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North of Plymouth, east of Wocester

January 27, 2014 - Jim Anderson
The Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (of “Thrift Shop” fame) was named best new artist at last night’s Grammy Awards. The other nominees were James Blake (electronic music), Kendrick Lamar (hip hop), Kacey Musgraves (country) and Ed Sheeran (guy from England).

It would seem Musgraves (“Blowin’ Smoke”) was the biggest competition, since she won awards for best country album (“Same Trailer Different Park” ) and single (“Merry Go Round.”) She beat out Taylor Swift, which means nothing is certain anymore, not even lyrics that rhyme.

For whatever reason (it’s a hundred and six below outside?), I wondered who else in Grammy history has won the best new artist award. Turns out, not Nicki Minaj — she lost to Bon Iver in 2012. (Never heard of Bon Iver? Me neither ... they're from Wisconsin, if that helps. Never heard of Taylor Swift or Nicki Minaj? Try switching the thing-a-ma-giggy to FM next week on your way to bingo.)

Justin Bieber lost out, too, in 2011, to jazz artist Esperanza Spalding. How do I know Esperanza Spalding is a jazz artist? How else could they justify denying the Biebs?

Taylor Swift lost out, as well, in 2008, to Amy Winehouse, who is no longer with us. (Kacey, hope you’re paying attention here.)

In 2009, the winner was Adele (of “Rolling in the Deep” fame, but months before that song's release). Never listened to “Rolling in the Deep?” And the reason you’ve kept on reading is ... ?

The whole point, finally, is to reach back to 1977 when the winner was ... four-parts harmony and one-part hit ... the Starland Vocal Band. (“Rubbin’ stick and stones together makes the sparks ignite ...”)

Apparently, after “Afternoon Delight,” (sorry to put that song in your head for the next three months) there was no more fireworks for the Starland Vocal Band. But they did beat out Boston for best new artist at the Grammys.

Never heard of Boston?

North of Plymouth, east of Wocester.



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