2019 Grammy Predictions

It’s Grammy time, again! This year, the major categories have expanded to 8 nominees a pop, making the competition tighter and the predictions all the more dubious. With controversial winners – or maybe it’s the ones that didn’t win that’s been the center of the controversy – capturing headlines over the past several years, there’s immense pressure for the Academy to get it right this year. Will they? Until Sunday, it’s anyone’s guess. Here’s mine:


RECORD OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • “I Like It” Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
  • “The Joke” Brandi Carlile
  • “This Is America” Childish Gambino
  • “God’s Plan” Drake
  • “Shallow” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
  • “All The Stars” Kendrick Lamar & SZA
  • “Rockstar” Post Malone ft. 21 Savage
  • “The Middle” Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Who Should Win?

“This Is America”
Considering this award is all about the recording, Childish Gambino’s hit is easily the best of the lot, and probably would be against pretty much any other nominee.

Who Will Win?

“God’s Plan”
With the category expanded to 8 nominees, it’s that much more difficult to figure out exactly which direction they’re going. For better or worse, Drake seems like the safest bet here, particularly with this song.

The Darkhorse?

“I Like It” 
Who really knows where Cardi B is going to fit into things this year? It would be wrong to count her out for this particular award.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • Invasion Of Privacy Cardi B
  • By The Way, I Forgive You Brandi Carlile
  • Scorpion Drake
  • H.E.R. H.E.R.
  • Beerbongs & Bentleys Post Malone
  • Dirty Computer Janelle Monáe
  • Golden Hour Kacey Musgraves
  • Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By Various Artists

Who Should Win?

Golden Hour 
There are some great nominees here… H.E.R., Janelle, Brandi, Cardi… but Kacey Musgraves is the best. This album was the great equalizer for country music last year, so much so that even non-country listeners were captivated by its perfection. It should win.

Who Will Win?

Black Panther: The Album
Again, with 8 nominees, the competition is not just thick, it’s damn confusing. The Grammys have sincerely dropped the ball with Kendrick Lamar, – seriously, he lost every single award in the rap category to MACKLEMORE in 2014 – and they have gotten nothing but flack for it. Although the Black Panther soundtrack isn’t strictly his, he curated it, and the Academy would be idiotic to pass it over. Then again, maybe that’s giving them too much credit.

The Darkhorse?

Golden Hour
Kacey could still prevail here, in all honesty. Although they desperately need to make a statement about inclusivity and diversity, this is still the Grammys we’re talking about. It would be hard to argue against this should it win.


SONG OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • “All The Stars” (Kendrick Lamar & SZA) Kendrick Duckworth, Solána Rowe, Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears & Anthony Tiffith
  • “Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai) Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Ma & Dijon McFarlane
  • “God’s Plan” (Drake) Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib
  • “In My Blood” (Shawn Mendes) Teddy Gieger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes & Geoffrey Warburton
  • “The Joke” (Brandi Carlile) Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth
  • “The Middle” (Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey) Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha & Anton Zaslavski
  • “Shallow” (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper) Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt
  • “This Is America” (Childish Gambino) Donald Glover, Ludwig Göransson & Jeffrey Lamar Williams

Who Should Win?

“Shallow”
From a songwriting perspective, this one is a no-brainer. Most of the other tracks nominated are great recordings, but “Shallow” stands out for its writing.

Who Will Win?

“Shallow”
It would be a huge mistake not to give it to Gaga, Ronson, and Co. for this one, and although the Grammys are notorious for mistakes, it’s hard to see them making this one. It’s about time Lady Gaga took one of the major categories.

The Darkhorse?

“The Joke”
Brandi Carlile is all over the major categories this year. Maybe it’s all a red herring, but she could also be the night’s big victor.


BEST NEW ARTIST

Nominees

  • Chloe x Halle
  • Luke Combs
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • H.E.R.
  • Dua Lipa
  • Margo Price
  • Bebe Rexha
  • Jorja Smith

Who Should Win?

H.E.R.
This category is almost always a mess, mostly because they can’t ever seem to properly define what makes an artist “new.” Now there are 8 choices to contend with (WHY?!), but this is actually a pretty solid group. H.E.R. is probably the most deserving choice if one had to choose.

