8 Lesser-Known 2020 Grammy Nominees Who Should Be On Your Radar

The 62nd annual Grammy Awards airs on Sunday, January 26th on CBS. This night honors the best musicians in the industry, from rock and pop to jazz and R&B, and everything in between! At the 2020 Grammy’s, you’ll see some of the best live performances by today’s top musical acts. 

The Grammy Awards honors some of the biggest names in music. This year, many viewers are tuning in for fan favorites like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and Vampire Weekend. But some of the award show’s most exciting moments come from the lesser-known nominees who are having their first moment in the spotlight.

These eight 2020 Grammy nominees may not be household names yet, but they’re each creating some of the best music in their respective genres. Before you tune into the 2020 Grammy Awards on January 26, give these lesser-known artists a listen. You may just find your next favorite band!

1. Bones UK

Nominated for Best Rock Performance for their song Pretty Waste, Bones UK shakes up the rock genre with a truly unique, raw, post-industrial sound. Their self-titled debut album is sure to get you pumped up!

Comprised of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Rosie Bones, lead guitarist Carmen Vandenberg, and drummer Heavy, Bones UK found their way into the spotlight thanks to guitar legend Jeff Beck. Beck asked the band to co-write his 2016 studio album and tour with him. Since then, the group’s infectious rock has found fans across the globe.

2. Brittany Howard

Facing off against Bones UK in the Best Rock Performance category, along with a Best Rock Song nomination for her hit History Repeats, Brittany Howard is one of the most talented voices in music. Whether or not Howard walks away with an award or two, this certainly won’t be the last time she graces the Grammy stage.

Music fans may know Brittany Howard as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for Alabama Shakes, whose chart-topping album Sound & Color previously swept the Grammys in 2016. As a solo artist, Howard plays into her strengths as a powerful vocalist and songwriter while embracing a softer, more intimate sound. Her 2019 debut solo album, Jaime, is a must-listen.

3. H.E.R.

With multiple nominations, including a nod for Best R&B Performance for her song Could’ve Been featuring Bryson Tiller, H.E.R. (an acronym for Having Everything Revealed, and pronounced “her”) is the stage name of singer-songwriter Gabriella Wilson. 

With a lush, evocative sound, this soulful artist is no stranger to the spotlight. A child prodigy, H.E.R. was introduced to the public playing an Alicia Keys cover on the Today Show. Following this, the 12 year-old H.E.R. competed on Radio Disney’s Next BIG Thing and signed to RCA at age 14. 

4. Big Thief

A contender for Best Alternative Music Album for its album U.F.O.F., indie band Big Thief is a Brooklyn four-piece consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Adrianne Lenker, guitarist Buck Meek, bassist Max Oleartchik, and drummer James Krivchenia. U.F.O.F. is the group’s third album.

Big Thief released its debut album in 2016 and instantly became a favorite of critics and alternative/indie fans. With a gentle folk-rock sound, Big Thief will appeal to fans of bigger acts Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, and Blonde Redhead. The group’s poetic lyrics and intricate, layered compositions evoke a thoughtful mood.

5. Black Pumas

Vying for a Best New Artist award, Black Pumas is a funk/soul duo based out of Austin who dazzled crowds at last year’s South By Southwest and the 2019 Austin Music Awards. Their self-titled debut album was released last summer with hit single, Colors. 

Black Pumas is singer Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada. The pair blend heartfelt lyrics and smooth melodies with a retro sound influenced by blues, funk, and Latin funk. If you’re a fan of groups like Alabama Shakes, Fitz and the Tantrums, or Leon Bridges, you’ll love Black Pumas.

6. Maggie Rogers

Another nominee for Best New Artist, Maggie Rogers is a young American singer-songwriter best known for her single Alaska. Rogers was discovered when the song was played for Pharrell Williams during an NYU master class. 

With a smooth, delicate vocal range and a contemporary pop-rock sound infused with elements of electronic, Rogers has toured with groups like Haim and Mumford & Sons. She has also played Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

7. Rival Sons

Rival Sons is a rock group hailing from Long Beach, California, whose album Feral Roots is nominated for this year’s Best Rock Album. Their song Too Bad is also a contender for Best Rock Performance.

Rival Sons is frontman Jay Buchanan, guitarist Scott Holiday, drummer Mike Miley, and bassist Dave Beste. The group channels the raw sound of classic rock mixed with elements of grunge and metal. Feral Roots is their sixth studio album.

8. Yola

Garnering four nominations at this year’s Grammy Awards, Yola is an English songwriter revitalizing the folk/roots genre. Her 2019 album Walk Through Fire has earned widespread critical acclaim as well as fans all over the world. 

Yola is nominated for Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Song, Best American Roots Performance, and Best New Artist. Prior to launching her solo career, fans may recognize Yola as a singer who performed with artists including Massive Attack, The Chemical Brothers, and Iggy Azalea.

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