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GREIN ON GRAMMYS: HONORED AND SNUBBED. WTF?!!

It was a classic case of "I've got good news and bad news." Ella Mai got a call last month in which she was informed that her first hit, "Boo'd Up," was nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year—and that she was passed over for a nom for Best New Artist. She was bound to be delighted, disappointed and confused, all at the same time. And who could blame her?

Ella Mai has lots of company. In the 24 years that the Grammy nominations in the top four categories have been decided by a secret "review committee," 15 other new artists have experienced a similar fate. They were nominated for Record and/or Song of the Year, but passed over for a Best New Artist nom.

It's as if the committee is saying "That's a great song or record, but we're not sure you're going to have a meaningful career." And if that is what they're saying, they've been right in some cases (Vanessa Carlton, Leona Lewis and B.o.B.) and dead wrong in others (Sara Bareilles, Imagine Dragons and Lorde).

Three artists (Carlton, Lorde and members of Lukas Graham) were nominated for both Record and Song of the Year and were still passed over for a new artist nom. (To date, no new artist has been nominated for Album of the Year and passed over for a New Artist nom. This suggests that it's harder to dismiss a great album as a fluke than it is to write off a great song or single as a likely one-shot.)

Nine of the 16 artists who were passed over were born outside the U.S., which suggests that the secret committee thought, consciously or sub-consciously, that they would have a harder time sustaining a career in the U.S.

The 16 artists are divided evenly between male and female acts, so there's no indication that sexism played a role. (Somewhere Neil Portnow is going "Phew.")

Here are the 16 new artists who were nominated for Record and/or Song of the Year, but passed over for a Best New Artist nom. (In all cases, they were eligible and entered in that category).

Ella Mai is not alone. In the 24 years that the Grammy nominations in the top four categories have been decided by a secret "review committee," 15 other new artists have been nominated for Record and/or Song of the Year, but passed over for a Best New Artist nom.

Vanessa Carlton (2002). Carlton was nominated for both Record and Song of the Year (and also an arrangement award) for her symphonic pop smash "A Thousand Miles." She has yet to be nominated again.

Plain White T's (2007). The group's lead singer, Tom Higgenson, was nominated for Song of the Year for writing its heartfelt #1 smash "Hey There Delilah." The group was also nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Neither it nor he has been nominated since.

Leona Lewis (2008). The English singer's sleek rhythm ballad "Bleeding Love," a worldwide #1 hit, was nominated for Record of the Year. It was one of three noms she received that year. She hasn't been nominated since.

Estelle (2008). The English singer was nominated for Song of the Year as a co-writer of the ebullient "American Boy" (featuring Kanye West). It won for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Lewis received another nom four years later for "Thank You," which was nominated for Best R&B Performance.

Sara Bareilles (2008). The singer was nominated for two Grammys, including Song of the Year, for "Love Song," a hit about the need to write a hit. Bareilles has gone on to amass five more noms, including Album of the Year for The Blessed Unrest (2013) and one this year for Best Musical Theater Album for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. She has also been nominated for an Emmy and two Tonys.

B.o.B.  (2010). The rapper had five noms in his first year, including Record of the Year for "Nothin' on You" (featuring Bruno Mars). But he wasn't nominated for Best New Artist. It's as if the committee decided that Mars' sweet croon was the real draw on that record. B.o.B. received another nom the following year as a featured artist on Mars' debut album.

Gotye and Kimbra (2012). The international artists (he was born in Belgium and reared in Australia; she's from New Zealand) won two Grammys, including Record of the Year, for their quirky #1 hit "Somebody That I Used to Know." Gotye won a third Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album for Making Mirrors. But no New Artist nom. Gotye was 32 at the time, older than any of the other artists on this list. Neither artist has been nominated again since their breakthrough year. In Gotye's defense, he hasn't released a studio album since Making Mirrors. Memo to Gotye: You might want to get on that.

Ed Sheeran (2012). The Englishman was nominated for Song of the Year for his debut hit, "The A Team." He was passed over that year for a Best New Artist nod—but he was nominated in that category the following year. Sheeran has amassed 13 noms, including Album of the Year for x (2014). (He would have amassed even more, but the Secret Committee has resisted his charms the last couple of years—for reasons known only to them.)

Miguel (2012). The R&B star had five noms that year, including Song of the Year for the old-school R&B ballad "Adorn." Miguel had received a nom two years previously for co-writing Jaheim's "Finding My Way Back," which was nominated for Best R&B Song. He has gone on to amass six more noms since 2012, including two this year.

Carly Rae Jepsen (2012). The Canadian had two noms, including Song of the Year, for the fizzy "Call Me Maybe." (If there had been an award for Earworm of the Year, it would have won hands down.) Jepsen has yet to land another nom, though she has had just one studio album since her breakthrough, Kiss.

Imagine Dragons (2013). The group had two noms, including Record of the Year for the blockbuster rock ballad "Radioactive." They won one. They came back four years later with a couple more noms. Imagine Dragons are one of the biggest rock acts to emerge in the past decade—a period that hasn't seen a lot of rock acts break through. Reason enough to give them a New Artist nom, you might think.

Lorde (2013). The New Zealand singer/songwriter had four noms, including Record and Song of the Year for her #1 hit "Royals." She won two of the four. But no New Artist nom. Lorde was just 17 at the time, younger than any of the other artists on this list. Could that have had something to do with it? She had another nom last year for Album of the Year for her sophomore album, Melodrama. That may have been the committee's way of saying, "We underestimated you."

Lukas Graham (2016). The Danish group's philosophical hit "7 Years" received three noms, including Record and Song of the Year. (Group leader Lukas Forchhammer and former member Morten Ristorp shared the Song nom with two other songwriters.) No noms since.

Logic (2017). The rapper had two noms, including Song of the Year, for the suicide-prevention smash "1-800-273-8255." But no New Artist nom. Both of Logic's featured artists on that smash, Alessia Cara and Khalid, were nominated in that category. (Cara won.) Hope there were no hard feelings.

Ella Mai (2018). The English artist has two noms this year, including Song of the Year for the chill R&B ballad "Boo'd Up." But no New Artist nom. The secret committee instead nominated Jorja Smith, another English female R&B artist, who had just a fraction of Mai's success.

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