Who Will Win?

Dua Lipa
Popularity isn’t supposed to be a factor, but it always is. Dua Lip deserves it on her own merits, but the fact that she’s the only one with any serious commercial success will no doubt tip the scales in her favor.

The Darkhorse?

H.E.R.
Considering her other nods, it is extremely possible that H.E.R. could actually take this one home.


BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Colors” Beck
  • “Havana” (Live) Camila Cabello
  • “God Is A Woman” Ariana Grande
  • “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?) Lady Gaga
  • “Better Now” Post Malone

Who Should Win?

“God Is A Woman”
There are always snubs, but considering how they expanded the major categories to 8 nominees and Ariana Grande’s name didn’t show up anywhere, they really did her dirty. It would make matters so much worse if she didn’t pick up the few awards she actually was included in.

Who Will Win?

“God Is A Woman”
Look at the lineup here. It’s almost too obvious that she’s going to win this one.

The Darkhorse?

“Havana (Live)”
The Grammys often include live or remixed versions as a loophole to get major songs nominated that missed the boat the previous year… and they have won. You can’t count Camila out.


BEST POP/DUO GROUP PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Fall In Line” Christina Aguilera ft. Demi Lovato
  • “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” Backstreet Boys
  • “‘S Wonderful” Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
  • “Shallow” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
  • “Girls Like You” Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B
  • “Say Something” Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton
  • “The Middle” Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Who Should Win?

“Shallow”
Again, “Shallow” wrecks the competition here. No offense, but it almost belittles the song being amongst the other nominees.

Who Will Win?

“The Middle”
Despite not actually meeting in “the middle” between electronic and country like it should have, this song was e-nor-mous and probably will get the win as a result.

The Darkhorse?

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”
Listen, the Backstreet Boys are pop legends, and they actually are insanely talented. They actually might get that kind of treatment this year.


BET POP VOCAL ALBUM

Nominees

  • Camila Camila Cabello
  • Meaning Of Life Kelly Clarkson
  • Sweetener Ariana Grande
  • Shawn Mendes Shawn Mendes
  • Beautiful Trauma P!nk
  • Reputation Taylor Swift

Who Should Win?

Sweetener
No, Taylor Swift was NOT snubbed this year. Taylor Swift didn’t put out anything Grammy-worthy, sorry! Ariana Grande is the true snub in the major categories this year, and her acclaimed Sweetener deserves whatever it can get.

Who Will Win?

Sweetener
Ariana’s going to get it. It would be gobsmacking if she didn’t.

The Darkhorse?

Shawn Mendes
Who knows exactly where Shawn Mendes fits in the mix, if it all, but this seems like his easiest win.


BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM

Nominees

  • Singularity Jon Hopkins
  • Woman Worldwide Justice
  • Treehouse Sofi Tukker
  • Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides SOPHIE
  • Lune Rouge TOKiMONSTA

Who Should Win?

Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
SOPHIE really deserves this one. Her debut album is challenging, thought-provoking, and even fun. It’s truly unique.

Who Will Win?

Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I think she’s going to get it. The members of the Academy voting in this category are either going to know their stuff (meaning she wins,) or they’re going to need serious education.

The Darkhorse?

Singularity
Jon Hopkins seems like a safe alternative, even if acts like Sofi Tukker have a little more relevancy.


BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Four Out Of Five” Arctic Monkeys
  • “When Bad Does Good” Chris Cornell
  • “Made An America” THE FEVER 333
  • “Highway Tune” Greta Van Fleet
  • “Uncomfortable” Halestorm

Who Should Win?

“Highway Tune”
Yikes, what a category. The jury is still out on Greta Van Fleet, and although there’s temptation to go with Arctic Monkeys, “Highway Tune” somehow feels more deserving.

Who Will Win?

“When Bad Does Good”
The Grammys love to pay tribute to late great artists, and Chris Cornell is deserving of a posthumous recognition regardless of what it’s for.

The Darkhorse?

“Highway Tune”
The Grammys could full-on embrace Greta Van Fleet and regret it later. People, it’s happened before.


