For an up-and-coming musician, the Best New Artist Grammy nomination is a dream come true. Past winners include the likes of Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Carrie Underwood, and Adele, making this coveted spot an almost telltale sign of success to come. But even when you don't win the award, it's really not that bad–just ask Kanye West, Britney Spears, John Mayer, or Taylor Swift.
This year's nominees include two country singers, two hip-hop artists, and an EDM DJ duo, and many are nominated for multiple awards. We did some Internet sleuthing and Instagram stalking to find out all we could about them, so read below for all the deets. We've also put together a Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure, featuring all of our favorite songs by these five artists. We guarantee there are more than a few that will end up stuck in your head. Happy listening!
1. Maren Morris
Maren Morris is nominated for an impressive four Grammys this year: Best New Artist, Best Country Album, Best Country Song, and Best Country Solo Performance. The 26-year-old country singer-songwriter from Arlington, Texas just kicked off her first headlining tour on Feb. 2, and she'll be joining Sam Hunt on his tour this summer. She has writing credits on songs by Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson, as well as songs on the TV show, Nashville, and on top of all that, she's already won the 2016 CMA New Artist of the Year Award. Will a Grammy be next?
2. Anderson .Paak
Anderson .Paak, whose real name is Brandon Paak Anderson, is a 30-year-old hip-hop artist and musician from Southern California, and he's nominated for two Grammy Awards this year. In addition to Best New Artist, his most recent album, Malibu, received a nom for Best Urban Contemporary Album. In 2016, he was nominated for a BET Hip Hop Award as Best New Hip Hop Artist, so this could be his lucky year for a Grammy. Fun fact: he was once the drummer for an American Idol contestant!
3. Kelsea Ballerini
This country cutie burst onto the scene with her first single, "Love Me Like You Mean It," back in July 2014, and country music hasn't been the same since. The 23-year-old, who grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, already has a 2015 Billboard's Women in Music Rising Star Award under her belt, as well as an Academy of Country Music Award for New Female Vocalist of the Year. She's opened for country superstars Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts, and embarked upon her very own headlining tour last November. Ballerini may very well be on her way to becoming a superstar herself.
4. Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper is–you guessed it–a rapper, hailing from Chicago, Illinois. At just 23 years old, he is nominated for a whopping seven Grammy Awards this year: Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Performance, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song (for "Famous," which he was a writer on), Best Rap Song (for "Ultralight Beam," which he's a featured artist on), and Best Rap Song (for "No Problem," his song featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz). We must also note that he's accomplished all this without a record label. It will suffice to say that Chance has been a very busy guy.
Usually seen in his signature "3" hat (which you can buy here), his Instagram has become one of our favorites, mostly due to the pictures he posts of his adorable baby daughter. Seriously, look at this picture of the two of them with the Obamas.
5. The Chainsmokers
There is a pretty good chance these days that you've turned on your radio and The Chainsmokers have been playing. The duo, made up of 26-year-old Drew Taggart and 31-year-old Alex Pall, have been topping charts ever since the release of their single, "Roses," back in 2015. Now, with their hit song, "Closer," featuring Halsey, these EDM DJs are more popular than ever. They are also nominated this year for Best Dance Recording and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, both for their song "Don't Let Me Down" featuring Daya. Catch the guys on tour starting in April, and watch out for their debut album around the same time.