1. Ashley Monroe
Who? Ashley Monroe is a 29-year-old singer-songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee. She’s also BFFs with Miranda Lambert and one-third of the country girl group Pistol Annies.
What is she nominated for? Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“Lonely Tonight” with Blake Shelton) and Best Country Album (The Blade)
What does she sound like? Country as hell. There is nothing pop about Monroe’s mournful, Appalachian-tinged voice or her fondness for staunchly traditional production. Her sound is pure, unadulterated Nashville and all the better for it.
Who? Kehlani is a 20-year-old alt-R&B singer from Oakland, California.
What is she nominated for? Best Urban Contemporary Album (You Should Be Here)
What does she sound like? Kehlani is alt-R&B’s ray of sunshine. Somewhere between Rihanna and Jhené Aiko sonically, Kehlani has made a lane for herself by wearing her heart on her sleeve at all times. She is disarmingly sincere about everything: love, self-esteem, heartbreak. She always sounds like she’s working towards her best self, which should be annoying, but is, in reality, incredibly inspiring. Also, to be clear: her album is chockfull of absolute jams.
3. Jazmine Sullivan
Who? Jazmine Sullivan is a 28-year-old R&B singer from Philadelphia with a big, expressive voice that rivals Adele’s.
What is she nominated for? Best Traditional R&B Performance (“Let It Burn”), Best R&B Song (“Let It Burn”), and Best R&B Album (Reality Show)
What does she sound like? Sullivan has an absolutely pyrotechnic voice, but she isn’t a show-off. Instead of front-loading her songs with flashy, vocal fireworks, she opts for a slow-burn approach, letting the emotions build and bubble until they boil over. The result? Music that is genuinely intimate and soulful.
Who? Galantis is a Swedish electro-pop duo comprised of Christian “Bloodshy” Karlsson and Linus Eklöw.
What are they nominated for? Best Dance Recording (“Runaway (U & I)”)
What does they sound like? Top 40 on steroids. While Galantis’ music definitely skews more EDM than pure pop, Karlsson is a hitmaker by trade — dude helped write Britney Spears’ “Toxic” — so the group’s bangers don’t skimp on hooks or melody.
5. Brandi Carlile
Who? Brandi Carlile is a husky-voiced singer-songwriter from Seattle with an activist streak. In addition to releasing five albums worth of alt-country perfection, Carlile has advocated for LGBTQ rights, partnered with organizations dedicated to ending violence against women, and is an outspoken environmentalist.
What is she nominated for? Best Americana Album (The Firewatcher’s Daughter)
What does she sound like? A rugged, bluesy outlaw. It doesn’t matter if she’s whispering sweet nothings to a lover or howling declarations of independence, Carlile’s raspy, urgent voice always seems to positions her just outside of the mainstream.
6. Highly Suspect
Who? Highly Suspect is a Brooklyn-based rock band comprised of Johnny Stevens (guitars and lead vocals), and twin brothers Ryan (bass/vocals) and Rich Meyer (drums).
What are they nominated for? Best Rock Song (“Lydia”) and Best Rock Album (Mister Asylum)
What do they sound like? Highly Suspect make rock music — straight-up, no bullshit rock music. It’s hard. It’s loud. It’s gritty. It’s the kind of music that rattles your ribcage and gets you riled up.
7. Andra Day
Who? Andra Day is a 31-year-old powerhouse vocalist from Spokane, Washington.
What is she nominated for? Best R&B Performance (“Rise Up”) and Best R&B Album (Cheers To The Fall)
What does she sound like? Andra Day has one of those voices: enormous, expressive, full of texture. One that sounds like it belongs in a different era. An impression Day happily plays into with a retro-pop sound that recalls Amy Winehouse: decidedly old-school but with modern flourishes to keep it from being kitschy.
8. Wolf Alice
Who? Wolf Alice are London-based alt-rock band comprised of Ellie Rowsell, Joel Amey, Joff Oddie, and Theo Ellis.
What are they nominated for? Best Rock Performance (“Moaning Lisa Smile”)
What do they sound like? Genre-wise Wolf Alice’s music runs the gamut: grunge-y trash-rock one moment, nightmarish dream-pop the next. What keeps it from feeling aimless and incoherent, however, is the band’s almost sinister level of confidence: Wolf Alice makes music that feels tightly controlled, but not slick. It’s a tight line to walk and they do it with scary ease.
9. Courtney Barnett
Who? Courtney Barnett is a 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia.
What is she nominated for? Best New Artist
What does she sound like? Guitar-driven stream-of-consciousness rock. Every Courtney Barnett song is a peak into the mind of a very smart, very funny, very self-aware woman.
10. The Internet
Who? The Internet is a soul collective made up of Odd Future members Syd the Kyd and Matt Martians, well as Jameel Bruner, Patrick Paige, Christopher A. Smith, and Steve Lacy.
What are they nominated for? Best Urban Contemporary Album (Ego Death)
What do they sound like? Lately? Chill AF. Singer Syd tha Kyd sings in a hushed, dreamy tone over sexy basslines and pleasantly stoned production. The overall effect is hazy and intimate, like a smoke-filled bedroom.
11. Lauren Daigle
Who? Lauren Daigle is a 24-year-old Christian pop singer from Lafayette, Louisiana.
What is she nominated for? Best Contemporary Christian Music Album (How Can It Be)
What does she sound like? If you’re a fan of Hillsong United’s soaring, synth-pop hymns, you’ll love Daigle’s Christian power-pop. Like the musical megachurch, she’s fond of towering choruses, inspirational lyrics, and EDM-lite production.
- Tennessee's massive wildfires have now killed ten people and destroyed or damaged more than 700 structures.
- French president François Hollande said he won't run for a second term in next year's election.
- Spanish authorities have accused six professional tennis players of helping to fix 17 matches 🎾💰
- "I love you bye": A teen sent a hilarious email to her teacher when she was drugged up after wisdom teeth surgery.