BEST ROCK ALBUM

Nominees

  • Rainer Fog Alice In Chains
  • M A N I A Fall Out Boy
  • Prequelle Ghost
  • From The Fires Greta Van Fleet
  • Pacific Daydream Weezer

Who Should Win?

From The Fires
I mean, I’m going for it with this one.

Who Will Win?

From The Fires
I really think Greta Van Fleet are going to see some Grammy love this year, I really do. We’re all going to look back and shake our heads.

The Darkhorse?

Pacific Daydream
Come on, it’s Weezer. They’re always in the running, even if they’re not.


BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

Nominees

  • Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino Arctic Monkeys
  • Colors Beck
  • Utopia Björk
  • American Utopia David Byrne
  • Masseduction St. Vincent

Who Should Win?

Masseduction
These are some solid nominees, but St. Vincent’s Masseduction is a bonafide masterpiece, and one they may just go down as her best. For the others, they’re not as career-defining.

Who Will Win?

Masseduction
It would be surprising for them to pass her over, especially on an album that could have competed in the major category.

The Darkhorse?

American Utopia
David Byrne is a legend. The Grammys love legends. The end.


BEST R&B PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Long As I Live” Toni Braxton
  • “Summer” The Carters
  • “Y O Y” Lalah Hathaway
  • “Best Part” H.E.R. ft. Daniel Caesar
  • “First Began” PJ Morton

Who Should Win?

“Best Part”
Considering H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar are two of the most exciting “new” artists in R&B, this track is effortlessly a knockout.

Who Will Win?

“Best Part”
Whether or not H.E.R. fails elsewhere, this one is a lock.

The Darkhorse?

“Summer”
The Grammys haven’t been nice to The Carters in recent years. Lemonade was criminally passed over for Album of the Year and Jay-Z literally went 0 for 8 last year. Who knows if the Grammys are willing to make amends in some way, but even a win here would only be a start.


BEST R&B SONG

Nominees

  • “Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai) Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane
  • “Come Through And Chill” (Miguel ft. J. Cole & Salaam Remi) Jermaine Cole, Miguel Pimentel & Salaam Remi
  • “Feels Like Summer” (Childish Gambino) Donald Glover & Ludwig Göransson
  • “Focus” (H.E.R.) Darhyl Campers Jr, H.E.R. & Justin Love
  • “Long As I Live” (Toni Braxton) Paul Boutin, Toni Braxton & Antonio Dixon

Who Should Win?

“Boo’d Up”
Ella Mai’s exciting breakthrough hit absolutely deserves its Song of the Year nomination, but it does get lost in the shuffle; it stands out as the undeniable frontrunner here.

Who Will Win?

“Boo’d Up”
H.E.R. might occur as the obvious victor, but logic says “Boo’d Up” would be the favorite to voters.

The Darkhorse?

“Focus”
Of course, “Focus” could live up to its name if the Grammys want to give the category clean sweep to H.E.R. – it’s something they love to do.


BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM

Nominees

  • Everything Is Love The Carters
  • The Kids Are Alright Chloe x Halle
  • Chris Dave And The Drumhedz Chris Dave And The Drumhedz
  • War & Leisure Miguel
  • Ventriloquism Meshell Ndegeocello

Who Should Win?

Everything Is Love
There are some great albums up for this category, but none felt as momentous as Everything Is Love, even if the moment wasn’t as profound as The Carters often experience.

Who Will Win?

Everything Is Love
Maybe the Grammys have some sort of grudge against Jay and Bey, but this is an area where they’ve also gotten a profuse amount of criticism. Assuming there will be an unspoken theme of making up for past decisions, this will be a definite win. Assumptions are a dangerous thing with the Grammys, though.

The Darkhorse?

The Kids Are Alright
It would be fitting in a way for Beyoncé protégés Chloe x Halle to take the win here.


BEST RAP PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Be Careful” Cardi B
  • “Nice For What” Drake
  • “King’s Dead” Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake
  • “Bubblin” Anderson.Paak
  • “Sicko Mode” Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee

Who Should Win?

“Sicko Mode”
This is a tight category this year, but it would feel wrong not to give it to Travis’s mega-hit, especially considering it has Drake on it.

Who Will Win?

