Alessia Cara pulled off an upset at the 2018 Grammy Awards when she won Best New Artist over SZA. She became the 26th solo female singer to claim this awards since it was introduced at the second Grammys ceremony in 1959. While the first winner was “Mack the Knife” singer Bobby Darin won) , only 12 more male artists have taken this prize home since then. Groups or or collaborative acts have won this top honor 18 times. (Take a tour of all 59 winners in the photo gallery above.)
The Grammy Award for Best New Artist has been given out every year since 1959, with the exception of 1967. The most dubious winner has to be the duo Milli Vanilli, which won the award in 1989 only to have it rescinded a year later when it was revealed that they were lip syncing.
They were just one of the winning acts that have been cursed by this award. Others that never lived up their potential include Starland Vocal Band, A Taste of Honey and Christopher Cross. Conversely, other winners have gone on to become Grammy favorites, including The Beatles, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Mariah Carey and Adele.
Several artists have competed for this prize as a solo act after leaving their original groups behind including 1999 champ Lauryn Hill, who was previously a member of The Fugees, and 2001 nominee Sisqó, previously of Dru Hill.
Pop is the most popular genre represented in the roster of champions, with 28 wins followed by rock and roll with 11 wins, R&B with seven, country with five, rap with three, jazz with two and one for each of musical theater and comedy.