Photo: Brian Ziff
Meet The First-Time GRAMMY Nominee: Noah Cyrus On Continuing Her Family Legacy & Why She's Happier Than Ever
Singer/songwriter Noah Cyrus—a scion of a musical family that includes Billy Ray and Miley—details the road to her nomination for Best New Artist at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show, which includes Ben Howard, John Mayer and a well of emotional honesty
As the youngest member of the multitalented Cyrus family, Noah Cyrus has been around music her entire life. And now, she can say she's the youngest Cyrus to earn a GRAMMY nomination.
Cyrus, who turned 21 in January, is up for Best New Artist—an honor she shares with her father, Billy Ray, who was nominated in 1993, seven years before Noah was born. Although she looked up to her dad, Cyrus wasn't sure if she wanted the same future for herself, particularly after watching her older sister, Miley, grow up in the spotlight. But six years after 15-year-old Noah decided to give it a shot, affirmations like this GRAMMY nomination tell her that she was meant to be a musician as well.
"It's so validating to know that people are listening to the music—they're listening to me," Cyrus tells GRAMMY.com. "It means the absolute world to me that they appreciate the music. There are no words to explain my gratitude."
Cyrus' humility has helped her navigate her musical journey and stay vulnerable in both her music and the public eye. She's masterfully blended candidness and transparency with exquisite acoustic-driven melodies, most famously displayed on her song, "July." Now, she’s earned the GRAMMY nomination she's been dreaming about for years.
Noah Cyrus spoke to GRAMMY.com about what it means to share the Best New Artist nomination milestone with her dad, what inspired her to pursue music herself and John Mayer's words of wisdom that stuck with her.
Congrats on being GRAMMY-nominated! According to your Instagram post from the moment you found out, it was pretty emotional.
My mom told my best friend to film me, and I was trying to hide from her because I am the world's worst crier. My boyfriend sent me a zoomed-in screenshot of my face when I was crying because it's insane. I swear if you were to put it up to the Kim Kardashian meme of her crying, it's very, very, very similar.
You manifested your mom's prediction with the nomination, right?
Yeah. At the beginning of 2020, she said, "For the new year, I got an intentions book, and I wrote that you'd get nominated for your very first GRAMMY."
It also felt like this amazing blessing from my grandma. We had recently lost her, and I would've given anything for her to see that. We were really close, so it was bittersweet. And I just had my 21st birthday [in January].
There's been a lot of things recently that feel like, because she isn't able to be here, there are these blessings from her.
Your dad also received a Best New Artist nomination in 1993. I would think that added another layer of meaningfulness to your nomination.
Absolutely. I've always been so intrigued by my dad and his musical history. I've always asked Dad about when he went to the GRAMMYs and what that was like, and I always said to Dad, "If I ever get nominated for a GRAMMY, you're gonna be my date."
Hearing about my dad's time at the GRAMMYs in '93, it felt like I was kind of reliving all the stories that I had heard. It just felt full circle for Dad to be sitting there however many years later with his daughter—that he didn't even know would exist at that time—celebrating a GRAMMY nomination.
I felt super emotional. My family always wants everyone else to win. We root for one another.
Obviously, music is very ingrained in your family, but what made you ultimately decide that music was the path you also wanted to take yourself?
When I was a kid, I was turned off from wanting to be in the public eye in any way. It's been the main source of a lot of my insecurities. I just wanted to be a normal kid.
Around 14 or 15, I started writing songs and playing the piano. One night I wrote a best friend a song. She had told me that her life at home was hard and that she was struggling with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. I wrote her this song about how she's this angel on Earth and what a terrible world it would be without her. It was a strong message for such a young, young girl to write.
I also saw Ben Howard around the same time, and that live performance changed my life. I'd never understood how another person could influence somebody so much, but that's when I got it. Same with seeing the Arctic Monkeys. Alex Turner and Ben Howard are kind of my gurus for music. Those performances inspired me to want to achieve that greatness.
