The Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance is still relatively new, being just a decade old. As such, not many artists can lay claim to the trophy. Furthermore, only two acts have won the award more than once - Adele and Ed Sheeran. At the 2024 Grammys, five pop tracks are nominated in the category, and each one is a strong contender for the win.
The award, first introduced in 2012, serves as a cumulative award after the discontinuation of the Female Pop Vocal, Male Pop Vocal, and Pop Instrumental Performance awards. Moreover, as the name implies, only solo songs are eligible for the award. Previous winners include Lizzo, Pharrell Williams, and Lady Gaga, among others. Also, following her recent nod, Taylor Swift now holds the record for the most nominations, although she has yet to win. Here are the five singles up for the Best Pop Solo Performance award at the 2024 Grammys.
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"Paint the Town Red" - Doja Cat
Following a series of controversies, Doja Cat attempted and succeeded at her implied musical rebrand. The artist came out to denounce her previous pop hits as money-grabs and vowed to be taken seriously as a rapper. Nonetheless, the Grammy committee has inserted her into the pop category yet again. Her most recent nomination for "Paint the Town Red" marks her third nod in the category overall.
Doja Cat has previously been nominated in the category for her singles, "Woman," and "Say So." Regardless of the inescapable Hip Hop feel of "Paint the Town Red," it will still compete alongside unmistakable pop hits for the award. The single was well received, topping the Hot 100, and becoming her first number-one single as a solo act. Furthermore, she became the first solo female rapper to ever top the UK Singles Chart.
"Flowers" - Miley Cyrus
"Flowers" proved to be a game-changer for Miley Cyrus' already illustrious career. The disco-pop tune has been nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance, as well as Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2024 Grammys. Released in January 2023, "Flowers" became Cyrus' second number-one hit. Moreover, it spent eight weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.
The funky tune, which is centered on self-confidence and self-love is officially the biggest hit in the star's catalog. An uplifting anthem about finding joy in singlehood, the relatability of the single helped with its widespread appeal. "Flowers" also broke several records along the way. For example, it became the fastest song in Spotify history to cross a billion streams. Besides topping multiple US charts, the single dominated the charts around the world too.
"Anti-Hero" - Taylor Swift
Even though she has always been one of the biggest musicians in history, "Anti-Hero" marked an even greater success for Taylor Swift. The single is officially her longest-running number one, spending eight weeks atop the charts. At the 2024 Grammys, the song has been nominated for three awards. This is her fifth nomination in the Best Pop Solo Performance category, making her the most nominated act since its inception. Besides the Pop Solo Performance nod, however, "Anti-Hero" is also up for Record of the Year, and Song of the Year.
Furthermore, Swift's writing was particularly lauded on the track. While she has often been biographical, she takes it up a notch, detailing her insecurities and struggles directly. Overall, the synth-pop tune is evidently one of the biggest tracks of 2023, enjoying significant radio airplay across numerous countries. "Anti-Hero" also topped the charts in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and numerous countries in Asia.
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"Vampire" - Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo is a former winner of the Best Pop Solo Performance award. At the 2022 Grammys, she took home the award for her lauded debut single, "Driver's License." The pop-rock superstar has since become one of the biggest artists of the new decade. She is once again up for the award for the lead single off her sophomore album, "Vampire."
Lyrically, "Vampire" is filled with witty writing, detailing a relationship with a toxic partner. On the track, she brilliantly infuses vampire lore and stereotypes into her writing. Furthermore, the sharp pen is backed by her impressive vocals. What starts out as a pop ballad soon becomes a monstrous rock song, as Rodrigo showcases her vocal maturity. If she does take home the award, she will join Adele and Ed Sheeran as the only other acts with multiple wins.
"What Was I Made For?" - Billie Eilish
Ever since her debut, Billie Eilish has become a certified Grammy darling. Surprisingly, even though she has secured a win in each of the "Big Four," she has yet to take home a Best Pop Solo Performance win. This nomination at the 2024 Grammys makes her the second-most nominated artist in the category. Her previous tracks that were recognized include: "Happier Than Ever," "Everything I Wanted," and "Bad Guy."
She stands a chance to take home the award for her lush 2023 single, "What Was I Made For?" The track is a part of the soundtrack album, Barbie: The Album, released for the movie of the same name. The track was written by Eilish, alongside her brother and longtime collaborator, FINNEAS. Furthermore, it peaked at number 14 on the Hot 100, and topped the UK Singles Chart.
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