Music's biggest night was full of powerful tributes, once-in-a-lifetime performances and a few shocking award wins on Sunday night (February 4) at the 2024 Grammy Awards.
While country music was on display across its own collection of categories, including Best Country Album (Bell Bottom Country, Lainey Wilson), Best Country Song ('White Horse', Chris Stapleton), Best Country Duo/Group Performance ('I Remember Everything', Zach Bryan feat. Kacey Musgraves) and Best Country Solo Performance ('White Horse', Chris Stapleton), there were also a few country and country adjacent figures vying for Best New Artist.
One of the coveted Big Four awards – along with Record, Song and Album of the Year – Best New Artist is an all-genre category, and this year, it featured a long list of heavy hitters, all of whom could lay claim to the title.
In the country and folk space, country-rap trailblazer Jelly Roll, folk sensation Noah Kahan and beloved Americana duo The War And Treaty were all nominated, alongside Gracie Abrams, Fred Again, Ice Spice, Coco Jones and Victoria Monét.
As the Best New Artist category was unveiled, seasoned entertainer Victoria Monét was presented with the award, which seemed a bit short-sighted to country fans.
While the conversation buzzed across social media, as is often the case, about how the call was right, wrong or otherwise, Jelly Roll, Noah Kahan and alt-country superstar Zach Bryan also chimed in with their thoughts.
Bryan, a twice-nominated artist that evening and a one-time winner for the aforementioned Best Country Duo/Group Performance, took the less than cheery route, saying simply: "Noah Kahan robbed."
The pair of singers joined forced late last year for their celebrated collaboration, 'Sarah's Place', so it's not a stretch to say that Bryan is an avid Kahan supporter.
On the other side of that coin, though, Kahan offered the opposite reaction: "We win together, we lose together. So honored to be nominated and massive congratulations to [Victoria Monét] on her win. Well deserved."
This was Nahan's first Grammy ceremony in his burgeoning career, which in 2023 included a monster touring schedule, a lauded 21-track record and a consistent hum of virality that cemented him as one of the most buzzed about artists in the folk space and beyond.
Also taking in his first Grammy Awards was beloved singer-songwriter Jelly Roll, who also enjoyed a Best Country Duo/Group nomination alongside Lainey Wilson for their powerful rendition of 'Save Me'.
As has become standard for the Nashville native, Jelly Roll exuded only humility and gratefulness both before and after the ceremony, even stating before time, "I'm nervous — I'm anxious – This is the biggest award show in all of music – and I'm here nominated... win, lose or draw I feel we have already won by even being nominated."
Jelly Roll maintained this spirit of thankfulness following the ceremony as rumors of his being snubbed for Best New Artist started to surface. Taking to X, formerly Twitter, he shared: "Just so we are clear – Victoria Monèt deserved that award. She is incredible. She has been writing hits for everyone else for a long time, and she deserves every bit of this award. We come back next year stronger more nominations – I’m inspired."
For what it's worth, we think it's safe to say that both Jelly Roll and Noah Kahan will be making several more trips to the Grammys before either of their careers are over.
For more on Jelly Roll, see below: