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GREIN ON GRAMMYS, PART THREE
Predicting the Likely Best New Artist Nominess

We’re looking at the likely Grammy nominees and runners-up in the “Big Four” categories. (The eligibility year ends Sept. 30.) (Day of week), we looked at Album of the Year. Yesterday, we explored Record and Song of the Year. Today we conclude with Best New Artist.

The likely nominees: Meghan Trainor, Sam Hunt, Leon Bridges, Tori Kelly and Elle King.

Trainor is vying to become the first female pop singer to win in this category since Adele, the 2008 winner. Trainor was nominated for Record and Song of the Year last year for “All About That Bass.” She’s in contention here because her first major-label album fell into this eligibility year.

Hunt would become the first male country solo artist ever to win in this category. (A male country group, Zac Brown Band, won six years ago.)

Bridges, a gospel and soul singer, has evoked comparisons to Sam Cooke. Kelly gave an impressive performance of “Should’ve Been Us” at the VMAs. King made news when “Ex’s and Oh’s” topped the Alternative Songs chart, still a rarity for a female solo artist.

Hozier, who was nominated for Song of the Year last year for “Take Me to Church,” is eligible here because his debut album fell into this eligibility year. But, unlike Trainor, Hozier has had a hard time following his breakthrough smash. If the panel judges him based on what he has done since “Take Me to Church,” he may be in trouble.

Fetty Wap’s eponymous debut album is expected to be released just under the wire. The red-hot Mr. Wap was nominated in the new artist category at both the BET Awards and the VMAs, a sign of his broad appeal. But he’s not a natural fit for the Grammys.

Fifth Harmony was crowned Artist to Watch at the VMAs in August 2014. The female quintet is eligible here because its debut album, Reflection, was released in January.

James Bay won the Critics Choice Award at the BRIT Awards. Last year’s winner of that award, Sam Smith, went on to win four Grammys. (No pressure, James.)

Other contenders include Maddie & Tae, who tweaked “bro country” in “Girl in a Country Song,” Rae Sremmurd, Tove Lo, FKA Twigs, Chris Stapleton, Shawn Mendes, Tinashe, Halsey, X Ambassadors, George Ezra, Vance Joy, Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini, Logic, Travis Scott and Robert Delong.

Walk the Moon and Twenty One Pilots both had breakout successes this year, but did they first achieve prominence this year or were they already prominent? Expect a lively debate on that question at the annual Grammy screening meeting.

Pentatonix, whose smash Christmas album falls into this eligibility year, won’t be eligible because the members won a Grammy last year for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for “Daft Punk.”

Rachel Platten and Charlie Puth would have been very strong contenders, but their albums didn’t make the Sept. 30 deadline. Puth’s debut album, Nine Track Mind, is due Nov. 6. Platten’s first post-”Fight Song” album has yet to be scheduled.

My five picks are Meghan Trainor, Sam Hunt, Leon Bridges, Tori Kelly and Elle King.• 

Paul Grein has been tracking the Grammys since the “Bad Blood” on the Grammy ballot was by Neil Sedaka.

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