As much fun as it is to see music’s biggest names among the 2023 Grammy nominees, it’s also an annual highlight to see which first-timers are up for their very first Grammy awards each year. The 2023 freshman class is packed with rising talent who are just getting started on their music careers — but they’re not all total unknowns.
The biggest group, of course, is in the best new artist category, where the Grammys recognize the brightest up-and-coming stars. This year, the nominees are Anitta, Omar Apollo, Domi & JD Beck, Samara Joy, Latto, Maneskin, Muni Long, Tobe Nwigwe, Molly Tuttle, and Wet Leg. Among those nominees, Wet Leg also broke into other categories, earning nods for best alternative album, best engineered album (nonclassical), and best alternative music performance.
Other categories have a high concentration of first-timers, too. The best rock album category, for instance, features the first career Grammy nominations for Machine Gun Kelly (who was also one of the stars announcing the nominations), Spoon, and Idles. Rock act Turnstile also picked up multiple nominations in the rock genre categories (best rock song and best metal performance for “Blackout” and best rock performance for “Holiday”). In the rap category, GloRilla snagged a first-time nod in best rap performance for “F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” with Hitkidd.
As usual, the best musical theater album category features some fantastic Grammy newcomers, including Tony-winning songwriters and performers such as Michael R. Jackson, Lucy Moss and Toby Barlow, and Myles Frost. Kim Petras earned her first nomination for best pop duo/group performance for “Unholy,” her collaboration with Sam Smith. Even one of the night’s biggest prizes of all has a first-time nominee: “ABCDEFU” by Gayle joins songs by Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Adele, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, and other music A-listers in the song of the year category.
Not all first-time nominees are lesser-known names, however. One of the bigger stories this year is that Viola Davis just received her first career Grammy nomination for best audiobook, narration, and storytelling recording for her memoir, “Finding Me.” If she wins in the category, she would join the elite EGOT club!
We can’t wait to see which first-timers go home with trophies at the Grammys ceremony on Feb. 5, 2023. It may be the first time we see these artists snag Grammy nominations, but we have a pretty good feeling it won’t be the last!