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Meet This Year's Best New Artist Nominees | 2021 GRAMMYs

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Meet This Year's Best New Artist Nominees | 2021 GRAMMYs

Ingrid Andress, Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, Noah Cyrus, D Smoke, Doja Cat, Kaytranada and Megan Thee Stallion are the nominees for the prestigious Best New Artist category

GRAMMYs/Nov 24, 2020 - 10:43 pm

The 2021 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best New Artist. While we'll have to wait until the 63rd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Sunday, March 14, to find out who will win, let's take a quick look at which rising stars have been nominated for one of them most anticipated awards of the ceremony.

Ingrid Andress

This Midwestern country-pop upstart has risen to prominence quickly in the few years she's been active. After graduating from Berklee College Of Music, where she founded the a capella group Pitch Slapped, Andress nabbed a mentorship with pop songwriter Kara DioGuardi. From there, Andress wrote songs for heavy hitters like Sam Hunt and Alicia Keys before launching a solo career. Her Platinum-selling debut single "More Hearts Than Mine" debuted at number 59 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, and, in March of this year, she released her first album, Lady Like, which she co-wrote and co-produced.

Phoebe Bridgers

Indie-pop hero Phoebe Bridgers has enjoyed a hugely successful year with the release of her critically acclaimed sophomore album, Punisher. A widely sought-after collaborator, Bridgers has popped up on songs with the National, Fiona Apple, the 1975, Maggie Rogers and more. You may have also seen her performing with Conor Oberst in Better Oblivion Community Center and in the supergroup boygenius with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus. 

Reflecting on the meaning behind her album's title with GRAMMY.com earlier in the year, Bridgers said, "A Punisher is someone who doesn't know when to stop talking. I think of like, older relatives who are talking about, like their hip replacement or something. They just don't know when you're disinterested. And I think we've all been that, like, to our heroes. So, in this context, I'm punishing someone. You know, like, you get cornered at the bar by the friend that the person you were hitting on. That's a punisher."

Chika

This 23-year-old Nigerian-American rapper (born Jane Chika Oranika) got her start writing and performing slam poetry ever since she was young. After dropping out of the University of Southern Alabama to focus on her music, she's steadily carved out a lane of her own as a "professional truth-teller" with "a pen that's tactical." Releasing her debut single "No Squares" in spring of 2019, Chika has two EPs—Full Bloom // A Poetry EP and Industry Games—and is a member of XXL's 2020 Freshman Class. 

"Kids are listening," she told GRAMMY.com earlier in the year. "We can actually provide ways for them to cope with the things that we're talking about, and stop romanticizing all the negative things… Let's feed the soul instead of just destroying it and finding company for this misery, you know what I mean? That's what I think we can do as a unit, just uplift people. If there are bad things, try to find ways to speak about it in the right way."

Noah Cyrus

At just 20 years old, Noah Cyrus comes from a long line of pop royalty, starting with her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus and big sister Miley. Don't underestimate her, though: Cyrus has already more than proved her abilities, having opened up for Katy Perry's 2017 Witness tour and collabing with DJs Marshmello and Ookay ("Chasing Colors"). More recently, Cyrus released her second EP, The End Of Everything, and a cover of Mac Miller's "Dunno."  

"Getting over the questions about Miley, and pushing pride aside [were challenges]," she admitted to GRAMMY.com back in 2017. "Not that I don't want to talk about [Miley], because I love her! But that was kinda the time where I had to accept it, and not let it bother me, because that's what comes with it."

D Smoke

Inglewood rapper D Smoke, whom some might recognize as the brother to Top Dawg Entertainment signee SiR, popped up last year as the winner of Netflix's "Rhythm & Flow." Later in 2019, D Smoke released his debut EP, Inglewood High. Since then, he's dropped his second studio album—which came 14 years after the first, 2006's Producer Of The YearBlack Habits.

Doja Cat

Doja's explosive career still feels very new thanks to viral TikTok hits like "Say So" and "Like That," but truthfully her journey has been a few years in the making. Dropping out of high school in Los Angeles at 16 and uploading tracks to SoundCloud, Doja taught herself to sing, and create beats and produce music videos, among other things. Today, she's collabed with Nicki Minaj on a "Say So" remix, and her sophomore album Hot Pink (2019) features guest appearances from Smino, Tyga and Gucci Mane. 

Kaytranada

Haitian-Canadian producer Kaytranada has been in the producing game for a long time now, having worked on tracks for everyone from Anderson .Paak to Chance the Rapper and Alicia Keys. In 2019, he released sophomore solo album BUBBA, which featured top-shelf collabs from Pharrell Williams, Tinashe, GoldLink, SiR and Kali Uchis. 

"You know, I'm a really lonely guy," he reflected to GQ earlier this year. "I don't have a lot of friends. And I'm fine with that 'cause that's who I am. I've always been this loner guy. And I never liked being on teams. That's why I have a lot of problems collaborating with [other] producers, personally."

