Fun., the quirky New York City band with a hip-hop-inspired approach to classic pop songwriting, was named best new artist at the 55th Grammy Awards Sunday, capping a whirlwind year in which its song “We Are Young” became an inescapable No. 1 smash.
The new artist nomination was just one of four Fun. received in the Grammys’ major categories: “We Are Young” is also up for song (which it won) and record of the year, while the band’s “Some Nights” is in competition for album of the year.
Formed out of the ashes of several mid-level indie bands (including the Format and Steel Train), Fun. released its debut album, “Aim and Ignite,” to minimal attention in 2009. Last year, though, it remade its sound with help from producer Jeff Bhasker, best known for his work with Kanye West and Beyoncé; together they added sleek electronic beats to soaring melodies inspired by the likes of Jeff Buckley and Queen.
Fun. beat out the Lumineers, Hunter Hayes, Alabama Shakes and Frank Ocean for best new artist. Last year Bon Iver won the prize in an upset over Nicki Minaj; other recent winners include Adele, Amy Winehouse and Carrie Underwood.
The Grammys are determined by about 13,000 voting members. The eligibility period for nominated recordings was Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012. The 2013 awards are being held at 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.