If the Grammys had a dress code this year, it might be: Use your cardigan to the disco. It’s sweatshirt weather, but also the season of the Studio 54 minidress, as Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa look likeliest to make headlines for getting leading honors Sunday night after the close of the Grammys.
The album, record and tune of the year classifications seem securely in the hands of one or the other. With that being said, however, the Grammys hardly ever play out as schematically as the Oscars, with so many thousands of voters representing numerous unpredictable local, market and category factions.
If Swift and Lipa are likely to share the love is, the artist with the best capacity to upset that narrative is Beyoncé. It may seem counterintuitive to call an artist who got the most elections this year (9) a possible spoiler, over stars who only got 6 apiece (Swift and Lipa). However 2020 was fairly off-cycle for Beyoncé, with her nominations mainly coming for Juneteenth “Black Parade” single or her featured spot on a Megan Thee Stallion smash.
Mind you, that’s not to say that there isn’t a considerable faction of citizens– a number of them fresh inductees into the Recording Academy, after a variety drive– eager to provide Beyoncé her due in the leading classifications, despite whether she released a new album or had a substantial hit of her own in the eligibility duration. If Beyonce did manage to pull off a major triumph in an “off” year after appearing to get the shaft in years where she was most primed for it, that would produce a hell of a heading.
Also worth mentioning: Even if she just wins in the R&B, rap and visual media categories where she’s favored to prevail, and not for record or tune of the year, Beyoncé will be formally licensed as the most Grammy-awarded female artist of all time. So if she crosses that historic milestone while being denied again in leading categories, will heading authors see her glass as half-triumphant or half-robbed?
One thing you can count on this year: wherever males and females are facing off, it’ll almost always be a woman winning, since they did as a group win 2020 in general, and there’s no reverse sexism in the Grammys saying so. Overall, we’re looking for Beyoncé to win 5 prizes, followed by Swift, Lipa and Phoebe Bridgers with three or 4 apiece.
Our fearless (all right, slightly nervous) predictions follow:
RECORD OF THE YEAR
And the Grammy goes to … Dua Lipa’s “Do not Start Now.”
( Unless it goes to … Beyonce’s “Black Parade.”)
Swift was not nominated in this marquee category, so for any votes who liked her work and Lipa’s this year– which is undoubtedly a great deal of them– that makes it quite simple to separate and deem Lipa the year’s top singles artist while blessing Swift the premiere album-maker of2020 And, naturally, the nominating committees made the options simpler still by leaving the Weeknd out of this (and every other) classification.
The potential for spoiling comes with the two tunes Beyonce has in contention in this department: her own “Black Parade” and Megan’s “Savage,” which blew up largely since of Beyonce’s function.
But Lipa’s dance-pop instant timeless spoke to the times, too– in a “WandaVision” type of way– by conjuring its own sort of Hexagon, in which everyone could levitate, far from any madding crowd, deliberately or otherwise.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
And the Grammy goes to … Taylor Swift’s “Folklore.”
( Unless it goes to … Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia.”)
Lipa made a terrific album of its kind, but thought about in toto, it was a tip of the Before Times, when individuals would still sweat upon one another and liked it.
( Could Swift’s chances be affected, pro or con, by late aspects like her tweeting about a Netflix series?
One other factor: If Swift wins album, it’ll be her 3rd time, making her the very first female artist to attain that numerous in this classification. The appeal of that among some citizens need to exceed a countering “Lady currently had her shot” belief in other camps.
Once Again, here’s to the nominating committees’ snubs– and to their picking a lot of happy-just-to-be-nominated non-starters like Black Pumas, Jacob Collier and Coldplay– for lowering this eight-nomination category to a lot more digestible two-woman race.
SONG OF THE YEAR
And the Grammy goes to … Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now.”
( Unless it goes to … Taylor Swift’s “Cardigan.”)
Things get more difficult here. The majority of prediction pages you’ll go to have “Cardigan” in the lead, despite the fact that they’re predicting “Don’t Start Now” for record of the year. There is conventional wisdom in believing a split might go that method, to be sure. It goes like this: Record of the year can go to the bop of the year, considering the supremacy of rhythm and fantastic production, however tune of the year is reserved for tunes that adhere closer to the old-fashioned virtues of a piece of melodic and lyrical workmanship you could pick out on the piano. Simply one issue with this expected expert theory: It’s already been shown entirely out of date.
