Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blunders by the Grammy Awards for Best New Artist

Most awards shows, be it for television, movies, music, whatever, you can take 'em or leave 'em.  I prefer the American Music Awards over the Grammies, but one category in particular has stuck out (or stunk out or struck out if you prefer) and that is the Grammy for Best New Artist.  Some of the awards have been well-deserved, most have not.  Some believe there is a curse associated with winning the award when in actuality, in most cases the group that won should not have in the first place.  This quote--

We got two of the five Grammys - one was Best New Artist. So that was basically the kiss of death and I feel sorry for everyone who's gotten it since.
—Taffy Danoff, 2002

was from a group (Starland Vocal Band) that had an amazing debut album but still weren't the Best New Artist.  They never could match that early success.

Here is a history of the award presented since 1959:

1959--Bobby Darin
1961--Bob Newhart (Huh?), beat out the Brothers Four, among others
1962--Peter Nero
1963--Robert Goulet....beat out groups called the Four Seasons and Peter, Paul and Mary.  Are you kidding?  Bob Dylan was not nominated.
1964:  The Swingle Sisters, Vicki Carr was probably the best of the nominees.  Barbra Streisand was not nominated.
1965:  The Beatles
1966:  Tom Jones, beat out the Byrds and Sonny & Cher.  The Doors were not even nominate.
1968:  Bobby Gentry...I mean she had a good song and all but "Best New Artist" over the 5th Dimension and Jefferson Airplane?
1969:  Jose Feliciano, beat out Cream and Gary Puckett & the Union Gap.  Can you believe CCR was not even nominated?
1970:  Crosby, Stills & Nash--well-deserved at the time and one of the few great choices.  But also consider the other nominees--Chicago and Led Zeppelin
1971:  Carpenters, again well-deserved at the time.  Other nominees were Elton John and Anne Murray.  Santana was not nominated.
1972:  Carly Simon
1973:  America, another well-deserved award at the time but who knew how huge the Eagles would be?
1974:  Bette Midler, beat out Barry White, and Aerosmith was not nominated.
1975:  Marvin Hamlisch (I don't know where they come up with stuff like this...)  Hamlisch instead of Bad Company; that's just plain Bad.
1976:  Natalie Cole--Little River Band was not even nominated.
1977:  Starland Vocal Band (and I loved this group), but they beat out Boston?  Great insight by the Academy, which did not even nominate Tom Petty.
1978:  Debby Boone--beat out Foreigner and Andy Gibb, both of whom would go on to have immeasureably better careers.  Journey, with Steve Perry aboard, wasn't even nominated.
1979:  This is my favorite--A Taste of Honey beat the Cars and Toto.  Van Halen, which had a hot debut album, wasn't even nominated.
1980:  Ricky Lee Jones, beat out Dire Straits.  John Mellencamp was not nominated.
1981:  Christopher Cross, probably the best choice since Natalie Cole.  Although the Pretenders and Air Supply (who wasn't even nominated) probably deserved it as well.
1982:  Sheena Easton, beat the Go-Go's, Luther Vandross and James Ingram in a good year
1983:  Men at Work, one of the best moves in this category
1984:  Culture Club, beat the Eurythmics.  Metallica was not even nominated.
1985:  Cyndi Lauper, beat out Madonna.  Cyndi's cool but what a joke.
1986:  Sade won the award and she's been a great artist.  Whitney Houston, however, wasn't even nominated.
1987:  Bruce Hornsby
1988:  Jody Watley
1989:  Tracy Chapman
1990:  Milli Vanilli (award stripped after the lip-synching scandal)--Garth Brooks wasn't even nominated.
1991:  Mariah Carey
1992:  Mark Cohn, beat Boyz II Men and Seal.  Again, I liked his debut, but nowhere near the others.
1993:  Arrested Development
1994:  Toni Braxton
1995:  Sheryl Crow--also in the competition Green Day
1996:  Hootie & the Blowfish, a good year that also had Brandy, Alanis Morissette and Shania Twain
1997:  LeAnn Rimes, over Jewel and No Doubt
1998:  Paula Cole
1999:  Lauryn Hill, beat the Backstreet Boys and Dixie Chicks
2000:  Christina Aguilera, another of the excellent choices
2001:  Shelby Lynne, beat Papa Roach
2002:  Alicia Keys
2003:  Norah Jones, another that deserved the award, but also in the running:  John Mayer
2004:  Evanescence, beat 50 Cent and Sean Paul
2005:  Maroon 5
2006:  John Legend, beat Fall Out Boy and Ciara
2007:  Carrie Underwood
2008:  Amy Winehouse, beat Taylor Swift.  Good grief.
2009:  Adele
2010:  Zac Brown Band
2011:  Esperanza Spalding, beat Justin Bieber

As if I needed further evidence--these all-time great acts were never even nominated for Best New Artist:

Garth Brooks
Air Supply
Barbra Streisand
Bruce Springsteen
Van Halen
Whitney Houston
Kenny Rogers
Celine Dion
Neil Diamond
Simon & Garfunkel
Bob Dylan
Def Leppard
James Taylor
John Denver
Pink Floyd
Linda Ronstady
Tom Petty
John Mellencamp

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