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#RSGrammyCentral: 2022 Best New Artist Grammy Nomination Predictions

Will Olivia Rodrigo capture the Big 4 categories including Best New Artist, as Billie Eilish did two years ago? Could K-Pop’s BLACKPINK or Italian rockers Maneskin make the cut?

Amit Vaidya Nov 21, 2021

(from left to right) Olivia Rodrigo, Arlo Parks, Glass Animals. Photos: Grant Spanier (Rodrigo); Alexandra Waespi (Parks); Pooneh Ghana (Glass Animals)

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This year’s batch of Best New Artist contenders is likely to be a mix of the obvious, the absurd and the underrated. Here are the top eight contenders. 

Olivia Rodrigo

This seems like the most obvious choice for a nomination and the likely win, but then again, with the Grammys sometimes even a sure thing isn’t guaranteed. Still, if I were to put money on it, Rodrigo is, at the very least, bagging this nomination, and everyone else’s chances simply pale in comparison to the breakout star of the year. 

Arlo Parks

This Brit has yet to see her commercial breakthrough Stateside but she’s been the critics’ darling all year. Her stellar debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams deserves an Album of the Year nomination in my opinion, but that’s not happening this year. The consolation prize will be recognition here, with a hope that her nomination will lead to a breakout television performance the night of the Grammys where folks will finally discover her. 

The Kid LAROI

Probably Rodrigo’s most mainstream competition in this category would have to be The Kid LAROI, but unlike Rodrigo, the Australian teen didn’t make it big until he got heavyweights Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber on his records. He’s one to watch out for but it’s unlikely the Grammys will award him with more than this nomination this year unless they go all out on Bieber and he rides that wave of momentum. 

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Saweetie

While she already had platinum singles like “My Type” to her name, 2021 saw Saweetie with her biggest hit yet—“Best Friend” with Doja Cat. Beyond the single, the rapper has had received plenty of recognition this year, including her own Happy Meal at McDonald’s, making her stand out from a packed crowd of female rappers.  

Gabby Barrett

The former American Idol alum scored a huge crossover hit with “I Hope” in 2020 and her hit streak on country radio has continued ever since. The Grammy rules for Best New Artist make Barrett officially eligible this year, making it possible for her to repeat what Carrie Underwood did all those years ago and go on to win Best New Artist. 

Maneskin

This year’s Eurovision winners, the Italian rockers Maneskin seemingly came out of nowhere and went on to have a huge impact in the US thanks to their cover of the Four Season’s “Beggin’.” While it’s not likely going to parlay to other hits stateside, it is one of the first times a rock band has crossed over in such a way and the Grammys seem likely to reward them for this accomplishment. 

Glass Animals

The British indie rock band released their third album in 2020, Dreamland. The album spawned the sleeper hit “Heat Waves” which finally cracked the Top 10 for the first time last week, over a year after its release. While the band is far from new, this was their breakout year and they’ll likely get some love courtesy of a Grammy nomination 

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Polo G

Besides Rodrigo and The Kid LAROI, Polo G is the only other artist to score a #1 hit this year with “Rapstar.” He also scored his first number one album with Hall Of Fame. Similar to Glass Animals, this was the rapper’s third album, so it wasn’t a sure bet that he’d make the cut as he already had scored two Top 10 albums but the Grammys deemed him eligible and he’s likely to get a nod here. 

BLACKPINK

The weirdest nomination in the Best New Artist category for me is BLACKPINK because, well they’ve been around much longer than this past year, but, once again, Grammys deemed them eligible, so I really can’t see how the K-Pop supergroup gets overlooked, especially with the voting now open to the larger Academy community. Their nomination or even that of Twice or Monsta X here would be a big shift in the Grammy’s acceptance and recognition of the K-Pop genre beyond just BTS. 

Nomination Spoilers 

Anitta

Walker Hayes

Finneas

Tate McRae

BraRina Sawayama

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