Grammy Award for Best New Artist

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Grammy Award for Best New Artist
CountryUnited States
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded1959
Currently held by Megan Thee Stallion (2021)
Website grammy.com

The Grammy Award for Best New Artist has been awarded since 1959. [1] Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were handed out, for records released in the previous year. The award was not presented in 1967. The official guidelines are as follows: "For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist." Note that this is not necessarily the first album released by an artist.

Contents

It is sometimes asserted, with varying degrees of sincerity, that winning the award is a curse, as several award winners (particularly from the late 1970s and early 1980s) were never able to duplicate the success they experienced in their debut year. [2] [3] This viewpoint was expressed by former Starland Vocal Band member Taffy Danoff in a 2002 interview for VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders: "We got two of the five Grammys – one was Best New Artist. So that was basically the kiss of death and I feel sorry for everyone who's gotten it since." [4]

The category is also notable for being the only one of its kind in which a Grammy Award was vacated. This occurred in 1990 after it was revealed winners Milli Vanilli did not contribute their own vocals on their debut album. [5] The award was revoked but was not handed out to another artist.

Of the 54 awards presented in the category since its inception, the honor has been presented to 26 solo female artists, 18 duos or groups, and 11 solo male artists. Between 1997 and 2003, all the winners were solo female artists. Also, from 1993 to 2005, no winner was a solo male artist. In 2006, John Legend broke this trend, which started after Marc Cohn in 1992. Only five artists have won both Best New Artist and Album of the Year in the same year: Bob Newhart in 1961, Christopher Cross in 1981, Lauryn Hill in 1999, Norah Jones in 2003, and Billie Eilish in 2020. Of these, Cross, Jones, and Eilish had songs winning Record of the Year and Song of the Year for the same year, with Cross as the sole songwriter, Eilish as co-writer, and Jones lacking songwriting credit, which therefore made her miss out on completing the single year big four Grammy achievement, a feat that only Cross and Eilish attained. Only two artists have lost Best New Artist yet won Album of the Year in the same year: Vaughn Meader in 1963 and Alanis Morissette in 1996.

Of all the winners, only one (Esperanza Spalding) has been a jazz artist [6] and only three have been country artists. In 1997, LeAnn Rimes became the first country artist and (at age 14) the youngest artist to win the award. [7] [8] [9] She was followed by Carrie Underwood in 2007 [9] [10] and Zac Brown Band in 2010. [11] Additionally, 2017 marked the first time that two country artists were nominated in this category in the same year, in which Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini were both nominated. [12] In 2018, Alessia Cara became the first Canadian artist to ever win the award, and the only woman to win a major category that year. In 2020, Rosalía became the first all Spanish-language artist to be nominated. 2021 marked the first time that multiple female rappers were nominated in the same year, when Chika, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion were all nominated, with the latter winning the award.

David Crosby and Carl Palmer hold the unique distinction of being the only artists to be nominated twice for this award. Palmer was nominated both time as a member of a supergroup: Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia, while Crosby was nominated as a member of The Byrds and won as a member of the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash.

1984 marked the first time that all of the nominees were from outside the United States (Winner Culture Club, Eurythmics, Musical Youth, and Big Country were from the United Kingdom, and Men Without Hats were from Canada). [13]

Process

Members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences nominate their choices for the best new artist. A list of the top twenty artists is given to the Nominations Review Committee, a specially selected group of anonymous members, who initially selected the top five artists to gain a nomination in the category in a special ballot; the number of nominated artists was increased to eight in 2018. [14] [15] The rest of the members then vote on a winner from the final nominees. [16]

Rules changes

Over the years, the eligibility rules for this category have changed several times. In 2010, Lady Gaga's exclusion from the Best New Artist category caused the Recording Academy to change eligibility requirements for the next ceremony. She was ineligible for the nomination because her hit "Just Dance" had been nominated in 2008. The new rule stated that an artist may be nominated as long as that artist has not previously released an entire album and has subsequently not won a Grammy. [17] [18] In June 2016, the Grammy organization amended the Best New Artist rules once again, to remove the album barrier “given current trends in how new music and developing artists are released and promoted”. [19] To be eligible in the category of Best New Artist, the artist, duo, or group:

