Top 10 Under-the-Radar Grammy Artists You Should Know

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Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 12:08 PM

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Sure, you may secretly dance to Justin Bieber in your Wonder Woman undies or fantasize about Drake making you a hot fudge sundae, but there's a lot more talented, relatively unknown musicians hiding in the Grammy nominee list.

The Grammys, on the most part, are about the awards gifted to people you don't know.

Here are the Top Ten Grammy Artists You Might Not Know That You Should:

10. The SteelDrivers - Best Bluegrass Album

Nashville-based bluegrass band, The SteelDrivers, are the kind of band that constantly takes away reward nods without fully receiving recognition for their talents, although they charted for number two in US bluegrass with their album on Rounder Records, Reckless. One key way that The Steeldrivers are different from other bluegrass bands is that lead singer, Chris Stapleton, has a voice that is what back-country rock 'n roll honky-tonks are made of.

9. Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - Best Traditional Blues Album

After becoming best friends while playing for Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith are masters of the street-smart, tongue-in-cheek boogie woogie and Chicago blues. Perkins' and Smith's platonic love for each other is evident in the way they humorously throw out verses in songs like "Joined At The Hip."

8. Bettye Lavette - Best Contemporary Blues Album

Northern soul siren, Bettye Lavette, has a tender soulful croon equal to the prowess of other more popular chanteuses like Candi Staton or Aretha Franklin. Lavette is showcasing those skills in with her new blues-centric, Grammy nominated album, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook. Lavette has one of those classic voices that makes autotune an even more tragic production tool.

7. Soweto Gospel Choir - Best Traditional World Music Album

Soweto Gospel Choir reinvent old spiritual favorites with their tight, acapella vocal tonalities and their use of vibrant clothing. The South African gospel group has played more than 4,000 shows for Nelson Mandela and won two Grammys in a row, but they are still a relatively unknown name in the Western world.

6. Trombone Shorty - Best Contemporary Jazz Album

Mixing de rigueur, sensual vocals with the freewheeling blare of the trombone, Trombone Shorty is probably one of the youngest and foxiest trombone players we've ever seen. This isn't a senior citizens version of Music Man.

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