They may be big shots in the music industry now, but everyone has to start somewhere — why not the Grammys?
From Lady Gaga, who stunned Us in 2009 with her spiky headdress, to Justin Timberlake, who has been attending the award show since his days as a boy-bander (complete with bleach-blond perm), a star’s first Grammys appearance is a special moment never to be forgotten.
Some first-time attendees get lucky and win their first Grammy at their inaugural awards show. Billie Eilish won her first five trophies at the 2020 ceremony when she was just 18 years old, breaking several records.
The “Bad Guy” singer became the youngest person to be nominated for — as well as win — in all four major categories: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. She is the only woman to ever win all four in one night, and her album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, also scored the Best Pop Vocal Album award.
“That s–t was f–king crazy,” Eilish told Vogue days after winning her Grammys. “If anything, it’s an exciting thing for the kids who make music in their bedroom. We’re making progress, I think, in that place — kids who don’t have enough money to use studios.”
However, not everyone gets to the Grammys that early in their career. Harry Styles launched his career as a teenager in One Direction in 2010, but he didn’t get to music’s biggest celebration until 2021. He scored the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance for his song “Watermelon Sugar.”
“I feel incredibly lucky to get to work in music and make music as my job very day, and this is an incredibly sweet icing on the cake of what I get to do every day, so thank you so much,” he told reporters after the show. “I want to thank my fans for evening me an environment to be free to make the music I want to make and supporting me over the last 10 years. … I feel very, very lucky tonight. Thank you.”
Other artists have attended long before getting any love from the Recording Academy. Selena Gomez first hit the red carpet at the Grammy Awards in 2011, but she didn’t score her first nomination for another decade. Her LP Revelación was nominated for Best Latin Pop Album in 2022.
“Are you kidding me!? Revelación is nominated for a GRAMMY!” Gomez wrote via Instagram at the time. “This project is so special to me for so many reasons and I could not have made it happen without this incredible team of people by my side. I am forever grateful to each and every one of you ♥️ and of course MY FANS.”
Scroll through to see how Hollywood’s hottest musicians have evolved since we first saw them at the Grammys!