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GRAMMY CHEW: THE
PRE-GRAMMY BOUNCE

Whose Careers Have Gotten a Boost From the Most Recent Round of Noms?

Lenny: Putting aside any lingering controversy about the Grammy nominations, a few nominees in high-profile categories have seen real growth in visibility and/or traction in the marketplace

Simon: I’m certainly hearing a lot of buzz about this Beyoncé kid. She is seriously talented.

Lenny: I was really more referring to artists who were still under the radar until recently. Best New Artist nominee Phoebe Bridgers got a big look on Saturday Night Live and knew what to do with it—people were still talking about the musical guest on Monday, which doesn’t happen very often.

Simon: That’s true, and it was reassuring to see that smashing a guitar, however ironically, can still make a difference. She’s got some Alternative radio action and pretty significant streams.

Lenny: I’ve been rooting for her, so I’m glad to see people recognizing the quality of her work. I’d love to see her win BNA. She’s a longshot, but stranger things have happened.

Simon: Dua Lipa’s career after winning BNA is the most recent example of the winner in that category fully realizing the promise it’s supposed to offer.

Lenny: Dua just goes from strength to strength, and when touring comes back, she could go supernova. Another interesting example is Black Pumas, who were BNA nominees last time and this year are up for Album and Record. They’ve had some action at Alternative radio with ROTY contender “Colors.”

Simon: For a variety of reasons, it feels like the right moment for them, not only because their musical blend is so appealing but because of the genres and demos they bring together. They’re helping expand the sound of the format—they really are alternative.

It also feels like a real moment for H.E.R., who made a splash on the last Grammy telecast and is another returning nominee—up for SOTY and two R&B Songs—and a past winner, for R&B Album. She continues to be a compelling presence and now has a Top 10 song at Rhythm and Urban radio with “Damage.” I think anyone who sees her perform has to acknowledge she’s a star.

Lenny: I agree. With a really big song, she’s unstoppable. We should also acknowledge Brittany Howard, who’s up for five genre noms—in Rock, Alternative, R&B and Roots.

Simon: Talk about bringing different demos together.

Lenny: Brittany got a ton of noms and a handful of wins with Alabama Shakes, but she’s definitely gotten more juice as a solo artist thanks to these noms. She’s a force of nature and is deservedly getting attention for some really powerful, personal work.

Simon: Amen. While we’re on the subject of the personal, I’d like to raise a toast with this cream soda to our late, great artist, Van Arno, who drew the Chew cartoon and created so many other great images for us. We miss him like crazy.

Lenny: Cheers.

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