Grammys 2018: winner predictions

Grammys 2018: winner predictions

Grammys 2018: winner predictions
January 28
11:23 2018

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards is set to be one of the best yet. The performance lineup is looking especially exciting, considering it includes the likes of Cardi B alongside Bruno Mars, Rihanna accompanied by DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller, Sam Smith, SZA, Luis Fonsi and Lady Gaga. But the main focus of the night is who will be taking home the prize in each of their respective categories.

With strong competition on all fronts, here is how two of our writers predict it will go down:

Album of the Year

Nominees: “Awaken, My Love!” by Childish Gambino; 4:44 by JAY-Z; DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar; Melodrama by Lorde; 24K Magic by Bruno Mars.

Will Win: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar.

Should Win: DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar.

Why: Kendrick’s concept for the DAMN. album was different in its simple yet focused approach. Each song’s title is one word that uniquely summarizes the meaning or feeling behind the track. With multiple songs that graced the radio including his first single “HUMBLE.,” “LOYALTY.” feat. Rihanna and “LOVE.,” Kendrick was able to reinvent himself and explore his values not only as a person but as an artist, too.

Honorable mention: Melodrama by Lorde. A masterpiece in its own right, this album received universal acclaim and was strikingly different from almost everything else released in 2017. However, it never gained the same traction as Lorde’s debut album, Pure Heroine. With a single nomination, this gem of a record has essentially no chance of winning, but easily remains among one of the best albums of the year.

Record of the Year

Nominees: “Redbone” by Childish Gambino; “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber; “The Story Of O.J.” JAY-Z; “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar; “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars.

Will Win: “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber.

Should Win: “Redbone” by Childish Gambino.

Why: “Redbone” should win because it showed a completely new side to Childish Gambino. The arrangement is impeccable, and it has become such an iconic and cultural record, inspiring hundreds of different renditions on social media. “Redbone” brought back the sexy, funkadelic sound and was featured in another defining piece of art put out this year: Jordan Peele’s film “Get Out.”

Song of the Year

Nominees: “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber; “4:44” by JAY-Z; “Issues” by Julia Michaels; “1-800-273-8255” by Logic feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid; “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars.

Will Win: “1-800-273-8255” by Logic feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid.

Should Win: “1-800-273-8255” by Logic feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid.

Though “That’s What I Like” is such a great song, and “Despacito” was inescapable this year, Logic’s “1-800…” should win not only because of its message, but because of what it has accomplished. After Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid performed the song at the VMA’s, calls to suicide prevention hotlines increased by 50 percent. It is a perfect example of how a song can carry a movement to the topic of conversation.

Best New Artist

Nominees: Alessia Cara, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels and SZA.

Will Win: SZA.

Should Win: SZA.

Why: SZA is hands down this year’s breakthrough artist by a long shot. The mark she has already left on her genre in such a small amount of time, mind you is undeniable. Her album Ctrl was so good in its honesty, experimentation and composition. Her songs “Love Galore,” “The Weekend” and “Supermodel” are radio favorites. She has also had a successful year in terms of collaborations, working with big-name artists Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott and Maroon 5.

Best Pop Solo Performance

Nominees: “Love So Soft” by Kelly Clarkson; “Praying” by Kesha; “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga; “What About Us” by P!nk; “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran.

Will Win: Hard to predict because Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was one of the most-played songs of the year, but Kesha has some potential to claim this golden gramophone. 

Should Win: “Praying” by Kesha.

Why: Kesha had an amazing comeback this past year, and her song “Praying” was slightly ahead of its time, arriving just months before the #MeToo movement became so nationally recognized following sexual assault allegations against several Hollywood big wigs. The song was also one of Kesha’s best performances and one of her most meaningful. Definitely deserving of a Grammy.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Nominees: “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay; “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber; “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons; “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man; “Stay” Zedd & Alessia Cara.

Will Win: “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber.

Should Win: “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man.

Why: The only reason you could ever ask why this song should win is because you have not heard it. It’s so infectious, fast and upbeat. The song has also been featured on quite a few commercials.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Nominees: Kaleidoscope EP by Coldplay; Lust For Life by Lana Del Rey; Evolve by Imagine Dragons; Rainbow Kesha; Joanne by Lady Gaga; ÷ (Divide) by Ed Sheeran.

