2013 Grammy prediction: Best New Artist nominees
• Alabama Shakes
• Hunter Hayes
• The Lumineers
• Frank Ocean
Predicting Best New Artist is usually easy. Just pick the female! Last year’s win by Bon Iver was a rare exception, as 12 of the last 16 (and 19 of the last 27) Best New Artist winners have been women or female-fronted bands.
This year, there’s not a single solo female artist among the nominees, but southern rockers Alabama Shakes are led by singer Brittany Howard. Unfortunately for them, they’re also the least-known of the bunch, and they’re up against a similar folksy act in the Lumineers, so don’t expect Alabama Shakes to continue the tradition of female Best New Artist winners.
That leaves Fun., Frank Ocean and Hunter Hayes. Ocean has all the buzz and critical acclaim. Will he also get the Grammy votes? He’ll certainly get a bunch, but Fun., as the closest thing to a mainstream pop nominee, will receive a boatload of votes as well.
Ditto for Hunter Hayes, since country acts often do well in this category. But Hayes won’t have quite enough support to join fellow country stars the Zac Brown Band, Carrie Underwood and LeAnn Rimes as winners of the award. It’s a battle between Ocean and Fun., with Alabama Shakes lurking as a potential dark horse.
We would have loved to see other deserving artists like Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Of Monsters and Men, and Emeli Sande get nominated ahead of Hayes and the Lumineers, but this is the batch we’ve got for 2013. (And we’ve already expressed our extreme dislike of the Lumineers.)
Ocean clearly deserves the award for his brilliant Channel Orange album, but the Top 40 success of Fun. and “We Are Young” could make them a safer pick for the Academy. We predict that the undying love and acclaim for Frank Ocean carries him to the award in a tight race over Fun.
2013 Grammy Awards: Best New Artist prediction
Deserves to win: Frank Ocean
Will win: Frank Ocean
Should have also been nominated: Ed Sheeran
See the list of every Best New Artist nominee and winner in Grammy history.