Music is a universal human language that can unite people of different backgrounds and ages. Anyone who wants to make a song, no matter how old they are, has a chance to write and record it and put it on the internet, potentially reaching a wide audience.
The Best New Artist category at the Grammys shines a light on young, up-and-coming artists who could be a force in the music industry for years to come. Genres like pop and rap, which young people tend to prefer, mostly have younger artists as nominees.
Twenty-somethings like Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Zedd, Tyler, the Creator, Migos, and Alessia Cara could all be big winners on Grammy night.
Grammy nominees in classical music, a genre that has stood the test of time and can take decades to master, tend to be at the older end of the age spectrum. In the Best Classical Compendium category, two septuagenarian conductors have a shot at taking home the award. The 79-year-old Reinbert de Leeuw is facing off against 76-year-old Jordi Savall, among other nominees.
This year’s youngest nominee, 19-year-old Khalid, has five Grammy nominations: Best New Artist, Best Urban Contemporary Album for “American Teen,” Best R&B Song for “Location,” and Song of the Year and Best Music Video for his collaboration on “1-800-273-8255” with 21-year-old singer Alessia Cara and 28-year-old rapper Logic.
At the other end of the age spectrum, legendary composer Jerry Herman collected his eighth Grammy nomination at the age of 86 for Best Musical Theater Album for “Hello, Dolly!” His first Grammy nod came back in 1961 for Best Original Cast Show Album for “Milk And Honey.”
In order to determine the oldest and youngest 2017 Grammy nominees, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the ages of all Grammy nominated musicians. Nominees were considered only if their nomination fell under the general field or a field specific to a genre such as pop, rap, comedy, spoken word, or classical. The list contains the artist’s age as of January 22, 2018. Some nominees do not have their ages publically available. Deceased nominees were not considered.