Will Win: ÷ (Divide) by Ed Sheeran.

Should Win: Rainbow by Kesha.

Why: In the current social and political climate, Kesha’s album was essentially a 14-track anthem for feminism in 2017. On the album, she produced songs that made listeners weep and rage on the dance floor. Plus, Kesha has never won a Grammy before, and that should change this year.

Music for Visual Media

Nominees: “City Of Stars” from “La La Land;” “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana;” “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from “Fifty Shades Darker;” “Never Give Up” from “Lion;” “Stand Up For Something” from “Marshall.”

Will Win: “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana.”

Should Win: “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana.”

Why: “Moana” was such a great movie, and all of the songs were written and performed so well.  The lyrics are great and simple, and the music for “How Far I’ll Go” really defines the core of the movie.

Best R&B Performance

Nominees: “Get You” by Daniel Caesar feat. Kali Uchis; “Distraction” by Kehlani; “High” by Ledisi; “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars; “The Weekend” by SZA.

Will Win: “Get You” by Daniel Caesar feat. Kali Uchis.

Should Win: “Get You” by Daniel Caesar feat. Kali Uchis.

Why: Daniel Caesar should win because of the soft acoustic sound he brings to R&B. The understated vocals of “Get You” allowed the lyrics to shine, which were wonderful and expressive in their own right. Caesar’s approach to the R&B genre in general is refreshing enough to make this an easy call.

Best Traditional R&B Performance

Nominees: “Laugh And Move On” by The Baylor Project; “Redbone” by Childish Gambino; “What I’m Feelin’” by Anthony Hamilton feat. The Hamiltones; “All The Way” by Ledisi; “Still” by Mali Music.

Will Win: “Redbone,” by Childish Gambino.

Should Win: “Redbone,” by Childish Gambino.

Why: With the ability to blend modern R&B with the vintage sound reminiscent of traditional rhythm and blue, “Redbone” was a standout track this year. 

Best R&B Song

Nominees: “First Began” by PJ Morton; “Location” by Khalid; “Redbone” by Childish Gambino; “Supermodel” by SZA; “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars.

Will Win: “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars.

Should Win: “Redbone” Childish Gambino.

Why: Different and epic in it’s own way, “Redbone” was one of the top songs of the year from one of the top talents. I would not be too surprised if it does prevail, but I’m not sure it has enough support to beat Bruno Mars, who has previously seen multiple wins at the Grammy’s in years past and has a lot of support from voters.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Nominees: Free 6LACK by 6LACK; “Awaken, My Love!” by Childish Gambino; American Teen by Khalid; Ctrl by SZA; Starboy by The Weeknd.

Will Win: Ctrl by SZA.

Should Win: Ctrl by SZA.

Why: 6LACK and Khalid are definitely artists to look out for, but SZA truly stole the year. Her album Ctrl explores what being young is like for so many women, with such frankness and creativity. Through her lyrics, SZA explores love, self-doubt, body issues and being afraid of the future. It is important to note that SZA wrote all the words in the album, and it is refreshing to have such a unique female voice in this category.

Best R&B Album

Nominees: Freudian by Daniel Caesar; Let Love Rule by Ledisi; 24K Magic by Bruno Mars; Gumbo by PJ Morton; Feel The Real by Musiq Soulchild.

Will Win: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars.

Should Win: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars.

Why: Bruno’s album delivers hit after hit. It shouldn’t be possible to have that many bops on an album but if anyone can do it, it’s definitely Bruno. And he did. Bringing back a retro feel, Bruno opts for the opposite of the ballads he became popular for at the beginning of his career. His goal this time seems to have been to make the listener dance, and he has definitely succeeded. 

Best Rap Performance

Nominees: “Bounce Back” by Big Sean; “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B; “4:44” by JAY-Z; “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar; “Bad And Boujee” by Migos feat. Lil Uzi Vert.

Will Win: “Bodak Yellow,” by Cardi B.

Should Win: “Bodak Yellow,” by Cardi B.

Why: Cardi B was a breakout artist in 2017, and “Bodak Yellow” was an immensely popular song. With strong and confident lyrics, Cardi found her debut single spending an impressive 29 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, where it peaked at No. 1. That alone should be enough to solidify her Grammy.

Best Rap Song

Nominees: “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B; “Chase Me” by Danger Mouse feat. Run The Jewels & Big Boi; “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar; “Sassy” by Rapsody; “The Story Of O.J.” by JAY-Z.

