Early Grammy Predictions: Who Will Come out on Top?

Cole Tessitore, Staff Writer

The Grammy Awards ceremony is held annually and a Grammy is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the music industry. The initial nomination process will span from the end of September until October, then on November 20, 2020, the nominees for each category will be revealed. The final voting process will span from December to early January, and lastly, the live ceremony will be held later that month on January 31, 2021 (grammy.com). Although the first phase of the sixty-third Grammy ceremony is not complete, there are some obvious front runners and some dark horses that could win big.

   Starting with the album of the year, Folklore by Taylor Swift and The Weeknd’s After Hours seem to be this year’s front runners, despite the difference in genre. Folklore spent seven weeks atop the Billboard 200, America’s standard album chart, and was well received by critics, making it her highest rated album on Metacritic. After Hours achieved similar success, spending four consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 and was given a similarly high score on Metacritic (metacritic.com). Both artists are often successful in winning their nominations, with The Weeknd having been nominated for record and album of the year prior to his current album, and Taylor Swift winning best pop vocal album as well as other country categories in years past (grammy.com). However, both artists are notorious for being snubbed despite their popularity; so it also might not be a surprise to see neither of them win album of the year. If neither of them win in this category, it is likely “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift and “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd will win in one of the other song categories as both were major successes on the charts (billboard.com).

   So far, 2020 has been a big year for female artists, breaking the male domination of the Hot 100 chart. Doja Cat’s sleeper hit “Say So” gained attention for its heavy use on social media app TikTok, and achieved the top spot on the Hot 100 with the help of a remix from Nicki Minaj. Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” also hit number one with a remix featuring the one and only Beyoncé. Two more female collaborations also hit the top spot: “Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga and the viral sensation “WAP” by Cardi B were two of the most heavily listened to songs of 2020 thus far. Any one of the three rap collaborations are strong contenders for the rap performance by a duo or group category, as well as the rap/sung performance category. Furthemore, “Rain on Me” is a possible front runner for the pop/duo group performance category. Sisters and R&B duo Chloe X Halle are also contenders for the contemporary R&B album category due to their rise in popularity this year with their album Ungodly Hour (billboard.com).

   Snubs are the most frustrating part of the Grammy ceremony, especially when one or two artists dominate all of the major categories. Notably, last year Ariana Grande, Lil Nas X, and Lizzo left the ceremony with fewer Grammys than expected due to Billie Eilish winning all but one of the six categories she was nominated for (grammy.com). This year, Dua Lipa’s dance-pop album Future Nostalgia will most likely be nominated in numerous categories, but may only win the best dance/electronic album, or the best dance recording category for “Don’t Start Now.” Despite Roddy Ricch dominating the Hot 100 with his song “The Box,” up-and-coming rapper DaBaby will more than likely win most of the rap categories thanks to the success of his album Blame it on Baby. However, the album’s most popular single, “Rockstar,” features Roddy Ricch, so it might not be a total upset for him. Drake, Harry Styles, and Post Malone are also likely to be snubbed as they were largely overshadowed by other artists, despite making well-received music (billboard.com).

   Senior Honieh Hemati thinks alt-rock group Tame Impala will win in the rock and alternative categories. “The new Tame Impala album The Slow Rush was one of my favorites this year and I think will win for the alternative music album category,” said Hemati. Senior Delilah Correa, a self-proclaimed Travis Scott fan, believes the rapper will win big at the Grammys. “I think ‘HIGHEST IN THE ROOM’ will win the best music video category because the video was really cool, and I think ‘THE SCOTTS’ will win in one of the rap categories,” said Correa. 

   A lot of iconic and memorable music was released in 2020, so the competition for the major categories at this year’s Grammy ceremony will be very competitive. So many new artists made a huge impact on the music scene this year that it seems there aren’t enough categories to be able to recognize all the great music released in 2020.