“Glory be to God, I claim this victory in the honor of the Lord!” A powerful statement topped off the history that was made at the 59th annual grammy awards on December 6, 2016. Chancellor Jonathan Bennett, or better known as Chance the Rapper, was the first ever recording artist in grammy history to be nominated for a grammy award without selling a single piece of his music. He distributes all of his music for free online. And he wasn’t just nominated:, he won.
And not just one grammy award; Chance the Rapper won three: Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (Coloring Book) and Best Rap Performance (“No Problem”).
Chance was nominated for seven awards in total, including Best Rap/Sung Performance (“Ultralight Beam”) and Best Rap Song (for three different tracks — his own “No Problem,” as well as Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam” and “Famous”).
Amazingly, Chance isn’t signed to any record labels, making the win even bigger for all the independent artists out there. These nominations and wins have given the traditional music industry a huge blow, proving that indie-artists are some of the most talented in the music world.
“I know that people think that independence means you do it by yourself,” Bennett said. “But independence means freedom.”
Coloring Book, which is Chance the Rapper’s third released mixtape, is also the first streaming only album to ever chart the Billboard 200.
With Chance only being 23 years old, he still has a huge future ahead of him with even better musical content and more nominations and wins to come.