Yesterday we picked all the pop acts sure to pick up trophies during Sunday’s Grammy Awards, and today we’re tackling Best New Artist. Winning the Grammy for this coveted category is a major step in one’s blossoming career, fore sure, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re destined to succeed over the other nominees forevermore — is Hootie and the Blowfish still considered “better” than Alanis Morissette because they won Best New Artist in 1996? Right. So, although we may consider Esperanza Spalding to be the major dark horse of this category, hey, who knows — she could go on to become the Lady Gaga of jazz fusion by this time next year. (We’re not going to bet on that, though.)
Jump below to wade through the eclectic mix of nominees and give your vote on which act you think will be thanking God, their mom, and their fans from the stage at Staples Center.
BEST NEW ARTIST NOMINEES
Florence + The Machine
Mumford & Sons
THOUGHTS ON THE NOMINEES: There were so many amazing new artists to pop up in 2010 — but not everyone can score a spot. Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj were ineligible because of various Grammy rules, even with the new Lady Gaga-inspired changes to their eligibility rulebook. And Kid Cudi, B.o.B, Ke$ha, Adam Lambert and Susan Boyle were all shafted in this category, though Lambert and Bobby Ray managed to score noms elsewhere.
But let’s get to the lucky artists who were nominated. Neo-soul/jazz musician Esperanza Spalding and British indie folk group Mumford & Sons were both breakout acts in their respective genres, but never quite made a mark in the mainstream like the three other nominees.
We’re flabbergasted Florence + The Machine’s one nod came in the form of Best New Artist — simply because she should have gotten more! Who wasn’t swept away by “Dog Days Are Over” last year?
But as much as we (and Gossip Girl) love Florence Welch, the real showdown is between the two Canadian heartthrobs. Both Drake and Justin Bieber are completely worthy of the nom — Drizzy had the biggest hip-hop debut of 2010, has the respect of his peers (who feature him on just about every track), and is popular enough to easily start a riot.
And though Bieber may make your eyes roll if you’re not a fan, hey, just remember the Jonas Brothers were nominated for Best New Artist, too. Including a teen phenom is nothin’ new here, folks. Plus, you have to admit the kid is talented — he can dance, sing, rap, act, play drums, and make YouTube his bitch with one dimpled smirk.
WILL WIN: Drake. He’s up for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance for “Over”, and though he won’t win either of those because of Eminem’s inevitable steamrolling over the competition in the rap categories, he should take the gold here. (Then again, if Grammy voters are swayed by their daughters, as well as Bieber’s bowl-headed visage staring at them from every direction, the Bieber train may pull an upset.)
SHOULD WIN: Drizzy. We can see him growing and getting even better with each new album he releases. Then again, Florence + The Machine should win to make up for “Dog Days Are Over” being shafted. For shame, Grammy academy!
What do you think? Let your voice be heard!