Vulture’s 2019 Grammy Predictions

This yr’s Grammys are completely unpredictable. For the primary time in a very long time, the establishment, which has traditionally performed favorites (regardless of in the event that they’re the favored vote), has chucked the rule e-book and moved away from monolithic cultural optics. This yr, the Grammys have expanded their Big Four classes to eight nominees within the hopes of a extra numerous area that higher displays what persons are truly listening to. What they’ve additionally carried out, although, is made the chances of successful much more of a crapshoot than regular. It’s not Adele versus Beyoncé, or Kendrick Lamar versus Jay-Z, or Taylor Swift versus everybody, however a fairer sport with much less huge canine and fewer outliers alike. How will this all shake out? No one is aware of! But we’ve made some educated guesses (and, er, some pictures at the hours of darkness) about who’ll accumulate a shiny new gold toy. Check again on Sunday, February 10, to see how on (or laughably off) the mark we have been.

Album of the Year
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, Various Artists

Who Will Win: If I have been a betting girl, I’d … keep far-off from this class as a result of I’d go broke. Its solely actual loser is rock’s waning relevancy — regardless of the expanded nominee pool, the style was fully shut out in favor of extra rap, R&B, and nation. It’s doable Cardi B, Drake, and Post Malone will cancel one another out on the rap entrance. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar is a Grammy favourite, however by no means within the AOTY class (he’s a three-time loser there), which might both imply persevering with the custom of him falling quick, or possibly he’s lastly due. Working in opposition to him, although, is that it’s additionally unlikely soundtrack will win. It’s solely occurred 4 instances in Grammy historical past. (We can determine that the Grammys will desperately angle for a feminine winner after the disastrous “step up” feedback that tainted final yr’s ceremony.) It’ll even be tough for newcomer H.E.R. — already the largest shock entry right here — to seek out sufficient votes. That leaves Kacey Musgraves and Brandi Carlile as nation music’s representatives — however they could cut up the vote — and Janelle Monáe. Given that Musgraves would seemingly be extra recognized to Grammy voters than Carlile, we’re in all probability taking a look at a Musgraves-Monáe buzzer-beater. Both Golden Hour and Dirty Computer have been celebrated, career-shifting albums that topped year-end lists, so this might go both method. But I’ll give it to Musgraves, whose earlier Grammy wins could give her the slight edge.

Who Should Win: There has by no means been a tie in Album of the Year historical past, however there have been loads in different classes through the years (most just lately in 2016). The proper name in a race this evenly matched could be a three-way cut up between Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, and Cardi B, an successfully balanced illustration of the sounds of the previous yr.

Song of the Year
“All the Stars,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA
“Boo’d Up,” Ella Mai
“God’s Plan,” Drake
“In My Blood,” Shawn Mendes
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“This Is America,” Childish Gambino

Who Will Win: Before we get into it, right here’s your annual reminder that this award goes to the songwriters, not the performers. And a songwriter’s award can have a tough time ignoring the anthem written for a movie dedicated to songwriting integrity whose male lead huffs and puffs about what he considers to be trite pop songwriting about asses. So give it up for “Shallow,” y’all. Thankfully, Bradley Cooper wasn’t a author on the music so — spoiler! — you don’t have to fret that he’ll rise up there and piss himself.

Who Should Win: But if this was actually concerning the best-written music of the bunch, “The Joke” ought to run away with it. (A music that A Star Is Born’s Aly would’ve additionally undoubtedly written and Jackson “Real Country Music” Maine would’ve authorised of, thanks very a lot.)

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

Who Will Win: In a world with any sense left, Cardi B would take this, as a result of who of their proper thoughts didn’t like “I Like It”? It’d additionally change into the primary (largely) Spanish-language music to ever win this award, which ought to’ve already occurred final yr with “Despacito.” Don’t fuck this up once more, Grammys. (Interestingly although, if “Rockstar” have been to win, it’d be an opportune second for Post Malone to attract much more nationwide consideration to 21 Savage’s potential deportation, because it’s unlikely 21 will be capable to attend.)

Who Should Win: I mentioned what I mentioned.

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

Who Will Win: Though she’s nonetheless a recent face of the SoundCloud era whose literal face and id wasn’t even recognized till mid-2017, H.E.R. got here out of nowhere to rack up 5 nominations. It’s clear that somebody on the Grammys is in her nook, which could make her the favourite even over larger names like Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha. Or the Grammys may actually Grammy and provides it to the ever-polarizing band Greta Van Fleet for no logical cause, per custom on this baffling class.

