The Grammy Award for Best New Artist is notorious for using a fuzzy definition of the word “new.” Officially, nominees have to have released “the first recording which establishes the[ir] public identity” in the eligibility window — even if their actual debut came out years earlier, which can lead to some confusion.
But it turns out the Best New Artist category does enforce certain rules. As Variety points out, this year’s biggest breakout act, Lady Gaga, won’t even get a shot at the award, since her hit “Just Dance” was already nominated for Best Dance Recording last year. Other rules disqualify Kid Cudi and Phoenix. So if none of those artists can even be nominated, who should?
Variety picked out a few possibilities, including Keri Hilson, Owl City, Kevin Rudolf, Diane Birch, and others. With the exception of Keri Hilson, none of those choices quite thrill me, to be honest. How about, say, Grizzly Bear? (Yes, Veckatimest is their third album, but it’s the one that likely put them on Grammy voters’ radar for the first time. They could be this year’s Feist.) Or the Dead Weather, who had an actual debut album that made it into the Billboard 200’s Top 10? Or, taking things in a poppier direction, Jeremih? I can’t be the only person who thinks the genius of “Birthday Sex” deserves to be noted in the Recording Academy’s historical record — or then again, maybe I can.
You must have some even better suggestions, so have at it. Who should get a Best New Artist nomination this year? The nominees will be announced in a live telecast on Dec. 2, so you still have a couple of weeks to sway the Academy’s voters.