How many albums are in your record collection? You see, confusion between the terms "album" and "record" are nothing new, as vinyl albums and vinyl records are often called “records”—but this terminology has roots in the history of both.
In the early days of vinyl, a 45-rpm (meaning "revolutions per minute") disc would hold one recording on each side, with an "A-side” —usually the hit single—and a "B-side," meaning a second single, outtake or sleeper hit.
Later, when long-playing records came around at 33 1/3-rpm, more music could be stored on each side because the rotation speed was slower, and "tracks" were born. A series of recorded songs, or tracks, could now fit on a single vinyl and make it an album.
Makes sense? Good! Now let's see how this applies to two GRAMMY Award categories in the General Field: Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year…
Fast-forward to today, when music is enjoyed in a multitude of formats: So, what makes an album eligible for the Album Of The Year category of the GRAMMY Awards? According the Recording Academy official Awards Department guidelines, recordings must contain at least five different tracks and a total playing time of 15 minutes or a total playing time of at least 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement.
Voters in this category are expected to consider the quality and artistry of the collection of tracks as a whole, and this GRAMMY is awarded to any artist, featured artist, songwriter of new material, producer, recording engineer, mixer, and mastering engineer with at least 33 percent playing time of the album. For example, last year at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Bruno Mars' 24K Magic won Album Of The Year.
On the other hand, the Record Of The Year category awards a single track and recognizes the artist’s performance as well as the overall contributions of the producer(s), recording engineer(s), and/or mixer(s), and mastering engineer(s). Bonus points if you read up on how this category is distinguished from Song Of The Year (hint: Song Of The Year is a Songwriter(s) Award…).
For example, at the 59th GRAMMY Awards, Adele's mega-hit "Hello" won Record Of The Year. Her album 25 also won Album Of The Year, but "Hello," being an individual track on that album, was eligible and victorious for Record Of The Year.
In both cases, with Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year, recordings must be released in the proper eligibility period and available to the public as stand-alone purchases or audio-only streams, although exceptions are made for opera and music video/film.
For further information on the contrast between these formats, the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame is filled with both, clearly labeled. For more helpful information on the GRAMMY Awards process, including key dates, a process overview and FAQs, head over to GRAMMY101.com.
Amy Winehouse Best New Artist winner for 2007 | Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Each year the selection of GRAMMY nominees is the result of careful consideration and voting by Recording Academy members, who must both follow hard-and-fast rules as well as exercise their expert musical judgement. The Best New Artist category highlights newcomers — whether a solo artist, duo or group — but since "new" is a relative term, let's take a closer look at how making the cut is determined.
First of all, eligible artists must have achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and impacted the musical landscape during the year's eligibility period. This speaks to the essence of why Best New Artist is one of the most-anticipated categories each year, honoring exciting new talent in the music world. But sometimes rising stars take a while to reach this point, so numerical limits also help define the criteria for being "new" in this category.
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) January 29, 2018
The first numerical rule boils eligibility down to the number of an artist's releases. The minimum required is five singles or tracks or a complete album. The maximum is either three albums or a total of 30 singles or tracks previously released. Having more than this number of releases results in being ineligible even when an artist breaks through into public consciousness and impacts the musical landscape in a given eligibility period.
However, even if this numerical release criterion is met, an artist may still be deemed ineligible if the artist achieved previous prominence, meaning the artist came into prominence prior to the current eligibility year.
Another numerical limit is that an artist cannot have been considered more than three times previously for Best New Artist. This also applies to solo artists who emerge from having performed as a member in previous groups. That's right, being previously considered three times either as a solo artist, in a previous band, or some mixture of the two means an artist is not eligible for Best New Artist consideration.
For more valuable and illuminating information on all things GRAMMY Awards process, head over to GRAMMY101.com, or reach out to the Awards Help Desk at 877.637.6816, and don't forget to tune in Feb. 10.
