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Grammy Hype: Best new artist, Florence + the Machine

Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine has

Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine has five nominations in the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards for "Dog Days Are Over." Credit: Universal Republic Records

Yesterday we gave you the lowdown on Justin Bieber. Today we've got info on another Grammy nominee for best new artist, Florence + the Machine.

The enigmatic Florence Welch, a 24-year-old Brit, is the front woman of Florence + the Machine. Best described as indie rock, the music on "Lungs," the debut album from Welch, released July 6, 2009 in the United Kingdom and in October 2009 in the United States, is rife with contradictions. The songs are breathy and pounding, beautiful and hard. Just as her music is varied and diverse, so are the places where Welch has performed. Case in point: She took the stage in 2010 at both the MTV VMAs and the Nobel Peace Prize concert.

Want to know more? Here are some facts about Welch and her rise to fame:

Where you've heard her: Unless you live in a cave or a TV-free home, you've likely heard songs from "Lungs." "Dog Days Are Over" received a huge boost after appearing in the movie trailer for Julia Roberts' "Eat, Pray, Love." Welch also performed the song on "Saturday Night Life," it's used in the opening for USA network's "Covert Affairs," and it was covered on "Glee." "Cosmic Love," a less catchy but still amazing song, was featured on TV shows including "Grey's Anatomy" and "V." "Heavy in Your Arms" was played during the credits of (and appears on the soundtrack for) "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."

What the critics say: Newsday's Glenn Gamboa listed "Lungs" as No. 5 on his top-10 albums of 2009 list. "In the fine tradition of Kate Bush, Florence and her Machine combine lush backdrops and ornate vocal twists to tell elaborate literary tales ("Rabbit Heart") or extraordinarily simple ones ("Kiss With a Fist")," he wrote. Rolling Stone gave "Lungs" 3.5 out of 5 stars, Pitchfork rated the album 7.2 out of 10 and Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-. To close out 2010, SPIN magazine recently named Florence + the Machine Artist of the Year.

Her fans:  Welch has 894,429 people who "like" her on Facebook. She also has some celebs who follow her work, including the "Gossip Girl" cast, who were rumored to have all attended a New York City show. Blake Lively, one of the show's star, was pictured with Welch at a New Year's Eve party in Las Vegas. Fellow best new artist Grammy nominee, Drake, must also enjoy her work -- he called her on stage to perform with him at a recent London show. Welch also has some more unusual fans. In an NME interview she said that a fan who comes to all of her shows has a tatoo of her face on his leg. Interesting.

Check back tomorrow for info on a third Grammy nominee for best new artist, Drake. And for complete Grammy coverage, click here.

For now, we leave you with the music video for "Dog Days Are Over." Enjoy.

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