Come February 5th, all eyes will be on the controversial Best New Artist category at the 2023 Grammy Awards. Among the 10 artists who received nods is Muni Long, whose song “HRS & HRS” is also nominated for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song.
The singer-songwriter formerly known as Priscilla Renea will be competing against Anitta, Domi & JD Beck, Latto, Omar Apollo, Samara Joy, Måneskin, Tobe Nwigwe, Molly Tuttle and Wet Leg for the Best New Artist award.
With over a decade’s worth of experience under her belt, Long’s presence can be heard through some of music’s most recognizable names as a writer and featured artist. As Priscilla Renea, she went on to release two albums before pivoting to her new moniker (pronounced “money long”) in 2019.
She went on to release a string of EPs as well as her third studio album, Public Displays of Affection: The Album. In short, while Long might be new to the Grammys, she’s already made a name for herself; two names, even.
As she continues to garner the attention she’s earned, here are five things to know about Muni Long ahead of Music’s Biggest Night on February 5th, 2023. Check out the full list of nominations here.
1. She started her career on YouTube
As a child, Long was always interested in singing, but had nerves when it came to performing around people. It wouldn’t be until she was older that she got comfortable, and soon took to YouTube to showcase her talent. She entered a 2006 cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” in a contest to sing with the pop star at the Grammy Awards. While she wasn’t chosen, it did help her star rise. Check out one of her early JT covers below:
2. She signed her first record deal 13 years ago
While she may not have had the opportunity to perform with JT, Long still was able to make an appearance on MTV’s Say What? Karaoke. “I had a small group of fans at first and I started to notice that it was growing at a rapid pace. And then I did [MTV’s] Say What Karaoke, singing Cassie’s ‘Me and You,’ and MTV played it every Sunday for four weeks,” she told MTV News in 2009. “And that’s when it took off and I had, like, 2 million views… I was going to a community college in my neighborhood because my mom didn’t let me move to New York for college like I wanted to.”
With a perfect storm of internet fame and television acclaim, Long inked record deals from Power Entertainment and Capitol Records in 2009.
3. She’s a go-to collaborator for Ariana Grande and more
Long also has plenty of experience as a songwriter. She’s worked with Madonna, Rihanna, and Selena Gomez, and has a writing credit as Priscilla Renea on Fifth Harmony’s hit “Worth It,” which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also landed landed writing credits on Ariana Grande’s thank u, next as a co-writer of “imagine” and “fake smile,” as well as on positions for her work on the tracks “just like magic” and “six thirty.”
4. This isn’t her first Grammy nomination
In 2022, Long was up for an Album of the Year nomination for her work on H.E.R.’s 2021 album Back of My Mind, though the project lost to Jon Batiste’s We Are. (Apart from her nomination in the Big Four category this year, her breakout hit “HRS & HRS” is competing for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song.)
5. She runs her own record label
In 2019, Long co-founded Supergiant Records. As of 2022, the singer-songwriter has also partnered with Def Jam Recordings, under which she released her third studio album, Public Displays of Affection.
See the full list of 2023 Grammy Awards nominations here.
Grammys 2023 Nominees Photo Gallery: