How ‘New’ Are They? – Billboard


What constitutes a brand new artist? It’s a query that’s seemingly on the minds of many who’ve pored over the listing of finest new artist nominees at subsequent 12 months’s Grammys.

Certainly, this 12 months’s crop — introduced together with the remainder of the nominees on Friday (Nov. 10) — consists of a number of acts with notably deep discographies. Jelly Roll — certainly one of 2023’s largest breakthroughs — began releasing an extended string of albums greater than a decade in the past. Victoria Monét put out her debut EP manner again in 2015. And previous to releasing this 12 months’s Lover’s Sport, Americana duo The War and Treaty already had three albums beneath their belt and years of expertise outdoors the band earlier than that.

That is removed from a brand new phenomenon. Chance the Rapper, who received finest new artist in 2017, had launched three albums previous to profitable the award. Lizzo had additionally put out three full-lengths, together with her breakthrough smash Cuz I Love You, previous to her 2020 nomination within the class. And the class’s 2011 winner, Esperanza Spalding, had likewise put out a trio of albums previous to taking dwelling the award.

A few of that is the results of The Recording Academy altering the eligibility standards over the past decade-and-a-half. After Lady Gaga was deemed ineligible for finest new artist in 2010 as a result of she’d been nominated for a Grammy for finest dance recording the 12 months prior, the academy up to date its guidelines to permit earlier nominees to be nominated for finest new artist — simply so long as they hadn’t truly received a Grammy, or launched a whole album.

Six years after that, the academy once more up to date the eligibility necessities “to take away the album barrier given present traits in how new music and creating artists are launched and promoted.” It additionally required artists to have “launched a minimal of 5 singles/tracks or one album, however not more than 30 singles/tracks or three albums” with a view to qualify.

In 2020, the academy up to date the necessities as soon as extra by declining to specify the “most variety of releases” an artist might put out earlier than being deemed ineligible. As a substitute, it acknowledged that “screening committees will decide whether or not the artist had attained a breakthrough or prominence previous to the eligibility 12 months.” At this time, the academy formally describes the class as recognizing “an artist whose eligibility-year launch(s) achieved a breakthrough into the general public consciousness and notably impacted the musical panorama.” In sum, the definition of “new” has grow to be extra open-ended than ever.

That could be why this 12 months’s group of nominees is arguably one of the crucial head-scratching in Grammys historical past. Beneath, we check out simply how “new” this 12 months’s finest new artist nominees actually are.

The 2024 Grammy Awards ceremony will likely be telecast dwell from Enviornment in Los Angeles on Feb. 4.

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