It can be a daunting task to predict the nominations for the GRAMMY Awards, but each year we continue to do just that. It became increasingly more difficult to accurately predict the nominees when the Recording Academy expanded the number of nominees from 5 to 8 in each of the General Field categories. We predict that this year will be dominated by Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and Lizzo. The GRAMMYs also have to be sure to nominate enough star power (i.e., Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish, etc.) to entice them to perform on the live show for their ratings.
Official nominations for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards will be announced in all 84 categories on Wednesday, November 20, which will honor recordings released between October 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019. The 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards will air live from Los Angeles on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 8PM ET/5PM PT. There was a lot of really good music released this time around, and I think these predictions will end up being really close to what we see announced in a few weeks.
Album of the Year
- Ariana Grande – thank u, next
- Billie Eilish – WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
- Taylor Swift – Lover
- Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
- Maren Morris – GIRL
- Khalid – Free Spirit
- Beyoncé – HOMECOMING: THE LIVE ALBUM
- Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born Soundtrack
- Other Possibilities / Wildcards: Tyler, The Creator – IGOR, Ed Sheeran – No.6 Collaborations Project, Solange Knowles – When I Get Home, Lana Del Rey – Norman F*****g Rockwell!, Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
I predict that Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish are locks for nominations this year with their albums, thank u, next and WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, respectively. These two albums resonated with the masses as well as the critics. In our opinion, Ariana really deserved a nom here last year with Sweetener. thank u, next cranked out the smash hits, however, it definitely did not lack in quality whatsoever. Billie is a brand new artist who has experienced massive breakout success this year with this album. While it may have nonly produced one mega-hit with “bad guy,” the album as a whole is deserving of a nom. Taylor Swift’s Lover sees her in a completely different headspace than on her previous album, reputation, which was passed over for an AOTY nomination a couple years ago. This album showcases each and every side of Swift’s diverse artistry, making it more than deserving of a nom here. Lizzo has easily been one of our favorite artists of the year with her endless feel-good anthems. There is some irony here because while she has achieved great chart success with singles, “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell,” those two songs do not even appear on her debut album, Cuz I Love You. Regardless, the album is full of absolutely amazing songs that could all easily be hits of their own. GIRL by Maren Morris may seem like a less than obvious choice here, but her album was simply sensational. It delivers all of the feels, and we think it would serve as the ideal representative for country music in this category. I wish this show would realize they can nominate more than just one country album each year, but it seems to be the usual pattern. Khalid refused to suffer from a sophomore slump on his second album, Free Spirit, and it is one of those rare albums that managed to satisfy both the general public along with critics. Having produced hits “Talk” and “Better,” the rest of the album also displays the incredible artist that Khalid is. There is some debate over whether this next choice should or should not be nominated, but I think its uniqueness is what makes it especially likely to be an AOTY nominee. Beyoncé’s HOMECOMING: THE LIVE ALBUM is a live album recording of her historic HBCU-themed headlining Coachella performance from 2018. While the album itself only boasts two new original songs, the live recordings of her past hits are presented in such an elevated way that they sound entirely new and special. It is rather uncommon for a live album to show up in this category, but if anyone can make it happen, it’s Beyoncé. Last year’s most-talked-about movie was ‘A Star Is Born,’ and we think the soundtrack could very well show up in this category. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born Soundtrack may be one of the oldest albums within this eligibility period, which could also hurt its chances, but it is filled to the brim with award-worthy tracks like “Always Remember Us This Way” and “I’ll Never Love Again.” Let’s just hope that the voting members don’t forget that this album is actually eligible this year. We are predicting a rather female-dominated AOTY category, but it makes plenty of sense when looking back at the most successful albums released within the last year.