These new rules were put on effect with the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. The category was expanded to include eight nominees in 2019. [20] From 2021, the screening committees will be charged with determining whether the artist had attained a breakthrough or prominence prior to the eligibility year. Such a determination would result in disqualification. [21]

Recipients

1960s

Inaugural winner, Bobby Darin went on to score 22 top 40 hits in America, including five top three hits and a number one song. Bobby Darin 1959.JPG
Inaugural winner, Bobby Darin went on to score 22 top 40 hits in America, including five top three hits and a number one song.
Bob Newhart won the Grammy for his work as a comedian. The same year he also won the Album of the Year award. He is the only non-musician to win this award. Comedian Bob Newhart.jpg
Bob Newhart won the Grammy for his work as a comedian. The same year he also won the Album of the Year award. He is the only non-musician to win this award.
Peter Nero (left) was the first Jazz musician to win the award. Peter Nero Ethel Merman Bell Telephone Hour 1964.JPG
Peter Nero (left) was the first Jazz musician to win the award.
The Swingle Singers were the first group and Foreign act to win the Award and are still active today. The Swingle Singers (1964).jpg
The Swingle Singers were the first group and Foreign act to win the Award and are still active today.
The Beatles (Members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, clockwise from top left), would go on to become the best selling band of all time. The Fabs.JPG
The Beatles (Members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, clockwise from top left), would go on to become the best selling band of all time.
Bobbie Gentry became the first woman to win the award in 1968. BobbieGentry1969.jpeg
Bobbie Gentry became the first woman to win the award in 1968.
Jose Feliciano is the first Hispanic and blind artist to win the award. Grand Gala du Disque in RAI Amsterdam. Repetities. Feliciano, Bestanddeelnr 923-2992.jpg
José Feliciano is the first Hispanic and blind artist to win the award.
Year [I] RecipientNomineesRef
1960 Bobby Darin [22]
1961 Bob Newhart [23]
1962 Peter Nero [24]
1963 Robert Goulet [25]
1964 The Swingle Singers [26]
1965 The Beatles [27]
1966 Tom Jones [28]
1967 no award [II]
1968 Bobbie Gentry [29]
1969 José Feliciano [30]

1970s

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's music unerringly reflected the tastes and viewpoints of the counterculture in the late 1960s and early 1970s. CSNY 8-1974 (3).jpg
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's music unerringly reflected the tastes and viewpoints of the counterculture in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The Carpenters members Karen Carpenter and Richard Carpenter became the first duo to win the award in 1971. Carpenters - Nixon - Office.png
The Carpenters members Karen Carpenter and Richard Carpenter became the first duo to win the award in 1971.
Natalie Cole became the first African-American to win the award in 1976. Natalie Cole at the 44th Emmy Awards cropped and airbrushed.jpg
Natalie Cole became the first African-American to win the award in 1976.
Year [I] RecipientNomineesRef.
1970 Crosby, Stills & Nash [31]
1971 The Carpenters [32]
1972 Carly Simon [33]
1973 America [34]
1974 Bette Midler [35]
1975 Marvin Hamlisch [36]
1976 Natalie Cole [37]
1977 Starland Vocal Band [38]
1978 Debby Boone [39]
1979 A Taste of Honey [40]

1980s

Christopher Cross is the first "Best New Artist" winner to win this award as well as Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year all in one night. Christopher Cross in beaumont ca (2637703689).jpg
Christopher Cross is the first "Best New Artist" winner to win this award as well as Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year all in one night.
Cyndi Lauper is one of the few winners close to achieving EGOT status. Cyndi Lauper at An Evening With Women event.jpg
Cyndi Lauper is one of the few winners close to achieving EGOT status.
Year [I] RecipientNomineesRef.
1980 Rickie Lee Jones [41]
1981 Christopher Cross [42]
1982 Sheena Easton [43]
1983 Men at Work [44]
1984 Culture Club [13]
1985 Cyndi Lauper [45]
1986 Sade [46]
1987 Bruce Hornsby & The Range [47]
1988 Jody Watley [48]
1989 Tracy Chapman [49]

