As a way of putting perspective on the regard Grace holds within the various industries and bases, presented below is the first half of a chronological list (September 2016 – August 2017) of selected awards, honors and accolades that she has received so far in her short career. It includes commentary and a subjective 1-to-5 ranking of relative importance, 5 being most valuable, as evaluated by the VanderVault Staff:

America’s Got Talent – Season 11
Date: September 14, 2016
Format: Popular Vote
Competition: Brian Justin Crum, Sal Valentinetti
Result: Won
Youngest winner in this category?: No
Of prime interest to: All fans, celebrities, music industry professionals, international press.
Importance: 5 out of 5

This is the big one, on which all others are built. Four performances and banter with the judges over a six-and-a-half month period were enough to charm American voters and garner worldwide attention. The mixed-talent format is designed specifically to generate discussion and disagreement, and Grace’s triple-threat combination of singer/songwriter/instrumentalist was a major selling point. Howie Mandel’s off-hand comment about “all the biggest people in the business” watching still rings true. The million dollar prize is almost an afterthought alongside the opportunities made available since.

Billboard 21 under 21 list – 2016, 2017, 2018
Dates: September 29, 2016; September 28, 2017, October 12, 2018
Format: Judged
Comparison: Shawn Mendes, Khalid
Result: Placed 21st, 8th, and 13th respectively.
Youngest recipient in this category?: No
Of prime interest to: Music industry, promoters, advertisers.
Importance: 3 out of 5

While appearing the Billboard 21 under 21 is a prestigious honor, the list is reactive, taking cues from past performance on the Billboard charts and factoring sales and streaming counts into its algorithm. While several of the spots at the bottom of each year’s list are set aside for unproven commodities, as Grace was in 2016, the compilers aren’t investigative sleuths with inside information about future plans. Nevertheless, an appearance on the list is often cited in entertainment articles for months and years afterwards, and has the power to be viewed by music industry powers as a significant benchmark.

13th Annual International Acoustic Music Awards
Category: Best Female Artist
Date: January 31, 2017
Format: Judged
Competition: Kris Angelis, Madlyn Hall
Result: Finalist
Youngest finalist in this category?: Yes
Of prime interest to: The contestants, their most avid fans, acoustic music lovers.
Importance: 1 out of 5

Though the contest is now in its 15th year, the IAMA contest remains a fairly low-profile affair. There is no award ceremony or trophy, but the overall winner receives more than $10,000 US in music equipment donated by sponsors, as well as the promise of radio promotion. At best, it serves as a positive judgement of Grace’s writing and performance solely on merit.

2017 Radio Disney Music Awards
Category: Best New Artist
Date: April 29, 2017
Competition: Noah Cyrus, Jordan Fisher
Format: Popular Vote
Result: Won
Youngest winner in this category?: Yes
Of prime interest to: Youngest fans, entertainment media, music industry
Importance: 4 out of 5

Despite the rules and conditions for the award allowing for repeated voting by Grace’s narrow but enthusiastic base, the win is listed in every media bio for her since. It served as strong early indication of Grace’s ability to gain and hold the attention of her target demographic, and the elusive staying power of an AGT winner beyond the contest date. This stamp of approval by Disney for both the nomination and in scheduling her performance of “I Don’t Know My Name” during the ceremony was a precursor for much to come.

Variety’s Young Hollywood Impact Report 2017
Date August 8, 2017
Format: Judged
Comparison: Alessia Cara, Julia Michaels
Result: Listed, winners placed alphabetically
Youngest winner in this category?: No
Of prime interest to: Entertainment media, fans of young artists.
Importance: 2 out of 5

Any flattering publicity under the Variety banner is a positive, but the sheer number of honorees (more than 50 individuals plus alumni shoutouts) and the broad array of entertainment fields gathered together by age group tend to lessen the significance of the honor. Variety also puts out a host of these lists for various entertainment job titles, media sub-sections, etc., which detract from the impact of Grace’s particular inclusion. As expected from the title, most of the other honorees already had some acting experience under their belt, and presumably Grace was added in some part due to her rise to fame through broadcast television. While she was not included in the alumni section of the 2018 report, Stargirl would provide the logical impetus for her return to the 2019 edition.

2017 Teen Choice Awards
Category: Choice Music: Next Big Thing
Date: August 13, 2017
Competition: Jonas Blue, The Tide
Format: Popular Vote
Result: Won
Youngest winner in this category?: Yes
Of prime interest to: Teen fans, entertainment media, music industry
Importance: 4 out of 5

Another popularity contest, the Teen Choice Awards is a contest specific to her target demographic that currently provides voting access options both directly through their daily-limited website, and via Twitter posting and retweeting of monitored hashtag collections. The victory therefore is just as indicative of Grace’s general support from casual fans as it is a nod to the impressive energy of her activated group of organized superfans. Dulling the moment was that the news of her victory in the category was limited to an announcement during her stage entry as a presenter, preventing any acceptance speech or solo stage time. On a positive note for Grace was her appearing at the award show alongside Maddie Ziegler and Millie Bobby Brown, both of whose fame preceded but did not overshadow her. As with the Radio Disney Best New Artist award, the Next Big Thing is cited in biographies of Grace well out of proportion to the critical measure of the achievement. While the award for Next Big Thing has only been given out since 2015, Grace is also younger than any winner of the Choice Music: Breakout Artist since the inception of the Teen Choice awards.

Refinery29 Hollywood Z List 2017
Date: August 23, 2017
Comparison: Grace Mitchell, Billie Eilish
Result: Listed, not ranked, presentation order undisclosed.
Youngest recipient in this category?: No
Of prime interest to: Media industry, promoters, young female fans.
Importance: 1 out of 5

The inclusion of Grace Refinery29’s Hollywood Z list of female Generation Z artists on the rise is a flattering but insubstantial honor. Grouped together are a set of emerging female movie and television actors along with a few social media stars, activists and, yes, musicians for what looks to be a one-off list by a relatively new and relatively small media and entertainment company promoting content about and for young women. These 29 honorees should indeed feel grateful for the attention, but the article itself isn’t likely to generate as much buzz as some of the more established lists and awards.

Remember to check back tomorrow for the rest of the list.

This article was first posted on VanderVault’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RMyfR1R3y4&lc=UgzJamivU4n2AZkGWGx4AaABAg