Grammy predictions: AP writers debate who’ll win on Sunday

Grammy predictions: AP writers debate who’ll win on Sunday

The Beyhive is all abuzz about whether Beyoncé has a chance to make Grammy history this year, which should make for an exciting awards show as she takes on heavyweights Adele, Kendrick Lamar and Harry Styles.

She will only need four more trophies to reach the rank of the most decorated artist of the Recording Academy. The odds are in her favor in most of the categories in which she is nominated, including album of the year and record of the year.

Associated Press Entertainment writers Jonathan Landrum Jr. and Kristin M. Hall break down the extremely tight races for Grammy glory. The 65th Annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday on CBS and Paramount+.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR: “Voyage”, ABBA; “30”, Adele; “Un Verano Sin Ti”, Bad Bunny; “Renaissance”, Beyoncé; “Hello Gorgeous” (Deluxe), Mary J. Blige; “In Those Silent Days,” Brandi Carlile; “Music of the Spheres”, Coldplay; “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”, Kendrick Lamar; “Special”, Lizzo; “Harry’s House”, Harry Styles.

LANDRUM: Beyoncé is chasing her Grammy throne, once again. As the superstar singer is set to become the most decorated performer in Grammy Awards history, it’s no coincidence that Queen Bey returned to the live show stage for the first time in four years with a spectacular, star-studded performance at Dubai’s latest luxury hotel. month. She even hosted a two-night “Club Renaissance” event in Los Angeles last month with Amazon Music to celebrate her seventh album “Renaissance,” a contender for album of the year. Beyoncé’s head game is strong, and her two standout displays look like a big lap towards her multiple Grammy coronation. No disrespect to the other more than worthy nominees in the category, but Beyoncé is an easy choice here. It makes sense.

HALL: The last time Adele and Beyoncé were nominated in this category, the British singer-songwriter used his acceptance speech to praise Beyoncé, calling her the “artist of my life.” . This is one of the toughest years in this category with so many deserving albums from the biggest names. It would be amazing to see Bad Bunny take home the award for her insanely popular “Un Verano Sin Ti,” but I agree, Jonathan, all signs point to a banner year for Beyoncé.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: “Don’t Shut Me Down”, ABBA; “Indulge me”, Adele; “Break My Soul,” Beyoncé; “Hello Gorgeous,” Mary J. Blige; “You and Me on the Rock,” Brandi Carlile with Lucius; “Woman”, Doja Cat; “Bad Habit”, Steve Lacy; “The Heart, Part 5,” Kendrick Lamar; “About Fucking Time”, Lizzo; “As it was”, Harry Styles.

HALL: There are so many dance bops to choose from this year! Lizzo is a powerhouse for delivering positive good-time bangers with catchy lyrics and Harry Styles’ pop rock jam “As It Was” is an undeniable hit and a fan favorite. Although Adele absolutely kills her performance of “Easy on Me”, I don’t think she has the dominance of her other record of the year, “Hello”. For me, the two best in the category are “Break My Soul” and “Bad Habit”. “Break My Soul,” inspired by ’90s house music, captures quite a mood and an exciting pivot for Beyoncé, so she’ll likely add that award to her Grammys wall.

LANDRUM: I totally went with the Beyoncé Album of the Year bandwagon, but I’m rolling with Harry Styles’ “As It Was” in that category. Congratulations to fellow nominees Kendrick Lamar, Steve Lacy and Adele – who also deserve this award. But “As It Was” was just too massive in a category where the biggest commercial hits usually reign supreme. To me, I feel like I’ve heard his contagious jam every time I go out. Even my 2 year old sits up when she hears the song, sings and asks to listen to it again and again and again.

SONG OF THE YEAR (songwriter award): “abcdefu”, Sara Davis, GAYLE and Dave Pittenger; “About Damn Time,” Melissa “Lizzo” Jefferson, Eric Frederic, Blake Slatkin, and Theron Makiel Thomas; “All Too Good (10 Minute Version – The Short)”, Liz Rose and Taylor Swift; “As It Was”, Tyler Johnson, Kid Harpoon and Harry Styles; “Bad Habit”, Matthew Castellanos, Brittany Fousheé, Diana Gordon, John Carroll Kirby and Steve Lacy; “Break My Soul,” Beyoncé, S. Carter, Terius “The Dream” Gesteelde-Diamant, and Christopher A. Stewart; “Easy for Me”, Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin; “God Did,” Tarik Azzouz, E. Blackmon, Khaled Khaled, F. LeBlanc, Shawn Carter, John Stephens, Dwayne Carter, William Roberts, and Nicholas Warwar; “The Heart, Part 5”, Jake Kosich, Johnny Kosich, Kendrick Lamar and Matt Schaeffer; “Just like that”, Bonnie Raitt.

LANDRUM: I might have picked Harry Styles to win Record of the Year, but Beyoncé’s powerful words in ‘Break My Soul’ spoke to my mind – especially in a category for songwriters who have writes lyrics or melodies to a song. Its tune became a post-pandemic dance floor anthem thanks to the appealing upbeat melody and well-written lyrics by the formidable writing team of Beyoncé, her husband Jay-Z, The-Dream and Tricky Stewart – who is behind writing great singles, including Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Mary J. Blige’s “Just Fine.” In this collaboration, the songwriting quartet created a collection of inspirational words suited to Beyoncé who took the proverbial slack and sang with beautiful authority. In the end, “Break My Soul” should cross the finish line first as song of the year.

