For the first time ever, next year’s Grammys will allow for eight, not five, Best New Artist nominees. Unfortunately for Cardi B and Post Malone, however, they won’t be eligible for any of those coveted spots.
According to The Associated Press, both artists have been disqualified for the award by the Recording Academy. In Cardi’s case, her ineligibility stems from the fact that she earned Grammy nominations in the past — she nabbed Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance nods for “Bodak Yellow” at the 2018 Grammys. AP noted that Cardi had also been submitted for consideration for a 2018 Best New Artist award (she wasn’t ever officially nominated and the Grammy ultimately went to Alessia Cara).
Post Malone has never before been up for a Grammy, but after deliberation, the Academy’s members decided he was beyond the level of popularity and success usually reserved for Best New Artist status. In making their ruling, they pointed to Post Malone’s chart-topping 2016 debut album, Stoney, on which hits like “Congratulations” and “White Iverson” appear.
In a 2017 post explaining the process of selecting a Best New Artist nominee, the Academy described the category as having “the most complicated set of rules of any” other. Their definition is as follows:
Essentially, a “new artist” is defined for the GRAMMY process as any performing artist or established performing group who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist or established group as a performer. A GRAMMY nomination in a performance category in a prior year disqualifies an artist from competing in this category, unless the nomination came from a single or a guest spot on another artist’s recording, and the artist hadn’t yet released a full album.
Indeed, the rules here are hard to nail down — what exactly does it mean to be an artist with “an established public identity”? How does one go about measuring that? I distinctly remember the shock when Bon Iver scored the Best New Artist award in 2012… five years after the release of their landmark debut, For Emma, Forever Ago.
The 2019 Grammy nominees will officially be revealed on December 5th. The awards ceremony itself goes down February 10th.