Record of the Year
- Billie Eilish – “bad guy”
- Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)”
- Jonas Brothers – “Sucker”
- Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”
- Dan + Shay – “Speechless”
- Lewis Capaldi – “Someone You Loved”
- Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita”
- Ariana Grande – “7 rings”
- Other Possibilities / Wildcards: Post Malone & Swae Lee – “Sunflower,” Khalid – “Talk,” Taylor Swift – “You Need To Calm Down,” Panic! At The Disco – “High Hopes,” Sam Smith & Normani – “Dancing with a Stranger”
Billie Eilish may not have known “bad guy” was going to the hit that it is, but everyone else could tell from the day we heard it on the album. It does not fit the typical formula, but that is exactly why I think it works so well. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road (Remix)” has been a cultural phenomenon, and its impact is difficult to deny. That alone should make sure it ends up a ROTY nominee. You might be surprised to see the Jonas Brothers here, as they have never been nominated except for Best New Artist, but “Sucker” was a refreshing sound to hear from their long-awaited comeback earlier this year. They accomplished staying true to their original sound while keeping with the times, and the product is magnificent. Lizzo is expected to rack up the nominations at this year’s awards thanks in large part to her hit “Truth Hurts,” so we look for her name to be across the General Field categories. While it is not all that common for country songs to appear in the ROTY category, we think Dan + Shay could do it with their exceptional song “Speechless.” The song crossed over earlier this year, which could help its chances in this category, and I would love to see it get the recognition it deserves. Lewis Capaldi is another newbie this year, but I don’t think that is going to hold him back from being nominated for his outstanding song, “Someone You Loved.” The emotional song is GRAMMY catnip, and I think it deserves a nomination. One of the year’s most talked-about couples, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, collaborated for their second time on their song, “Señorita,” earlier this year. The Latin-inspired production drives the two through the song, and the fact that it is a duet certainly helps. Ariana Grande’s “7 rings” is her best shot at a ROTY nomination this year, but she might be held back because the song relies heavily on a sample. In any case, the song allowed Grande to show a different side of her we had never heard before where she was rapping. Coincidentally, almost all of these songs hit #1 on the charts this year, so it will be interesting to see if chart dominance correlates with a GRAMMY nomination.
Song of the Year
- “bad guy” – Billie Eilish
- “thank u, next” – Ariana Grande
- “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus
- “Lover” – Taylor Swift
- “Speechless” – Dan + Shay
- “Truth Hurts” – Lizzo
- “Someone You Loved” – Lewis Capaldi
- “Without Me” – Halsey
- Other Possibilities / Wildcards: “Always Remember Us This Way” – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, “Light On” – Maggie Rogers, “Beautiful People” – Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid, “Slide Away” – Miley Cyrus, “Señorita” – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” was the breakthrough song from her monster of an album, and everyone is predicting that she will be one of the most nominated of the night (including a SOTY nom). Ariana Grande chose to submit “thank u, next” in this category rather than “7 rings,” possibly to spread the love across multiple songs. I think we should expect to see Ariana show up across the board this year, and “thank u, next” had such clever and witty lyrics that it might have won over enough voters. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus defied the odds with their “Old Town Road (Remix),” which borrowed from both hip-hop and country. The oddity of a song is original enough to deserve recognition. Taylor Swift’s song, “Lover,” exhibits all of my favorite qualities of her as an artist, and it sounds like it could have appeared on one of her earlier country albums. The lyrics are so romantic and sweet, and it is one of the real highlights off of her album of the same name. Dan + Shay were robbed of a Song of the Year nomination last year for their enormous song, “Tequila,” and their performance of it was easily one of the year’s best performances (that note at the end, though). I think they are more than deserving of a nomination for “Speechless” this year with its humongous vocals and passionate lyrics. Lizzo is certainly having her moment right now, and “Truth Hurts” has been one of the most unexpected hits of the year. Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved” could not be a better pick for SOTY for the British crossover singing a sentimental ballad. Halsey might seem a less clear choice than others, but her career rose to new heights this year due in large part to “Without Me” and its deeply emotional lyrics.
Best New Artist
- Billie Eilish
- Lil Nas X
- Lewis Capaldi
- Morgan Wallen
- Megan Thee Stallion
- Maggie Rogers
- Other Possibilities / Wildcards: DaBaby, Tierra Whack, Lauv, City Girls, Clairo, Juice WRLD
I think this is a very well rounded class of Best New Artist nominees. In my opinion, the BNA category should accurately reflect all genres of music because there is budding talent across the music industry that deserves recognition. There is not a world that makes sense where Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and Lil Nas X do not all end up nominees here. The three are all expected to have nominations in other General Field categories, and their gigantic year of success makes them more than worthy of a nomination. Lewis Capaldi is also a contender in the ROTY and SOTY categories for “Someone You Loved,” and he has enjoyed a year of triumph. Morgan Wallen has been the undeniable rising star of country music this year with his cut off flannel shirts and his mullet. He is the perfect representative for country music in this category. He is several hits into his career with “Up Down” ft. Florida Georgia Line, “Whiskey Glasses,” and “Chasin’ You” in such a short amount of time. Megan Thee Stallion made waves this summer, which she dubbed “Hot Girl Summer” before releasing the song featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign. Rosalía represents the Spanish sector of music, which has been on the rise this year. She is one of the leading forces in this genre making her worthy of a nomination. Maggie Rogers is the total package as an artist, singer, songwriter, producer, and overall performer. She just has a way of making the listener feel something with her music in such a special and unique way.
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