2020 Grammy Predictions: Who Is Destined To Dominate Music’s Biggest Night?

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2020 Grammy Predictions: Who Is Destined To Dominate Music’s Biggest Night?

Music award season is in full swing and that can only mean one thing: 2020 Grammy predictions. Which nominees are on track to bring home the hardware?

“Music’s biggest night” is finally here as the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Alicia Keys, is set to premiere on Sunday. The show remains a staple in the music industry for rewarding artist excellence, but after accusations of corruption, sexism and racial discrimination within the Recording Academy earlier this week, an enormous shadow has been cast over the festivities. Diversity issues have routinely plagued the nominations (Why isn’t IGOR up for best album? How come DaBaby and Megan Thee Stallion were snubbed for best new artist?) but these new allegations threaten to tear apart the Grammys at the seams.

Nevertheless, the show must go on, and I’m interested to see if this drama bleeds into the ceremony itself. Lizzo leads the pack with eight nominations. Will the breakout superstar sweep the competition or are there some upsets on the horizon?

Contents

Here are my 2020 Grammy predictions for Sunday night:

Album Of The Year

Nominees:

Bon Iver — I,I
Lana Del Rey — NORMAN F***ING ROCKWELL!
Billie Eilish — WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
Ariana Grande — THANK U, NEXT
H.E.R. — I USED TO KNOW HER
Lil Nas X — 7
Lizzo — CUZ I LOVE YOU (DELUXE)
Vampire Weekend — FATHER OF THE BRIDE

Personal Pick:

Billie Eilish — WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

Prediction:

Billie Eilish — WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

Let’s start these 2020 Grammy predictions by addressing the elephant in the room. The hot take that Lil Nas X and his 19-minute EP deserve to be in the running for the Grammy’s top prize should be shot directly into the sun. Phew, now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to the actual albums.

The more I look up and down the list of nominees, the more I believe that this might be the tightest race of the night. Off the bat, I can immediately eliminate only two albums from contention — H.E.R. and Bon Iver — and after that, it gets a little tricky. Lana Del Rey and Ariana Grande are Grammy veterans, with several nominations and a “Best Pop Vocal Album” win (Ariana’s Sweetener) under their belts while Billie Eilish and Lizzo are the new kids on the block after a year of dominating the charts and capturing the world’s heart in the process.

Watch out for Vampire Weekend, a dark horse due to the Academy’s alt-rock loving history and dedication to throw insane twists into every one of their shows (remember Beck?). This feels like a “go-with-your-gut” type of pick and Billie Eilish’s impressive debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is the perfect blend of daring sonic risk and booming popularity (nearly 2.5 billion streams) to appease the voters and secure the win.

Record Of The Year

Nominees:

Bon Iver — HEY, MA
Billie Eilish — BAD GUY
Ariana Grande — 7 RINGS
H.E.R. — HARD PLACE
Khalid — TALK
Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus — OLD TOWN ROAD
Lizzo — TRUTH HURTS
Post Malone & Swae Lee — SUNFLOWER

Personal Pick:

Billie Eilish — BAD GUY

Prediction:

Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus — OLD TOWN ROAD

In a perfect world, “Bad Guy” runs away with this award in a heartbeat. The catchy track is leaps and bounds ahead of its peers in terms of production quality and it’s rare we see such a dark, hypnotic bop reign supreme on the charts. Taking a peek at the other award hopefuls, however, “Sunflower” is just another cookie-cutter Post Malone ballad while Ariana Grande does her best (worst?) Soulja Boy impression on “7 Rings.” Besides “Truth Hurts,” there aren’t too many bright spots on this nominee list, seemingly carving the path for another Eilish victory.

Enter “Old Town Road.” Let’s stop pretending. You know it. I know it. The Academy wants nothing more than for Lil Nas X to strut out onto that stage at least once on Sunday, fully decked out in a flashy cowboy outfit with jewel-encrusted boots — looking like Woody after a shopping spree at the Gucci store. The man is just too charismatic to be shut out the entire night, and this award may be the only realistic chance he has at the Grammys this year. Plus, the record-breaking 17 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart doesn’t hurt either. I’m penciling in “Old Town Road.”