Look at the outcomes from recent years and you’ll see that record of the year and song of the year match up far more frequently than they don’t, in modern times … without regard for whether stated record/song is a ballad or a bop.
That stated, the fascinating, subtle melodic twists and storytelling turns of “Cardigan” might well have higher attraction for traditional singer/songwriter-type voters than a boogie-down stomper.
BRAND-NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
And the Grammy goes to … Phoebe Bridgers.
( Unless it goes to … Megan Thee Stallion.)
Variety may be biased on account of having actually put Bridgers on the cover of its Grammy issue today, you ‘d state, and reasonable enough. However we already had Ms. Stallion on the cover last fall, so we don’t truly have a horse in this race. Fact be informed, neither of these thoroughbreds is truly that brand-new an artist … they already feel developed in their appreciated skies after 5 or 6 years of launching music.
This is absolutely not the category to bet the mortgage on.
But in looking at what else is likely to get neglected in the huge categories, something else arises: rock. And Bridgers could join two diverse camps who think there’s not a lot else for them to vote for in marquee classifications.
However, much of the high profile that Bridgers takes pleasure in right now has come considering that ballot closed an eternity earlier, in the very first week of January, which would prefer Megan … up until you remember what a tough road it is for hip-hop typically in the leading four. We can realistically leave this one as a toss-up, where music culture wins either way.
And, with much less ado, some picks for a few dozen of the staying categories:
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Dua Lipa, “Do Not Start Now”
Let’s not stop predicting wins for Lipa now.
BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Taylor Swift accomplishment. Bon Iver, “Exile”
The Grammys have a long, abiding and unbreakable love affair with among the artists on this track … and they likewise have love for Swift, too.
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Taylor Swift, “Folklore”
See album of the year, above– no factor to think one does not follow the other (and, accordingly, that Lipa isn’s highly in the running too).
BEST TRADITIONAL POP ALBUM
Renee Zellweger, “Judy”
She had them at “Get Delighted.”
BEST ROCK EFFICIENCY
Phoebe Bridgers, “Kyoto”
It’s too bad Bridgers and Fiona Apple can’t both win in the three categories where they’re pitted versus one another (rock performance, rock tune and alternative album).
BEST ROCK SONG
Phoebe Bridgers, ‘Kyoto”
See rock performance, above.
BEST ROCK ALBUM
The Strokes, “The New Unusual”
They’re the only act in the category that truly qualifies as a rock organization, which will suffice in a an age where couple of rockers under 60 are appearing on a lot of Grammy voters’ radar. A win for Fontaines D.C. would sure be a breath of fresh air.
FINEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
Phoebe Bridgers, “Punisher”
See rock performance and rock tune, above– it’s another Bridgers/Apple face-off that could go in either case.
BEST R&B EFFICIENCY
Beyoncé, “Black Parade”
Uncertain odds for record of the year couldn’t get much more particular when this song is up in R&B categories.
BEST R&B TUNE
Beyoncé, “Black Parade”
The only genuine competitors here is Chloe x Halle, and even they probably do not wish to beat Beyoncé in this category this year.
BEST R&B ALBUM
John Legend, “Larger Love”
Legend’s album wasn’t a smash like some of its predecessors, but he is 150 times much better understood than anyone else in a category that feels abnormally star-undernourished this year; the companion progressive R&B category (see below) is where more of the action is.
BEST PROGRESSIVE R&B ALBUM
Jhene Aiko, “Chilombo”
It definitely appears like Aiko’s to lose, though Chloe x Halle could offer an upset amidst the strong crop here.
BEST TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE
Chloe x Halle, “Wonder What She Thinks about Me”
It’s fascinating– and probably confusing to at least a few voters– to see Chloe x Halle categorized as both “progressive” and “conventional.” The rightly renowned duo deals with less stiff competitors and a likelier win in this division.
FINEST RAP PERFORMANCE
Megan Thee Stallion accomplishment. Beyoncé, “Savage”
Citizens face a tough option in between the zeitgest-conquering fun of “Savage” and the topical angst of Lil Child’s “The Big Picture,” which could score an upset, especially after Lil Infant didn’t get anticipated elections for record and song of the year.
BEST MELODIC RAP PERFORMANCE
DaBaby task. Roddy Ricch, “Rockstar”
It’s become the rockstar of tunes that are called “Rockstar.”
FINEST RAP TUNE
Megan Thee Stallion task. Beyoncé, “Savage”
See rap efficiency, above; the Megan/Beyonc é vs. Lil Baby quandary repeats here.
