True, the nominees for best new artist at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards haven't been revealed yet, but Zayn Malik can't be one of them. That's because, going by the Recording Academy's rules, Zayn doesn't count as a new artist thanks to his four-album run with a boy band that starting ruling the world in 2012.
"This was actually pretty clear cut given the international success of One Direction. It's been a few years since Zayn Malik came to prominence as a member of that group, making him ineligible for the best new artist category this year," says Bill Freimuth, senior vice president of awards at the Recording Academy.
While the Grammy definition of 'new artist' can get a little murky (artists are sometimes nominated for the award several years after releasing their debut album), it's hard to argue with the fact that Zayn has been an internationally recognizable pop star for years now (if Zayn had been a member of a group that hadn't achieved massive mainstream success, however, it could be a different story). So in that sense, the Zquad shouldn't be too surprised. And hopefully they can take solace in the knowledge that he could be up for other Grammy categories in 2017.
The 2017 Grammy Awards air on CBS on Feb. 12.