Predictions for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and more.

By Leah Greenblatt
January 20, 2020 at 02:28 PM EST

Lizzo leads the pack with eight nods, but as anyone with a spreadsheet and a bookie knows, music’s biggest night tends to thrive on surprises. Will the prizes go to a small Grande or a Lil Nas? A teenage Billie or a Bad Bunny? Read on to peer into EW’s crystal ball. The winners will be announced at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, airing Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. ET.

Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images; David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns; Noam Galai/Getty Images; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images; Jason Kempin/Getty Images

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

I, I — Bon Iver

Norman F—ing Rockwell! — Lana Del Rey

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — Billie Eilish

Thank U, Next — Ariana Grande

I Used To Know Her — H.E.R.

7 — Lil Nas X

Cuz I Love You — Lizzo

Father of the Bride — Vampire Weekend

WHO WILL WIN

Lizzo’s Cuz is the rare record that sparked joy in nearly every music-buying demographic, and it can’t (truth) hurt that it also contains some of the year’s most ubiquitous radio hits.

WHO SHOULD WIN

Don’t you want to hear Lana’s acceptance speech? Truly, though, no one here is undeserving — except Lil Nas X; that’s not an album, it’s an EP.

BEST NEW ARTIST

• Black Pumas

• Billie Eilish

• Lil Nas X

• Lizzo

• Maggie Rogers

• Rosalía

• Tank and the Bangas

• Yola

WHO WILL WIN

Ms. Eilish, your destiny (and a chaperone for the afterparty) awaits.

WHO SHOULD WIN

Bless Lizzo, but this is her third solo studio album, sheeple! Eighteen-year-old wunderkind Billie feels like the truest definition of what this prize is about, and she absolutely deserves it — though Maggie Rogers’ breezy melodies and intergenerational appeal could still thread the needle to victory in such a packed category.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

• “Hey, Ma” — Bon Iver

• “Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish

• “7 Rings” — Ariana Grande

• “Hard Place” — H.E.R.

• “Talk” — Khalid

• “Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus

• “Truth Hurts” — Lizzo

• “Sunflower” — Post Malone & Swae Lee

WHO WILL WIN

Did you hear the one about the gay black cowboy who spent 19 consecutive weeks smashing the top of the Hot 100 with Miley’s dad? Yeah, that one. Put your bets on “Old Town Road.”

WHO SHOULD WIN

The genre-smashing ubiquity of “Road” should earn Lil Nas at least one statuette. But “Hey, Ma”‘s gorgeously woozy layers do make the case for what is technically a production prize.

SONG OF THE YEAR

• “Always Remember Us This Way” — Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey & Lori McKenna

• “Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell

• “Bring My Flowers Now” — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker

• “Hard Place” — Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris, H.E.R. & Rodney Jerkins

• “Lover” — Taylor Swift

• “Norman F—ing Rockwell” — Jack Antonoff & Lana Del Rey

• “Someone You Loved” — Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn & Sam Roman

• “Truth Hurts” — Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson & Jesse Saint John

WHO WILL WIN

100 percent that Lizzo.

WHO SHOULD WIN

Lana F—ing Del Rey.

BEST LATIN ROCK, URBAN OR ALTERNATIVE ALBUM

X 100PRE — Bad Bunny

Oasis — J Balvin & Bad Bunny

Indestructible — Flor de Toloache

Almadura — iLe

El Mal Querer — Rosalía

WHO WILL WIN

Wonder-twin reggaeton powers, activate: Oasis is the sound of two superstars — Colombian-born J Balvin and Puerto Rico native Bad Bunny — taking over el mundo, one slow-grind anthem at a time.

WHO SHOULD WIN

Rabbit resistance is futile; Bunny and Balvin pretty much have a lock on this one. Though it would be thrilling to see 27-year-old Spaniard Rosalía — by far one of the most interesting international artists of the past several years, if not her entire pop generation — swerve in.

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Desperate Man — Eric Church

Stronger Than the Truth — Reba McEntire

Interstate Gospel — Pistol Annies

Center Point Road — Thomas Rhett

While I’m Livin’ — Tanya Tucker

WHO WILL WIN

Tucker’s comeback narrative almost half a century into her career feels pretty unbeatable — plus she’s the only one here with nods in other major categories.

WHO SHOULD WIN

There are strong cases to be made for Church’s excellently stripped-down outlaw Americana or the Pistol Annies’ back-porch reveries. And Reba, like Tanya, is a beloved lifer in the business. But they’re all pretty much livin’ in Tucker’s shadow this year.

BEST SPOKEN WORD ALBUM

Beastie Boys Book — Various Artists

Becoming — Michelle Obama

I.V. Catatonia: 20 Years as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor — Eric Alexandrakis

Mr. Know It All — John Waters

Sekou Andrews & the String Theory — Sekou Andrews & the String Theory

WHO WILL WIN

Only one of these nominees is a cultural supernova-slash-former First Lady whose memoir debut sold more than 10 million copies, and it’s not Sekou.

WHO SHOULD WIN

Is it fair to put Michelle Obama in a category filled out by classically trained musicians, cult filmmakers, old hip-hop heads, and [checks notes] actual spoken-word artists? It is not! She still deserves this win, though.

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

The Lion King: The Gift — Beyoncé

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — Billie Eilish

Thank U, Next — Ariana Grande

No. 6 Collaborations Project — Ed Sheeran

Lover — Taylor Swift

WHO WILL WIN

Billie’s the sole nominee here also up for Album and Song of the Year, so signs point to her.

WHO SHOULD WIN

Ariana just took this last year, for Sweetener, and Sheeran’s more like the genial host at an all-star house party. The big question is whether voters will throw a consolation prize to onetime Grammy darling Swift, who is otherwise mostly snubbed for Lover, or make up for denying Beyoncé countless Album of the Year prizes by rewarding one of her weakest works.

Related content:

Advertisement

Comments

EDIT POST