There is no doubt pop music has helped us get through this year. The nominees in the Best Pop Solo Performance are some of pop music's most listened to artists, and ones whose songs have been on our playlists for months. Find out who is up for the GRAMMY category at the 2021 GRAMMYs below, and tune in on Sunday, March 14, on CBS/ CBS All Access to find out who takes home the award.
Justin Bieber- “Yummy”
A more mature—and married—Justin Bieber came back into the spotlight after some years away from it with a track that gave us insight on what he most enjoyed most of his new and improved life. “Yummy,” the lead single off Changes, his first album since 2015’s Purpose, is an ode to his wife, Hailey Bieber, who he married in 2018. On it, he is in awe of her—“I'm elated that you are my lady,” he sings in a falsetto. The R&B track showcases more of his agile voice, including the smooth vocals that helped the Canadian popstar gain mass popularity.
Doja Cat- “Say So”
After her viral 2018 hit “Mooo!,” Doja Cat’s “Say So” undoubtedly continued to propel her into pop prominence. An underground fav for some years, the Los Angeles native saw virality again when the fun, feel good track off her 2019 album, Hot Pink, became a TikTok sensation—Tik Tok influencer Haley Sharpe created a dance for it on the app and the rest is history. Despite the attention, the infectious track features an attention-grabbing vocal versatility—Doja Cat effortlessly switches from singing to rapping—that can’t be ignored.
Billie Eilish- “everything i wanted”
One of the 2020 GRAMMY Awards’ biggest winners, Billie Eilish, who took home five awards, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year, gives another GRAMMY worthy performance in “everything i wanted.” First written in 2018 during a time in which Eilish was depressed, the song is based off a nightmare Eilish had in which she died, as explained in Song Exploder. Eilish’s gloomy vocals bring to life the song which almost didn’t see the light of day due to the dark songwriting— ultimately it was released as a single in 2019 and made it to a reissue of her debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? FINNEAS, Eilish’s brother and biggest collaborator, co-wrote and produced the track largely piano instrumentals.
Dua Lipa- “Don’t Start Now”
Dua Lipa delivers another powerful vocal performance in her empowering 2019 breakup track “Don’t Start Now.” The pop star throws in a disco twist, a first for the 2019 Best New Artist GRAMMYs winner, in the lead single off her 2020 album Future Nostalgia. Lipa’s album is a node to disco music. “I wanted to do something that felt fresh and new, something that touched on a memory, something that always rings so true to me, especially in my childhood,” she told GRAMMY.com. “To be able to recreate that in a modern way was an absolute dream for me. I'm so happy that I stood by and honed in on that sound that I love,” she told GRAMMY.com.“
Harry Styles- “Watermelon Sugar”
Harry Styles’ debut album was followed by his much-awaited sophomore album Fine Line and on it is one of his sonically sweetest tracks and biggest hit yet: “Watermelon Sugar.” Styles surprised released the single the night he performed it on “Saturday Night Live,” and since then has taken the English singer to new heights, including his first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1. In the song, written in Nashville and named after Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar, Styles transports us back to summer, no matter the season, with his laid back, smooth vocals.
Taylor Swift- “Cardigan”
Taylor Swift’s “Cardigan” is the first song released from folklore, her 16-track album made during COVID-19. The song about a “lost romance” is an intimate song co-penned with the National’s Aaron Dessner. “In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result. I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve,” Swift tweeted about the album.
Stay tuned to GRAMMY.com and our social channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) for more 2021 GRAMMYs content, and tune in to the 63rd GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, March 14, 2021, on CBS to find out who the winners will be.