The performers vying to win the Grammy for Best New Artist can relax about one thing — at least this is one award Adele and Beyonce can’t win. This category is strictly for the newcomers, and according to our early predictions, Chance the Rapper is the frontrunner to win. That would be a milestone Grammy moment for hip-hop music.
Chance the Rapper gets 23/10 odds based on our latest rankings, which are based on the combined predictions of Gold Derby’s Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Grammy nominations, the All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine predictions from the last two years, and All Users who make up the largest and often savviest bloc of predictors.
His closest competition is the EDM duo The Chainsmokers, who rank second with 7/2 odds. But the recording academy loves solo female artists in this category, and three such musicians round out our top five: country singers Cam (9/2 odds) and Maren Morris (5/1 odds), as well as pop newcomer Alessia Cara (5/1 odds). Check out the current top 10 contenders below. Click on the chart to be taken to our complete odds.
Hip-hop music has been historically disadvantaged at the Grammys, often relegated to rap and urban genre categories. Even when nominated, rap seldom wins, with only two rap acts ever taking Best New Artist: Arrested Development in 1992 and the pop-infused Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in 2013.
Some of the most famous rap artists of the last two decades have lost this award. Puff Daddy lost to Paula Cole (1997), 50 Cent lost to Evanescence (2003), Kanye West lost to Maroon 5 (2004), Drake lost to Esperanza Spalding (2010), J. Cole and Nicki Minaj lost to Bon Iver (2011) and Iggy Azalea lost to Sam Smith (2014).
Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts as often as you like before nominations are announced on Dec. 6. Just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the Grammy race in our music forum.