Five of the hottest new artists in America are vying for the coveted Best New Artist award at the Grammys this Sunday, though is it more of a curse than a blessing?
The Grammy Award for Best New Artist has gone to some of the most beloved artists of all time in the past, including The Beatles, Mariah Carey and Adele, but it has also gone to artists that arguably fizzled out in popularity after a breakout year, such as Paula Cole, Evanescence and Shelby Lynne.
The current nominees for Best New Artist at this year's Grammys are:
Each of these artists has carved out a different niche for themselves, whether it be through hip-hop like Azalea, rock for Bastille, country for Clark, alternative for HAIM or pop/soft rock for Smith.
Here is Enstars' ranking of the likelihood of each of these artists winning the Grammy award for Best New Artist on Sunday:
HAIM definitely broke out with their debut studio album Days Are Gone, which featured their most popular hit, The Wire. While they are popular among music critics and the indie rock scene, they probably don't have the name recognition to compete with others in the group. This is also their only nomination this year, making a win unlikely.
4. Brandy Clark
Every year there seems to be a country slot in Best New Artist and this year it went to Clark, an acclaimed songwriter of several hits who released her debut album in 2013. She is also nominated for Best Country Album at this year's awards, and she will easily take the country vote for this category, but she too suffers from lack of name recognition. It's possible that she could upset though.
Even more powerful than the country vote is the rock vote, which is where Bastille comes in. The band had a big hit in the form of Pompeii off their debut album Bad Blood last year. Rock bands traditionally do well in this category but without other nominations aside from a remix of Pompeii being nominated in Best Remixed Recording, a win is unlikely.
2. Iggy Azalea
One of the most polarizing artists in the industry right now, Azalea still broke out in a major way in nominations. Nominated for this, Record of the Year, Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Rap Album, there is clearly some love for in the nominating committee. She stands out among her fellow nominees and will certainly get many votes, but rappers just haven't been embraced in this category over the years, putting her at a slight disadvantage.
1. Sam Smith
At the end of the day, Best New Artist seems like it's Smith's to lose. With six nominations overall, Smith is clearly beloved in the industry and he was the only artist to be nominated in all four General categories this year. With hits like Stay With Me and I'm Not the Only One, Smith had a huge year and appears to be the clear frontrunner. After all, this category has rewarded many sensitive singer-songwriters in the past including Adele, Norah Jones, Bon Iver and more.
Smith might be in for a great night at the Grammys assuming he wins this and any one of his other categories. However, this is the same category that awarded jazz musician Esperanza Spalding over the likes of Drake, Mumford & Sons and Justin Bieber, so anything could happen.
The 2015 Grammy Awards are slated to air on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. on CBS.