Quantcast
Breakthrough act Mumford & Sons [are] quite simply one of the best rock bands in the world right now.

FRESHMEN CLASH:
BIEBER VS. MUMFORDS?

Justin Bieber, Mumford & Sons, Susan Boyle, Drake, Kid Cudi, Ke$ha, Vampire Weekend All Strong Contenders for Best New Artist Bid

Another in a series of Grammy spotlights on this year’s leading contenders by Lenny Beer and Roy Trakin.

Call us true Bielebers.

Justin Bieber is a lock in the Best New Artist category. At least that’s how it looks from this angle. It’s a good bet that the young teen phenom will follow in the footsteps of the Jonas Brothers and get a nomination in the prestigious category. And so will, in our humble opinion, breakthrough act Mumford & Sons, quite simply one of the best rock bands in the world right now.

After that, it’s a bit of a crapshoot, with one of the most competitive fields in years.

Grammy’s Best New Artist award has long been controversial, from past choices like A Taste of Honey, Starland Vocal Band and Milli Vanilli (later rescinded) to correctly forecasting superstars like its very first selection, Bobby Darin, along with The Beatles (’65), Crosby, Stills & Nash (’70), Bette Midler (’74), Sade (’86), Sheryl Crow (’95), Alicia Keys (’02) and Norah Jones (’03).

Over the years, the award has gone to everyone from comedians (Bob Newhart) to pop classical pianists (Peter Nero), with every genre in between. Over the last five years alone, the Grammy has been awarded to two country acts (Zac Brown Band ‘10, Carrie Underwood ‘07), an R&B act (John Legend ‘06) and a pair of British songbirds (Amy Winehouse, who defeated Taylor Swift in ‘08) and Adele (’09).

The rules of what constitutes a “New Artist” have been amended over the years as well. First, the eligibility was changed to anyone who made a commercial impact for the first time (leading to veteran country-pop singer Shelby Lynne’s 2001 win in the category). Another change was made last year when Lady Gaga was ineligible in the category for garnering a previous Grammy nomination.

Unlike past selections, there will be no clinkers among the nominees this year.. Keep in mind the category is voted on by the entire membership, like a political race, with various genres often competing against one another, which bolsters the Recording Academy’s strong Nashville contingent.

Heading the list of favorites after Bieber and Mumford are a pair of R&B newcomers who stormed the chart in Drake and Kid Cudi along with pop diva Ke$ha. Any three of those rising stars could find themselves in the mix.

At 49 years old, Susan Boyle would be the oldest nominee in the history of the category, as Paul Grein noted, beating Andrea Bocelli, who was 40 when he was nominated in 1999. It would be a great story, Boyle vs. Bieber, but the Scottish Mrs. Miller may well be considered too much of a one-trick-pony for the voting membership.

Coming up fast, like Zenyatta in the home stretch, is the quickly rising Florence + the Machine, who seems to have taken the momentum from Universal Republic labelmate, bedroom DIY pop tunesmith Owl City, who peaked earlier this year, along with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert

There is still a sizable traditional rock & roll contingent within the Recording Academy membership, which makes such critical faves as Upper West Side African popsters Vampire Weekend and Kentucky jam band Cage the Elephant.

Grammy has also shown a predilection for British art-rock, awarding unlikely recent nominations to left-field acts like the Ting Tings, Imogen Heap and Keane, so another dark horse could be The xx, winners of the U.K.’s prestigious Mercury Prize last year.

 

 

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/7a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
WINNING NOMINATIONS
I.B. Bad on music's biggest comeback (12/7a)
ON THE COVER: LADY GAGA & TONY BENNETT
It's De-Lovely. (12/7a)
ELVIS COSTELLO'S SONGS IN THE KEY
OF IF
He's got a new record to talk about. (12/8a)
RAINMAKERS: COMING GRAMMY WEEK
The hitmakers speak. (12/8a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)