With so much focus on movie award shows this time of year, it seems like the annual Grammy Awards often get lost in the shuffle. The music industry will hand out its highest honors this Sunday, February 12th in a ceremony that airs live at 7:00 p.m. on CBS. The affable James Corden will serve as emcee.
As in past years, the show is more about performance than actual awards, as most of the trophies are awarded off-camera. Instead of endless acceptance speeches, viewers are treated to high-energy performances by the biggest names in the music business. Among the dozens of artists slated to perform Sunday are Adele, Bruno Mars, Metallica, Little Big Town, Katy Perry, Cynthia Erivo, John Legend, Tori Kelly, Andra Day, Lukas Graham, Demi Lovato — as well as each of the nominees for Best New Artist (see below).
Beyoncé leads the pack with nine nominations for her powerhouse recording Lemonade. Her competition for the highly coveted Album of the Year prize includes Adele’s 25, Justin Bieber’s Purpose, Drake’s Views and Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. You can find all of these recordings at the library — just follow the underlined links provided for the music CD’s or check out our eMusic collection in Hoopla, where most of these albums can also be found in digital format.
One of my favorite categories each year is Best New Artist, which honors the performers who managed to burst onto the music scene in a big way during the past year. Check out this year’s nominees– a truly eclectic bunch. You can find the debut albums by these exciting new talents at the library on music CD and in digital format in Hoopla.
Kelsea Ballerini: Singer-songwriter Ballerini scored back-to-back number one hits with her first two singles “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Dibs” — an exceptional feat for a debut artist. She’s been making waves ever since: Billboard tagged her its annual Rising Star, and Rolling Stone named her country-pop album The First Time one of the best country albums of the year. You can bet you’ll be hearing from this young artist for years to come.
The Chainsmokers: Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall are the indie, dance, pop duo that comprise The Chainsmokers, and their dance EP Collage came on strong at the end of year. Their hit “Don’t Let Me Down” topped Billboard dance charts and snagged a Grammy nod for Best Dance Recording, and their collaboration with Halsey on the chart-topping song “Closer” grabbed another nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. If you missed their performance at Lollapalooza in 2015, don’t worry — they’re clearly here to stay.
Chance the Rapper: To say that Chicago-born rap artist Chance the Rapper is having a good year is an understatement. His mixtape Coloring Book, up for Best Rap Album, is the first streaming-only album to receive a Grammy nomination. He scored a total of seven Grammy nods this year for both his own album and performances with artists including Lil Wayne and Kanye West. Coloring Book earned raves from critics, including Pitchfork, which described it as “personal and panoramic, full of conversations with God, defying hip-hop norms while respecting them, proving that the genre can still dig deeper into its roots.” A few Grammy’s may encourage him to release his hot selling album on CD and vinyl, but for now you can find it only on streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.
Maren Morris: Maren Morris’ album Hero debuted at number one on the country charts, and introduced the hits My Church, Sugar and 80s Mercedes. Morris has already scored the Country Music Association’s 2016 New Artist of the Year award. Rolling Stone predicts that Morris will emerge as “the next great cross-over artist” à la Taylor Swift, and All Music lauds her “cross-cultural sensibility, cultivated from equal exposure to classic country, modern pop, and hip-hop, an aesthetic that places [Morris] at the crossroads…of modern country.” Competing for four Grammy’s on Sunday night, she’s clearly another young singer-songwriter poised for even greater success.
Anderson .Paak: Rolling Stone describes west coast-born Anderson .Paak as “a dreamer and a romantic who blends hip-hop, R&B, rock and soul into a funky world all his own” and Pitchfork hailed his breakout album Malibu as one of its best albums of the year. Malibu is up for Best Urban Contemporary Album, where Paak faces competition from the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna. Not bad company to be keeping at this stage of his career!
You can find a great selection of songs by nominated artists on the official Grammy recording 2017 Grammy Nominees, which is available at the library in both music CD format and on Hoopla. Take a look at the complete list of Grammy nominees and tune in Sunday night to watch your favorite artists in action!