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By EW Staff
March 14, 2021 at 08:43 PM EDT
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Nearly two years after introducing the world to the concept of "hot girl summer," Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion has been crowned Best New Artist at the 63rd Grammy Awards.

The 26-year-old artist was stunned speechless and began her acceptance speech by shouting out her fellow nominees and her record label. "It's been a hell of a year, but we made it," Megan said.

And finally, she gave a heartfelt thanks to her late mother, who died in 2019. "I really want to say thank you to my mama; she's not here with me today, but I know she's with me in spirit," Megan said. "She always believed I could do it. Thank y'all so much."

Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion accepting the Grammy for Best New Artist
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The award, presented by three-time Grammy winner Lizzo, comes on the heels of a massive 2020 for Meg (born Megan Jovon Ruth Pete), who reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with both "Savage Remix" (featuring Beyoncé) and "WAP" (as Cardi B's featured artist).

To win Best New Artist, Megan beat out fellow rapper Chika, rising country star Ingrid Andress, indie singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, music scion Noah Cyrus (daughter of Billy Ray, younger sister of Miley), Rhythm and Flow winner D Smoke, pop provocateur Doja Cat, and wunderkind producer Kaytranada. In doing so, she became the first female hip-hop artist to claim the award since Lauryn Hill in 1999.

Best New Artist marked the second Grammy of the night for Megan, following a win for Best Rap Performance, for "Savage Remix." The song, which hails from her debut studio album, Good News, is also up for Best Rap Song and Record of the Year.

During a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar, Megan revealed that just two short years ago, it was her five-year goal to become a household name. With that accomplished, she's setting her sights higher. "I feel like when it's all said and done, when people want to talk about female rap… they are definitely going to have to put my name up there with the OGs," she said.

And now she's one step closer.

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