Its been a weird year, but a great one for music (well the quality anyways). That being said, the Grammy nominations somehow managed to be weirder than they were great. As the countdown to music’s biggest night gets closer and closer, its time to predict who might walk away with music’s biggest honours. Here are our picks for the year’s biggest awards.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Beyoncé – ‘Black Parade’
Black Pumas – ‘Colors’
DaBaby Featuring Roddy Ricch – ‘Rockstar’
Doja Cat – ‘Say So’
Billie Eilish – ‘Everything I Wanted’
Dua Lipa – ‘Don’t Start Now’
Post Malone – ‘Circles’
Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé – ‘Savage’
Record of the Year, often confused with Song of the Year, is awarded for a song’s production and performance. The winners often overlap between the two, which could be an indicator here. The only overlap between the two are Beyoncé’s ‘Black Parade’, Dua Lipa’s ‘Don’t Start Now’, Billie Eilish’s ‘Everything I Wanted’, and Post Malone’s ‘Circles’ The last year the two diverged was 2018, when Bruno Mars won both but for two different tracks. Before that 2016 saw Ed Sheeran prevail in Song, while Mark Ronson and Mars took home Record. Of the double nominees, ‘Black Parade’ and ‘Don’t Start Now’ seem the most likely given Beyoncé and Lipa are among the most nominated artists this year.
However, their competition is strong with massive hits like Doja Cat’s ‘Say So’, Dababy’s ‘Rockstar’, as well as Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Savage’ making Beyoncé a double nominee here. The latter could either split votes with ‘Black Parade’ or could prevail on the strength of Beyoncé’s showing in the nominations this year, and would perhaps be the most deserving winner.
Should win: Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé – ‘Savage’
Will Win: Dua Lipa – ‘Don’t Start Now’
SONG OF THE YEAR
Beyoncé – Black Parade
Roddy Ricch – The Box
Taylor Swift – Cardigan
Post Malone – Circles
Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted
H.E.R. – I Can’t Breathe
JP Saxe Featuring Julia Michaels – If the World Was Ending
Again, Beyoncé, Lipa, Malone or Eilish could all stand to sweep both Record or Song. Given Lipa’s likely win in Record, she could prevail here, but the nominations are possibly even stronger here. Given the same song has won both in the past number of years, the Academy could decide to split the awards this years, particularly given the strength of the other nominees. Roddy Rich’s ‘The Box’ and JP Saxe’s ‘If The World Was Ending’ seem like non starters, but the other two offer heavy competition.
H.E.R. has been nominated 5 times in the general field in the past two years, and that combined with the quality and importance of ‘I Can’t Breathe’. Taylor Swift would also be a deserving winner, with ‘Cardigan’ easily ranks among her best songwriting and the fact that she is the most nominated woman in this category but has yet to win. That being said, Swift could be the front-runner in Album of the Year, and given the Academy prefers to spread the awards around in the years that Swift has won, she could go home empty-handed in this category.
Should Win: H.E.R. – ‘I Can’t Breathe’ or Taylor Swift – ‘Cardigan’
Will Win: Dua Lipa – ‘Don’t Start Now’
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Chilombo — Jhené Aiko
Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition) — Black Pumas
Everyday Life — Coldplay
Djesse Vol. 3 — Jacob Collier
Women in Music Pt. III — Haim
Future Nostalgia — Dua Lipa
Hollywood’s Bleeding — Post Malone
Folklore — Taylor Swift
Easily one of the strangest bunch of nominees this year, Album of the Year saw a number of front-runners left out in the cold, most notably The Weeknd’s After Hours. With that, only a handful are really in the running here. Given the Academy’s tendency to award album of the year to albums that have also been at least nominated in their respective genre (no album has won without being nominated in it’s respective genre since the turn of the millennium). Given that logic, only Jhené Aiko’s Chilombo, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, and Taylor Swift’s Folklore.
Aiko feels like a non-starter but given both Swift and Lipa are representing pop, they could split votes to allow her a win here. However, both Lipa and Swift have much stronger narratives. Swift feels like the frontunner, and deservedly so, given it is easily the most acclaimed and one of her most successful albums to date (no small feat given the mammoth success of even her least successful records have had). That being said, her two previous wins (which were controversial) could either help her or hurt her. Swift’s own 1989 is prove that often times mainstream pop albums win out against more genre fare, which could also work against her. Lipa’s Future Nostalgia felt like a huge record, thanks largely to her aggressive campaign and buoyed by it’s hits, but was nowhere near as big as 1989. However, it is one of the rare pop albums that has managed to garner universal acclaim, something 1989 didn’t have on its side. Still, at the end of the day, it feels like hers to lose.
Should Win: Folklore – Taylor Swift
Will Win: Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
BEST NEW ARTIST
Megan Thee Stallion
Like with most years, for a number of this year’s Best New Artist nominees, the nomination is the win here. This one is by far and away a three horse race between Doja Cat, Phoebe Bridgers and Megan Theee Stallion.
Doja Cat is the dark horse of the three, but she could win here as the only other nominations for her would award Dr Luke and both Bridgers and Megan have chances to win elsewhere. Bridgers is a critical darling, and has recently hit mainstream headlines with her SNL debut. Plus, we all know how the Academy loves to award a white person here (remember when Nicki Minaj lost to the “white man Bon Iver”). However, Thee Stallion is still the strongest horse in this race. With two massive no.1 hits, three other nominations, and the Beyoncé seal of approval, who can argue with the ultimate Hot Girl?
Should Win: Megan Thee Stallion
Will Win: Megan Thee Stallion