3 Pop Artists Who Are Making Jazz Cool Again In 2024

If pop is the musical equivalent of widely enjoyed fast food, jazz would be its high-brow, haute counterpart. However, several mainstream artists aim to combine the best of modern pop and classic jazz worlds.

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Jazz will occasionally peek its head into the world of Top 40 tracks every one or two musical cycles, with artists like Norah Jones, Michael Buble, and Amy Winehouse at the forefront of these movements in years past. But inevitably, the jazz-influenced sounds of any one generation will give way to other genres like rock, country, and hip-hop.

From lush, orchestral instrumentation to grooving bossa nova rhythms, these modern pop artists are bringing jazz back into the mainstream in 2024.

Billie Eilish

Even before Billie Eilish came out with “Billie Bossa Nova” in July 2021, her unique vocal delivery ushered in a completely different sonic experience within the mainstream pop universe. Rather than following the tradition of the bold and brash pop belt, Eilish took the opposite approach with her breathy and soft vocal timbre. Her distinct timbre and sparse accompaniment on her 2019 debut ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ garnered widespread acclaim, including four Grammy awards.

Eilish’s sophomore follow-up, ‘Happier Than Ever,’ put the singer’s feathery vocals on full display with its laidback track listing. Of the album’s 16 songs, “Billie Bossa Nova” is perhaps the most obvious nod to the jazz tradition. The song appropriately utilizes Latin, samba-esque rhythms, serving as a driving force behind Eilish’s light-as-air vocals. The pop star leaned further into her new jazz-centric aesthetic in 2021 when she performed the standard “I’m In The Mood For Love” at the BBC Radio 1 Lounge.


A classically trained cellist and Berklee College of Music graduate, Icelandic singer Laufey rose to prominence at the start of 2020. Her first single, “Street by Street,” charted at No. 1 on Icelandic Radio in 2020. Two years later, Laufey released her full-length debut, ‘Everything I Know About Love,’ which charted No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative New Artist Album chart. Her sophomore LP, ‘Bewitched,’ would later win a Grammy award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album in 2024.

Laufey’s tongue-in-cheek, pop-sensible lyricism and stunning jazz arrangements create a distinct blend of pop and jazz. As her star power continues to grow, Laufey has become an outspoken advocate for the modernization of jazz. In a 2023 interview with Russh, Laufey said, “[What Taylor Swift has] done for pop and country [is] what I hope to do for jazz. She has managed to unite people across the world, which is one of my main goals as a musician.”


Raye has been in the music industry for years, but she didn’t release her debut solo album, ‘My 21st Century Blues,’ until February 2023. Prior to this release, the native South Londoner made a name for herself writing hits for other pop stars like Beyoncé and Rihanna. She has an impressive number of accolades despite her short solo career, including a BMI Impact Award, six Brit Awards, a Brits Billion Award, and an Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song.

Combining old Hollywood noir á la Lana Del Rey and the life-weary grit of Amy Winehouse, Raye has created a jazz-centric space all her own within pop music. In a 2023 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Raye said jazz “is my most consumed genre. I find so much peace and joy in [it]. There’s just no rules. It can bend or move anywhere, but at the same time, when you have a slower number, it’s so emotive, powerful, beautiful, romantic, and/or painful.”

(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

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