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Grammy Awards

2019 Grammy Watch: Best New Artist

Jorja Smith, Dua Lipa, H.E.R. and Margo Price lead the nominees in this always interesting category.

Charlotte Kohlberg

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CMN’s team of music writers is previewing the 2019 Grammy Awards. The 61st annual ceremony will take place Sunday, February 10 in Los Angeles. You can see all of our Grammy coverage here. 

Chloe X Halle – This sister Duo was discovered on YouTube doing stellar covers and caught the eye of Beyonce’s management company, Parkwood Entertainment, back in 2013. They released a new album in 2018 and their songs have appeared in TV series Dear White People and Grown-ish, and movies A Wrinkle in Time and Trolls. 

Luke Combs – Country sensation who took the world by storm in 2015 with his single “Hurricane,” which wound up at number one on Billboard’s Country Airplay charts in May of 2017. The singer takes inspiration from country’s leading men, Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan, as he sings about love and romance. A deluxe edition re-release of his first album This One’s for You Too, dropped in 2018.

Greta Van Fleet – Started in the garage from a tiny Michigan hamlet by three brothers, Josh (vocals, 22), Jake (guitar, 22), and Sam Kiszka (bass/keys, 19), and longtime friend Danny Wagner (drums, 19). Taking inspiration from their parents’ vinyl collection, they play a high-energy hybrid of rock’n’roll, blues and soul. Their debut Anthem of the Peaceful Army was released on October 19, 2018 with the message to use music to spread “peace, love and unity.” Despite their age, the band sounds like it time traveled to the 70s, especially to visit Led Zeppelin. 

H.E.R. – H.E.R. (aka Gabriella “Gabi” Wilson) surfaced in 2016 with her debut EP H.E.R., Vol 1, a collection of post-breakup material that balances vulnerability and assurance. She is also nominated for Grammys in Album of the Year (for H.E.R.), Best R&B Album (for H.E.R.), Best R&B Performance (for “Best Part”), and Best R&B Song (for “Focus”).

Dua Lipa – This artist has already made an impressive name for herself by having a platinum single in 17 countries (the first solo female number one single since Adele in 2015), being nominated five times at the BRIT Awards, and taking home awards for British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist.  She has remained at top of the charts with her soulful and raspy voice and rhythmic beats.

Margo Price – This Americana singer/songwriter is a traditionalist of the 70s without being overly reminiscent of that era. Her country twang and narrative lyrics are refreshing. Her knack for storytelling and attention to detail caught Jack White’s eye as she recorded and released her debut album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter for Third Man Records in 2016.  

Bebe Rexha – Starting out as a songwriter for big names like Eminem, Rihanna, and Selena Gomez, this singer made her transition by making hit after hit with electronic artist such as, Cash Cash, David Guetta, and Martin Garrix; rappers G-Eazy, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minag; and country group Florida Georgia line. With all those collaborations under her belt and her talent for diverse sounds, Bebe Rexha’s own work is darker and beautifully sorrowful.  

Jorja Smith – The English R&B singer has a smooth and soulful voice and a retro sound. Her lyrics recall Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, and the late Amy Winehouse. Her debut album Lost & Found was released in 2018 and written over a five-year period.

Most Likely to Win

It is between Dua Lipa with her impressive pedigree for hits and awards and already established name, and H.E.R. who also received a nod for Best Album of the Year.

Who Should Win:

Dua Lipa. While her fellow nominees are nothing short of talented, Dua Lipa has already a collected seven Hot 100 hits and is one of the most well-known pop stars in this category.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Charlotte is a recent Graduate in Art History from New York University. After working at a publishing company, she realized her affinity for writing when she had to write weekly newsletters on authors and podcasts. She started her journalism career contributing for online media and entertainment source, The Knockturnal. Currently living in New York City, Charlotte enjoys going to concerts and art museums, and mixing cocktails for her friends.

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