I thought about how I could impact others [by sharing] what I go through and what I've been through, having body dysmorphia since I was 12, dealing with anxiety and depression. [Plus], everything that I've gone through in relationships, the ups and downs and everything we go through in life, and even writing about just life itself.
My favorite song I've ever written is "The End of Everything."
Why is that?
It's a song that is kind of bigger than all of us. I feel like writing "July," "I Got So High I Saw Jesus" and "The End of Everything," I was at a point in my life that I've stayed at, where I'm able to write these songs that are on this different level because I'm on a different level with myself.
I've mentally gotten so much healthier and comfortable with who I am. That made me able to write all of these songs that I can identify myself with.
What do you think has contributed to your progression?
Once I was able to open up to everybody that I needed to in my inner circle, I was able to talk about it publicly, which has helped a lot. I also had a major turning point within this quarantine.
I've been forced to sit and work on myself. I'm not the type to say, "New year, new me." I don't get that whole thing because I'm kind of like, "Eh, same s--t, different day." [Laughs.]
But I've just hit such a milestone, personally, that this feels like a whole new chapter.
I feel like your fans that are into your sadder songs are thinking, "Oh no, she's happy now. Are we going to get sappy stuff?"
No, no, don't get too excited. The sad lyrics aren't going away. That's always who I am.
Though I'm growing personally, I still feel so much. Whenever I love, I love so hard. Whenever I hurt, I hurt so deep. Whenever I feel, it feels so strong. I've just leveled up mentally and feel so much stronger personally. I've really learned what to be grateful for, and to be present, and to live now.
My favorite musical advice I've ever gotten is from John Mayer. We were at a mutual friend's birthday party, and he came up to me and said, "'July' is the kind of music that you want to create—music that is great now and great 20 years from now."
It's the songs that still make you feel good whenever you sing them over and over. You're going to feel brand new each time you sing that song. That inspired me to create more songs that I'm going to want to sing for the rest of my life.
2020 was a very testing year, but it's also been inspiring and helped me create some of the best music I've created.
Photo: Kelly Samson, Gallery Photography
Photo: Courtesy of The Latin Recording Academy/Borja B. Hojas, Getty Images © 2023
2023 Latin GRAMMYs: Joaquina Wins Best New Artist
Joaquina won the Latin GRAMMY for Best New Artist at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
Along with Paola Guanche, Joaquina is an alumnus of Julio Reyes Copello's Art House Academy; she graduated last year.
The Venezuelan singer/songwriter was taken under the wing of Reyes Copello — the Latin GRAMMYs Producer Of The Year winner from 2022.
Joaquina has since flourished with her debut EP, Los Mejores Años. Therein, she explores teen ennui with the melodic, anthemic title track and the emotionally searing "Rabia."
Check out the complete list of winners and nominees at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy
Watch: Juanes Performs "Gris" With The New Faces Of Latin Music At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, the legend of Colombian music led the nominees for Best New Artist in a stirring performance that bridged the present and the future of Latin Music.
After winning 24 Latin GRAMMYs prior to this year, Colombian rock star Juanes was tapped to take on the role of an elder statesman at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
On the stage in Sevilla, Juanes performed with the 10 nominees for Best New Artist: Borja, Conexión Divina, Ana Del Castillo, Natascha Falcão, Gale, Paola Guanche, Joaquina, León Leiden, Maréh, and Timø.
With vocal back up from the the brightest new voices in Latin music Juanes rendered a stirring performance of his emotional single "Gris" from his 2023 album Vida Cotidiana. In recent years, Juanes has explored a variety of sounds in his music, including traditional Colombian sounds such as cumbia. This year, he returned to his roots in rock with the intensely personal full-length album, which was inspired by the complexities of his marriage and family life during COVID-19 lockdown.
Juanes’ number was a satisfying full arena rock moment, complete with dazzling lights and artistic video projection of the song's lyrics. The power ballad has a somber and aching tone, and with the chorus behind him the feeling of the song rang out loud and clear.
