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Is the Best New Artist Grammy Curse Finally a Thing of the Previous?

After logging two huge No. 1 hits final yr, Megan Thee Stallion appears poised to have a vivid profession forward… even when she does win the 2021 Grammy for greatest new artist.

Previous superstitions die onerous, although. Ever since Starland Vocal Band gained the class in 1977 on the power of their No. 1 single “Afternoon Delight,” then promptly disappeared from view perpetually — with a comparable destiny awaiting a good quantity of others who adopted in that group’s wake — the fantasy of the “greatest new artist curse” has been a half of widespread Grammy lore.

The frontrunners amongst the crop of eight contenders on this yr’s race — together with Megan, Doja Cat and Phoebe Bridgers — most likely aren’t shaking of their boots at the thought of profitable, although. It’d be onerous to after Billie Eilish walked away precisely one yr in the past with greatest new artist amongst the portfolio of eight awards she gained that night time. Each she and Dua Lipa, the 2018 winner, are again and up for a number of awards this yr, whereas different latest winners like Adele and Sam Smith are nonetheless flourishing, which bodes nicely for the trophy as a present indicator of future success.

Whether or not the class stays cursed or not, a scroll by the checklist of greatest new artist winners over the years does lend some credence to the idea that taking that specific gong has not all the time been the greatest profession transfer. As completely different as their careers in any other case might have been, one factor Starland Vocal Band had in frequent with the subsequent 4 winners that adopted — Debby Boone, A Style of Honey, Rickie Lee Jones and Christopher Cross — was extraordinarily abbreviated runs as chart-toppers. The most important of all of them, Cross, the toast of 1980, achieved the unprecedented feat of sweeping all 4 of the prime classes at the 1981 ceremony. And, though he loved a few extra years of chart success and a greatest authentic music Oscar for “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” in 1982, by mid-decade, he was just about historical past.

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Members of the group Style of Honey (from left: Perry Kibble, Janice Johnson, Hazel Payne and Donald Johnson) maintain their 1979 Grammy awards for greatest new artist.
AP

“Flash in the pan” was a recurring greatest new artist theme in the 20 years that adopted, with a giant share of the freshmen Grammy winners failing to meet the promise of the title. Famously and scandalously, the 1990 decide, Milli Vanilli, later had theirs rescinded after it was revealed that the duo hadn’t really sung a single word on their debut album, “Woman You Know It’s True.”

In the years since, the class has labored onerous to win again its credibility, and it does appear to be working. Three of the final 4 greatest new artists — Probability the Rapper, Lipa and Eilish — have gone on to construct impressively on their preliminary Grammy-winning success. This yr, Lupa’s second album, “Future Nostalgia,” has scored nods in album, file and music of the yr, whereas Eilish is up for file and music of the yr for “All the pieces I Wished” in her sophomore Grammy session. It’s the continuation of a pattern this century, wherein the greatest new artist has produced way more profitable winners than clunkers.

That isn’t to say there haven’t been one or two egregious missteps in comparatively latest occasions. It’s nearly unfathomable now that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Academy’s selection as greatest new artist of 2013, beat Kendrick Lamar, Kacey Musgraves and Ed Sheeran, all of whom have loved exponentially extra spectacular careers and main Grammy {hardware} (23 between them).

In 2011, Esperanza Spalding’s shock win was a uncommon triumph of creative benefit over chart clout. Though the jazz newcomer hasn’t gone on to method the stage of business success achieved by the 4 acts she defeated — Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine and Mumford & Sons — her post-best new artist profession has been strong. She’s since padded her Grammy tally by three, and like one-hit-wonder winner Rickie Lee Jones, she’s continued to be a vital darling with a loyal following.

Whereas the red-hot careers of a number of champs this century — Norah Jones, Evanescence and Meghan Trainor — cooled after they nabbed greatest new artist, all of them nonetheless felt like extra legitimate selections a few years later than both Starland Vocal Band or Boone did. And the Recording Academy has in any other case made a quantity of impeccable selections since 2000: Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Sam Smith and, of course, Adele. Amy Winehouse died three years after profitable in 2008, however even with an abbreviated profession remains to be considered a titan of twenty first century pop.

So is the curse pretty much as good as lastly over? Some may argue that the class was by no means all that cursed in the first place. Earlier than Starland Vocal Band, the circle of greatest new artist winners included such legends-to-be as Bobby Darin, Bob Newhart, the Beatles, Tom Jones, the Carpenters, Carly Simon, Bette Midler and Natalie Cole.

Even in the ‘80s and ‘90s, for each decide that peaked the second they gained the award, like Males At Work, Marc Cohn, Arrested Improvement and Paula Cole, there was a Sade, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and Sheryl Crow.

The class’s most WTF second this century might have been the anointing of Shelby Lynne over Brad Paisley in 2001 — not as a result of she didn’t go on to develop into a multi-platinum celebrity, however as a result of she was already a decade into her profession as a modestly profitable nation act when she gained. The critically acclaimed album that earned Lynne her coronation, “I Am Shelby Lynne,” was a type of reinvention — nevertheless it was nonetheless really her sixth launch. Since her assortment of torchy roots-pop hardly set the charts ablaze earlier than or after the Grammys that yr, the singer-songwriter’s middling profession since feels much less like cursed luck than enterprise as normal.

(Lynne wasn’t the first vet to be named greatest new artist: Jody Watley and Lauryn Hill gained after having fun with main success in Shalamar and Fugees, respectively, and every member of Crosby, Nonetheless & Nash had been in a legendary band that’s now in the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame earlier than forming the trio that gained in 1970.)

Though the ghosts of Starland Vocal Band and A Style of Honey proceed to loom giant over the class for traditionally minded Grammy watchers, half of being a “new” artist shouldn’t be having all that institutional reminiscence to stoke worries. As the March 14 telecast approaches — who is aware of — they could even be considering of a greatest new artist win as a blessing. Generally, it’s simply a sense of institutional reminiscence that’s a curse. The latest scorching streak in the class can reassure Megan, Doja, Phoebe and the different 5 nominees that when the subsequent greatest new artist is introduced at the Grammys on March 14, the present, for them, will most probably go on — even after the telecast’s finish credit.

 

 

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Mr josh

Mr. Josh is an experienced freelance journalist. He has worked as a journalist for a few online print-based magazines for around 3 years. He brings together substantial news bulletins from the field of Technology and US. He joined the team for taking the website to the heights.

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