Country acts have claimed the Grammy for Best New Artist in two of the last five years — Zac Brown Band (2009) and Carrie Underwood (2006) — which is good news for The Band Perry. However, they’re not contending in any other category while rival nominees reaped multiple bids this year.
Alternative band Bon Iver are up for Song of the Year and Record of the Year with “Holocene.” Their self-titled debut disc is a frontrunner for Best Alternative Album which may be a consolation prize if they can’t take this category.
Everyone knew Nicki Minaj would get a nomination as Best New Artist. Her bids in Best Rap Album for “Pink Friday” and Best Rap Performance on “Moment 4 Life” with Drake were also expected. But hip-hop artists haven’t won this category since Arrested Development in 1993. Even Grammy darling Kanye West could claim this award in 2005.
While rapper J. Cole had a #1 debut with his first album “Cole World” earlier this year, he is not cited in any other category.
The wild card is dance artist Skrillex. Practically no one was predicting him for any awards, yet he contends in five contests — more than any other Best New Artist nominee this year. If dance fans can pool their votes, he could pull out a shocking victory over better-known musicians.