Arooj Aftab bags Pakistan's first Best New Artist nomination at the Grammy Awards

Arooj Aftab bags Pakistan's first Best New Artist nomination at the Grammy Awards

The 'Mohabbat' singer is also the first Pakistani woman to be nominated for an award.
Updated 24 Nov, 2021

Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab is the first Pakistani woman to make it to the Grammys nomination list! She's secured a place in the Best New Artist category alongside artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, FINNEAS, The Kid LAROI and Jimmie Allen as well as a nomination for Best Global Performance.

Along with being the first Pakistani woman to ever be nominated for an award, she is also the first Pakistani to be nominated in the Best New Artist category. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was nominated in 1996 for Best Traditional Folk Album and Best World Music Album.

The Grammys nominated the singer's song 'Mohabbat' from her album Vulture Prince, which has been a favourite since its release and made it to former US president Barack Obama's 2021 summer playlist as well.

Aftab hails from Lahore and attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music where she studied music production and engineering. Her sound is heavily inspired by classical music, such as ghazal. She grew up listening to artists such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and American singer Jeff Buckley.

The Grammys, the highest honours in the music industry, will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on January 31, 2022. Nominees in each of the top three categories — album, song and record of the year — were increased to 10 from eight for the first time this year.

Amongst the Grammys overall, American rapper Jay Z rose to the top of the list of artists with the most Grammy nominations on Tuesday, hitting a lifetime total of 83 that put him just ahead of former Beatle Paul McCartney. The three latest nominations for Jay-Z came for collaborations with other artists. He made guest appearances on DMX song 'Bath Salts' and Kanye West's 'Jail' which also earned Jay-Z a nod for West's album 'Donda'.

Jon Batiste led the Grammy nominations in a best album field that spanned rap to jazz music and embraced newcomers like Rodrigo and veteran Tony Bennett alike. Batiste and Justin Bieber will compete for the top prize - album of the year - along with Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, R&B artist Doja Cat, singer-songwriter H.E.R, West, Bennett's collaboration with Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and rapper Lil Nas X.

Eilish ('Happier Than Ever'), Rodrigo ('Drivers License'), Bieber ('Peaches') and Batiste ('Freedom') were among the 10 nominees for record of the year, along with Swedish band Abba's new comeback single, 'I Still Have Faith in You'.

Swift — an 11-time Grammy winner — snagged a best album nod for her best-selling Evermore but was shut out of the other races, disappointing fans who felt she had been snubbed.

K-pop band BTS, which has yet to win a Grammy despite dominating the US music charts for almost two years, scored a single nod on Tuesday for the performance of their top-selling single Butter in the pop group field.


faizan Nov 24, 2021 12:22pm
very good voice indeed - i hope she continue with her originals and keep making em. hats off.
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Fast comment Nov 24, 2021 12:23pm
Congratulations but no applaudable comments, so far not heard anything from Arooj. With reservations let me dissent the singers from Pak always wish to be called legend or something super, though often they have no musical academic background. On the contrary Indian singers are mostly learned class, and perform exemplary.
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Dollarman Nov 24, 2021 12:40pm
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sawera Ahmed Nov 24, 2021 12:43pm
I doubt the selection criteria of Grammys now....
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NYS Nov 24, 2021 03:59pm
Their reward their criteria till now she is not the recepient
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Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Nov 24, 2021 04:10pm
Well done, keep it up and hang on tough.
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Naeem Ghafoor Nov 24, 2021 05:33pm
Congrats! Millions of Pakistani Artists can bag this award.
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Chrís Dăn Nov 24, 2021 05:54pm
She has earned it.
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M. Saeed Nov 24, 2021 06:54pm
@Fast comment Indian are by birth Bhajan singers, while Pakistanis are Soofi singers to start with.
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LgbtqX Nov 24, 2021 07:00pm
Hope she doesn't show up in burqa at the Grammy.
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AGHA PASHA Nov 25, 2021 09:53am
Well sung, well done, keep it up dear daughter of the Pakistan.
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Aman Buzdar Nov 25, 2021 07:02pm
Congratulations for this world class nomination. With best wishes.
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John Nov 25, 2021 08:05pm
India has better singer in local competition
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Tanvir Khan Nov 26, 2021 12:20am
Arooj is a beautiful vocalist and has a very impressive personality! It's her soul!!!
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Truth be told Nov 26, 2021 01:43am
Charba song. West is ignorant.
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Practical Nov 26, 2021 03:05am
Well done. I think the nationality depends on the passport one uses to travel. The name Arooj was unknown until she got the award.
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Queen Nov 26, 2021 10:23am
@John Hurt much?
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Rahim Khan Nov 26, 2021 10:43am
This is very inspirational and great. She is a very original artist who deserves this.
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A87 Nov 27, 2021 12:08am
@LgbtqX Why would you even say that? What was the point of that remark?
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A87 Nov 27, 2021 12:10am
@Fast comment Yeah not all Pakistanis are alike. Lets not throw them all under one umbrella. Clearly you haven't been listening to good Pakistani singers, and just because one doesn't have musical academic background, doesn't mean they can't have beautiful voices and talent. Indian singers are wonderful as well, so lets not make a comparison and try and start something.
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Nadeem Afridi Nov 27, 2021 08:58am
Needs a lot of work. So far pretty average. All the best in your journey.
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