Who Should Win: Though it’d be one other case of the Grammys exhibiting up late to the social gathering, I’m inclined to say Dua Lipa. (She’s been placing out among the finest pop hits of her era since 2015.)

Best Pop Solo Performance
“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 Will Win: It’s a tricky name between Gaga and Ari — let’s not even talk about what the hell Post Malone is doing right here — however Joanne is already a distant reminiscence to most individuals, Grammy voters seemingly included, whereas “God Is a Woman” is a more-recent powerhouse vocal efficiency.

Who Should Win: #JusticeForSweetener.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato, “Fall in Line”
Backstreet Boys, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”
Maroon 5 and Cardi B, “Girls Like You”
Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton, “Say Something”
Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey, “The Middle”

Who Will Win: Though it’ll be a slap within the face to the actual musicians within the class, Bradley Cooper’s in all probability gonna be a Grammy winner thanks largely to his co-star Lady Gaga.

Who Should Win: This class is skinny — “Shallow” is sensible.

Best Pop Vocal Album
Camila, Camila Cabello
Meaning of Life, Kelly Clarkson
Sweetener, Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes
Beautiful Trauma, Pink
Reputation, Taylor Swift

Who Will Win: Now that the Taylor Swift’s reign appears to be over, there’s a pleasant probability Pink wins it right here. She’s a three-time loser on this class, and Beautiful Trauma is yet one more glorious album from essentially the most veteran artist of the bunch (“But We Lost It” our bodies all of your faves). It’s about time she will get some shine. Though, greater than seemingly, if Swift will get missed, Ariana Grande received’t.

Who Should Win: I’m with Pink, but in addition, nonetheless, #JusticeForSweetener.

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

Who Will Win: Probably Kendrick if for no different cause than the Grammys owe him all of the reparations, but in addition as a result of, like, he undoubtedly freaked it.

Who Should Win: But “Sicko Mode” is the higher music, and it’s excessive time Travis received some Grammy love.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Christina Aguilera ft. Goldlink, “Like I Do”
6LACK ft. J. Cole, “Pretty Little Fears”
Childish Gambino, “This Is America”
Kendrick Lamar & SZA, “All the Stars”
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage, “Rockstar”

Who Will Win: It’ll be a toss-up between “This Is America” and “All the Stars.” But if music with a message is the tiebreaker, then it’s Childish Gambino’s to lose.

Who Should Win: I personally want “All the Stars.”

Best Rap Song
Drake, “God’s Plan”
Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, & James Blake, “King’s Dead”
Eminem, “Lucky You”
Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk, & Swae Lee, “Sicko Mode”
Jay Rock ft. Kendrick Lamar, “Win”

Who Will Win: If it doesn’t choose up Best Rap Performance, then I’m calling it for “Sicko Mode” right here. It wasn’t simply top-of-the-line rap songs of the 2018, however top-of-the-line songs interval.

Who Should Win: But — plot twist! — “Win” is even higher nonetheless. You can’t deny a music known as “Win” the win!

Best Rap Album
Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B
Swimming, Mac Miller
Victory Lap, Nipsey Hussle
Daytona, Pusha T
Astroworld, Travis Scott

Who Will Win: Beyond the Big Four, Best Rap Album has more and more been the class to look at, and that’s by no means been more true than this yr. Mac Miller is a first-time Grammy nominee for an album launched previous to his loss of life final yr. The Grammys have at all times been a fan of a posthumous win, however they received’t merely acknowledge an artist due to their premature loss of life: I consider Miller will win as a result of Swimming was additionally extremely well-received, thought to be the work an artist simply settling into their prime, making his loss earlier than he may absolutely see that potential via all of the extra devastating. Miller was additionally a rapper’s rapper — a good friend to everybody within the trade who was extra well-connected and well-liked than most. It’s necessary to keep in mind that whereas, sure, it’s true that loads of Grammy voting committees are overrun with older white males, theirs should not the one voices that matter. Miller will seemingly have loads of mates casting ballots, and which may simply be sufficient to provide him the Grammy.

Who Should Win: Much as Miller deserves it, for so long as they’ve been within the sport, Pusha T or Nipsey deserve it extra.