Megan Thee Stallion

If anyone has had a wild last few years, its this Houston rapper. Not only did get everybody saying "Hot Girl Summer" in 2019, 2020 was the year of "WAP," an expletive-filled banger sung jointly with GRAMMY winner Cardi B. It's also not every day that Queen Bey herself wants to remix with you (see: the duo's "Savage" revamp).

She's recently released her long-awaited debut album, Good News, and has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine. Who knows where she'll go next?

2021 GRAMMYs: Complete Nominees List

Pre-Order The 2013 GRAMMY Nominees Album Now
2013 GRAMMY Nominees album available for pre-order now

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Pre-Order The 2013 GRAMMY Nominees Album Now

Latest edition of best-selling series available Jan. 22, 2013; fans can pre-order the album and enter to win a trip for two to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

The Recording Academy's GRAMMY Recordings and Capitol Records have teamed to release the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album, which will be available Jan. 22, 2013, in stores and via digital retailers. The 19th installment of the best-selling series will feature a bevy of this year's GRAMMY-nominated artists and hit songs across multiple genres. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will help support the year-round efforts of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation — two charitable organizations of The Recording Academy.

Following the success of last year's contest, music fans can log on to www.grammy.com/2013grammyalbum to pre-order the 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album and enter to win a trip for two to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"It's an honor to join forces with Capitol Records to deliver a truly diverse collection encompassing a variety of genres and highlighting today's most talented musicians," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "After the success of last year's pre-order enter-and-win sweepstakes, we're once again thrilled to give music fans the opportunity to experience Music's Biggest Night firsthand. And, it's gratifying to be able to continue our support of the crucial work that MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation carry out year-round."

Dan McCarroll, president of Capitol Records, added, "Capitol is honored to collaborate with The Recording Academy on this prestigious series. This year has been a remarkably strong year in music, and encompassing the highlights of 2012 on a single release supporting these charities is immensely gratifying."

The road to Music's Biggest Night begins with "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" and culminates with the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT. 

For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook

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Fear Of Flying

Lost or damaged musical instruments inspire musicians to seek a national policy for instruments carried onboard airplanes

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

If you thought the worst part about being a traveling musician was jet lag and bad food, then you've never tried to carry an instrument onboard a commercial airplane.

From lost or damaged instruments to hassles with flight attendants and gate agents, musicians of all stripes complain that inconsistent airline policies make traveling with their instruments nearly impossible.

"Try traveling with a $5,000 guitar that they won't let you carry onboard," says Los Angeles-based guitarist Michael Andrews, who tours as a solo artist and as part of the Greyboy Allstars. "It's just a nightmare."

"Every airline is so different with their rules, we don't ever know till we get there if we'll be allowed to carry our instruments on the plane or not," says country artist Terri Clark. "Sometimes it depends on the agent. And sometimes you can have the exact same airline and have two different agents telling you two different things."

The issue has ruffled enough feathers that The Recording Academy and the American Federation of Musicians have taken it to Congress. The Senate version of the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, S. 223, includes language that sets a national policy for musical instruments carried onboard airplanes. A House version of the bill does not address musicians' needs.

S. 223 was an issue lobbied on at April's GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, the music industry's only annual music lobby day. The goal is to ensure the Senate bill's musician-friendly language survives conference committee and makes it into the final legislation.

"We need a consistent policy, not airline by airline [or] gate by gate," says Daryl Friedman, The Recording Academy's Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer. "Right now musicians are faced with the choice of checking their instruments or buying a ticket for them — and even that is airline by airline."

Cellist Matt Walker learned that the hard way when his chamber ensemble traveled from Nashville to St. Paul, Minn., last November. Despite purchasing a ticket for his cello, and repeated assurances by the airline that a ticketed instrument posed no problem, a flight attendant still demanded Walker's cello be placed in the cargo hold.

Walker had no choice but to relinquish his cello and hope for the best. But airline employees failed to properly tag the instrument, and upon arriving in St. Paul it was left on the tarmac in 30-degree temperatures for more than half an hour.

"These things are not put together with screws and bolts, it's just wood and glue," Walker says of his cello. "You don't want to be looking at your cello sitting out on the tarmac in 30-degree weather."

Bluegrass musician Del McCoury found himself in a similar predicament last year when his prized 1957 Martin guitar was broken in airline transit, despite its fiberglass case.

"The thing is, the airline doesn't [care] about your instrument, they just don't," says Clark. "I've watched them through the window throwing guitars onto the belt. Not long ago they left ours out in freezing rain, just sitting on the tarmac. We had to watch while the guitars were getting rained on. You know, these are like $4,000–$5,000 instruments."

Los Angeles-based composer/musician Brian Tyler "cuts out the middleman" and ships his instruments ahead when traveling.

