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.
Chloe X Halle
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.
Greta Van Fleet
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.