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'The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill': For The Record
The 41st GRAMMY Awards played host to a number of historic musical moments. Aside from being a massive evening for female creators across the board – with Madonna, Alanis Morissette, Dixie Chicks, Celine Dion, and Sheryl Crowe all taking home one or more awards – the evening also saw a compelling performance by Ricky Martin that ignited a Latin Pop explosion in the coming year, as well as a series of landmark wins by Lauryn Hill including the first time in GRAMMY history that the coveted Album Of The Year honors went to a hip-hop artist.
Hill's hugely acclaimed solo debut album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill – which to this day remains her only career solo release – was a force to be reckoned with.
Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the album broke the standing record for first-week sales by a female artist, selling close to 423,000 copies in its first seven days. The album chronicles Hill's reflections on a disintegrating relationship, having emerged stronger and wiser on the other side of a period of personal darkness.
Presenting a uniquely strong female perspective on life, love and relationships that was (and still is) noticeably absent in contemporary pop music, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill was packed with lyrically deep songs that managed to be inescapably catchy and poignant at the same time. All three singles serviced to radio – "Doo Wop (That Thing)," "Ex-Factor," and "Everything Is Everything" – charted Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Doo Wop" eventually claiming the chart's top spot. "Everything Is Everything" is also notable for standing as the first recorded appearance by a young John Legend in commercial music. Legend, credited under his birth name of John Stephens, played backing piano on the track.
The album earned a total of 10 nominations at the 41st GRAMMY Awards, and Hill took the stage during the evening's festivities for a rousing performance of "To Zion," with the notable accompaniment of Carlos Santana, with whom she would share in an Album Of The Year Win at the 42nd GRAMMYs for the legendary guitarist's globally successful Clive Davis-produced smash hit album Supernatural.
Altogether, Hill took home five GRAMMY Awards for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, including Album Of The Year, Best R&B Album, Best New Artist, Best R&B Song, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance – the latter two both for "Doo Wop (That Thing)."
With her previous wins for Best Rap Album (The Score) and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal ("Killing Me Softly With His Song") as a member of the hip-hop/soul supergroup Fugees, Hill's wins at the 41st GRAMMYs brought her total career wins to seven (rising to eight total the following year, thanks to her shared win for Supernatural). Hill also remains one of just five female artists who can count two or more Album Of The Year wins among their career honors.
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Alessia Cara Wins Best New Artist | 2018 GRAMMYs
For her first GRAMMY showing, it wasn't a bad night for Best New Artist winner Alessia Cara.
She was nominated for a total of four awards at the 60th GRAMMY Awards — Best New Artist Song Of The Year and Best Music Video for "1-800-273-8255," and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Stay" with Zedd. She took home her first career GRAMMY when she earned Best New Artist honors. The other nominees were Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels, and SZA.
this is so weird and I’ll never quite process it but thank u so much for ur continuous love and support and belief in me and wow and yeah
— ac (@alessiacara) January 29, 2018
The Canadian singer/songwriter broke through with her 2015 debut single, "Here." She followed with her debut album, 2015's Know-It-All. This spawned the empowering song "Scars To Your Beautiful," which not only reached a generation looking for positive messages, but it charted Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
From there Cara featured on several high profile songs, including "1-800-273-8255," "Stay" with Zedd and "Wild" with Troye Sivan. She even made an appearance during Taylor Swift's 1989 tour and lent her voice to Disney's Moana's "How Far I'll Go."
Not only does Cara reach out to her core audience of teenagers, but she is positively redefining what it means to be a successful star, which makes Best New Artist a fitting accomplishment.
"All I'm really good at is making music and singing and doing this. I'm not good at fashion, so I don't see a point in trying to be good at that," Cara told Cosmopolitan. It's important to show that there's different ways of doing things. … I'm just trying to show people that there's another side of it. It's not only a one-sided thing. You don't have to do that to be a star. You can do anything and be a star. You can dress like however you want, and you can do whatever you want. … So that's just what I'm proving to people."
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Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels Partner With GRAMMY Awards, Uber
Ever fantasize about your favorite artist crashing your Uber ride? Now, thanks to the 60th GRAMMY Awards Uber partnership with three Best New Artist GRAMMY nominees — Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert and Julia Michaels — the rideshare company will make that dream come true for unsuspecting aspiring musician Uber drivers.
Each Best New Artist nominee will share their career stories and give a leg up to the aspiring musicians who will be surprised by the encounter. Lil Uzi Vert will surprise a Philadelphia rapper; Khalid will pair up with a beat maker; and Michaels will swap stories with an aspiringsinger.
Fans will have the chance to live vicariously through the selected Uber drivers with videos of the interactions, which will air during the 60th GRAMMYs on Jan. 28 on CBS.
"In music, everyone is working towards that big break," Amy Friedlander Hoffman, who heads experiential marketing for Uber, told Billboard. "That's why we are thrilled to partner with the GRAMMYs to further the ambitions of artists and fans alike."
"The Recording Academy is proud to partner with Uber, one of today's more innovative brands, to build a multifaceted, fully immersive program worthy of the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards," added Evan Greene, the Recording Academy's Chief Marketing Officer. "This partnership is creating unique and unexpected opportunities to connect with music’s biggest night."
The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 28. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at 7:30–11 p.m. ET/4:30–8 p.m. PT.
Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, Sam Smith: Best New Artist GRAMMY Rewind
Each year, one GRAMMY is awarded to recognize music's most promising new talent in the coveted Best New Artist category. Over the years, budding superstars such as Bette Midler, Natalie Cole, John Legend, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, and Maroon 5 have taken home the honor, with all since enjoying long, prolific careers.
Just as the other three major GRAMMY categories — Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year — recognize those involved in an outstanding recording, composition, and collection of recordings respectively, Best New Artist celebrates the outstanding work of a new artist during the eligibility year.
How do we know who qualifies as a "new artist"? The category has arguably the most complex set of rules out of all 84 GRAMMY categories, but essentially a new artist is defined 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.
While the nuance of eligibility for Best New Artist has caused some confusion in the past, the implication of the honor is clear: this artist has arrived.
The Best New Artist has been awarded since the 2nd Annual GRAMMY Awards when Bobby Darin won for 1959. Darin also took home Record Of The Year honors for "Mack The Knife," setting a high bar for the dozens of Best New Artist winners who have followed in his footsteps.
Since then, the Best New Artist recipients have spanned the likes of the Beatles, Carpenters, Rickie Lee Jones, Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, and Sam Smith, to name just a few. Last year's winner, Chance The Rapper, earned seven nominations for the 59th GRAMMY Awards, adding wins for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance to his Best New Artist trophy.