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

Who Will Win: Since they appear to like her a lot, I’m predicting a H.E.R. win on this class. (The music can be rattling good.)

Who Should Win: H.E.R. is sensible.

Best Traditional R&B Performance
Leon Bridges, “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand”
Bettye LaVette, “Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight”
Major, “Honest”
PJ Morton, “How Deep Is Your Love [ft. Yebba]”
Charlie Wilson, “Made for Love [ft. Lalah Hathaway]”

Who Will Win: No disrespect, however there isn’t a greater music on this class than “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand.”

Who Should Win: As a card-carrying member of the Leon Bridges hive, he will get all my votes.

Best R&B Song
Ella Mai, “Boo’d Up”
Miguel, “Come Through and Chill” [ft. J. Cole and Salaam Remi]
Childish Gambino, “Feels Like Summer”
H.E.R., “Focus”
Toni Braxton, “Long As I Live”

Who Will Win: It’s undoubtedly not the most-known music of the class, however there’s simply one thing about H.E.R. that the Grammys are passionate about, so the sweep ought to stay intact.

Who Should Win: But if there’s anybody who’s going to sluggish her roll, it’s Ella Mai, whose “Boo’d Up” was one of many largest R&B songs of the final 5 years.

Best R&B Album
Sex & Cigarettes, Toni Braxton
Good Thing, Leon Bridges
Honestly, Lalah Hathaway
H.E.R., H.E.R.
Gumbo Unplugged Live, PJ Morton

Who Will Win: Again, that is H.E.R.’s style award to lose.

Who Should Win: But I’d give it to Leon Bridges.

Best Urban Contemporary Album
The Carters, Everything Is Love
Chloe x Halle, The Kids Are Alright
Chris Dave and the Drumhedz, Chris Dave and the Drumhedz
Miguel, War & Leisure
Meshell Ndegeocello, Ventriloquism

Who Will Win: I can’t see the Grammys fully denying Beyoncé and Jay-Z but once more (although they is perhaps postpone by his feedback on “Apeshit”). If bygones could be bygones, Everything Is Love will seemingly win.

Who Should Win: Too unhealthy the higher album is definitely from Beyoncé’s label signees, Chloe x Halle.

Best Country Solo Performance
Loretta Lynn, “Wouldn’t It Be Great
Maren Morris, “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”
Kacey Musgraves, “Butterflies”
Chris Stapleton, “Millionaire”
Keith Urban, “Parallel Line”

Who Will Win: Just pull up a chair on the pre-broadcast particularly for Kacey Musgraves. She’s gonna be up there just a few instances.

Who Should Win: I personally would’ve nominated “Slow Burn” right here, however nonetheless, Kacey all the best way.

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Brothers Osborne, “Shoot Me Straight”
Dan + Shay, “Tequila”
Little Big Town, “When Someone Stops Loving You”
Maren Morris ft. Vince Gill, “Dear Hate”
Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line, “Meant to Be”

Who Will Win: It in all probability wasn’t meant to be a Grammy winner, however by some curse, “Meant to Be” virtually actually might be because of it changing into a large hit final yr.

Who Should Win: But you’re mendacity should you say “Tequila” doesn’t slap more durable, regardless of it being a ballad.

Best Country Song
Cole Swindell, “Break Up within the End”
Maren Morris ft. Vince Gill, “Dear Hate”
Blake Shelton, “I Lived It”
Kacey Musgraves, “Space Cowboy”
Dan + Shay, “Tequila”
Little Big Town, “When Someone Stops Loving You”

Who Will Win: Without a doubt, Kacey Musgraves.

Who Should Win: “Slow Burn” remains to be higher, however get yours, Kacey.

Best Country Album
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 Will Win: Must I say it once more? This is a Kacey Musgraves sweep.

Who Should Win: You get the purpose!

Best Rock Performance
Arctic Monkeys, “Four Out of Five”
Chris Cornell, “When Bad Does Good”
The Fever 333, “Made an America”
Greta Van Fleet, “Highway Tune”
Halestorm, “Uncomfortable”

Who Will Win: This Grammy has gone to a posthumous winner for 2 years in a row — David Bowie and Leonard Cohen — so all indicators would say they’d make it a three-peat with Chris Cornell, who died in 2017. It helps that it’s additionally deserved.

Who Should Win: I’d additionally give it to Chris Cornell.

Best Metal Performance
Between the Buried and Me, “Condemned to the Gallows”
Deafheaven, “Honeycomb”
High on Fire, “Electric Messiah”
Trivium, “Betrayer”
Underoath, “On My Teeth”

Who Will Win: For no matter cause, the Grammys all of a sudden have their ear to the bottom to the steel that’s made waves in the previous few years as an alternative of regularly solely saving reward for the previous guard. This is Deafheaven’s first-ever nomination, however I be ok with them taking it dwelling.

Who Should Win: But should you have been a scene child in, say, 2005, then you definitely’re contractually obligated to root for Underoath successful a Grammy virtually 15 years later.

Best Rock Song
Greta Van Fleet, “Black Smoke Rising”
Twenty One Pilots, “Jumpsuit”
Bring Me the Horizon, “MANTRA”
St. Vincent, “Masseduction”
Ghost, “Rats”

Who Will Win: In some elaborate troll, Greta Van Fleet.

Who Should Win: The mild of my life, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), one in every of solely two solo girls nominated on this entire trash pit of a style area.

Best Rock Album
Alice in Chains, Rainier Fog
Fall Out Boy, M A N I A
Ghost, Prequelle
Greta Van Fleet, From the Fires
Weezer, Pacific Daydream

Who Will Win: In an much more elaborate troll, Weezer.

Who Should’ve Been Nominated within the First Damn Place: [checks notes] Mitski or Snail Mail or Courtney Barnett or Cat Power or ….

Best Alternative Music Album
Arctic Monkeys, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Beck, Colors
Björk, Utopia
David Byrne, American Utopia
St. Vincent, Masseduction

Who Will Win: Welp, we all know the Grammys love Beck.

Who Should Win: Don’t insult me with this query. St. Vincent!

Best Dance Recording
Above & Beyond, “Northern Soul” [ft. Richard Bedford]
Disclosure, “Ultimatum” [ft. Fatoumata Diawara]
Fisher, “Losing It”
Silk City & Dua Lipa, “Electricity”
Virtual Self, “Ghost Voices”

Who Will Win: Diplo and Mark Ronson are the largest names right here, and although their supergroup, Silk City, is brand-new, it says lots that they’re already nominated.

Who Should Win: You haven’t lived till you’ve gone Super Saiyan in your lounge to “Northern Soul.”

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Jon Hopkins, Singularity
Justice, Woman
Sofi Tukker, Treehouse
Sophie, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
TOKiMONSTA, Lune Rouge

Who Will Win: I need so badly to consider it’ll be Sophie.

Who Should Win: Go hearken to “Immaterial” on loop for a pair hours and also you’ll know the one true and proper reply is Sophie.

Best Song Written for Visual Media
Kendrick Lamar & SZA, “All the Stars”
Sufjan Stevens, “Mystery of Love”
Miguel, “Remember Me [ft. Natalia Lafourcade]”
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”
Keala Settle & the Greatest Showman Ensemble, “This Is Me”

Who Will Win: It’s quick on its technique to an Oscar, so in fact “Shallow” will choose up just a few Grammys first. This is the one class the place a win is all however assured.

Who Should Win: #JusticeForSufjan

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Boi-1da
Larry Klein
Linda Perry
Kanye West
Pharrell Williams

Who Will Win: The Grammys have a option to make: Forget Kanye West’s unapologetically non-PC yr and solely give attention to his prolific manufacturing work to provide him an accolade that’s lengthy been overdue or … do actually the rest. If the latter, Pharrell, a two-time earlier winner on this class (solo and with the Neptunes) is a dependable favourite.

Who Should Win: After placing up extra MVP numbers with manufacturing work for everybody from Cardi B to the Carters to Drake, it’s about time Boi-1da received a trophy.

Best Music Video
The Carters, “Apeshit”
Childish Gambino, “This Is America”
Joyner Lucas, “I’m Not Racist”
Janelle Monáe, “PYNk”
Tierra Whack, “Mumbo Jumbo”

Who Will Win: It was the most-talked-about video of 2018 and the Grammys like to be part of the dialog, so “This Is America” is the seemingly winner.

Who Should Win: Aside from the inclusion of that pathetic “I’m Not Racist” video, this class will get it virtually fully proper. The huge names are arduous to disregard, however I’d like to see Tierra Whack take this one. I feel Beyoncé would agree visible movie is in a unique league than the remainder of the nominees right here.