Zayn Malik is only 23 years old and just put out his solo debut album a few months ago, but he still has no chance of even being nominated for Best New Artist at next year’s Grammys.
Unfortunately, Zayn just isn’t new enough. Even though his solo career kicked off this year, his work with One Direction is more than enough to disqualify him from the contentious category.
“This was actually pretty clear cut given the international success of One Direction,” Bill Freimuth, senior vice-president of awards at the Recording Academy, told Billboard. “It’s been a few years since Zayn Malik came to prominence as a member of that group, making him ineligible for the best new artist category this year.”
The problem isn’t that Zayn released records as part of a group. The problem is that Zayn released records with one of the most famous groups of the decade. If you’re already a superstar when you break out with your first album, you can’t be a “new artist” as far as the Grammys are concerned.
Still, Zayn’s album Mind of Mine and its singles are eligible for other categories. We’ll have to wait and see if the Academy throws him any nods come February.