OK, now what does Best New Artist mean to the Recording Academy again?
Because it certainly doesn't mean you just started making music sometime during the prior 12 months.
Well, according to the rules, you must have released a minimum of one album or at least five songs, but no more than 30 tracks or three albums. You can't have been included in the category more than three times before as a member of another entity or doing something different as a performer. And, perhaps the one that resonates the most: you "must have achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and impacted the musical landscape during the eligibility period."
Check, check, check, check, check, check, check and... check.
From the names you couldn't have avoided even if you were in a coma, like Lizzo and Lil Nas X, to the less heralded but critically acclaimed likes of Black Pumas and Yola, the 2020 nominees for the Best New Artist Grammy run the gamut in style, but with all signs pointing to a new frontier in how music is made, how listeners are finding it, the messages the artists are striving to communicate, and the ways in which artists are connecting with their fans.
"It's just crazy to me because I grew up as a fan and I still am a fan, you know," Billie Eilish, who just turned 18, told the Recording Academy in 2018. "I'm a fan of so much music and art and artists and stuff, and I grew up with their sort of mindset, and now, I'm seeing it from the other side, but also, being on the other side, it's weird. It's just something that doesn't happen, so when it happens, it's like, 'What the f--k?'"
Not only that, but now she has six Grammy nominations, too.
And since not everyone in the Best New Artist category has been as ubiquitous as Eilish, you'll impress everyone at your viewing party after you've read this primer on the teen and her fellow nominees:
Whoever wins will join a swell club that includes Dua Lipa, Chance the Rapper, Adele, Carrie Underwood and Alicia Keys, who returns as host for the second straight year.