The record came out in May to critical acclaim and has received nominations for both Album Of The Year and Best Pop/Rock Album, categories Juanes has won multiple times in the past. The "La Camisa Negra" singer is nominated in the Best Rock Song category for "Gris," as well.
2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See Miley Cyrus, Ice Spice, Noah Kahan, Kelsea Ballerini, & More Artists' Reactions
The 2024 GRAMMY nominations have been announced! Here’s how nominated artists from boygenius to Jelly Roll reacted on social media.
This afternoon, the highly anticipated 2024 GRAMMY nominations were announced, bringing loads of excitement to music enthusiasts.
After the announcements were made, nominated artists shared their reaction on social media. A series of appreciation posts flooded the timeline from the likes of first-time nominee Tyla, trend-charting rapper Coi Leray, country star Kelsea Ballerini, and more.
Dive into the social media celebration posts, while catching up on the full nominees list. Make sure to tune into the 2024 GRAMMY awards on Sunday, Feb. 4 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
The 2024 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 66th GRAMMY Awards, will air live (8:00-11:30 PM, LIVE ET/5:00-8:30 PM, LIVE PT) on the CBS Television Network and will stream on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).
"On My Mama" singer/songwriter Victoria Monét shared pre-nomination nerves last night, comparing the feeling to the anticipation of draft day. Little did she know, she'd be one of the most nominated artists of the year. She received six nominations in total: Record Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best R&B Album, Best R&B Performance, Best Traditional R&B Performance, and Best R&B Song.
Whew I am so nervous 😭😭😭 it feels like draft day— Victoria Monét (@VictoriaMonet) November 10, 2023
After Coil Leray found out she was nominated for Best Rap Performance for "Players" and Best Pop Dance Recording for her feature with David Guetta (“Baby Don't Hurt Me"), the rapper took to X, formerly known as Twitter: "Wow I'm really Grammy Nominated ? That's crazy. Let me let this sink in real quick and I'll brb."
Wow I’m really Grammy Nominated ? That’s crazy. Let me let this sink in real quick and I’ll brb. 😱— Coi (@coi_leray) November 10, 2023
Miley Cyrus specifically highlighted the women in the music industry, while celebrating her fans and team:
Congratulations to all of this years Grammy nominees. Watching women rule the music industry makes me proud. It’s fun to be nominated & exciting to win but having my music LOVED around the world is the real trophy.— Miley Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) November 10, 2023
To my Smilers - I celebrate YOU today. Your joy is my bliss.… pic.twitter.com/SSLjVAsOUY
Afrobeats star Davido's latest album Timeless was nominated for Best Global Album, while also receiving nominations for Best African Music Performance and Best Global Music Performance.
3 nominations at the Grammys!! Delay is not Denial!! 🏆🌎— Davido (@davido) November 10, 2023
Americana musician Jason Isbell thanked The Recording Academy for the Best Americana Performance, Best American Roots Song, and Best Americana Album nominations.
Dang alright thank you @RecordingAcad 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) November 10, 2023
Rising artist Tyla, whose song "Water" was nominated for Best African Music Performance, posted a series of tweets capturing her immense shock:
NO WAYSSSSSS— Tyla (@Tyllaaaaaaa) November 10, 2023
Atlanta based R&B singer-songwriter, Summer Walker, shouted out all the "lover girls/boys" after CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP was nominated for Best R&B Album.
Wow a Grammy nomination?? thank you to all my lover girls/boys— SUMMER WALKER (@IAMSUMMERWALKER) November 10, 2023
Country star Kelsea Ballerini shared a live-reaction video to her Best Country Album nomination.
Boygenius was nominated for Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Alt Music Performance, Best Alternative Music Album, and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The trio posted a photo of them hugging while staring at the TV displaying their nominations.
And despite writing GRAMMY-winning and GRAMMY-nominated hits for the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Julia Michaels (respectively), songwriters Shane McAnally and Justin Tranter were both shocked their names were included in the Songwriter Of The Year category — proving that a GRAMMY nomination is always magical, no matter how many times it happens.