Wednesday, October 27, 2021

My predictions for the 63rd Grammy Awards

March 9, 2021
Illusion by Daena Faustino
Illusion by Daena Faustino —

Anyone who is close to me knows that music is very important to me. There is seldom a moment where I exist in silence — I am always filling that void with music. I play music while I’m in class, while I’m transcribing audio for work and when I’m just sitting around, doing nothing. 

So, the Grammy Awards are kind of a big deal to me. Not because I need validation in my music taste, but I love seeing artists getting recognized for their beautiful contributions to the world. Music deserves to be celebrated!

Check out my predictions for the 63rd Grammy Awards below.

General Field

While Dua Lipa released the first great pop album of the pandemic with “Future Nostalgia” that was released at the end of March, I’m pulling for her to come out victorious in the Album of the Year category. 

She’s got some stiff competition, of course, seeing as Taylor Swift’s “Folklore,” broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest opening day on Spotify for an album by a female act, also received a nomination for AOTY. “Folklore” was the best-selling album of 2020, so from a sales perspective, Taylor has this in the bag. 

Song of the Year, which is awarded to the writers of a song, is undoubtedly going to Swift and Aaron Dessner for “Cardigan.” No questions asked. 

As for Record of the Year, which is awarded to the artist and the producers, engineers and mixers of a song, I expect either Dua to win for “Don’t Start Now” or Beyoncé for “Black Parade.” 

Beyoncé is the most nominated artist at the 2021 Grammys, and she has accumulated 79 total nominations throughout her career, making her the most nominated female artist of all time. She’s only one nomination behind her husband, Jay-Z, who is tied with Quincy Jones for the most nominations of all time. 

Billie Eilish, who swept the big four categories at the last ceremony, also has a good chance at winning ROTY for her “Everything I Wanted” song. 

I don’t see Doja Cat winning Record of the Year because the disgraced producer Dr. Luke produced the nominated “Say So,” but I’d say Doja has the best chance at winning Best New Artist (despite first releasing music in 2014). While artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Megan Thee Stallion who also had breakthroughs this year are nominated, no artist made the impact that Doja Cat did. 

Pop

The race for AOTY is not dissimilar to that for Best Pop Vocal Album, seeing as both Lipa and Swift are nominated here for their respective albums. The same can be said for Best Pop Solo Performance — Harry Styles may give them a run for their money with “Watermelon Sugar,” but I think women will dominate the pop category (as well as most categories) this year. 

The glaring omission of Lady Gaga’s “Chromatica” from the Album of the Year nominations pretty much tells me that Gaga will not walk away with the Best Pop Vocal Album award this year, but I’d put money on her and Ariana Grande’s “Rain on Me” winning the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. 

“Rain on Me” debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and was the first female collaboration to debut at the top spot. Also, it won Song of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards. 

Rock and Alternative

Fiona Apple is sweeping. Period. 

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Despite being snubbed for AOTY, Apple has three nominations — Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “Shameika” and Best Alternative Music Album for “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.” “FTBC” is the first studio album since Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” to receive a perfect 10 from Pitchfork, and the album received critical acclaim upon release, with many review aggregate sites deeming it the best of the year. 

How Apple got snubbed for AOTY is beyond me because “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” is a work of genius, but I’m counting on her beating out the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Big Thief and Haim to sweep the awards she is nominated for. However, kudos to the Grammys for having only women being nominated for Best Rock Performance and Song. 

Also, I bet Fontaines D.C. will win Best Rock Album for their acclaimed “A Hero’s Death.”

R&B and Rap

Two of Beyoncé’s nine nominations this year are in R&B categories, with her song “Black Parade” being nominated for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song. I expect her to win both of these awards. I mean, she’s Beyoncé. 

I’m hoping Beyoncé protégés Chloe X Halle will win the awards for Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best Progressive R&B Album. If they don’t win Best Progressive R&B album, I advance Thundercat’s “It is What it Is” as the next best option (“Dragonball Durag” was snubbed!). 

As for the rap categories, I’d put my money on DaBaby. DaBaby’s “Rockstar,” featuring Roddy Ricch, is nominated for Best Melodic Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, in addition to Record of the Year. While I think he’ll lose ROTY, he has a good shot at taking the rest of his nominations. He also has a Best Rap Performance nomination for “Bop.” 

Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture” and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” remix featuring Beyoncé are also both viable candidates for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, too. 

As for Best Rap Album, I have to go with “King’s Disease” by Nas. 

The Grammys will air at 8 p.m. this Sunday, March 14 on CBS. 

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