21 Days of Grammies: Part 18

Why should you care about the Grammy Awards? Very valid question. But let’s face it: as the Writer’s Strike threatens to shut down more and more red carpet events, the 50th Annual Grammies may be the only constant in this year’s lagging awards season. In that light, the following is the eighteenth installment in my three-week countdown to February 10. Read below for my picks & pans in one of ’08’s many Grammy categories.

The award: Best New Artist

Past five winners: Carrie Underwood; John Legend; Maroon 5; Evanescence; Norah Jones

2008 Nominees
Feist
Ledisi
Paramore
Taylor Swift
Amy Winehouse

Who’s Missing: The American Idol crowd. Grammy voters left both Chris Daughtry and Elliot “Now I Can Buy Teeth” Yamin off of this list, both of whom had banner years in ’07 and proved the viability of AmIdol artists who finish outside the Top Two. I understand the Yamin snub, but ignoring Daughtry is more than quizzical — especially considering his four nominations in other categories. This is Paramore’s only nod.

Who Shouldn’t Be There: Ledisi. Grammy voters haven’t dropped a “who-the-fuck-is-that?!?” nominee in this category for awhile — not since Heather Headley’s nom back in 2004. (Also a modestly-successful R&B singer). Headley didn’t win that year, nor will Ledisi win this year. But both will see increased record sales in the future because of that “Grammy-nominated artist” sticker they can throw on the front of their CDs.

Who Should Win: Taylor Swift. Trust me, I’m no fan of giving the big Grammy awards to country artists. (Last year was particularly horrible, as the three big Grammies went to the Dixie Chicks and this category went to Carrie Underwood.) But I’m even less a fan of the nomination rules for Best New Artist, which allow any musician to be nominated in the year that “first establishes [their] public identity.” This explains the ’08 nods for Feist and Amy Winehouse — both of whom have been around for years. So I say give the award to Swift, a true new artist who sold more than two million records before she turned 18.

Who Will Win: Amy Winehouse. Amy’s visa problems will keep her from attending the Grammies this Sunday, but she’ll most likely be able to acknowledge her many wins via satellite. She’s a near guarantee in this category, unless Grammy voters have a change of heart and award a less deserving artist at the last minute (see 2005: Maroon 5 wins over Kanye West). Otherwise, expect a rare moment from an accepting Winehouse when she gives a speech that isn’t slurred.

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3 Responses to 21 Days of Grammies: Part 18

  1. Patty Pepper says:

    Just because you don’t know who Ledisi is, doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be there. She’s not any more obscure than Paramore and Taylor Swift is a virtual embryo. Although she hasn’t been very known in the mainstream, musicians know her so do fans who bought more than 100,000 cds from her with no label. She’s done a lot of stuff from a George Clooney movie, to the PBS Ella Fitzgerald tribute, been on probably 30 other artists’ albums, is adored by Chaka Khan and all the real divas. Look her up on imdb, and you’ll be shocked to see this overnight sensation has been busting her a$$ for 10 years steadily. And if you EVER see her live, you’ll get it. She’s so hype, you can’t even capture it in a record. Electric. So check it out instead of hating. Save that for the Rihanna types whose labels bought them careers. Ledisi is on a tiny label w/o much pull, so that’s really a compliment to be found to be nominated!

  2. Patty Pepper says:

    Oh, yeah, spell Heather Headley’s name correctly if you’re going to diss. (I wasn’t particularly impressed w/Headley either but she’s got serious pull ala Alicia Keys in terms of label backing.)

  3. Jon says:

    I didn’t mean to insult Ledisi’s talent, and if you read the post…I didn’t. I’m just saying that in a category meant for artists with “established public identity,” Ledisi doesn’t necessarily belong. I’ve heard “Joy” and “Alright” from “Lost and Found,” and I think she truly is a talented artist, but “Lost” peaked at 78 on the Billboard 200, while artists like Daughtry and Colbie Caillat owned the chart throughout 2007 (both new artists). (Even Paramore made it to #15.) So it’s nice to see that Grammy voters nommed a true talent, but this category is for a new artist who balances talent with mainstream success — thus the obvious win for Winehouse.

    So come clean Patty…are you Ledisi?

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