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Best New Artist winners, ranked by popularity today

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Karen Blue // Flickr

Best New Artist winners, ranked by popularity today

Best New Artist is perhaps the most coveted of all Grammy awards presented each February by the Recording Academy. The award is not based on the actual popularity of artists, but on the Academy voters’ perception of how those artists will fare in the future. But is winning any indication of future success? The answer depends on the year, it seems—and on the personal life of the performers themselves. While some go on to record-breaking careers, others fade into obscurity.

Given all of this, it’s a somewhat eclectic bunch that makes up the class of Best New Artist alumni. Styles range from soul and pop to world music and grunge rock. Stacker decided to see whether the artists went on to maintain their level of popularity years later, basing stats on the number of Wikipedia page views in 2018 and the number of Spotify plays. There is not much correlation, but go ahead and click through to see where your favorites land—and if they went on to fame, notoriety, or simply the tragic end of an act disbanding.

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Alan Light // Wikicommons

#58. Bob Newhart (1960)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 4,194
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 3,306

Bob Newhart was the first artist to win Grammys in both the Album of the Year and Best New Artist categories, a feat that would only be replicated by three others. His comedy album, “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” was the first comedy album to hit #1 on Billboard's chart.

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Hugo van Gelderen / Anefo // Wikimedia

#57. The Swingle Singers (1963)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 34,263
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 102

This French vocal group, famous for taking classical materials and switching them to an a cappella swing setting, was originally headed by American expatriate Ward Swingle. There were seven other original members, and their album debut, “Jazz Sebastian Bach,” earned the collective a Grammy Award.

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NBC Television // Wikicommons

#56. Peter Nero (1961)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 39,088
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 60

Pianist Peter Nero rose to fame with his interpretations of Gershwin and other popular composers. Also a conductor of the Philly Pops orchestra, he is best known for the million-selling album “Summer of ‘42.”

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Photographer-Friedman-Abeles, New York // Wikicommons

#55. Robert Goulet (1962)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 48,254
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 769

Goulet starred as Lancelot in the Lerner and Loewe production of “Camelot” on Broadway before going on to win the Best New Artist Grammy in 1962. He was known for such recordings as “If Ever I Would Leave You” and “My Love, Forgive Me.”

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Shel Secunda // Wikicommons

#54. Marvin Hamlisch (1974)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 49,659
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 562

American composer, pianist, and conductor Marvin Hamlisch was best-known for his film scores throughout the 1970s, including “The Sting” and “The Way We Were.” He is also renowned for his work in theater, TV, and classical music as well, producing scores for hits like the Broadway musical “A Chorus Line.

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Justin Higuchi // Wikicommons

#53. Shelby Lynne (2000)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 71,089
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 272

Shelby Lynne's eclectic sound ranged from country, blues, Southern soul, roots rock, jazz, and adult contemporary pop. When she finally found her own sound on the album “I am Shelby Lynne,” it marked the beginning of her being embraced by critics and fans alike.

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s_bukley // Shutterstock

#52. Debby Boone (1977)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 128,878
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 604

Debby Boone counts multiple celebrities as family members, including Pat Boone for a father, singer Rosemary Clooney as her mother-in-law, and José Ferrer as her father-in-law. She became known when her song “You Light Up My Life” lit up the charts at #1 in 1977.

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JodyWatleyOfficial, AvidMusicInc // Wikicommons

#51. Jody Watley (1987)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 150,614
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 457

Known as the “Queen of Cool,” Watley started her career as the central member of dance-soul trio Shalamar before embarking on a solo career. It was a wise move—her self-titled debut album earned her the Best New Artist Grammy in 1987.

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Schorle // Wikicommons

#50. Rickie Lee Jones (1979)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 180,697
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 417

Cult favorite Rickie Lee Jones is best known for her folk and jazz styles combined with lyrical songwriting. Her unique style caught the ear of critics and audiences and led to her winning the 1979 Best New Artist Grammy in 1979.

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Keystone Features // Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#49. Bobbie Gentry (1967)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 181,740
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 863

1960s country star Bobbie Gentry wrote her own songs, made her own clothes, had her own TV show, and even painted her own album art. She enjoyed a period of intense fame from 1967 to 1971, followed by a Las Vegas residency that included Elvis among its fans. The writer behind hits like “Ode to Billie Joe” and “Fancy”—famously covered by Reba McEntireretired from the spotlight in 1981.