BEST RAP ALBUM
Nas, “King’s Illness”
It ‘d be lovely to think that Jay Electronica’s hugely ambitious project could win here, however those are some remote odds. Nas will likely win by default in a classification that is controversially missing out on the greatest hip-hop albums of the year, and some of the most acclaimed too.
FINEST NATION SOLO EFFICIENCY
Mickey Guyton, “Black Like Me”
Miranda Lambert’s “Bluebird” was the most significant hit in this crop and must be the most intuitively sensible option to win. However Recording Academy voters, unlike typical radio listeners, do understand who Guyton is and what she’s about, and they’re likely to reward her for it.
FINEST NATION DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Dan Shay with Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours”
No offense to the other nominees, but based on its relative impact, this might win by a margin of about 10,000 votes.
BEST COUNTRY TUNE
Maren Morris, “The Bones”
Well, a minimum of there’s one classification where voters can try to make up for Morris getting entirely screwed in the general record and song of the year categories where “The Bones” was almost widely anticipated to contend.
FINEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Ashley McBryde, “Never Ever Will”
Okay, so the smarter money may be on Miranda Lambert’s much more commonly heard “Wildcard,” which would hardly be a bad or questionable option.
BEST AMERICAN ROOTS EFFICIENCY
John Prine, “I Keep In Mind Everything”
You ‘d believe Black Pumas, certain to come up empty-handed for record and album of the year, woud have a simple chance at having “Colors” dominate in this classification. You ‘d believe that unless you looked a couple of areas down the ballot and saw the Grammys’ last possibility at rewarding Prine there, in the year after he won a lifetime achievement award that was soon followed by his death from COVID.
BEST FOLK ALBUM
Leonard Cohen, “Thanks for the Dance”
Cohen has actually been gone longer than Prine and so might not be as sentimental a shoo-in in his category as Prine is in his. But they’re both likely to score posthumously … and they ‘d both be deserving winners even if they were still around to commemorate.
BEST AMERICANA ALBUM
Lucinda Williams, “Great Souls Better Angels”
Williams and Sarah Jarosz both have 3 wins under their belts (mainly in other categories)– it’s a hard call to make in a year when both had roughly equal levels of acclaim.
BEST LATIN POP/URBAN ALBUM
Bad Bunny, “YHLQMDLG”– 31/10
YMMNV: your mileage might not vary, because there’s no one else who could perhaps win in this category.
BEST FUNNY ALBUM
Tiffany Haddish, “Black Mitzvah”
Tough to inform if ditching with Grammy producers over a deal to host the pre-telecast webcast gratis hurt her chances; she may even have gotten an increase out of it with rank-and-file voters.
BEST SPOKEN WORD ALBUM
Meryl Streep, “Charlotte’s Web”
You don’t need to listen to it– simply considering it makes you weep. (And most citizens checking off a box in this classification will have actually only considered the options, instead of actually listening to Ken Jennings, Ronan Farrow and the rest for 4-10 hours apiece.)
Beyoncé, “Brown Skin Girl”
Will this be the win that pointers Beyoncé into being the most-rewarded female artist of all time … something that’s most likely to happen at some point on Sunday?
BEST MUSICAL COMEDY ALBUM
” American Utopia”
Or it could be “Rugged Little Tablet.” But thanks to Spike Lee’s spectacular HBO making of David Byrne’s program, and no thanks to the pandemic making several of the other options unviewable, there’s sense to be had in a win for a production that people really got to see and like, on TELEVISION or not.
BEST VISUAL MEDIA COLLECTION
” Eurovision Song Contest”
The clever cash may be on “Frozen II,” but this is a case where the Grammys’ odd eligibility duration makes a late 2019 release like the Disney follow up seem like rewarding something from 5 years ago. And the primarily earnest but at least semi-comic “Husavik,” from “Eurovison,” presently has Oscar shortlist heat.
BEST VISUAL MEDIA SCORE
Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Joker”
The 2019 sell-by date might not be an aspect, though, in the Recording Academy choosing to give Guðnadóttir the last of her many success laps for he “Joker” music, so she can proceed with her life.
FINEST VISUAL MEDIA TUNE
Billie Eilish, “No Time to Die”
After winning actually armloads of awards last year, the 2020 Grammy queen has one sure chance at not going home empty-handed this year prior to potentially coming back strong with a sophomore album in time for next year’s awards.