What's The Deal With The Grammys' Best New Artist Category?

Feb 10, 2017

There are many interests World Cafe doesn't have in common with this Sunday's Grammy Awards -- golden gramophones, red-carpet couture and sappy speeches among them. But there's one interest we do share: We're always on the hunt for the "best new artist."

Before making our predictions for this year's Best New Artist, we took a deep dive into the category's history to see how some past winners fared in their subsequent careers. Turns out this is an award full of scandal, surprise and many questions. Is winning Best New Artist at the Grammys the kiss of death for a musical career, as 1977's winner, Starland Vocal Band, or 1998's, Paula Cole, might have you believe? What happened to Milli Vanilli's 1990 trophy after Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus were outed as phonies and stripped of their title? And this year, does World Cafe favorite Chance the Rapper have a chance? Or will he be smoked by a band that Esquire recently called the Nickelback of EDM?

Listen above as we attempt to answer these questions. Below, enjoy a Spotify playlist featuring all the Best New Artist winners since 1959. And on Sunday, root for whoever you like — or don't like.

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