Miami rapper XXXTentacion was already buidling a relatively big buzz before his death in June of this year, but after he died, his music saw an explosion in popularity that has made him one of the most recognizable artists in hip-hop. However, that fact hasn’t changed his Grammy Award eligibility; according to Hits Daily Double, the deceased rapper in ineligible for the Best New Artist award at the upcoming 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
Due to the fact that his 2017 debut album, 17, was released in August of last year, five weeks before the eligibility period for the 2019 show, XXX was ruled ineligible. Had he been eligible, he would have been the first posthumous Best New Artist nominee in Grammys history. Unfortunately for his fans, this also means that he isn’t very likely to win any awards next year, since this year was so packed with top-tier talent including Cardi B, Drake, Travis Scott, and more.
The Best New Artist category has been a contentious one in the past, with murky criteria and controversial wins that spawned a backlash against the show earlier this year when Alessia Cara won over SZA, despite the fact that Alessia had made her debut in 2015 with Know-It-All while SZA had only just dropped her groundbreaking CTRL album eight months before the 2018 Grammys.
Before his death, XXXTentacion was already the subject of a controversial domestic violence case, which was closed when he died.