Today is the day the Recording Academy reveals the 61st GRAMMY Awards nominees, including this year's list of contenders for Best New Artist. This year's nominees are (cue drumroll): Chloe X Halle, Luke Combs, Greta Van Fleet, H.E.R., Dua Lipa, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith. With so much rising talent in contention this year, let's learn a bit more about each nominee's breakout year in music.
🎉 Congratulations 61st #GRAMMYs Best New Artist nominees: @chloexhalle, @lukecombs, @GretaVanFleet, @HERMusicx, @DUALIPA, @MissMargoPrice, @BebeRexha, and @JorjaSmith!— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) December 7, 2018
Get to know the nominees: https://t.co/Fd5RW7RN4U pic.twitter.com/qwTn90YwKF
Sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey, aka Chloe X Halle, may only be 20 and 18 years old, respectively, but the pop-infused R&B duo from Atlanta has been on the rise for several years already, with their first big break coming when Beyoncé noticed their YouTube cover of her song "Pretty Hurts" and signed them to her Parkwood Entertainment label in 2013. Since then, Chloe X Halle offered support for the European leg of Beyoncé's 2016 Formation Tour and the U.S. leg of her and Jay-Z's On The Run II Tour earlier this year.
Chloe X Halle released their debut album The Kids Are Alright in March 2018. The album's lead single and title track was featured on the TV show "Grown-ish," and they have recurring roles in the show. The Kids Are Alright is also nominated this year for Best Urban Contemporary Album.
Originally from Ashville, N.C., rising country singer Luke Combs moved to Nashville in 2014 to pursue his passion of performing live and making music. Inspired by his country heroes Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan, he steadily gained a following in the country music world after getting signed to Colombia Nashville and re-releasing his hit single "Hurricane" in 2016, which has since gone double platinum. Combs has spawned more hits, including "Beautiful Crazy," since releasing his debut album, This One's For You, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart.
Twin brothers Josh and Jake Kiszka (age 21), their younger brother Sam (age 19), and friend Danny Wagner (also 19), from Frankenmuth, Mich. make up revivalist rock band Greta Van Fleet. They may be young but listening to their songs takes you back to the golden age of '70s psychedelic rock. They had songs featured in a car commercial (targeted at "cool dads" nonetheless) and the TV show "Shameless" before they ever released their debut single, "Highway Tune," in March 2017, which spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart and catapulted them into becoming one of the most-buzzed about new rock bands. Following two EPs, they released their debut full-length album Anthem of the Peaceful Army in October 2018. Greta Van Fleet have three other nominations, with "Highway Tune" up for Best Rock Performance, "Black Smoke Rising" in the running for Best Rock Song, and their second EP, From The Fires, in consideration for Best Rock Album.
R&B singer/songwriter H.E.R., which stands for Having Everything Revealed, may prefer to not reveal everything about who she, born Gabi Wilson in Northern California (although she has yet to confirm this), is, yet her soulful music offers a window into the experiences she has had so far in her 21 years of life. She released her self-titled debut album in October 2017, which combined her first two EPs (H.E.R. Vol 1 and 2) plus 6 new tracks.
Her breakout single, "Focus," originally part of H.E.R Vol. 1, got the attention of Rihanna, who shared the song in an Instagram video in April 2017 to her over 66 million followers. The song's video, released in March 2018, has racked almost 6 million views on YouTube. She is the running for four additional GRAMMYs in her debut year, including for both Album Of The Year and Best R&B Album for H.E.R., Best R&B Performance for "Best Part" featuring Daniel Caesar and Best R&B Song for "Focus," which she co-wrote with Darhyl Camper Jr. and Justin Love.
Learn More: Something About Her: The Mystery Of H.E.R.
Rising 23-year-old popstar Dua Lipa, hailing from London, has been on a roll since her breakout single "New Rules" took the internet and airwaves by storm as one of the singles from her self-titled debut LP, released in June 2017. The song's has gone on to spawn fan videos from around the world and rack up over 1.5 billion views on YouTube to date. In April 2018 Calvin Harris dropped "One Kiss" featuring the singer/songwriter, and in September, Silk City, the Diplo and Mark Ronson production duo, put out another viral Lipa-track, "Electricity." The latter trio is in the running this year for Best Dance Recording for "Electricity."
