Awards season is in full swing and Hollywood's best and brightest in all categories are being recognized for their work this year. While we already saw the Golden Globes in early January and the Screen Actor's Guild Awards last weekend, in just a few days, we'll switch gears to music with the upcoming Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26.
One of the Grammys' most revered awards goes to the Best New Artist of the year, an award that begin in 1960 — Macklemore and Ed Sheeran are among the nominees to win this year. While the award is meant to recognize the next biggest star on the airwaves (such as The Beatles, who won the award in 1965), history has proven otherwise. A majority of the winners for Best New Artist went on to have not-so-hot records, while their fellow nominees have earned millions through successful pop careers.
Let's take a look at some of the most surprising losers and who took the trophy, instead.
Images: Getty Images
LeAnn Rimes beat No Doubt
LeAnn Rimes had “Can’t Fight The Moonlight” and “How Do I?” No Doubt had the world singing along to ‘Hey Baby,” “Don’t Speak,” “Underneath It All,” and “Just A Girl.” PLUS, frontwoman Gwen Stefani went on to launch a successful solo career. It seems a little odd that LeAnn Rimes won over the L.A.M.B queen, but hey, she’s just a girl.
Christina Aguilera beat Britney Spears
Not as surprising, but equally interesting, is Christina Aguilera’s win over Britney Spears for Best New Artist. While both pop princesses got their start on the Mickey Mouse Club and had tremendously successful debut solo albums, Spears far surpasses Aguilera in net worth and studio albums.
Bon Iver beat Nicki Minaj
Oh, c’mon. Is this even a competition? Bon Iver may have won the Best New Artist Grammy, but he has been no match for the overwhelming commercial success of Nicki Minaj.
Amy Winehouse beat Taylor Swift
At the time, Taylor Swift didn’t seem like competition for the soulful Amy Winehouse when she won the award, but now everything Swift touches turns to gold.
Tom Jones beat Sonny and Cher
Tom Jones only had a couple hits, while Sonny and Cher captured the hearts of America with their music, television show, and later with Cher’s entire solo career spanning decades.
Norah Jones beat John Mayer
We don’t know why Norah Jones’ career hasn’t really taken off since her first album, but since her Best New Artist win, she doesn’t even compare to John Mayer’s multiple hits and tours.
Marc Cohn beat Boys II Men
Don’t know who Marc Cohn is? He’s responsible for that catchy tune “Walking in Memphis,” but that’s pretty much it. Boys II Men, on the other hand, went on to rule the pop industry with the rest of the mega-star boy bands of the ’90s and early 2000s.
Esperanza Spalding beat Justin Bieber
While Esperanza Spalding was the first jazz artist to win the award, she surprisingly beat out Justin Bieber, Drake, AND Florence + The Machine, making it one of the most surprising Best Artist wins in the history of the award. While Bieber, Drake, and Florence are all thriving in the pop industry, we haven’t heard much about Spalding since her win.