1990s

Mariah Carey's win in 1991 is one of her few wins at the Grammys, despite over 30 nominations. Mariah Carey13 Edwards Dec 1998.jpg
Mariah Carey's win in 1991 is one of her few wins at the Grammys, despite over 30 nominations.
Sheryl Crow won two other awards at the same ceremony, including Record of the Year. SherylCrowHeartTruth.jpg
Sheryl Crow won two other awards at the same ceremony, including Record of the Year.
At the age of 14, LeAnn Rimes is the youngest artist to win the award. LeAnn Rimes.jpg
At the age of 14, LeAnn Rimes is the youngest artist to win the award.
Lauryn Hill was the first woman to win for a hip hop record. LaurynHill.jpg
Lauryn Hill was the first woman to win for a hip hop record.
Year [I] ImageRecipientNomineesRef.
1990 Milli Vanilli and C. Michael Greene.jpg Milli Vanilli (rescinded) [5] [53]
1991 Mariah Carey 1990.jpg Mariah Carey [54]
1992 Marc Cohn in Saratoga.jpg Marc Cohn [55]
1993 Arrested Development @ Supreme Court Gardens (24 1 2009) (3295913335).jpg Arrested Development [56]
1994 Diane Warren Tribute Toni Braxton 1.jpg Toni Braxton [57]
1995 SherylCrowCrossroads2007.jpg Sheryl Crow [58]
1996 Hootie and the Blowfish 1998.jpg Hootie & the Blowfish [59]
1997 Lee Ann Rimes 1999.jpg LeAnn Rimes [60]
1998 Paula-Cole 2009.jpg Paula Cole [61]
1999 Lauryn Hill Kongsberg Jazzfestival 2019 (221758).jpg Lauryn Hill [62]

2000s

Year [I] ImageRecipientNomineesRef.
2000 Christina Aguilera Sanremo.jpg Christina Aguilera [63]
2001 Shelby Lynne talking.jpg Shelby Lynne [64]
2002 Alicia Keys, Lisboa 08 c.jpg Alicia Keys [65]
2003 Norah Jones Cannes 2.jpg Norah Jones [66]
2004 Evanescence 2003 barcelona.jpg Evanescence [67]
2005 Maroon5.jpg Maroon 5 [68]
2006 John Legend by Sachyn Mital.jpg John Legend [69]
2007 CarrieUnderwoodNov09.jpg Carrie Underwood [70]
2008 AmyWinehouseBerlin2007.jpg Amy Winehouse [71]
2009 Adele 'Adele Live 2016' - Nashville DSC04653 (30373895726).jpg Adele [72]

2010s

Year [I] ImageRecipientNomineesRef.
2010 Zac Brown Band 161020-A-HD608-080 (30797232664).jpg Zac Brown Band [73]
2011 Esperanza Spalding, 2009.jpg Esperanza Spalding [74]
2012 Bon Iver@Stockholm.jpg Bon Iver [75]
2013 Fun. band.jpg Fun [76]
2014 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Sasquatch 2011.jpg Macklemore & Ryan Lewis [76]
2015 Sam Smith Lollapalooza 2015-9 (cropped).jpg Sam Smith [77]
2016 Meghan Trainor 2015 (cropped).jpg Meghan Trainor [76]
2017 Chance the Rapper 2018 February.png Chance the Rapper [78]
2018 Alessia Cara at WFUV.jpg Alessia Cara [79]
2019 Dua Lipa-0829.jpg Dua Lipa [80]

2020s

Year [I] ImageRecipientNomineesRef.
2020 The Hi Hat - Billie Eilish 08 10 2017 -8 (36529007774).jpg Billie Eilish [81]
2021 Megan Thee Stallion BBWM Awards 2019.jpg Megan Thee Stallion [82]

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.
^[II] Award for Best New Artist was not presented during the 9th Grammy Awards. [83] [84]
^[III] Milli Vanilli were originally presented with the award, but were later stripped of it after it was discovered that they did not perform their own vocals on their debut album. [5] The award was revoked, but was not handed out to another artist, therefore rendering the 1990 recipient vacant.

See also

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