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GRAMMYs 2018

10 Artists Who Just Won Their First GRAMMY

How did Childish Gambino and LCD Soundsystem not have a GRAMMY before this year?

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Childish Gambino

Won: Best Traditional R&B Performance

After surprising even his biggest supporters by racking up five GRAMMY nominations this year, including nods for both Record and Album of the Year, Childish Gambino (known to many by his real name, Donald Glover) ended up only collecting a prize, but he was surely happy to have it, as it’s his first. The song “Redbone” won in the Best Traditional R&B Performance, giving him his first win out of seven nominations.

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Dave Chappelle

Won: Best Comedy Album

Like Donald Glover, fellow comedian Dave Chappelle earned an Emmy Award for his great work on TV before he collected a GRAMMY, but now he’s got one of each sitting at home. Chappelle won for his record The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas, and he was already at the GRAMMYs to accept, as he took part in Kendrick Lamar’s opening number, where he delivered a bit of comic relief.

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Alessia Cara

Won: Best New Artist

Alessia Cara picked up the highly-coveted Best New Artist trophy, beating out four other names who were also worthy of the prize, but who will never have another shot at it now that she's taken it home. While she spoke in the press room after her speech that she would have been happy to see any of the other four nominees claim it, she’s surely happy to have taken home this GRAMMY, as the other honors she was up for (Best Music Video, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance) didn’t pan out for her.

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Portugal. The Man

Won: Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

The alt-rockers broke out in a major way in 2017 thanks to their sole hit “Feel It Still,” which shocked many by climbing the charts and becoming their first (and only) top 10 hit. Portugal. The Man's smash beat recent successes from the likes of former GRAMMY winners The ChainsmokersColdplay Imagine Dragons, and  Zedd for this award, which will forever certify them as the rare crossover success story.

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The War on Drugs

Won: Best Rock Album

While they might not have been the most popular group up for the Best Rock Album GRAMMY in 2018—they were up against legends like  Metallica, Mastodon, and Queens of the Stone Age, as well as newcomers Nothing More—it’s impossible to ignore how grand and stunning the band’s A Deeper Understanding is. Even for an act that has been championed as one of the most innovative names in rock since their debut, their latest record was a real triumph, and no matter who you wanted to win, it’s tough to argue with this decision.

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Lisa Loeb

Won: Best Children's Album

For a long time, it seemed as if Lisa Loeb’s career would be defined forever by one hit single she scored in the mid-’90s—the impossible to deny “Stay (I Missed You)”—but now she has a shiny piece of gold to her name that proves her decades of continuing to work have been worth it. 20 years after her first (and up until this year, only) nomination, Loeb finally won for her 2016 children’s album Feel What U Feel.

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Carrie Fisher

Won: Best Spoken Word Album

It can difficult to convey a character into a microphone, but the most talented actors can deliver a performance worthy of an award on a soundstage or in a vocal booth, and that’s exactly what Carrie Fisher did. The late, great actress recorded her own telling of her recent memoir The Princess Diarist, which sees her divulging more about her time filming Star Wars. She was nominated in this category back in 2010 for her hilarious take on Wishful Drinking, but she lost to Michael J. Fox. While it was awarded posthumously (a rarity for the GRAMMYs), it was still wonderful to hear her name called.

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LCD Soundsystem

Won: Best Dance Recording

After disbanding for what turned out to only be a regular-length break in between albums, LCD Soundsystem returned with a new album entitled American Dream in 2017, and in doing so, they hit new highs. The record itself debuted at No. 1, giving them their first leader, and it won them their first GRAMMY for Best Dance Recording for the song “Tonite.” As a favorite in the electronic dance world, they were probably destined to win one of these at some point, but frontman James Murphy is still likely thrilled to see his plan worked.

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The National

Won: Best Alternative Music Album

The alternative faves have taken this home on just their second try, beating some of the biggest and most successful acts selling music most people would deem “alternative.” This year, they were up against LCD Soundsystem (who took home a different trophy), Gorillaz, Father John Misty (who also won another vertical in 2018), and Arcade Fire. The National has been one of the most singular voices in alt-rock for a decade or more, and this win feels long overdue, even if it was only their second time being up for a golden gramophone.

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Pasek & Paul

Won: Best Musical Theater Album

The songwriting duo has enjoyed perhaps the best 12 months of anyone when it comes to collecting awards, and they might not be done just yet! The two just won a GRAMMY for writing the music and lyrics featured in the musical Dear Evan Hansen, which also won them a Tony Award. In between ending up on top when it comes to both of those major trophies, they also won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “City of Stars” from La La Land. In just a year, they’ve won three of the four major awards (and they're on their way to a second Oscar for The Greatest Showman tune "This Is Me"), and now all they need is an Emmy to complete their EGOT!

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