Song Of The Year

Nominees:

Lady Gaga — ALWAYS REMEMBER US THIS WAY
Billie Eilish — BAD GUY
Tanya Tucker — BRING MY FLOWERS NOW
H.E.R. — HARD PLACE
Taylor Swift — LOVER
Lana Del Rey — NORMAN F***ING ROCKWELL
Lewis Capaldi — SOMEONE YOU LOVED
Lizzo — TRUTH HURTS

Personal Pick:

Taylor Swift — LOVER

Prediction:

Billie Eilish — BAD GUY

Hear me out. Taylor Swift isn’t exactly the most popular personal pick and is a definite longshot to snag the award in this Grammy category, but let me make my case. “Song of the Year” focuses strictly on songwriters, and “Lover” has the unique quality of being completely solo-written. On top of that, Swift’s track is a fresh step away from the “Target’s Greatest Hits” bubble-gum pop vibes that have consumed most of her recent singles. It’s a romantic throwback guitar ballad that features Swift completely in her lyrical element. I don’t expect it to win, but the song deserves more than just a passing glance.

If you gave me this same nominee list before last October, I would’ve written “Truth Hurts” in permanent marker without a second thought, but I’m predicting Lizzo’s recent plagiarism scandal to rear its ugly head on the Academy’s ballot. That leaves “Norman F***ing Rockwell” and “Bad Guy,” two tracks with very different melodies and lyrical compositions. Lana will put up a good fight, but I believe the tidal wave of Eilish praise is inevitable this year. If she doesn’t win “Record of the Year,” she’s a lock for “Song of the Year.”

Best New Artist

Nominees:

Black Pumas
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Maggie Rogers
Rosalia
Tank And The Bangas
Yola

Personal Pick:

Billie Eilish

Prediction:

Lizzo

We can’t kid ourselves here — this is a two-horse race and it shouldn’t even be close. Nobody on this list has achieved the level of fame, critical acclaim and gravitating energy, in one year, then Billie Eilish and Lizzo. Save for Lil Nas X’s two-song spree, none of the other musicians can even touch Eilish and Lizzo on the charts, and I believe that star quality truly matters when determining who will prevail in this category.

Although I admire Eilish’s unique sound and believe she has the brightest future of the two, Lizzo’s magnetic personality and empowering message have landed her on every magazine cover and talk show as of late– giving her the most momentum. It’s a toss-up, but Lizzo has failed to win any categories in my 2020 Grammy predictions yet, and I think the Grammys will find at least one opportunity to honor her musical achievements on Sunday. I put my money on it being “Best New Artist.”

Best Rap Album

Nominees:

Dreamville — REVENGE OF THE DREAMERS III
Meek Mill — CHAMPIONSHIPS
21 Savage — I AM > I WAS
Tyler, The Creator — IGOR
YBN Cordae — THE LOST BOY

Personal Pick:

Tyler, The Creator — IGOR

Prediction:

Tyler, The Creator — IGOR

Look, I know IGOR isn’t a rap album. I don’t know how the neo-soul/synth-funk masterpiece was banished to this category either. To be honest, I expected Tyler, The Creator’s opus to be duking it out at the top with Billie Eilish and Lizzo for the ultimate “Album of the Year” crown (where it should be). But this is the Grammys, and we can always count on the Recording Academy to make a few head-scratching decisions when it comes to locking their nominees into specific categories — especially involving artists who jump genres as Tyler does.

Nevertheless, IGOR simply needs to be appreciated, and if this is the only opportunity to make that happen, so be it. YBN Cordae and 21 Savage delivered solid offerings but with their mainstream careers still in their infancy, I highly doubt the Academy honors them quite yet. Cross Dreamville off the list as well, just based on the fact that the Grammys stage might not be able to hold up that many collaborators at once for the award speech.

I could envision a Meek Mill upset — the stars are aligned for an inspirational “comeback story” element and Championships fits the mold of a more conventional rap album, but going that route is welcoming backlash. Don’t overthink it, Tyler and his platinum-blonde wig deserve a Grammy and this category should be a landslide for him.

Who do YOU think will emerge victorious at the 2020 Grammys?

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