A rundown of the Grammy nominees -- EW's hopes and fears of who will win and who won't

By Chris Willman and David Browne
February 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Who woulda thunk it — hundreds of reviewers, millions of consumers, and the Grammys reaching critical consensus? That astronomically impossible alignment could occur if Lauryn Hill, who picked up 10 Grammy nominations, manages to sweep most of those categories at the Feb. 24 ceremony.

Even if the Fugees’ frontwoman loses momentum, though, almost any other likely outcome will be good for a tiring new round of ”Year of the Woman” headlines. The three nearest runners-up in the nomination count — Madonna (5 nods), Sheryl Crow (6), and, to a lesser extent, Shania Twain (6) — all enjoy support from the pundits as well as the populace. But don’t discount a possible loss of face for the newly quasi-credible Grammys if Celine Dion (with 4 nominations) bulldozes her way to a few wins. Here, EW shares its Grammy hopes — and fears.

Album of the Year
The Globe Sessions, Sheryl Crow
Version 2.0, Garbage
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
Ray of Light, Madonna
Come On Over, Shania Twain
Will Win: Madonna’s last-minute lobbying and Twain’s country-pop smorgasbord represent formidable challenges, but Hill’s album will let Grammy voters prove they don’t always relegate hip-hop to the fringe categories.
Should Win: Hill’s fierce, moving solo debut reeducated us on the value of melody, eclecticism, and rhyming skills.

Record of the Year
”The Boy Is Mine,” Brandy and Monica
”My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion
”Iris,” Goo Goo Dolls
”Ray of Light,” Madonna
”You’re Still the One,” Shania Twain
Will Win: Dion’s Titanic anthem will sink on account of age (it peaked a year ago), paving the way for an even more Grammy-friendly bit of mainstream balladry, Twain’s ”You’re Still the One.”
Should Win: Madonna’s techno glitter-ball ”Ray of Light,” because wouldn’t it be cool to see a disco song named the year’s best record?

Song of the Year
”I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” written by Diane Warren (performed by Aerosmith)
”Iris,” by John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls)
”Lean on Me,” by Kirk Franklin (Kirk Franklin with Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, Bono, Crystal Lewis and the Family)
”My Heart Will Go On,” by James Horner and Will Jennings (Celine Dion)
”You’re Still the One,” by Robert John ”Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain (Shania Twain)
Will Win: Twain and her husband gave the proudly dysfunctional couples of America a boy-we-showed-them anniversary ballad to remember.
Should Win: Hey, we’re suckers for defensive romanticism too.

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group
”I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Aerosmith
”One Week,” Barenaked Ladies
”Iris,” Goo Goo Dolls
”Crush,” Dave Matthews Band
”Jump Jive an’ Wail,” the Brian Setzer Orchestra
Will Win: It’s a battle of the movie themes. Aerosmith could prevail on the basis of giving Diane Warren’s ballad more spit polish than it deserves. But the only-you-see-me romanticism of ”Iris” probably struck the greater optic nerve.
Should Win: Given the choice between treacle and silliness in this category, the ham-fisted emotionalism of the Goo Goo Dolls may be the least regrettable choice.