The Grammy for best new artist highlights some of the brightest new faces of the music world, but the artists don’t always live up to the hype the award creates. However, that’s not always the case: Christina Aguilera, who won in 2000 thanks to her self-titled debut album, has had three Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles. She’s now a judge on NBC’s “The Voice.”
Shelby Lynne was not new to the industry but finally had her chance to shine in 1999 with her album “I Am Shelby Lynne.” She won best new artist in 2001. She had a mixed reaction to her next few releases. Lynne has since started her own label, Everso Records.
After signing with Clive Davis, Alicia Keys raked in five Grammys in 2002 with her debut album “Songs In A Minor.” In addition to best new artist, she also won song of the year for “Fallin’.” She won four additional Grammys in 2005. Four of her five albums have hit No. 1. Keys has been married to Swizz Beatz since 2010.
In 2002, Norah Jones launched her solo music career and released the critically acclaimed album “Come Away with Me.” The certified diamond album has sold 10 million copies. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000-2009 decade. She’s also engaged in some side projects, including a country band called the Little Willies.
The American rock band Evanescence can thank its 2003 album “Fallen,” which sold more than 7 million copies in the United States, for its 2004 best new artist Grammy. The band has had a few lineup changes, but its records, including “The Open Door,” have sold well. The band took a hiatus from the scene, but in 2015 it announced a return to the stage on a mini tour.
The Los Angeles group Maroon 5’s album “Songs About Jane” went platinum in 2004. The next year, the band beat out rapper Kanye West to win the Grammy for best new artist. The group released its fifth album in 2014. Lead singer Adam Levine is a judge on NBC’s “The Voice.”
John Legend’s album “Get Lifted” in 2004 helped the pianist and vocalist to rise to fame. He’s won a string of Grammy Awards — including best new artist in 2006 — as well as a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
Carrie Underwood first became known to audiences with her 2005 win on “American Idol.” In 2007, the Oklahoma country singer won best new artist at the Grammys, one of many awards she has on her shelf. Her more recent hits include “Blown Away” and “Two Black Cadillacs.” She’s also done some acting, starring as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live version of “The Sound of Music.”
Amy Winehouse’s album “Back to Black” helped her win the Grammy for best new artist in 2008 against competition that included Taylor Swift. Winehouse battled substance abuse and health issues and never released another album. She died in 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
Adele has come a long way from when her demo was posted on Myspace. Her album “19” led her to defeat the likes of the Jonas Brothers and Lady Antebellum for best new artist in 2009. Known for basing her music on her relationships, Adele recently released her third album “25,” with her hit “Hello.”
The Zac Brown Band, a country group from Georgia, beat out Keri Hilson to grab the best new artist Grammy award in 2010. The band has released four albums, including “The Foundation” and “Uncaged.” It has collaborated with artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Avicii and Kid Rock.
Jazz artist Esperanza Spalding won best new artist in 2011 over competitors including Drake and Justin Bieber, becoming the first jazz artist to win the Grammy in the category. Her newest album, “Emily D+Evolution,” is due in March.
Bon Iver, a folk band featuring singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, earned the best new artist Grammy in 2012, beating out Nicki Minaj and Skrillex. The band has yet to release a follow-up to “Bon Iver, Bon Iver,” the album that put it on the map.
Fun is known for three hit singles from the album “Some Nights”: “We Are Young,” “Some Nights” and “Carry On.” The group won best new artist in 2013; “We Are Young” also won song of the year. In February 2015, the band announced on its site that it’s not splitting up but is working on other projects.
The Seattle hip-hop group Macklemore & Ryan Lewis formed in 2008. Its songs, such as “Thrift Shop” and “Same Love,” helped the group win best the new artist Grammy in 2014. The duo is set to release a second album, “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made,” at the end of February.
Sam Smith not only took home the best new artist Grammy in 2015, but his song “Stay with Me” won a Grammy for record of the year and song of the year. Smith recently won a Golden Globe for best original song for the theme for the James Bond film “Spectre.”