On Sunday night (January 28), Alessia Cara won Best New Artist at the 2018 Grammys, beating out SZA, Lil Uzi Vert, Khalid, and Julia Michaels. However, several people on social media voiced their frustration at Cara coming away with the prize. Some thought SZA deserved the award, while others challenged the idea that Cara could be considered a new artist since her debut album, Know-It-All, was released in 2015.
On Monday, Cara took to Instagram to address the backlash, writing, "I didn’t log onto grammy.com and submit myself. That’s not how it works. I didn’t ask to be submitted either because there are other artists that deserve the acknowledgment. But I was nominated and won and I am not going to be upset about something I’ve wanted since I was kid, not to mention have worked really hard for."
Cara continued her post by discussing the claims she shouldn't even be considered a "new artist."
"I’m aware that my music wasn’t released yesterday," she wrote. "I’m aware that, yes, my music has become fairly popular in the last year. But I’m trying very hard to use the platform I’ve been given [to] talk about these things and bring light to issues that aren’t fair."
For those who are wondering, here's the official definition of what constitutes a Best New Artist at the Grammys:
A "new artist" is defined for the GRAMMY process as any performing artist or established performing group who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist or established group as a performer. A GRAMMY nomination in a performance category in a prior year disqualifies an artist from competing in this category, unless the nomination came from a single or a guest spot on another artist's recording, and the artist hadn't yet released a full album.
You can read Cara's entire message on Instagram.