Nashville-based 33-year-old Americana singer/songwriter Margo Price started turning heads for her feminist-infused brand of country/folk music when she released "Hurtin' (On The Bottle)" in late 2015 as the lead single from her debut album, Midwest Farmer's Daughter. Price has a lot to say and isn't afraid to say it, as evidenced by her breakout sophomore album All American Made in October 2017 on Jack White's Third Man Records. The album features poignant songs such as "Pay Gap," a tribute to the ongoing fight for women's rights, and "Weakness," a look at her own feelings, pains and imperfections. The album also features an appearance from the great Willie Nelson on her song "Learning To Lose."
Bebe Rexha, born Bleta Rexha, is a 29-year-old Brooklyn-born-and-raised pop singer/songwriter who got her start in music penning songs for big stars like David Guetta, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and others, including for Eminem's GRAMMY-winning 2013 track featuring Rihanna, "The Monster." She began to make her own voice heard with several breakout collabs, including in 2015 on G-Eazy's "Me, Myself & I" and in 2016 on Martin Garrix' "In The Name Of Love." With the release of her solo single "I Got You" in 2016, the rising star carved a niche for herself in the heavily-saturated pop world. Following her three EPs, she dropped her breakout debut studio album, Expectations, in June 2018.
Not afraid to surprise her fans, Rexha went "a lil' bit country" and recorded "Meant To Be" with Florida Georgia Line in 2017, which she shared is one her favorite songs from All Your Fault: Part 2, her third EP. The song's video has over 650 million views on YouTube to date and has her and Florida Georgia Line in the running for Best Country Duo/Group Performance this year.
In Her Words: Bebe Rexha On 'All Your Fault,' Harry Potter & Cardi B
The buzz around 21-year-old R&B singer/songwriter from the U.K. Jorja Smith began almost as soon as she self-released her debut single "Blue Lights" in January 2016 on SoundCloud, gaining almost half a million listens in just a month. Her second single, "Where Do I Go," got noticed by Drake, who soon tapped her for a collab on his album More Life—you can hear her on "Jorja Interlude" and "Get It Together," which also features South African DJ/producer Black Coffee—and took her on his several dates of his 2017 Boy Meets World tour.
Smith officially arrived when she released her debut studio album Lost And Found in June 2018, which includes a re-release of "Blue Lights," along with new hit singles, including "Teenage Fantasy." She is also featured on a Kendrick Lamar track, "I Am," on the Black Panther Soundtrack, which is nominated for Album Of The Year.
Photo: Sam Wasson/Getty Images
The 27-year-old rising star took to the stage beaming ear-to-ear with her father to receive her award from GRAMMY-nominee Halsey. She shared her gratitude for being recognized for her music and the hard work she's put into it over the last five years. In 2013 she released "Amor De Dos" with Nicky Jam, which put her on the map in her native Colombia, and since then has grown her audience globally. She released her debut album Unstoppable on Oct. 27, 2017 and has continued to release hot collabs with artists like fellow current Latin GRAMMY-nominees Bad Bunny and Maluma. This year she was also nominated for Best Urban Song for "Mi Cama."
The 2018 nominees for Best New Artist at the Latin GRAMMYs were filled with plenty of other talented artists as well. The other nominees included 15-year-old Regional Mexican singer Angela Aguilar, Brazilian jazz-influenced singer Anaadi, Columbian alt-rock group LosPetitFellas, Mexican R&B-infused singer Nana Mendoza and Chilean singer/songwriter Benjamín Walker. The group also had Mexican indie-musician El David Aguilar, Dominican artist Álex Ferreira, young traditional Mexican singer Christian Nodal and Colombo-Venezuelan Latin folk artist Claudia Prieto.