The Best New Artist category is traditionally one of the hardest to predict! Meghan Trainor won it last year and she practically was a shoe-in because the year before she had been nominated for both Song and Record of the Year with her worldwide smash “All About that Bass.” However, in years past, there have been some really big surprises – especially regarding the artists that DIDN’T get it – (Elton John lost to The Carpenters, Led Zepplin lost to Crosby, Stills & Nash; Nikki Minaj lost to Bon Iver; Justin Bieber and Drake lost to Esperanza Spaulding – anyone have a clue who she was before she won?!). But this year, it’s between just two: Chance the Rapper, who has 7 nominations, and the bros of EDM/pop group The Chain Smokers, who have three nominations.
Here’s the deal, The Chain Smokers had three HUGE top 10 singles last year – “Closer,” “Roses,” and the mega hit “Don’t Let Me Down.” However, the group has yet to release a full-length album! So, does releasing amazing singles without a full body of work really stand the test of time? Who knows with GRAMMY voters. However, that leads us to Chance the Rapper. He’s been around a while but he is nominated in this category because last year was when he first “reached prominence” (states the Academy’s rules for eligibility for Best New Artist).
Chance the Rapper RollingStone
Country darlings Maren Morris and Kellsea Ballerina will split the country vote, and urban artist Anderson .Paak is the total underdog here. Chain Smokers are the type of “edgy” act that voters love. But has the group really shown its fire or just its puff? With 7 nominations (FYI: Beyoncé, who has the most of anyone, has 9), it would be shocking if GRAMMY voting members didn’t take a chance on this rapper.
Will Win: Chance the Rapper
Should Win: Chance the Rapper
Upset: Chain Smokers