The Grammys are the highest honor to receive to recognize the body of work artists have produced the previous year.
Although, you could argue that the Grammys rarely award Black artists, and when they do, they are normally in categories like R&B and Hip-Hop. And fun fact, the Grammys discontinued the Best R&B recording category in 1968, it wasn’t until 2012 it was brought back as a category. Often, Best Rap Album is not televised during the major telecast.
Many Black artists have been lucky enough to be nominated when they dropped their first album. From Sisqo to Cardi B, here are 6 artists who struck gold at the Grammys for their debut album.
When Alicia Keys came on the scene with her explosive hit “Fallen” and debut album Song In A Minor, she was considered the next Stevie Wonder. No surprise that critics, fans, and Grammy voters loved her music. In 2002, at just 21 years old, Alicia won five Grammys out of her six nominations. She now holds 15 Grammys.
From Vine to Love & Hip Hop to world domination, no one has had a career trajectory quite like Cardi B. Her debut album Invasion of Privacy garnered five nominations including Album of the Year. Cardi became the third female solo rapper to be nominated for the main category. She won Best Rap Album, making her the first female rapper to receive the award.
Sisqo began his career in the 90’s R&B group, Dru Hill. However, he didn’t hit mainstream stardom until he went solo and released Unleash the Dragon. The album produced two hits including “Incomplete” and “Thong Song” and received four Grammy nominations including Best New Artist. Unfortunately, Sisqo didn’t walk away with a Grammy but we’ll forever have the “Thong Song” to remind us of the 2000’s.
The California native singer, H.E.R. dropped her soulful self-titled debut album last year, and her hit with Daniel Caesar “Best Part” was inescapable. With critics and music fans in love with her music, it was no surprise she would be nominated for five top awards and gave a stellar performance at the ceremony. She walked away this year with 2 awards including Best R&B Performance for “Best Part.”
Although Lauryn Hill won a Grammy with the Fugees, she was probably more influential as a solo artist when she released her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998. Hill would collect five trophies including the top award of the ceremony, Album of the Year, making her the first hip-hop artist ever to receive that award.
John Legend is officially in the elite class of EGOT which means he has won every major award in the industry (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars, Tony Awards), including a Grammy. He struck gold with his first album Get Lifted. Legend was nominated for 7 awards while winning 2 including Best New Artist. He currently has 10 Grammys.