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Randy Miramontez // Shutterstock

#48. A Taste of Honey (1978)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 183,492
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 195

A Taste of Honey was a disco group that formed in the early ‘70s consisting of Janice Marie Johnson, Hazel Payne, Perry Kibble, and Donald Ray Johnson. Their song “Boogie Oogie Oogie” was #1 on Billboard's charts three weeks in a row and sold more than 2 million copies.

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Windsong/RCA Records // Wikicommons

#47. Starland Vocal Band (1976)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 253,133

Average daily Wikipedia page views: 248

Based in the 1960s folk scene, the Starland Vocal Band started as acoustic duo Fat City (Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert). This pair—plus Jon Carroll and Margot Chapman—produced the enormously popular “Afternoon Delight” single in the summer of 1976, which took over the airwaves and even led to the group's short-lived CBS TV show featuring a then up-and-comer David Letterman.

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Andrea Mancini // Wikicommons

#46. Esperanza Spalding (2010)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 450,039
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 921

American jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding won the Best New Artist Grammy in 2011, much to legions of Beliebers' disbelief. She had already cemented her role as a prodigy in jazz circles, however, graduating from Berklee College of Music in three years and becoming, at age 20, the youngest instructor in the school's history. She had also recorded three albums by the time of her Grammy win and has recorded three more since then.

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YouTube

#45. Milli Vanilli (rescinded) (1989)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 478,652
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 2,499

Milli Vanilli was the dance-pop duo famously stripped of their Grammy award for Best New Artist. The reason for the about-face? The public found out Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan had actually been lip-syncing to pre-recorded tracks sung by other people.

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Joris Peeters // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Arrested Development (1992)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 691,635
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 360

After selling 4 million copies of their first album in 1992, Arrested Development looked like they were headed for big things. However, the hip-hop group—known for “Mr. Wendal,” a strangely upbeat song about a wise homeless man—faded as quickly as they appeared.

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djnaquin67 // Wikicommons

#43. Sheena Easton (1981)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 787,398
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,170

Scottish pop diva Sheena Easton was inspired to pursue a singing career after seeing Barbra Streisand in “The Way We Were.” She had a number of hits in the 1980s, including “We've Got Tonight,” a duet with Kenny Rogers, and singles “Modern Girl” and “9 to 5.”

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Kirk Stauffer // Wikicommons

#42. Paula Cole (1997)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 849,825
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 436

Paula Cole rose to fame in the mid-1990s when her song “I Don't Want to Wait” was featured as the theme for the WB hit “Dawson's Creek.” She was nominated for seven Grammys and won Best New Artist in 1997, in addition to headlining Lilith Fair.

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Bruce Hornsby performs at the 41st annual Songwriters Hall of Fame. // Stephen Lovekin // Getty Images

#41. Bruce Hornsby & The Range (1986)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 1,026,598
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 804

Brothers Bruce and John Hornsby and their band The Range were the force behind a number of 1980s piano-driven soft rock hits. Their most famous song was “The Way It Is,” off their album of the same name, which sold 2 million copies and stayed on the charts for a year and a half.

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Thoughtmatters // Wikicommons

#40. Marc Cohn (1991)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 1,048,545
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 470

Marc Cohn is best known for the adult contemporary hit “Walking in Memphis,” released in 1991, the same year he won the Best New Artist Grammy. His follow-up work featured big names like David Crosby and Graham Nash, but his career momentum slowed for several years after.

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Aaron Russo-manager // Wikicommons

#39. Bette Midler (1973)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 1,156,703
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 2,904

The multitalented performer has been praised for her work in theater, music, and acting—and garnered awards in each of these genres. In fact, her first album "The Divine Miss M" went platinum and was the impetus for her receiving the 1973 Best New Artist Grammy.

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Mysti Cabasug, U.S. Air Force // Wikicommons

#38. Hootie & the Blowfish (1995)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 1,336,257
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,390

Hootie and the Blowfish's blues-rock sound was an anomaly in the grunge-heavy airwaves of the 1990s. The group's hits include “Hold my Hand,” “Let Her Cry,” and “Only Wanna Be With You,” which continue to be soft-rock staples. Today, lead singer Darius Rucker is enjoying a new chapter as a country solo artist. The group has also announced a reunion tour and new album for 2019.

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NBC Television

#37. Bobby Darin (1959)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 1,412,016
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,973

Pop singer and songwriter Bobby Darin was known for such '50s and '60s hits as “Splish Splash” and “Mack the Knife.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decades after his untimely death at age 37 in 1973.

