The Earn This Podcast, Episode 12, Part 2 — History of the Grammy Award for Best New Artist (1991-2015, Rankings)


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In case you missed it: here is a link to part 1, covering 1960-1990

This is the second half of the podcast Colton and I recorded in the wake of the Grammies walking through and evaluating the history of the Best New Artist award. (Spoiler alert: It’s a dumpster fire.)

In addition to looking at the nominees and winners for each year, we put together a list for the five BEST and WORST winners at the end of the podcast.

A couple corrections and notes on this episode:

  • Colton correctly guessed that Crash Test Dummies’ hit was titled “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”
  • Here’s a link to Colton’s ranking of the best/worst Grammy winners
  • Upon relistening, I realized we used the phrase “not what this award is about” frequently as a euphemism without really defining it until the end (and even then, vaguely): So, to clarify, what I mean (and I think what Colton means) is that Best New Artist, like most of the general Grammy Awards (Best Album, Best Song, etc.), is a pop-centric award honoring the craft, success, and cultural zeitgeist of broadly-appealing, mainstream artists. Therefore, musicians who fall into niches or non-pop genres can be less appropriate as picks/nominees for this award without being any less worthy as artists.


Colton O.

Colton O.

Colton drinks straight out of coconuts and writes about music for Earn This. He joined the site in 2009.

Dan S.

Dan is the editor of Earn This. He co-founded the site in 2009.

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