“Sick Mode”
The rap categories are the most competitive of all the noteworthy genres this year. It is a complete toss up, often split 3 or 4 ways across the board. This just feels like Travis Scott’s most obvious category.

The Darkhorse?

“King’s Dead”
This Black Panther highlight also seems like a realistic winner, especially if there is going to be some serious Kendrick-love.


BEST RAP SONG

Nominees

  • “God’s Plan” (Drake) Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib
  • “King’s Dead” (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake) Kendrick Duckworth, Samuel Gloade, James Litherland, Johnny McKinzie, Axel Morgan, Mark Spears, Travis Walton, Nayvadius Wilburn & Michael Williams II
  • “Lucky You” (Eminem ft. Joyner Lucas) R. Fraser, G. Lucas, M. Mathers, M. Samuels & J. Sweet
  • “Sicko Mode” (Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee) Khalif Brown, Rogét Chahayed, BryTavious Chambers, Mike Dean, Mirsad Dervic, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Aubrey Graham, John Edward Hawkins, Chauncey Hollis, Jacques Webster, Ozan Yildirim & Cydel Young
  • “Win” (Jay Rock) K. Duckworth, A. Hernandez, J. McKinzie, M. Samuels & C. Thompson

Who Should In?

“Sicko Mode”
Again, I think “Sicko Mode” is probably the best of the lot, in this case in terms of songwriting.

Who Will Win?

“God’s Plan”
I think Drake has the best shot with this one, especially if he does end up winning one of the big awards for it.

The Darkhorse?

“Sicko Mode”
Either Travis is going to be in the mix, or he’s going to be completely snubbed. If he doesn’t win Best Rap Performance, he should pick up this one.


BEST RAP ALBUM

Nominees

  • Invasion Of Privacy Cardi B
  • Swimming Mac Miller
  • Victory Lap Nipsey Hussle
  • Daytona Pusha T
  • Astroworld Travis Scott

Who Should In?

Astroworld
Again, Travis Scott put out the best work. Don’t get me wrong, the competition is still pretty stiff, but it’s the loosest of all the rap awards. Astroworld is the obvious highlight.

Who Will Win?

Invasion Of Privacy
Cardi B’s debut LP was lauded by critics, and it seems like she is going to get some amount of love from the Grammys this year. Best Rap Album feels like her best bet of all her nominations.

The Darkhorse?

Astroworld
Who knows? Travis Scott could sweep the lot.


BEST COUNTRY SONG

Nominees

  • “Break Up In The End” (Cole Swindell) Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill & Jon Nite
  • “Dear Hate” (Maren Morris ft. Vince Gill) Tom Doubles, David Hodges & Maren Morris
  • “I Lived It” (Blake Shelton) Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley & Ben Hayslip
  • “Space Cowboy” (Kacey Musgraves) Luke Laird, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves
  • “Tequila” (Dan + Shay) Nicolle Gaylon, Jordan Reynolds & Dan Smyers
  • “When Someone Stops Loving You” (Little Big Town) Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill & Lori Mckenna

Who Should In?

“Space Cowboy”
For the love of God, Kacey Musgraves better annihilate the country categories this year.

Who Will Win?

“Space Cowboy”
It seems likely that she’ll do just that. If she doesn’t walk away with Album of the Year, should could pick up her awards here.

The Darkhorse?

“Dear Hate”
Maren Morris also fits the Grammy mold, especially when paired up with a country legend.


BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Nominees

  • Unapologetically Kelsea Ballerini
  • Port Saint Joe Brothers Osborne
  • Girl Going Nowhere Ashley McBryde
  • Golden Hour Kacey Musgraves
  • From A Room: Volume 2 Chris Stapleton

Who Should In?

Golden Hour
Seriously, give the awards to Kacey.

Who Will Win?

Golden Hour
This should be a no-brainer. The only positive is if the pre-show awards don’t present a good showing for her, it could mean a much bigger award later in the night. If she’s completely overlooked, people need to be fired.

The Darkhorse?

Unapologetically
I’d like to think there’s not even a runner up, but, again, Kelsea Ballerini fit the Grammy-mold!


All information adapted from http://www.grammy.com.

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