Grammy Award for Best New Artist

"Best New Artist" redirects here. For other uses, see Best New Artist (disambiguation).
Grammy Award for Best New Artist
Country United States
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded 1959
Currently held by Chance the Rapper (2017)
Official website

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.

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. The award was revoked, but was not handed out to another artist.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 25 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 with Marc Cohn in 1992. Only four 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 and Norah Jones in 2003.

Of all the winners, only three have been country artists. In 1997, LeAnn Rimes became the first country artist to win the award.[5][6] She was followed by Carrie Underwood in 2007[6][7] and Zac Brown Band in 2010.[8] Additionally, 2017 marked the first time that two country artists were nominated in this category in the same year.[9]

1984 marked the first time that all of the nominees were from outside of the United States (Winner Culture Club, Eurythmics, and Musical Youth were from England, Big Country was from Scotland, and Men Without Hats were from Canada).[10]


Rules changesEdit

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 can be nominated as long as that artist has not previously released an entire album and has subsequently not won a Grammy.[11][12] In June 2016, the Grammy organisation 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”.[13] To be eligible in the category of Best New Artist, the artist, duo, or group:

  • Must have released a minimum of five singles/tracks or one album, but no more than 30 singles/tracks or three albums.
  • May not have entered into this category more than three times, including as a performing member of an established group.
  • Must have achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and impacted the musical landscape during the eligibility period.

These new rules will be effective from the 2017 Grammy season.







Year[I] Image Recipient Nominees Ref.
2010   Zac Brown Band [51]
2011   Esperanza Spalding [52]
2012   Justin Vernon, lead singer and guitarist Bon Iver [53]
2013   Nate Ruess, lead singer fun. [54]
2014   Macklemore & Ryan Lewis [54]
2015   Sam Smith [55]
2016   Meghan Trainor [54]
2017   Chance the Rapper [56]

^[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.[57][58]
^[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. The award was revoked, but was not handed out to another artist, therefore rendering the 1990 recipient vacant.

See alsoEdit




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  3. ^ "And the winner is ... what's your name again?". Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Taffy Danoff (Interviewee) (2002). VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders (TV-Series). North America: VH1. 
  5. ^ "Billboard Magazine. March 8, 1997". Billboard. March 8, 1997. 
  6. ^ a b Christina Vinson. "Top 10 Country Grammy Awards Moments". The Boot. 
  7. ^ Shawn S. Lealos (November 3, 2015). "Carrie Underwood sets new record after first six albums debut at number one". AXS. 
  8. ^ Claire Suddath (February 1, 2010). "Grammy Awards 2010: The Zac Brown Band". 
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  12. ^ Michaels, Sean (July 8, 2010). "Lady Gaga snub prompts change in Grammy rules". The Guardian. London. Retrieved October 10, 2011. Eligibility rules for best new artist category revised following exclusion of the dance-pop diva last year 
  13. ^ Press Release, 16 June 2016
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  15. ^ "Elite of the Record Industry Await the Grammy Awards". The Palm Beach Post. March 14, 1971. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
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  18. ^ Deutsch, Linda (January 19, 1974). "Stevie Wonder Nominated For Six Grammy Awards". The Day. The Day Publishing Company. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
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  28. ^ "Veterans top Grammy nominations". The Herald. The McClatchy Company. January 8, 1987. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  29. ^ McShane, Larry (January 15, 1988). "Irish rockers among Grammy nominees". The Telegraph. Telegraph Publishing Company. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  30. ^ De Atley, Richard (January 11, 1989). "Grammy nominations: Tracy Chapman, Bobby McFerrin lead pack". Pittsburgh Press. E. W. Scripps Company. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Grammys reach out to young listeners". Lodi News-Sentinel. February 21, 1990. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  32. ^ Pareles, Jon (January 11, 1991). "Grammy Nominees Announced". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  33. ^ Snider, Eric (February 26, 1992). "Cole's 'Unforgettable' wins song of the year". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved April 24, 2010. [dead link]
  34. ^ Antczak, John (January 8, 1993). "Clapton leads the pack of Grammy nominees". Deseret News. Deseret News Publishing Company. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Sting Leads Grammy Nominations With Six". Reading Eagle. Reading Eagle Company. January 7, 1994. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  36. ^ "The line forms for Grammys". St. Petersburg Times. January 6, 1995. Retrieved April 24, 2010. [dead link]
  37. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 5, 1996). "New Faces in Grammy Nominations". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  38. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 8, 1997). "Babyface, Celine Dion And Pumpkins Compete For Multiple Grammys". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  39. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 7, 1998). "Grammy Nominations Yield Surprises, Including Newcomer's Success". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
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  41. ^ "Santana nominated for 10 Grammy Awards". Lodi News-Sentinel. January 5, 2000. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  42. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 4, 2001). "Broad Field, No Standout In Grammy Nominations". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
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  47. ^ Moss, Corey (February 3, 2006). "Why (Fill In The Blank) Deserves The Best New Artist Grammy". MTV. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
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  49. ^ Kot, Greg (February 10, 2008). "The Grammys: Who will win and who won't but should have". The Providence Journal. A. H. Belo. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  50. ^ "The real Grammy drama is in the smaller categories". The Providence Journal. A. H. Belo. February 8, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  51. ^ "Beyonce tops Grammy nominations with 10 nods". Daily Times. December 4, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  52. ^ Martens, Todd (December 1, 2010). "Grammys 2011: Justin Bieber, Florence + the Machine and the best new artist crop". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  53. ^ List of nominees for the 54th Grammy Awards
  54. ^ a b c "58th Annual GRAMMY Awards Winners & Nominees". The GRAMMYs. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  55. ^ "57th Grammy Nominees". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  56. ^ "Here Is the Complete List of Nominees for the 2017 Grammys". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  57. ^ "Past Winners Search". The GRAMMYs. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  58. ^ "GRAMMY Flashback: The Year Without A Best New Artist". POP! Goes The Charts. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 

External linksEdit