Sam Smith, the young English soul singer, won the Grammy for new artist at the 57th Grammy Awards on Sunday, capping a whirlwind year in which he went from tastemaker’s favorite to platinum-selling star.
The new-artist nomination was one of four Smith received in the Grammys' major categories. His debut, “In the Lonely Hour,” was nominated for album of the year, while “Stay With Me,” a stark ballad about an unrequited love, earned nods for song and record of the year.
Smith first piqued listeners’ interest with his vocals on Disclosure’s uptempo dance hit “Latch,” but his own work revealed a musician enthralled with the sounds of iconic R&B figures such as Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.
Smith beat out Iggy Azalea, Bastille, Haim and Brandy Clark for new artist. Last year Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won the prize along with Grammys for rap album and rap performance; other recent winners include Fun., Bon Iver and Esperanza Spalding.
The Grammys are determined by about 13,000 voting members. The eligibility period for nominated recordings was Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014. The 57th awards are being held at the Staples Center and telecast on CBS-TV. They are broadcast live except for viewers on the West Coast. The latest headlines and any breaking news will be posted here on Pop & Hiss.