Grammy Award for Best New Artist

The Grammy Award for Best New Artist has been awarded since 1959.[1] Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were handed out, for records released in the previous year. The award was not presented in 1967. The official guidelines are as follows: "For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist."

Grammy Award for Best New Artist
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded1959
Currently held byMegan Thee Stallion (2021)
Websitegrammy.com

Note that this is not necessarily the first album released by an artist. It is sometimes asserted, with varying degrees of sincerity, that winning the award is a curse, as several award winners (particularly from the late 1970s and early 1980s) were never able to duplicate the success they experienced in their debut year.[2][3] This viewpoint was expressed by former Starland Vocal Band member Taffy Danoff in a 2002 interview for VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders: "We got two of the five Grammys – one was Best New Artist. So that was basically the kiss of death and I feel sorry for everyone who's gotten it since."[4]

The category is also notable for being the only category in which a Grammy Award was vacated. This occurred in 1990 after it was revealed winners Milli Vanilli (a German pop duo consisting of Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan) did not contribute their own vocals on their debut album, Girl You Know It's True.[5] The award was revoked but wasn't handed out to another artist.

Of the 54 awards presented in the category since its inception, the honor has been presented to 26 solo female artists, 18 duos or groups, and 11 solo male artists. Between 1997 and 2003, all the winners were solo female artists. Also, from 1993 to 2005, no winner was a solo male artist. In 2006, John Legend broke this trend, which started after Marc Cohn in 1992. Only five artists have won both Best New Artist and Album of the Year in the same year: Bob Newhart in 1961, Christopher Cross in 1981, Lauryn Hill in 1999, Norah Jones in 2003, and Billie Eilish in 2020. Of these, Cross, Jones, and Eilish had songs winning Record of the Year and Song of the Year for the same year, with Cross as the sole songwriter, Eilish as co-writer, and Jones lacking songwriting credit, which therefore made her miss out on completing the single year big four Grammy achievement, a feat that only Cross and Eilish attained. Only two artists have lost Best New Artist yet won Album of the Year in the same year: Vaughn Meader in 1963 and Alanis Morissette in 1996.