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Mon 11 Feb 2019 08:32 AM

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British pop star Dua Lipa wins Grammy for Best New Artist

Kacey Musgraves, one of country music's most critically praised artists, took home the Grammy for Album of the Year

British pop star Dua Lipa wins Grammy for Best New Artist
Dua Lipa accepts the Best New Artist award onstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

English singer-songwriter Dua Lipa on Sunday bested a crowded field of female talent to take home the Grammy for Best New Artist.

The synth-pop star beat out fellow Londoner Jorja Smith along with rising pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha and the enigmatic R&B performer H.E.R.

Lipa's breakthrough came in 2016 with her first global hit "Hotter than Hell," which she followed with "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)," which busted into the US Billboard Hot 100.

Her sixth single "New Rules," which came off her self-titled debut studio album, was her first number one in Britain -- and the first by a female solo artist to top the UK charts since 2015's "Hello" by Adele.

"For anyone who hasn't realized how special they are to have a different story, a different background, a name, and just want it be normal... just know that no matter your background, what you believe in, never let it get in the way of your dreams," she said in accepting her award at the Staples Center.

The 23-year-old was born in London to parents who emigrated from Kosovo; her father moonlighted as a rocker in the Kosovar band Oda, in which he was lead vocalist.

She has said her second album will likely come out later this year, and cites shape-shifting pop icon Prince and southern hip-hop pioneers Outkast as major influences.

Album of the Year

Kacey Musgraves, one of country music’s most critically praised artists, took home the Grammy for Album of the Year, an upset win for a genre-bending musician who infused “Golden Hour” with elements of psychedelia.

The Nashville-based musician's third studio album beat out a crowded field of heavyweights including rappers Kendrick Lamar and Drake.

She also bested fellow female artists including Cardi B, Janelle Monae and Brandi Carlile to snare the coveted prize, in a year that saw women recognized across the top categories, after largely being snubbed in 2018.

"It was unbelievable to be even in a category with such gigantic albums, really brilliant works of art," Musgraves told the audience at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

Musgraves won four Grammys in all; the others were for Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Song and Best Country Album.

She took the country world by storm in 2013 with her banjo-heavy hit “Merry Go ‘Round” -- winning a Grammy for Best Country Song in 2014 and scoring a nomination for the coveted Best New Artist prize. She won a second Grammy for Best Country Album that same year.

She is considered an innovator in the historically conservative world of country music.

Rolling Stone Magazine has dubbed her “one of the loudest symbols of young country musicians embracing progressive values.”

The 30-year-old has said several of the songs on “Golden Hour” came out of a summertime LSD trip, and the project infuses elements of disco and also uses a vocoder -- a machine that manipulates vocal signals with synthesizer signals to create a machine-like effect favored by electronic and pop musicians.

The 2019 Grammy Award Winners

Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves, "Golden Hour"

Record of the Year (best overall song performance): Childish Gambino, "This Is America"

Song of the Year (recognizing songwriting): Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Ludwig Goransson, "This Is America"

Best new Artist: Dua Lipa

Best Music Video: Childish Gambino, "This Is America"

Best Rap Album: Cardi B, "Invasion Of Privacy"

Best Rock Album: Greta Van Fleet, "From the Fires"

Best Pop Vocal Album: Ariana Grande, "Sweetener"

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, "Shallow"

Best Urban Contemporary Album: The Carters, "Everything Is Love"

Best R&B Album: H.E.R., "H.E.R."

Best Alternative Music Album: Beck, "Colors"

Best World Music Album: Soweto Gospel Choir, "Freedom"