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LENNY BEER ON RECORDS: NEW HEAT ON BEST NEW ARTIST

As the Best New Artist field continues to drive the most intense discussion of all Grammy categories—and with the Grammy Selection Committee meetings underway as of this writing—here’s a little update on the primary contenders and a few key up-and-comers.

We start with a new favorite and then several of Grammy Whisperer Paul Grein’s picks.

Republic’s Post Malone has had the biggest streaming and selling song in the world for a while now, declining only 5% in its second week as it goes on to collect more 35m streams. Now “rockstar” f/21 Savage is blowing up at radio. At the moment, the world is Post’s oyster.

His Republic labelmate, Julia Michaels, will now see a new push at radio as the featured vocalist on “Miss You” by U.K. heavyweights Clean Bandit, while 10/13 will see her on a new remix of the Bieber/BloodPop single, "Friends."

RCA has switched singles on Khalid, whose profile has increased significantly in recent weeks, and new track “Young, Dumb and Broke” is a hit. He’s also on the breakout Marshmello track “Silence,” which is now #7 on Spotify U.S. and #9 global.

TDE/RCA’s SZA, whose CTRL album is an ongoing success, is gaining further momentum as the featured vocalist on Maroon 5’s new smash, “What Lovers Do” (222/Interscope), which is Top 10 at iTunes and Spotify global.

Two Columbia contenders have been buoyed by the return of The Voice, as Rag‘n’Bone Man’s “Human” and James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” see renewed action on the back of performances by Voice contestants.

AWGE/Interscope’s Playboi Carti has a new single, “wokeuplikethis” f/Lil Uzi Vert, which is taking off at Urban radio as “Magnolia” continues to rack up huge streaming numbers.

Could Def Jam's Alessia Cara return to the front ranks of this process? We shall see.

Meanwhile, several key Nashville acts have been gaining momentum.

RCA Nashville/Zone 4’s Kane Brown, who had huge sales, streaming and social action, has now been embraced by Country radio gatekeepers at last with the duet “What Ifs” featuring Lauren Alaina, currently Top 5 at Country radio, #17 overall at iTunes and #3 on our Country Streams chart.

River House/Columbia Nashville’s Luke Combs, meanwhile, is on his way to a second #1 at radio with “When It Rains It Pours” (on the heels of “Hurricane”; both songs are Top 10 Country Streams) and, like Kane, has a great underdog story.

“Heartache on the Dance Floor” marked the second #1 Country radio hit for Capitol Nashville’s gifted neo-traditionalist Jon Pardi, following the relentless “Dirt on My Boots.” CMA Best New Artist nominee Pardi will support Miranda Lambert on her forthcoming tour.

Brett Young, whose Big Machine album bowed at #1 and, like Pardi, is nominated for CMA Best New Artist; “Like I Loved You” is the follow-up to #1 Country single “In Case You Didn’t Know,” which is Top 10 on our Country Streams chart. He's been out with Lady Antebellum ahead of his own headlining tour.

Stay tuned for more updates on these and other Best New Artist possibilities.

(Looking for the Grammy Song of the Year story? It's here.)

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