Drake And Justin Bieber Lead The Best New Artist Race: Better Know A Grammy Category

The 53rd Grammy Awards are upon us, and they bring with them dozens of artists competing in 109 different categories. The performers on the show — which airs live on Sunday, February 13 — include Eminem, Cee Lo Green, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Drake, Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, Miranda Lambert, Katy Perry, Muse, B.o.B, Usher, Bruno Mars, Jaden Smith and Janelle Monae. It promises to be one of the biggest nights in the history of music, and MTV News will be bringing you wall-to-wall coverage of the big event.

But the awards are the big draw, and just as the MTV Newsroom Blog does with the MTV Video Music Awards, here are a series of guides to some of the biggest categories on the docket. This time around: Best New Artist.

The prize for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards tends to run pretty hot and cold. Either the winners end up among the new generation of hit-makers (Carrie Underwood, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey) or relegated to the almost-made-it pile (Shelby Lynne, Arrested Development, Jody Watley, Men at Work). No matter who wins this year, it seems as though we’ll probably be hearing each one of them much more. The category represents a solid mix of the larger-than-life (Justin Bieber, Drake), the about-to-explode (Florence and the Machine, Mumford & Sons) and the mostly unknown (Esperanza Spalding).

Just about every one of them could make a case for the prize, though you can probably eliminate Florence and the Machine and Mumford & Sons from the conversation simply because they’re not quite as big as the rest. Bieber and Drake will both draw votes because of their popularity and influence, though Spalding will likely have the entire jazz universe in her corner, which is why she’ll probably take this one in a bit of an upset.

Notable Winners: The Beatles (1965); Cyndi Lauper (1985); Mariah Carey (1991); Alicia Keys (2002).

Notable Robberies: Kanye West probably should have bested Maroon 5 for the award in 2005, and on balance, Taylor Swift probably should have beaten Amy Winehouse in 2008. Also, given the chance to hand a Grammy to Elvis Costello or the Cars in 1979, can you believe the voters settled on A Taste of Honey?

Don’t miss Snooki and Sway on MTV News’ Grammy red-carpet live stream, Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And stick with us all night for coverage of the red carpet, the show, the afterparties and beyond!