"I cut out the airline as much as possible," says Tyler. "I find the shipping companies are pretty careful with stuff. Their whole company relies on the fact that stuff has to get delivered safely."

Unfortunately, even employing due diligence offers no guarantees.

"You get a good flight case, you do all the right things, you hope for the best, but you can never absolutely count on it being there when you fly," says veteran artist manager Monty Hitchcock Jr.

Given these potential pitfalls, many musicians avoid flying completely. If a show is less than a 15-hour drive away, Clark takes a tour bus. Likewise, Walker will drive or, as on a recent trip to the Cortona Sessions in Cortona, Italy, use a rented instrument when he arrives. Playing an unfamiliar instrument is not ideal, "but it was the compromise I had to make, because I wasn't about to put myself through that ordeal again," he says.

Singer/songwriter Dylan LeBlanc, who is one of Hitchcock's clients, recently had his guitar destroyed en route to London for a European tour because a flight attendant wouldn't allow the instrument to be treated as a carry-on. The guitar arrived crushed, and LeBlanc had to tour with a replacement provided by Gibson. While he was grateful, the new instrument just wasn't the same.

"He said it was like wearing someone else's underwear," Hitchock recalls.

That's why The Recording Academy and AFM are working for a more permanent, legislative solution. Clark says a consistent airline policy would be a huge help.

"It would alleviate the stress," says Clark. "I just hope it doesn't take 10 years to get passed."

(Lisa Zhito is a Nashville-based writer covering country and contemporary Christian music.)

GRAMMY Museum To Host GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program Celebration
GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program participants (l-r) Yi Lei Hao, An Qi Lv, Yajing Su, Fang Liang Ning, and Yi Chen Yang attend GRAMMY Camp Guest Professionals Day at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles on July 17

Photo: Getty Images

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GRAMMY Museum To Host GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program Celebration

Weeklong program for Chinese music students to culminate with a performance at the Museum on July 20

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On July 20 The Recording Academy, GRAMMY Foundation, Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, and China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, together with Gucci retail partner, Chong Hing Jewelers, will host an exclusive musical performance at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles to celebrate the students of the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program. A finale performance by the CSCLF Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet will conclude a weeklong program, recently established in partnership with The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation, that's dedicated to nurturing talented young musicians across Greater China.

In January 2012 Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, in collaboration with CSCLF, announced the launch of the Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund, an initiative that provides scholarships to talented students from prestigious Chinese music establishments such as the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Xi'an Conservatory of Music and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The most exceptional students from the CSCLF Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund Quintet were invited to participate in the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program taking place July 16–21 in Los Angeles.

As part of the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program, today the students participated in the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Camp Guest Professionals Day, which featured artists and music industry professionals conducting question-and-answer sessions, workshops and master classes with participants of GRAMMY Camp's interactive 10-day residential summer music experience at the University of Southern California. Additionally, the exchange students will participate in several community music clinics and performances with alumni from the GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session program. On July 18 the two groups will perform for students from three Southern California youth music programs, including the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District's Beyond the Bell Branch at the Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy. On July 19 students will perform at the Expo Center for students from the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.

Additionally, a special behind-the-scenes video documenting the exchange students' unique journey will be shot and produced by students participating in the GRAMMY Camp's Music Journalism track, and will be available to view beginning July 20.

A limited number of tickets to the GRAMMY Cultural Exchange Program finale performance on July 20 at the GRAMMY Museum are available exclusively at Chong Hing Jewelers' three Southern California locations in San Gabriel, Los Angeles' Chinatown and Rowland Heights. For addresses and store hours, visit www.chonghing.com.

Burna Boy Wins Best Global Music Album For 'Twice As Tall' | 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show

Burna Boy accepts his 2021 GRAMMY

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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Burna Boy Wins Best Global Music Album For 'Twice As Tall' | 2021 GRAMMY Awards Show

The Nigerian powerhouse Burna Boy takes home Best Global Music Album at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony

GRAMMYs/Mar 15, 2021 - 12:28 am

Burna Boy won Best Global Music Album for Twice As Tall at the Premiere Ceremony of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards. This marks his first career GRAMMY win. They are the first winner of the recently renamed category, formerly known as Best World Music Album. Watch his heart-warming acceptance speech below, given in English and Yoruba.

His album bested fellow nominees AntibalasBebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar and Tinariwen

Later, Burna gave a fire performance to close out the Premiere Ceremony, featuring two Twice As Tall tracks—watch it here.

Stay tuned to GRAMMY.com for all things GRAMMY Awards (including the Premiere Ceremony livestream), and make sure to watch the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show, airing live on CBS and Paramount+ tonight, Sun., March 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

Check out all the complete 2021 GRAMMY Awards show winners and nominees list here.

Watch Burna Boy Slay With Performance Of "Level Up," "Onyeka" & "Ye" At 2021 GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony