My 2019 Grammy Predictions

GrammyLater this afternoon, the Recording Academy of America will begin handing out the awards for the 61st Grammy Awards and tonight, the live broadcast will give out the remaining ones – including the big four awards: Album, Record and Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.

The addition of three new titles for each of those four awards makes predicting a bit of a challenge, especially considering there isn’t a main frontrunner for most of them – both in terms of favoured to win, or most obvious. In particular, the Album of the Year doesn’t have a title that far-and-away had the most hits, best sales or most exposure.

Alas, it’s still fun to make a guess on who I think might win and so, here are my predictions for some of the categories on who I think may take home some of these awards.

Album of the Year

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

Cardi B was one of the top names last year. Singles from Drake’s albums dominated the charts. Black Panther broke box office records and was the rare soundtrack to land more than one actual hit. Kacey Musgraves had one of the year’s critical favourite albums. This category is a toss-up. Half of the nominees are hip-hop titles and if recent years’ results are any indication, neither have the greatest odds. Kendrick may finally win his due as the curator of Black Panther but I’m leaning toward Kacey accepting this one.

Should win: Kacey Musgraves (or Brandi Carlile)
Will win: Kacey Musgraves

Record of the Year

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

This is the easiest category to make a guess at.

Should win: Shallow (or The Joke)
Will win: Shallow

Record of the Year

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

More often than not, Song of the Year and Record of the Year award the same title. Shallow will likely grab this one too but accounting for vote splitting and a possible surprise, The Joke or In My Blood could steal this one.

Should win: Shallow (or The Joke)
Will win: Shallow

Best New Artist

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

Dua Lipa is the artist with the most recognizable hits, while Bebe Rexha was on one of last year’s biggest and most recognizable song, but Best New Artist doesn’t often go to the biggest hitmaker if they’re a pop singer. H.E.R. is the only artist named in all four of the Big Four categories so there’s the pick.

Should win: H.E.R.
Will win: H.E.R.

Best Pop Solo Performance

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

Using process of elimination, this might be the award Ariana Grande wins. Beck was the upset for Album of the Year a few years back but sticks out like a sore thumb in this category (which may work to his benefit), Camila’s submission is a live recording (which works for Beyonce and Adele, but not likely anyone else), Gaga’s is a re-recording of an older song and Post Malone is Post Malone. The Grammy’s like keeping things traditional and Ariana does that for this category.

Should win: (I’d admittedly like to see Gaga get this)
Will win: God Is A Woman

Best Pop Solo Performance

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

Girls Like You is one of the biggest hits of the decade – but it doesn’t exactly have the sound you’d expect from a song with that distinction. If I had to narrow this category down, I’d say it’s between Say Something and Shallow – and Shallow has the good will of the industry right now.

Should win: Shallow
Will win: Shallow

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • Camila Cabello – Camila
  • Kelly Clarkson – Meaning Of Life
  • Ariana Grande – Sweetener
  • Shawn Mendes – Shawn Mendes
  • Pink – Beautiful Trauma
  • Taylor Swift – Reputation

Pop Album is often one of the more competitive ones and in this case, most of the titles could take the award and it wouldn’t be a surprise. This is Kelly’s fifth time nominated for this award and Pink’s fourth. Kelly has won twice before, Pink none. This is Taylor’s only nomination this year, which was a surprise to many. I’d like to see Pink finally win this because overdue but judging by the actual albums nominated, Kelly is more deserving.

Should win: Meaning Of Life
Will win: Meaning Of Life

Here are some others I’ll try to guess at:

  • Best Rock Performance: Greta Van Fleet – Highway Tune
  • Best Rock Song: Greta Van Fleet – Black Smoke Rising
  • Best Rock Album: Greta Van Fleet – From The Fires
  • Best Alternative Music Album: St. Vincent – Masseducation
  • Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake – King’s Dead
  • Best Rap/Sung Performance: Kendrick Lamar & SZA – All The Stars
  • Best Rap Song: King’s Dead (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake)
  • Best Rap Album: Cardi B – Invasion Of Privacy
  • Best American Roots Performance: Brandi Carlile – The Joke
  • Best American Roots song: Brandi Carlile – The Joke
  • Best Americana Album: Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You
  • Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: The Greatest Showman
  • Best Song Written for Visual Media: Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow
  • Best Music Video: Childish Gambino – This Is America

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