The competition for new artist is as hot as ever, with a slew of fresh faces having broken out this past year. Eligibility rules for this one are complicated, making it hard to predict, but alternative-R&B singers SZA and Khalid have had huge years with their inventive debuts. Julia Michaels, who penned hits for Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Selena Gomez and Fifth Harmony before stepping to the forefront, is also a front-runner for a nomination.
Pop artist Alessia Cara should have been nominated last year, as her album “Know-it-All” was released in 2015, but she’ll be tough to ignore this go-around after having a little more chart success, not to mention her collaboration with Zedd, “Stay.”
Rappers Post Malone, Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboy Carti and Logic had some of the year’s biggest hits and voters could look to rectify hip-hop’s long tradition of being underrepresented in this category by nominating multiple emcees. Yet the Grammys have always loved a good redemption story, and crooner James Arthur bounced back with the ballad “Say You Won't Let Go,” which helped rescue him from a seemingly torpedoed career years after a string of offensive lyrics had him ostracized. Country acts Luke Combs, Kane Brown and Old Dominion all have a strong shot here, as does indie band AJR and pop singers Zara Larson and Dua Lipa.