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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.
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Bob Newhart To Lauryn Hill: 4 Best New Artist & Album Of The Year Winners
The GRAMMY for Best New Artist marks a special place in each winner's career. In many cases signaling the first major recognition by their peers as top-tier talents to watch, the honor also highlights each artist's potential to return to the GRAMMY stage in the years to come.
But on rare occasions an artist's first submission for GRAMMY Awards consideration showcases such strength that it earns them not only the Best New Artist GRAMMY, but also the coveted gramophone for Album Of The Year in the same year.
Bob Newhart, Christopher Cross, Lauryn Hill, and Norah Jones are the only four artists in GRAMMY history whose first touches with GRAMMY gold brought home simultaneous Best New Artist and Album Of The Year honors, and signaled the onset of profound careers in the recording industry.
Let's take a look back at the artists and the albums that made helped this quartet make GRAMMY history.
Bob Newhart, 3rd GRAMMY Awards (1960)
Beloved comedian and perennial straight-man actor Bob Newhart first made a name for himself through sketch-style audio recordings where he portrayed one-half of long business-oriented telephone conversations, implying absurd situations and outlandish statements on the part of the nonexistent other party to the call. After Warner Bros. Records signed Newhart off the strength of his homemade recordings, his 1960 debut album The Button-Down Mind Of Bob Newhart became the first comedy album to ever take the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200. Six months later, Newhart released a follow-up record, The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back!, which reached No. 2 while his first album was still reigning at No. 1. The strength of the two albums earned Newhart a well-deserved Best New Artist at the 3rd GRAMMY Awards, the only comedian in GRAMMY history to win the title. Meanwhile, The Button-Down Mind Of Bob Newhart won Album Of The Year, while The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back! won Best Comedy Performance — Spoken Word.
Christopher Cross, 23rd GRAMMY Awards (1980)
Texas singer/songwriter Christopher Cross caught lightning in a bottle with his late-1979 self-titled debut album, which brought the then-28-year-old performer almost immediate success. With four radio singles — "Ride Like The Wind," "Sailing," "Never Be The Same," and "Say You'll Be Mine" — that claimed Top 20 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 ("Sailing" took No. 1), the album went on to become one of the most influential soft-rock LPs of the 1980s. Based on the strength of Cross' performance and songwriting, Christopher Cross helped him sweep the "big four" General Field categories at the 23rd GRAMMY Awards, taking home Best New Artist, Album of The Year, and Song and Record Of The Year ("Sailing") — to date, he is the only artist to achieve this feat. Additionally, "Sailing" won Cross the GRAMMY for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s), bringing the total haul for his first GRAMMY Awards outing to five.
Lauryn Hill, 41st GRAMMY Awards (1998)
After previously earning two GRAMMYs as a member of the Fugees, multitalented performer Lauryn Hill made the transition to solo artist, releasing her debut LP, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, to widespread critical acclaim in 1998. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and three singles — "Doo Wop (That Thing)," "Ex-Factor" and "Everything Is Everything" — charted Top 40 on the Hot 100, with "Doo Wop ..." claiming No. 1. The album's first-week sales also set a record for highest ever achieved by a female artist at the time. The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill earned Hill an astonishing 10 GRAMMY nominations at the 41st GRAMMY Awards, with Hill taking home Best New Artist, Album Of The Year, Best R&B Album, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best Rhythm & Blues Song ("Doo Wop ..."), and setting a new record for most GRAMMY wins in a single night by a female artist up until that point. To date, The Miseducation ... remains Hill's only solo studio album release.
Norah Jones, 45th GRAMMY Awards (2002)
The daughter of GRAMMY-winning sitar player Ravi Shankar, Norah Jones grew up with a respected musical pedigree and an omnivorous musical appetite for the sounds of eminent jazz icons such as Bill Evans and Billie Holiday. With a sonic blend of acoustic pop, melodic blues and down-tempo jazz stylings, Jones' debut studio album Come Away With Me earned the then-23-year-old singer a total of five nominations at the 45th GRAMMY Awards — Best New Artist, Album Of The Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record Of The Year ("Don't Know Why"). Jones won all five categories, tying the record for most GRAMMY wins in a single night by a female artist jointly held at the time by Hill and Alicia Keys. (This mark has since broken by Beyoncé and Adele, who have each taken home six GRAMMYs in a single night.)
2018 GRAMMYs Poll: Who Will Win Best New Artist?
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The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 28, 2018, airing live on CBS from 7:30–11 p.m. ET/4:30–8 p.m. PT.