horse’s mouth, asking industry insiders who to look out for this coming year.

One name that consistently comes up is Mika (see above), a Beirut-born, London-reared new pop hunk who, according to pundits, will rule the world in 2007. The Independent‘s Luiza Sauma is barely stifling an all-out orgasm over this guy in her interview with him. She writes:

The most important thing is that Mika is a poker-hot, bona fide superstar-to-be, and the world is about to take note. Chuck Elton John, Scissor Sisters, and Queen into a blender, and Mika is what you’d get (except much, much better-looking). But for now, it’s up to the record-buying public to decide his fate. So far, the signs have been good. There’s the seven-inch single that sold out within a couple of days (“Relax, Take it Easy”), a forthcoming Paul Smith campaign, the music video shot by the ubiquitous Sophie Muller (who’s done everyone from Beyoncé to Blur), the Radio 1 support, the healthy MySpace presence. And just the other day, some guitarist called Brian May sent Mika a little note telling him just how great he thinks he is.

Naturally, when one is compared to both Elton John and Freddie Mercury, sexual orientation becomes a major point of speculation. (Whether he’s gay or straight, expect a full, open-shirt spread in Attitude magazine by May at the latest.) Admittedly, he has that tousled, white-boy ‘fro that drives me wild. But what else has he got? His first single, “Relax, Take It Easy,” sounds like low-grade Andy Gibb or a warmed-over Erasure throwaway. (Quick, someone send this boy a Sylvester record to study.) I mean, if Jake Shears can’t hit it big in the U.S. with that sound, how the hell does Universal think the boy in the red pants will?

See Mika’s official web site.

Speaking of crazy shiznit, what the hell is Iron Maiden doing on the charts in 2007, and what’s with the bad Rockstar Games-imitation video for their song, “Different World”? And note how Leona Lewis’ video for “A Moment Like This” closely rips off Kelly Clarkson’s version–but with much lower production values.

1. Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This
Watch the video

2. Take That – Patience
Watch the video

3. Iron Maiden – Different World
Watch the video

4. Akon Ft. Eminem – Smack That
Watch the video

5. Cascada – Truly Madly Deeply
Watch the video

6. Booty Luv – Boogie2nite
Watch the video

7. Girls Aloud – I Think We’re Alone Now
Watch the video

8. Sharam – PATT (Party All the Time)
Watch the video

9. Chris Cornell – You Know My Name
Watch the video

10. Gwen Stefani – Wind It Up
Watch the video

More year-end business to take care of:

The London Times’ top 40 songs of 2006, with videos.

The Independent says 2006 was the year of Lily Allen, while 2007 will be the year of the comeback.

– Also, what were the recording artists themselves listening to in 2006? Girls Aloud tart Sarah Harding shares my love for Amy Winehouse, and Kanye West – predictably – loves only Kanye West.

In other news:

– Did Kate Moss and Pete Doherty get hitched in Thailand? Kate Moss denies it.

Fatboy Slim‘s New Year’s concert went off without a hitch, but other celebrations in the UK weren’t so lucky.(Guardian)

The Guardian‘s Mark Brown celebrates the triumphant return of Kylie Minogue at the Wembley Arena.

Jordan and Peter Andre‘s child was burned in an accident at their London home.(The Sun)

– Are Posh and Becks warring over Posh’s desire to move to America? I thought David was gung-ho about El Lay lifestyle. Maybe, like the rest of us, he’s creeped out about Victoria becoming Tom Cruise’s “alien bride.”(Daily Mail)

David Bowie turns 60 on January 8th, and The Guardian‘s Lynsley Hanley fetes our hero. Plus, she names the “essential” Bowie albums. I love Young Americans, but the absence of Hunky Dory in the Top 5 is criminal.

Jay Kay of Jamiroquai plans a sabbatical in the Scottish highlands to record a jazz album.(Mirror)

The Guardian extrapolates on the British quickie. I’d like to have made a quickie with Daniel Craig.

My Family‘s Robert Lindsay is finally a married man. He wed his partner, Rosemarie Ford, on New Year’s Eve. Congratulations to the smiling newlyweds.

– On this second day of the year, The Independent offers 20 tips to good health.

Jade Goody is locked in a custody battle with her ex, says The Daily Mail.

– The final episode of Dawn French‘s beloved sitcom, The Vicar of Dibley, netted an enormous (for the UK) 12 million viewers. (Daily Mail)

Prince William‘s aides have warned him that he must become engaged to Kate Middleton before he starts his military service, or else she won’t be able to travel with him.(Daily Mail)

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.