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NordoffRobbins // Wikicommons

#36. Tom Jones (1965)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 1,854,132
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 4,199

Wales-born singer Tom Jones paired up with Gordon Mills as his songwriter and manager for his first hit, “It's Not Unusual,” landing Jones a record contract in 1964. This precipitated a slew of other chart-toppers—26 U.K. Top 20 hits, to be exact—between 1965 and 1999.

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David Robert Crews // Flickr

#35. Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 1,903,527
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,589

After his departure from '60s psych-folk outfit The Byrds, David Crosby formed a new band with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. That group's debut album featured such tracks as “Guinevere” and “Long Time Gone.” Soon after, the band known to fans as CSN added a "Y" to its moniker as Neil Young was added to the roster for stretches of time.

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Jessie Pearl // Wikicommons

#34. Christopher Cross (1980)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 2,008,628
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 946

The Texas-born American singer-songwriter is best known for the single “Sailing” from his self-titled debut album, for which he won the Best New Artist Grammy. In fact, Cross won five Grammys total in 1980. Cross counts Joni Mitchell among his influences and continues to make music today.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. John E. Lasky // Wikicommons

#33. LeAnn Rimes (1996)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 2,130,967
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 3,444

Country singer LeAnn Rimes made history when she captured the 1996 Best New Artist Grammy, both as the first country artist to receive the award and as the youngest individual performer to receive a Grammy. Her follow-up, “You Light Up My Life”—which featured her smash single “How Do I Live”—was the first album in music history to simultaneously debut at #1 on the country, pop, and contemporary Christian charts.

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Knudsen, Robert L. // Wikicommons

#32. The Carpenters (1970)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 2,280,633
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,840

Karen Carpenter and her brother Richard formed 1970s pop duo The Carpenters, and had their first big hit with the Burt Bacharach-penned “(They Long to be) Close to You.” After a string of other hits, including “We've Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays,” Karen's health began to fail due to complications from anorexia. She died at 32.

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Bart Cabanier // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Jose Feliciano (1968)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 2,504,022
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,238

Puerto Rican guitarist, singer, and composer José Feliciano became widely known for his 1968 cover of the Doors' “Light My Fire,” which he followed up with the 1970 pop hit “Feliz Navidad.” Feliciano's take on the Spanish-language Christmas song is now one of the most-played songs in the pop canon.

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burningkarma // Wikicommons

#30. Toni Braxton (1993)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 2,504,768
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 3,530

After being signed by Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds to Arista subsidiary LaFace Records, Toni Braxton released the single “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” and her self-titled debut album. The R&B singer known for her unique alto voice and such hits as “Unbreak my Heart” and “You Mean the World to Me” has suffered significant financial trouble in recent years, even filing for bankruptcy.


 

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Alan Light // Wikicommons

#29. Carly Simon (1971)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 2,566,735
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 2,295

Carly Simon, who wrote the 1972 hit single “You're So Vain,” was the first artist to have won an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe for a single track, 1988's “Let the River Run.” She continues to tour and perform—and even made an appearance on an album by Damon Albarn's animated supergroup Gorillaz in 2017.

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Vimeo

#28. Sheryl Crow (1994)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 2,580,282
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 2,417

Sheryl Crow majored in music education and taught elementary school before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her own music career. Once she went solo in 1995, she won her first three of nine Grammy awards, including Best New Artist and Record of the Year for “All I Wanna Do.”

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dbking // Wikicommons

#27. Natalie Cole (1975)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 2,730,432
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,970

Daughter of mid-century singer Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole made a name for herself with her 1975 album “Inseparable.” Her R&B sound on songs such as “(This Will Be) An Everlasting Love” and others earned her two Grammy awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Thilo Parg // Wikicommons

#26. Sade (1985)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 3,051,906
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,077

Sade—a band named for its Nigerian-born lead singer—is known for creating soulful, adult-oriented, sophisticated pop music. The single “Smooth Operator” from the group's debut album “Diamond Life” made it to the Billboard Hot 100, which likely influenced the group's Grammy win.

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Scott Gries // ImageDirect // Getty Images

#25. Lauryn Hill (1998)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 3,274,463
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 5,383

Lauryn Hill's soulful R&B on “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album defined a generation as she sang about self-respect and self-love. The record, which featured empowering hits like “That Thing” and “Everything is Everything” took home the Best New Artist Grammy as a result. Though she has been known for her erratic behavior over the years, Hill's influence remains strong: Her hooks have been sampled in recent hits such as “Nice for What” by Drake and “Be Careful” by Cardi B.

