In 2019, a spotlight on queer musicians and fast-paced broadcast made the Grammys have some real cultural relevance. Its 2020 edition, clouded by tragedy, scandal, and bloat, only served to remind us why award shows are so problematic.
The best new musical artists of 2019 are all pushing boundaries as popular music becomes less genre focused. New artists are forging new identities, rather than occupying the convenient marketing categories of the past.
From forward-looking electronic and experimental to new approaches in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and punk to rock and pop, 2019 bestowed an embarrassment of musical riches upon us.