HALL: If you’ve only heard the TikTok snippet of Steve Lacy’s dreamy confessional song, do yourself a favor and listen to the whole thing, and then his whole album too. The song, like Lacy, is experimental and complicated and the song twists and turns into something brand new while her vocals are delightfully disarming. I think he’s a dark horse in that category, though, against so many crazy talented songwriters.

BEST NEW ARTIST: Anitta; Omar Apollo; DOMi & JD Beck; Muni Long; Samara Joy; Latte; Manekskin; Tobe Nwigwe; Molly Tuttle; Wet leg.

HALL: Normally, I feel like there are one or two heavyweights in this category riding the wave of a big debut, but this category is wide open this year. Bluegrass musician Molly Tuttle and R&B singer-songwriter Muni Long are well established in their respective musical fields and it would be great for them to get the widespread attention they deserve with a win in this category. But I think Anitta has a big advantage with her multi-platinum global hit “Envolver,” though she might not be as familiar to American audiences.

LANDRUM: Anitta certainly feels like the top pick in this loaded category. The Brazilian artist was nothing short of phenomenal with her trilingual album ‘Versions of Me’, which was led by her single ‘Envolver’. Månekskin, Muni Long and Latto can also assert their rights here. But I’m leaving with a category dark horse: Tobe Nwigwe. He broke through with “I Need You To,” a 44-second song that drew attention to the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky. It has been reposted by big names like LeBron James, Madonna and Diddy. Along with this, the Nigerian singer-rapper has been posting an original song and video every week on social media for the past few years. He performs alongside his wife, Fat Nwigwe, and their ballad “Fye Fye” is a legitimate hit.

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE: “Easy on Me,” Adele; “Moscow Mule”, Bad Bunny; “Woman”, Doja Cat; “Bad Habit”, Steve Lacy; “About Fucking Time”, Lizzo; “As it was”, Harry Styles.

LANDRUM: It’s difficult. Each song is a certified hit. My gut tells me that Adele or Steve Lacy could win in a category filled with serious contenders. But my mind, heart and soul are screaming “HARRY STYLES”. I go with my last feelings. “As it was” for me, please.

HALL: Adele is likely to pick up a win here, if voters are more inclined to choose Beyoncé in the top categories.

BEST RAP PERFORMANCE: “GOD DID,” DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend and Fridayy; “Vegas”, Doja Cat; “pushing P”, Gunna & Future featuring Young Thug; “FNF (Let’s Go)”, Hitkidd & GloRilla; “The Heart, Part 5”, Kendrick Lamar

HALL: Gotta give all the love to Memphis native GloRilla on her first Grammy nomination for her hit ‘FNF (Let’s Go)’. Her tenacity and bravery shines through on the track which celebrates being unscrubbed lavishly and proves she can go as hard as any male rapper.

LANDRUM: Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5” will win, but DJ Khaled’s “GOD DID” should be victorious. Why? Because with Khaled bringing together Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Mr. EGOT John Legend and Rick Ross on one track, God sure did that!

BEST R&B PERFORMANCE: “VIRGO’S GROOVE”, Beyoncé; “Here With Me”, Mary J. Blige featuring Anderson .Paak; “Hrs & Hrs”, Muni Long; “Done”, Lucky Daye; “Hurt Me So Good”, Jazmine Sullivan

LANDRUM: Jazmine Sullivan could do a repeat with ‘Hurt Me So Good’ after winning in that same category last year for ‘Pick Up Your Feelings’. The sheer lure of Beyoncé’s “VIRGO’S GROOVE” also gives her a good chance of winning. There are other viable contenders, including Mary J. Blige and Lucky Daye, who have had big hits in their own right. But if I was a bettor, my bet would be on Muni Long’s “Hrs & Hrs,” a breakthrough hit for Best New Artist Nominee. After maintaining strong momentum throughout a year, I think Muni (pronounced as Money) will be ready to cash in as the winner of this category.

HALL: When Muni Long begins the song by whispering “Can I sing for you?” in her breathy voice, it’s clear she’s masterfully in control. I hope she gets this victory.

BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE: “Heartfirst,” Kelsea Ballerini; “Something in the Orange”, Zach Bryan; “In Her Arms,” Miranda Lambert; “Circles Around This Town,” Maren Morris; “Live Forever”, Willie Nelson

HALL: I think the Recording Academy voters are trying to send a message by nominating Willie Nelson’s “Live Forever,” which turns (remarkably) 90 this year and shows no signs of slowing down. But I think new artist Zach Bryan has momentum this year and a lot of buzz, so the slow-burning “Something In The Orange” should win.

LANDRUM: I think Zach Bryan is Willie Nelson’s biggest threat here. But with Nelson still performing at a high level at 90, his song “Live Forever” is a fitting title for his musical legacy.


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