Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Lady Gaga inspires change in Grammy rules for Best New Artist, finally making it even more arbitrary

Last year’s unconscionable snub of Lady Gaga for a Best New Artist Grammy left the nation reeling, wondering whether that hallowed category—and indeed, the entire Grammy system—had been exposed as a meaningless sham, irrelevant to all but insular industry types whose evaluation of music is based solely on sales figures and inscrutable Q-rating algorithms. Fortunately, that nightmare scenario will no longer be allowed to repeat itself: Ms. Gaga was the last victim of a cruel stipulation stating that anyone previously nominated for an award—as she was in 2009 for Best Dance Recording—could not logically be considered a “new artist,” and therefore undeserving of an award that’s always delivered about nine months after a performer's moment in the zeitgeist anyway.

But through Gaga’s suffering, the award has been reborn, and now the rules state that musicians are eligible “if an artist/group is nominated (but does not win) for the release of a single or as a featured artist or collaborator on a compilation or other artist’s album before the artist/group has released an entire album (and becomes eligible in this category for the first time).” That means that fresh-faced newcomers like Drake—who received two nominations last year while also performing at the ceremony—is now considered a front-runner, having only recently released his full-length debut despite being all over the radio for what feels like several years now. So keep your eye on that kid; he might be going places.


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