Best new artist nominees for the 2021 Grammy Awards

Below, meet the artists up for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammy Awards.

THE 2020 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS - "The 2020 American Music Awards", hosted by Taraji P. Henson aired from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, SUNDAY, NOV. 22 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC)MEGAN THEE STALLION

Megan Thee Stallion at the 2020 American Music Awards.  ABC

Megan Thee Stallion
Age: 26
Origin: Houston

Grammy nominations: 4

The 26-year-old San Antonio-born, Houston-raised rapper has had arguably the most meteoric rise of all artists on this list. She broke into the mainstream in 2019 with the single “Hot Girl Summer,” following that up with “Savage” and “WAP” in 2020. Her debut album, “Good News,” was released in November.

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers  Courtesy

Phoebe Bridgers
Age: 26
Origin: Los Angeles
Grammy nominations: 4

Indie queen Bridgers followed up her 2017 album “Stranger in the Alps” with her sophomore album “Punisher” in June 2020, which quickly became a quarantine must-listen, along with being a critical success. Of the difference between her first album and second, which has her up for four Grammys, Bridgers told WWD in June it was about “daring myself to write s–t that’s actually true to me, instead of trying to write about somebody else’s experience has been my biggest writing lesson. And they’re the songs that I keep coming back to more and more.”

THE 2020 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS - "The 2020 American Music Awards", hosted by Taraji P. Henson aired from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, SUNDAY, NOV. 22 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC)DOJA CAT

Doja Cat at the 2020 American Music Awards.  ABC

Doja Cat
Age: 25
Origin: Los Angeles
Grammy nominations: 3

Originally famous for her viral hit “Mooo!”, Doja Cat has gone on to embark on a serious career — one that now has her up for three Grammys. Born Amala Dlamini in Tarzana, Calif., Doja Cat got her start uploading songs to SoundCloud before signing with RCA. She had one of the biggest breakouts in 2020 with “Say So,” in many parts thanks to the song’s popularity on TikTok.


Chika performs in Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show in 2020.  Kevin Mazur/Courtesy of Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 Presented by Amazon Prime Video

Age: 24
Origin: Montgomery, Ala.
Grammy nominations: 1

Jane Chika Oranika started in music through slam poetry at a young age, eventually dropping out of the University of Southern Alabama to pursue music. Since her first single, “No Squares,” was released in 2019, she’s been steadily rising as one to know, following it up with two EPs and surprise dropped a third, “ Once Upon a Time,” as recently as Friday. She’s been nominated for Best New Artist — all before releasing her first album.

“soundcheck hunnies”

Ingrid Andress  Annie Lukach/Courtesy Photo

Ingrid Andress
Age: 29
Origin: Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Grammy nominations: 3

The lone country act on the list, Andress got her start in the industry songwriting for Alicia Keys and Sam Hunt. Now a full-fledged solo artist, the Berklee College of Music grad nabbed Platinum status with her debut single “More Hearts Than Mine” and released her debut album, “Lady Like,” in 2020.

D Smoke performing on "Rhythm + Flow."

D Smoke performing on “Rhythm + Flow.”  Adam Rose/Netflix

D Smoke
Age: 35
Origin: Inglewood, Calif.
Grammy nominations: 2

D Smoke, born Daniel Farris, might be the oldest nominee on the Best New Artist list but he’s also up for Best Rap Album, the youngest in that category. D Smoke’s rise comes a bit later in life thanks to his 2019 win of Netflix’s rap competition series “Rhythm + Flow.” “I’m still early on in my journey as an artist,” he told WWD this past week. “This recognition [the two Grammy nominations] kind of fast-forwards things for me in the way that ‘Rhythm + Flow’ did. And so that’s a great thing. A lot of people are catching on as we’re building this catalogue. A lot of times when you get to this level of success, people go back and they find four albums. So now it’s people following this journey from [my first album].”

Age: 28
Origin: Montreal, Canada
Grammy nominations: 3

Kaytranada, born Louis Kevin Celestin, has been a successful producer for many years, making gold for artists like Alicia Keys, Chance the Rapper and Anderson.Paak. His second solo album, called “Bubba,” was released in 2019 and featured songs with Pharrell Williams, Tinashe and more.

Noah Cyrus

Noah Cyrus  Roger Kisby/WWD

Noah Cyrus
Age: 22
Origin: Nashville
Grammy nominations: 1

Until now best known as Miley Cyrus’ kid sister, Noah is paving her own way in music. Last year saw the younger Cyrus drop her second EP, “The End of Everything,” with another EP, reportedly called “People Don’t Change,” set for release in 2021. Cyrus has already opened for a major act — Katy Perry on her 2017 tour — and worked with artists like Marshmello.

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