To make a living as a musician, you’ve got to sell your music, right? Wrong! Chance the Rapper just proved that you can even win Grammys without selling a single album.
Over the weekend, Chance the Rapper took home Grammys in three different categories. The two biggest wins came in the form of Best New Artist and Best Rap Album for his hit Coloring Book.
Oddly enough, Chance’s music became well-known without him having to sell a single album. He has only ever released his music via streaming. No paid downloads, no CDs, nothing. What’s more, his music is usually offered on only free streaming services.
That means he set a new Grammys record. No artist ever in history has won a Grammy from offering streaming-only music. In fact, this is the first year the Grammys even allowed an artist like Chance to be considered. Clearly it was a wise choice given that he ended up winning big.
Interestingly, many fans saw the Grammys’ change in policy to be because of Chance the Rapper. Coloring Book was so popular that the Grammys voters wanted to be able to acknowledge it, so they had to change the rules.
No Label, No Problem
Chance the Rapper is also the only artist to ever win a Grammy without being signed to a label. That could look a little scary for labels–they might not be needed much if artists can reach this level of success without them.
Some other career successes for Chance include the fact that he’s the first streaming-only artist to get an album to chart on the Billboard 200. Not only that, he hit gold status through streaming alone.
In his victory speeches, the 23-year-old gave shout-outs to his hometown of Chicago as well as his family. He also celebrated big at GQ’s Grammy Party at Chateau Marmont, where he hosted and served up ice cream and pizza.