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Eva Rinaldi // Wikicommons

#24. Culture Club (1983)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 3,585,594
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,086

Led by the charismatic, cross-dressing Boy George, Culture Club rose to fame as part of the New Wave movement in the early 1980s. The group's catchy brand of pop-soul—including the upbeat “Karma Chameleon”—led to seven straight top-10 hits in the U.K. and six top-10 singles in the U.S. Although Boy George continued to enjoy fame, the group was short-lived, breaking up by 1986.

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MTV // Wikicommons

#23. Men at Work (1982)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 3,848,471
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 879

Australian group Men at Work came on strong freshman album, “Business as Usual,” which broke the American record for the most weeks a debut spent at the top of the charts. The band members' irreverent sense of humor, catchy guitar hooks, and wailing saxophones helped them carve their niche in new wave history.

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Eva Rinaldi // Flickr

#22. Carrie Underwood (2006)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 3,852,404
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 5,914

Country superstar Carrie Underwood had her big break when she won Season 4 of "American Idol." She has since been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and co-hosted the Country Music Awards annually with Brad Paisley.

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Warner Brothers Records // Wikicommons

#21. America (1972)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 4,060,754
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,389

Best remembered for the song “A Horse with No Name,” the ‘70s soft-rock group America made a name for itself with pop hooks, great harmonies, and unusual lyrics. America's song “Ventura Highway” has popped up as a road-trip theme in productions such as “Veronica Mars” and “We are Marshall.”

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Yaffa Phillips // Wikicommons

#20. Norah Jones (2002)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 4,401,023
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 2,769

Norah Jones won five Grammy awards for her jazz-inspired first album, "Come Away with Me." She continues to enjoy musical success on her own and in collaboration with other artists, including Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, and has acted in feature films such as “My Blueberry Nights” alongside Natalie Portman and Jude Law.

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Moses // Wikicommons

#19. Bon Iver (2011)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 4,712,097
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,555

Indie folk band Bon Iver is headed by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. His efforts on “For Emma, Forever Ago” caught the eye of Kanye West, who influenced the release of the band's self-titled album that in 2011 netted the group two Grammy awards, including Best New Artist. Although Bon Iver is more or less a critical darling, the name famously confused mainstream listeners who took to Twitter to voice their confusion over this “Bonnie Bear” person.

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Justin Higuchi // Wikicommons

#18. Evanescence (2003)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 4,843,042
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 2,638

2000s-era post-alternative band Evanescence, fronted by Amy Lee, had an international multi-platinum hit with its first album, "Fallen." The group's operatic goth-pop sound on tracks like “Bring Me to Life”and “My Immortal” led to two Grammys, but also caused rifts within the group. Evanescence continues to perform and produce music today.

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Hans Hillewaert // Wikicommons

#17. Tracy Chapman (1988)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 4,866,722

Average daily Wikipedia page views: 3,396

Tracy Chapman's eponymous debut album rose to the top of the charts in 1988 in both the U.S. and U.K., featuring critically acclaimed singles like “Fast Car” and “Talkin' ‘Bout a Revolution.” Although her commercial success peaked in 1995 with her best-selling hit “Gimme One Reason,” she continues to work as a performer and activist.

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Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Burden, U.S. Army // Wikicommons

#16. Zac Brown Band (2009)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 5,064,431
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,186

Country-bluegrass-reggae crossover stars The Zac Brown Band broke onto the scene in 2008 with the debut single “Chicken Fried.” The tune went platinum when it was released, leading to the band securing Best New Artist the following year.

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Ian Gavan // Getty Images

#15. Fun. (2012)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 5,314,071
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 1,553

This indie rock group blew up in 2012 with its sophomore album “Some Nights.” Guitarist Jack Antonoff is also a prolific producer who has worked with major fellow acts such as Lorde and Taylor Swift.

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Tais Melillo // Flickr

#14. Cyndi Lauper (1984)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 7,005,281
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 4,638

The '80s pop icon from Queens, N.Y., whose hits included “Time After Time” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is known for her eclectic fashion sense and infectious pop melodies. Lauper is also one of the founders of the True Colors Fund, which fights LGBTQ teen homelessness.

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Julio Enriquez // Wikicommons

#13. Chance the Rapper (2016)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 7,265,072
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 3,538

Chance the Rapper was the first artist to have an album (“Coloring Book”) win a Grammy based solely on streaming. The album blends soul, gospel, and hip-hop, and was the artist and activist's third so-called “mixtape.”

