From Amy Winehouse to Billie Eilish to Sheryl Crow, the Best New Artist category has historically crowned artists who have turned out to be some of our biggest stars ever.
Before we get into it, you may be thinking, "I've been listening to these nominated artists for years already, how are they new?" You're not wrong! Here's what the Grammys themselves say about their criteria for the award:
"Essentially, a "new artist" is defined for the GRAMMY process as any performing artist or established performing group who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist or established group as a performer."
Without further ado, let's meet this year's nominees:
Ingrid is a country-pop singer from Colorado. She grew up learning to play the piano and drums, and went on to attend Berklee College of Music to major in songwriting and performance. Ingrid's debut single "More Hearts Than Mine" placed 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2019. She then released her debut studio album Lady Like in March 2020. With this, she placed number 1 on the Billboard Emerging Artists chart in April 2020. Ingrid has also written songs for mainstream pop-stars like Sam Hunt, Charli XCX, and Alicia Keys.
Bridgers released her debut studio album Stranger in the Alps in 2017, but her critically acclaimed album Punisher released in 2020 was what caused her to break out into the spotlight. She is also known as a member of boygenius, an indie music group made up of Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus. The songwriter has also been featured on multiple The 1975 songs, and was slated to tour with the band before the pandemic cancelled all live music events. Bridgers recently appeared on the SNL stage where she performed "Kyoto" and "I Know The End," and shocked the world with a guitar smash. The singer's music can be categorized as indie rock, indie folk, and emo folk.
CHIKA is an American songwriter, rapper, poet, model, and actress. She released her debut single "No Squares" in April of 2019 and has performed on Jimmy Kimmel. Following her success, she signed a record deal with Warner Records and released two more singles following this. CHIKA released her debut studio EP on March 12, 2020. The rapper has also been nominated for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding New Artists. CHIKA's newest EP was just released today, March 12 of 2020. The star is also an outspoken Black Lives Matter activist both on the internet and in her music.
Growing up in the spotlight next to her sister, Noah has been involved with acting since the age of 2. She released her debut single "Make Me (Cry)" in 2016, and has been consistently releasing music and collaborating with artists since. She also opened up for Katy Perry's Witness Tour in 2017. Cyrus released "July" as the first single of her second EP in 2019, a popular song that gained much mainstream attention. Cyrus released her second EP The End of Everything in May of 2020.
Daniel Anthony Farris, aka D Smoke, is a songwriter and rapper from California. Farris graduated from UCLA and was a Spanish and music theory teacher at Inglewood High School. He first gained attention after winning the first season of Rhythm & Flow in 2019, a Netflix music competition show. His debut album Black Habits was released in February of 2020.
Doja Cat is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer. She's been recording and releasing music on SoundCloud since she was a teenager, and released her first EP in 2014. Doja was first came to media attention when her single "Mooo!" went viral on the internet in 2019. Other songs on her debut album would eventually succumb to more internet success, including "Tia Tamera" and "Juicy." Her second studio album, Hot Pink, reached top 10 on the US Billboard 200, causing her single "Say So" to see commercial success, and was eventually remixed with Nicki Minaj.
KAYTRANADA is a Hatian-Canadian DJ and record producer who began releasing mixtapes and remixes in 2010. He signed a deal with XL Recordings in 2014, causing him to release his first studio album 99.9%, which was critically acclaimed. He released a second album, Bubba, in 2019, which was also well-received by critics. His music can be described as electronic, hip-hop, dance, house, funk, and more. The DJ has collabed with artists like GoldLink, Anderson .Paak, and Pharrell Williams.
Megan Thee Stallion
The last artist nominated just had one of the most successful years of any artist. Megan Thee Stallion is a rapper, songwriter, and singer. She first came to some success when she released videos of her freestyling on Instagram. The star started out with a solo debut EP in 2017, featuring "Last Week in HTx" which became her most popular song at the time. The star was signed to 300 Entertainment in 2018, and released her album-lengthed mixtape Fever in 2019. Her 2020 EP Suga was met with widespread attention, which included her popular single "Savage," which was eventually rereleased as a remix with Beyoncé. Megan has gained incredible amounts of attention in 2020, between her feature with Cardi B on "WAP," her debut studio album Good News, and her music consistently going Tik Tok viral.
It's safe to say that this is a tough line-up to pick from, but we know that no matter who wins the award, it will be well-deserved!