Grammys 2019: Predictions for MAJOR Awards (General)

The Grammys are in hot water, and though they have a chance to slowly move past their terrible reputation on February 10th, their prospects are not looking very good. Major artists such as Ariana Grade (who is also “boycotting” the show), Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino declined to perform at the show.

However, they made fresh changes to this year’s voting bloc and nomination process. The RIAA expanded the four general categories – Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist – to eight nominations from the previous five nominations.

This year’s nominations make it obvious that the RIAA is using this change to their advantage to cover a wide range of genres, making predictions even more difficult.

The Grammys also have to prove that they embrace diversity. They invited 900 new voters in the past year to increase the number of women and people of color. Now, the voting bloc is 51% women and 48% people of color – previously, they were 28% women and 37% people of color. Will they do the same in awarding the prizes?

Album Of The Year

Golden Hour.jpg

  • Cardi B: INVASION OF PRIVACY
  • Brandi Carlile: BY THE WAY, I FORGIVE YOU
  • Drake: SCORPION
  • H.E.R. : H.E.R.
  • Post Malone: BEERBONGS & BENTLEYS
  • Janelle Monáe: DIRTY COMPUTER
  • Kacey Musgraves: GOLDEN HOUR
  • Kendrick Lamar, Various Artists: BLACK PANTHER: THE ALBUM

Who Will Win: Invasion of Privacy, Golden Hour, Scorpion, or Black Panther

Who Should Win: Black Panther

Surprise Win: Dirty Computer

Grammys love Cardi B, and pushing for a female rapper who recently blew up would make them seem like they’re “making progress” toward equality. From 2013 to 2018, 90.7% of all Grammy nominees were men, and just 9.3% were women. This year showed a clear effort to nominate more women (deservedly), and giving the biggest prize of the night to Cardi can show that the Grammys are “woke.”

Another strong female is Kacey Musgraves, for her album that only I seemed to dislike. I don’t like country music in general, and I honestly couldn’t find what was so special about this album. Apparently, the RIAA has a huge country voting bloc, so that might be enough of a push.

Scorpion was a mess. Loaded with half-finished filler tracks and dripping with self-indulgence, the only good track I can remember from it is “Nice for What.” Just because it broke selling and streaming records, the Grammys might drool over it.

Black Panther.jpg

Black Panther was a gem in the dreary winter. Full of innovative African influences, ranging from SOB x RBE’s harsh, new-school rap to the rueful “I Am” from Jorja Smith, to the intense and satisfying “King’s Dead,” to the sleek production of “X,” it was a creative and refreshing album showcasing a wonderful variety of talented artists. It would finally allow Kendrick to win his long-snubbed Album of the Year and award many amazing artists of color. 

Dirty Computer was praised by critics, but it is too artistically intricate for the simple-minded Grammys. Low chance.

Record Of The YearIMG_5698

  • Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin: I LIKE IT
  • Brandi Carlile: THE JOKE
  • Childish Gambino: THIS IS AMERICA
  • Drake: GOD’S PLAN
  • Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper: SHALLOW
  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA: ALL THE STARS
  • Post Malone ft. 21 Savage: ROCKSTAR
  • Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey: THE MIDDLE

Who Will Win: “I Like It,” “This is America,” or “God’s Plan”

Who Should Win: “I Like It” or “This is America”

Surprise Win: “The Middle”

“I Like It” had an extravagant, funky Caribbean production with an infectious hype crowd “chorus” and Cardi’s show-stopping delivery. This award awards the entire team who made the song: artists, producers, mixing and mastering engineers; taking that into account, “I Like It” would be an excellent winner. On the other hand, “This is America” stunned the entire country with its music video and tense lyrics and production, making listeners tread the fine line between celebration and horror. The music is joyful; the reality of our country is not.

Speaking very objectively, the song garnered attention mainly for its music video, not for the music itself. “I Like It” is frankly the better choice if we’re speaking technically. However, I found this brilliant quote:

Giving “This Is America” Record of the Year is an easy way for [the Grammys] to look “woke” without actually doing any work, like the people who clap back at Donald Trump on Twitter but don’t keep that same energy with Aunt Tammy on Thanksgiving.

–Complex

And that’s exactly what the Grammys are looking for.

“God’s Plan” was an annoying but catchy song. Listen to the first second and tell me you can’t imagine Drake slurring “I only love my bed and my mama…”

It’s a toss-up between these three.

“The Middle” was one of the very few purely pop hits in 2018 – others were mostly rap-infused. It has a slim chance but stands out for its unique characteristic as the only pop hit nominee. I would be okay with it winning. 

Song Of The Year (A Songwriter(s) Award)

A star is born

  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA: ALL THE STARS
  • Ella Mai: BOO’D UP
  • Drake: GOD’S PLAN
  • Shawn Mendes: IN MY BLOOD
  • Brandi Carlile: THE JOKE
  • Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey: THE MIDDLE
  • Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper: SHALLOW
  • Childish Gambino: THIS IS AMERICA

Who Will Win: “Shallow” or (unlikely compared to “Shallow”) “Boo’d Up”

Who Should Win: “Boo’d Up” or “The Middle”

Surprise Win: “All the Stars” or “This is America”

For some reason, all major music publications have been predicting that “Shallow” will win. “Shallow” is an underwhelming song (Bradley Cooper, I liked you in other movies, but not when you’re singing. It’s terrible.) only saved by Lady Gaga, but even then it’s not memorable. People are swooning just because it’s Lady Gaga, but the actual music is not great.

As annoying as “Boo’d Up” got by the end of the summer, it is undoubtedly a catchy song with a memorable melody and easily comprehensible lyrics. Grammys like to be safe and go for simple songs. They will either pick “Shallow” because they like movie soundtracks or “Boo’d Up” for its catchiness.

“God’s Plan” might win Record of the Year, so I didn’t include it in my predictions for this category. “The Middle,” however, might be the most deserving: again, it was an incredibly rejuvenating pop song, and I would like to see it gain some recognition.

“All the Stars” might win for its feel-good SZA vocals and lyrics with Kendrick’s spice and edgy touch. “This is America” might win for its social commentary.

Best New ArtistDua Lipa.jpg

  • CHLOE X HALLE
  • LUKE COMBS
  • GRETA VAN FLEET
  • H.E.R.
  • DUA LIPA
  • MARGO PRICE
  • BEBE REXHA
  • JORJA SMITH

Who Will Win: H.E.R. or Dua Lipa

Who Should Win: Dua Lipa

Surprise Win: Jorja Smith or Bebe Rexha

Everyone agrees that this race pretty much boils down to H.E.R. vs. Dua Lipa, who are probably two of the most recognizable names on this list. H.E.R. earned five Grammy nominations the same year she’s being selected as a potential Best New Artist, a stunning achievement. Will the Grammys follow through on this pre-show love for H.E.R.? Or will they swerve and honor the refreshing pop star Dua Lipa?

H.E.R. is talented, but her persona is forgettable. Dua Lipa is bold and immediately marketable, with a tomboyish and flirty persona that makes listeners easily fall head over heels for her. Dua Lipa is the more deserving winner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave it to H.E.R.

This category is notoriously random and eyebrow-raising. Last year, Alessia Cara – the most undeserving nominee compared to Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels, and my love SZA – won to my shock. They might award Jorja Smith, famous from Drake’s More Life and nice debut album Lost & Found last year, or Bebe Rexha, who already performed alongside Ke$ha for the poignant “Praying” at the Grammys last year.

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