(Photo: So So Def Records)

Brandon Hines

He may seem new to most, but Brandon Hines has been putting in work for years. He was a contestant on the first season of American Idol and released his debut LP while studying at Howard University, its success motivating him to pursue music full-time. Now the sultry R&B crooner is a BET Music Matters artist who’s worked with everyone from Jermaine Dupri to R. Kelly, he’s signed to Epic Records and released the popular EP In Search Of.