Fast-rising country star Scotty McCreery has achieved quite a few milestones already in his relatively short career, and now Billboard Magazine has recognized the young singer as one of the hottest minor artists in their ’21 Under 21′ list for his contribution to the music business.

McCreery first came to public attention by winning the tenth season of the hit Fox singing competition ‘American Idol.’ His debut album, ‘Clear as Day,’ sold a million copies and was certified platinum, placing the Top 20 hits ‘I Love You This Big’ and ‘The Trouble With Girls.’ The album also posted the largest opening week sales of any artist of 2011.

The 18-year-old country crooner spent part of 2012 on the road with Brad Paisley and the Band Perry, and he also took home honors from the ACM Awards and the CMT Music Awards. McCreery ranks in fourth place in Billboard’s list of the 21 hottest stars under the age of 21, which also features pop icons Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and (of course) Justin Bieber.

McCreery will release a Christmas album titled ‘Christmas With Scotty McCreery‘ on Oct. 16. He has been working on writing for a sophomore studio album, which he says will feature more mature musical themes.