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Sorry Lady Gaga, no Grammy changes to best new artist category -- for now


One of the breakout artists of 2009, fashion-conscious pop-star Lady Gaga showed off her ability to break glass on last night's "American Music Awards." But there are limits to her power.

Speculation that the Recording Academy would consider changing its eligibility rules for the best new artist category was shot down this morning by an official spokeswoman for the group. Ballots already have been returned for the 2010 gala, nominees for which will be announced Dec. 2, and there are no further rule changes on tap until after the Jan. 31 ceremony.

"First-round ballots were due back in early/mid-October, so it would be extremely challenging to change the rules now with nominations being announced next week," said the Recording Academy spokeswoman. "Any changes to be made will be considered after this year's show and therefore would not affect the current rule, which does disqualify her."

Lady Gaga was nominated at the 2009 awards for her single "Just Dance," which was submitted in the best dance recording field. The fine print says an artist who has previously received a nomination at a prior ceremony cannot be in the running for best new artist at future Grammys -- unless, of course, the artist was a "non-featured" performer on the previously nominated track, such as a minor guest on a song.

Sunday night, Entertainment Weekly's Music Mix blog wrote that Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow was considering changes to the best new artist category that would allow Lady Gaga to be nominated. Said the EW post: "We asked Portnow if the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences might consider a rule change to let the year’s biggest breakout act compete for the prestigious prize. 'Yes,' Portnow said. 'The awards and nominations committee meets to review the rules every year. We change the rules frequently. We recognize that situation is not perfect, and we are looking at ways to figure it out.' "

With one of the bestselling newcomers of the year shut out of the best new artist field --  Lady Gaga's Interscope release "Fame" has sold more than 1.6 million copies since its release last October -- it is entirely plausible that this year's ceremony may spur the Recording Academy to rethink its rules. Yet such changes will not be made until after this year's Grammy Awards.

Don't feel too bad for Miss Gaga. She's expected to receive multiple Grammy nominations for the 2010 gala. Her "Fame" is a favorite to receive a nomination for album of the year, and her "Poker Face" is on the ballots for record and song of the year. 

There are plenty of quirks to the best new artist field. The official Grammy rules state that an artist must have released at least one album during the nominated year but no more than three. That's why, as Variety noted last week, hip-hop newcomer Kid Cudi won't be represented in the 2010 best new artist field His "Day 'n' Night" was released on Sept. 15, after the Aug. 31 cutoff for this year's eligibility period.

Though Lady Gaga is on her first album, there is a chance that veteran artists, as well as those who released records in 2008, will be nominated. Rock acts MGMT, the Ting Tings and the Silversun Pickups are all on the ballots for the 2010 ceremony. Los Angeles' Silversun Pickups have their sophomore effort in "Swoon," released this year on Dangerbird Records, and MGMT and the Ting Tings are still promoting albums that were released in 2008.

The best new artist field is generally one of the most debated of the Grammy categories. Recording Academy rules define the parameters this way: "A new artist is defined as any performing artist who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist as a performer."

Such a definition is open to interpretation. Famously, singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne was recognized as best new artist at the 2001 awards despite having a solid decade of experience. In 2009, teen sensations the Jonas Brothers were nominated for best new artist, despite having high-charting albums in prior eligibility years.

Nominations for the 2010 awards will be announced in a live television broadcast Dec. 2 from downtown L.A.'s Club Nokia. The Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS (tape delayed for Los Angeles viewers) from Staples Center on Jan. 31.

--Todd Martens


Guess who's getting Grammy nominations?

Grammys 2010: An early look at album of the year contenders (Part 1)

Grammys 2010: An early look at album of the year (Part 2)

Ladies' night at the AMAs

You want this drama: Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' video

Photo: Lady Gaga at the American Music Awards. Credit: Associated Presss

Comments () | Archives (7)

Lady Gaga doesn't need a worthless award.

She already owns the world.

So shove it, Grammys.

Lady Gaga is still a new and upcoming artist, not the newest, but still fresh. I believe this lady's got talent and lots of it. She's going to stick around for awhile. I'm watching for her lyrics and musicianship to bloom.

First heard her on the music site www.Youshook.com.
Thought she was a one hit wonder but it turns out the opposite. She is so talented.

Dang it, Grammy! Change the rules and win the MOST UNFAIR AWARD of all time! Come on, just for one lady? Yeah, she's great and achieved a lot but isn't that enough? She's all over the charts and radio and channels! Give that damn Grammy to someone else, someone who worked equally hard for the past 1 year, ppl like David Cook / Keri Hilson, etc.

"A new artist is defined as any performing artist who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist as a performer."

That in of itself is still subjective. The Jonas Brothers already established their public identities as performers way before this year, in fact from 2006-onwards. They nominated (and awarded) Lauryn Hill in the Best New Artist category for her solo album, despite the fact that she not only established her public identity as a performer being a member of the Fugees, a group which not only sold MILLIONS of albums, but also won Grammys! And she wasn't a "non-featured" performer, she was an official member of the group, therefore whatever awards the Fugees won, Lauryn Hill as a member wins them, too. So technically, per the Recording Academy's rules , she should've been ineligible for the Best New Award category, but they didn't enforce that rule on her! I am baffled by how flip-floppy the Recording Academy is on those things! They should change the rule of "any performing artist who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist as a performer", because clearly they cannot make up their mind on what exactly that is. And just because a performer has released 5 albums that no one stateside has heard of doesn't mean that by the time they release the album that makes them a household name that they are a "new artist". Anyone on a record label who officially releases their album ANYWHERE in the world for the first time should not be considered for the Best New Artist award after the first year of that album's release, period. Doesn't matter if that album becomes popular after 5 years since its release, it doesn't make it new. And I don't like the idea that an act who is huge overseas but unheard of in the US could be eligible for the category, hence why I said anywhere in the world. The music world does not revolve solely around the US, if we haven't heard of someone until a particular album, it doesn't necessarily mean they are a "new artist". We don't even produce the best music anymore, more like we're the purveyors of the worst.

Lady GaGa Poker Face was voted as the # 1 Song of the Year by thousands of listeners on DJ Paulie's Worldwide Countdown Show on www.youshook.com
It is still archive there in the channel section if anyone would like to see what the Top Ten Songs worldwide for 2009 are.

DJ Paulie

Lady Gaga is still new and fresh music. She doesn't need an award, she has cash.
Lady Gaga use your money and take a nice long vacation after your tour.

Here is a place I came across with many vacation ideas, enjoy Lady Gaga



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