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Rama // Wikicommons

#12. Amy Winehouse (2007)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 7,865,642
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 9,536

The “Back to Black” artist, remembered for her signature beehive hairdo and jazz-tinged R&B sound, was also known for self-destructive behavior. The singer died at 27 years old following a long battle with alcohol and drug addiction.

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Christopher Dube // Wikicommons

#11. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2013)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 9,365,845
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 421

Hip-hop artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis memorably combined forces to produce several songs in the 2000s and 2010s, including “Same Love” and “Can't Hold Us.” The pair parted ways professionally in 2017, but both have continued with their solo careers.

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Walmart // Wikicommons

#10. Alicia Keys (2001)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 13,049,816
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 5,747

Alicia Keys, who wrote her first song at 14, in 2001 took home the Best New Artist Grammy the same year her debut album, “Songs in A Minor,” was released. The R&B artist and former coach on NBC's “The Voice” has won a total of nine Grammys to date.

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D.S.B // Wikicommons

#9. Christina Aguilera (1999)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 13,132,998
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 7,271

Late-1990s pop sensation Christina Aguilera was at first overshadowed by her fellow "Mickey Mouse Club" alum Britney Spears, who also released an album in the late '90s. That all ended with “Genie in a Bottle” and “What a Girl Wants” two songs that launched Aguilera to the top of the charts and netted her the Best New Artist Grammy for 1999.

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Max Pixel

#8. Mariah Carey (1990)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 13,250,274
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 11,170

Iconic pop diva Mariah Carey is well-known for the holiday mega-hit “All I Want for Christmas is You,” and for hitting the high notes on “Fantasy” and “Daydream.” She has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide and is the third best-selling female artist of all time.

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PopTech // Wikicommons

#7. John Legend (2005)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 13,277,756
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 6,858

R&B sensation John Legend started his music career as a child prodigy, playing piano and singing in the church choir. He went on to direct his college a cappella group at the University of Pennsylvania and collaborated with Kanye West on his demo. His smooth sound and mainstream appeal have made him a star; in 2018, he became the youngest person and first African-American man to win the distinction of EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards combination).

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Ronald Woan // Wikicommons

#6. Meghan Trainor (2015)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 14,310,230
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 5,296

Meghan Trainor, whose debut album included such hits as “All About that Bass,” “Lips Are Movin',” and “Like I'm Gonna Lose You,” is a product of the modern era. Her sassy lyrics and catchy melodies stem from years of editing her own music on GarageBand, which she was doing by the time she was 11 years old.

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Ted Eytan // Flickr

#5. Alessia Cara (2017)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 15,721,841
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 4,847

Canadian singer Alessia Cara was 10 when she received a guitar from her parents, and was just 13 when she became known for performing covers on her YouTube channel. Cara became the first Canadian to win the Best New Artist Grammy in 2017 for her inspirational self-penned pop songs.

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Harry Pot // Wikicommons

#4. The Beatles (1964)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 17,026,463
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 12,837

It's no surprise that British Invasion legends The Beatles are the most popular artist of all time. The group, which hit the airwaves with their brand of mellow pop in the 1960s and caused Beatlemania to spread across North America, solidified success with a Best New Artist award. Members Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr went on to enjoy worldwide success respectively as solo artists, although Lennon's career ended prematurely upon his shocking 1980 assassination.

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Egghead06 // Wikicommons

#3. Adele (2008)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 19,414,435
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 6,581

Soulful songstress Adele has become an international success with hits such as “Hello,” “Someone Like You,” and “Rolling in the Deep.” The England-born singer has won an impressive 15 Grammys and an Oscar since her breakout at age 19.


 

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Justin Higuchi // Wikicommons

#2. Maroon 5 (2004)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 36,493,568
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 4,172

Although they reached the limelight in the mid-2000s for songs including “She Will Be Loved” and “This Love,” Maroon 5 had been performing together for 10 years when they won Best New Artist in 2005. Known for their “funk-soul-pop-rock” sound and good-looking frontman Adam Levine (dubbed 2013's Sexiest Man Alive), the band enjoyed a comfortable spot on the top of the North American charts as their “Songs About Jane” album went platinum.


 

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Karen Blue // Flickr

#1. Sam Smith (2014)

Monthly Spotify listeners: 38,036,048
Average daily Wikipedia page views: 5,508

U.K. singer Sam Smith won Best New Artist shortly after releasing his debut record, "In the Lonely Hour," and coming out to the world as gay. He won three other Grammys that year, including Record of the Year for “Stay with Me.”



 

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