Will Win:”HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar.

Should Win: “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar.

Why: There’s no one that can redefine rap music quite like Kendrick. His song “HUMBLE.,” an antithesis to the usual braggadocious streak that dominates rap music, demands humility. Plus, he talks about how impossible, Photoshop-like beauty standards are wack. That’s a win in my book.

Best Rap Album

Nominees: 4:44 by JAY-Z; DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar; Culture by Migos; Laila’s Wisdom by Rapsody; Flower Boy by Tyler, The Creator.

Will Win: 4:44 by JAY-Z.

Should Win: 4:44 by JAY-Z.

Why: With Kendrick Lamar likely winning the “Album of the Year” prize, I’m going to give this category to JAY-Z. The two are up against each other in quite a few categories, and with JAY-Z’s eight nominations compared to Lamar’s seven, it would only make sense for JAY-Z to walk away with a few awards.

Best Rock Performance

Nominees: You Want It Darker” by Leonard Cohen; “The Promise” by Chris Cornell; “Run” by Foo Fighters; “No Good” by Kaleo; “Go To War” by Nothing More.

Will Win: “Run” by Foo Fighters or “The Promise” by Chris Cornell.

Should Win: “Go To War” by Nothing More.

Why: This band broke into mainstream success with this song in 2017, and there is a reason: it’s great. However, they have very stiff competition including two performers who are posthumously nominated (Cohen and Cornell). Cornell, who committed suicide last summer, may take this category as a final tribute.

Best Rock Song:

Nominees: “Atlas, Rise!” by Metallica; “Blood In The Cut” by K.Flay; “Go To War” by Nothing More; “Run” by Foo Fighters; “The Stage” by Avenged Sevenfold.

Will Win: “Run” by Foo Fighters.

Should Win: “Go To War” by Nothing More.

Why: Once again, this song is one of the best of the nominees, and this band has received little recognition before this year, so it is high time they are recognized for their work.

Best Rock Album

Nominees: Emperor Of Sand by Mastodon; Hardwired…To Self-Destruct by Metallica; The Stories We Tell Ourselves by Nothing More; Villains by Queens Of The Stone Age; A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs.

Will Win: Hardwired…To Self-Destruct by Metallica.

Should Win: The Stories We Tell Ourselves by Nothing More.

Why: Newer to the game than some of their fellow nominees, Nothing More should receive some recognition for their less tired sounds, but I’m not sure they will make the cut here.

Best Country Solo Performance

“Body Like A Back Road” by Sam Hunt; “Losing You” by Alison Krauss; “Tin Man” by Miranda Lambert; “I Could Use A Love Song” by Maren Morris; “Either Way” by Chris Stapleton.

Will Win: “Tin Man” by Miranda Lambert.

Should Win: “Tin Man” by Miranda Lambert.

Why: “Tin Man” is an emotional song in which Lambert tells the Tin Man from the “Wizard of Oz” that he is not missing out by having no heart. Creative and personal, the song was well-received and well-played, and with Lambert being a country music favorite, I see this going her way.

Best Country Song

Nominees: “Better Man” by Little Big Town; “Body Like A Back Road” by Sam Hunt; “Broken Halos” by Chris Stapleton; “Drinkin’ Problem” by Midland; “Tin Man” by Miranda Lambert.

Will Win: “Drinkin’ Problem” by Midland.

Should Win: “Drinkin’ Problem” by Midland.

Why: Fun and witty, this true country hit made waves this past year in the country music world, and I see the song taking home the golden gramophone.

Best Country Album

Nominees: Cosmic Hallelujah by Kenny Chesney; Heart Break by Lady Antebellum; The Breaker by Little Big Town; Life Changes by Thomas Rhett; From A Room: Volume 1 by Chris Stapleton.

Will Win: From A Room: Volume 1 by Chris Stapleton.

Should Win: From A Room: Volume 1 by Chris Stapleton.

Why: Chris Stapleton is a different kind of country music artist and it is refreshing. His critically acclaimed work has previously proven successful here, having won this exact award at the 2016 Grammy Awards. He has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, so another win in this category should come as no surprise.

Featured Image: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

About Author

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel has been a staff writer for the North Texas Daily since June 2017.

Maritza Ramos

Maritza Ramos

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