Now that the eligibility period for the 2018 Grammy Awards has officially ended, it’s time to discuss potential nominees. In this 8 part series we will discuss our predictions for the General field, the pop, rock, and rap categories, and one random group of categories.
THE POP FIELD
Some of the most coveted awards in the music industry, the pop field awards cement songs and albums as the biggest and best of their field. Best Pop Vocal album is self-explanatory and winners such as Kelly Clarkson and Adele show the Academy loves talented female vocalists. Best Pop Solo Performance is also self-explanatory, and winners such as Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran show the Academy tends to favor traditional ballads. Lastly, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance is awarded to a single song that is credited to either a band or two or more solo artists. Recent winners such as twenty one pilots, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, and A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, show pure unpredictability in this category. Let’s go!
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Yes, Katy Perry’s Witness was a #1 album and her tour is doing well, but the fact of the matter is, none of the singles stuck and the album is bad. Katy has been nominated here for previous two albums but they were very successful and enjoyable, Witness is not. If the voters take the time to really sink their teeth into Miley Cyrus’ Younger Now, it could squeak in, just barely. The album barely made the top 5 and was released to middling reviews, but she was nominated here for her last album.
Lady Gaga – Joanne
Kesha – Rainbow
Ed Sheeran – Divide
Lorde – Melodrama
Imagine Dragons – Evolve
ALT: Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me (if there is a sixth nominee, this will be it.), The Chainsmokers – Memories… Do Not Open
BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Taylor Swift & ZAYN’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid’s “1-800-273-8255,” and Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber’s, “Despacito (Remix),” are all locks. Each of these songs is a multiplatinum top 5 hit. Logic’s track has the advantage of three breakthrough artists collaborating on a political track, and on the other hand, Taylor was nominated here in 2016 for her “Bad Blood” remix with Kendrick Lamar. “Despacito,” is one of the biggest songs ever, chart-wise so, bookmark me, they will all be here come November 28th.
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s smash, “Something Just Like This,” could surely be nominated here; both acts have history in this category, and it’s a safe choice. Given that Imagine Dragons is gunning for their biggest hit ever with “Thunder,” which is exploding at the right time, they could make it in here. Portugal. The Man’s “Feel it Still,” is becoming a smash hit at the perfect time in terms of the voting schedule and a nomination here for them would be in the same vein as twenty one pilot’s nomination here last year.
On The Fence
Katy Perry and Skip Marley’s “Chained to the Rhythm,” was performed at last year’s ceremony and it’s a quality song that was a respectable hit. The only issue is that it lacked the longevity necessary for a February release to make an impact in November voting. Camila Cabello and Young Thug’s “Havana” is gaining lots of momentum as it shapes up to be a huge worldwide hit. The Grammys love a good story and it would be quite interesting to have Camila get a Grammy nomination before Fifth Harmony.
Ariana Grande & John Legend are no strangers to the Grammys and their tasteful rerecording of a Disney classic has a minor chance of breaking through. Zedd & Alessia Cara’s “Stay” was a huge hit, but the competition is just too strong. DJ Khaled submitted “I’m The One,” here when it should really be in Rap/Sung, but it is a 4x platinum #1 hit so I won’t count it out… but will NARAS nominate Bieber twice in the same category? Sia could get in with “The Greatest” off the strength of Kendrick’s name, but I doubt it, and Calvin could get in with “Feels” but it just wasn’t big enough.
Lastly, another song performed on last year’s telecast, The Weeknd and Daft Punk’s “I Feel It Coming,” could make it in but suffers from the same drawbacks as Perry and Marley’s “Chained to the Rhythm.”
Another Katy Perry track that has an outside shot is her collaboration with Nicki Minaj, “Swish Swish.” Neither artist is a stranger to this category, but I wouldn’t bet on a nomination, the song isn’t great and it wasn’t successful enough for artists of their caliber. Liam Payne and Quavo’s top ten hit, “Strip That Down,” has a small shot as does fellow ex-One Direction member, Zayn’s, “Dusk Till Dawn (feat. Sia).” I suspect, most of the campaigning will go towards his Taylor Swift collab instead.
Taylor Swift & ZAYN – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber – “Despacito”
Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid – “1-800-273-8255”
Imagine Dragons – “Thunder”
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – “Something Just Like This”
ALT: Portugal. The Man “Feel It Still” and Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley – “Chained To The Rhythm”
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
“Million Reasons” and “Shape of You” are locks, nothing surprising here. Since Bruno Mars decided to submit all of his material to the R&B categories, the field is now wide open.
James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go,” and Kesha’s “Praying” are close to being locks, both are hits and are ballads to boot. Sam Smith is a former winner of this award so he’s one to watch with his new single “Too Good at Goodbyes.” Lastly, Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” is the highest peaking song out of these for; it’s a stellar vocal performance and Demi was nominated and performed twice at the ceremony last year.
On The Fence
Hits such as Charlie Puth’s “Attention,” Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu,” Pink’s “What About Us,” Julia Michael’s “Issues,” Lorde’s “Green Light,” and Alessia Cara’s “Scars To Your Beautiful” could all sneak in as filler nominees. They were all acclaimed and they’re inoffensive, they just might not have the legs. On the other hand Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” could sneak in, but I don’t think she will get nominated here, especially if her Zayn collaboration gets a Pop Duo/Group nomination. Lastly, Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill,” is looking to be a SOTY contender but it might get snubbed here in favor of “Shape of You.” Ariana Grande’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Live from One Love Manchester)” isn’t pictured here, but it could definitely pull off a surprise appearance in the list of finalists. The song is a gorgeous cover of a classic song from a 4x Grammy nominee; it’s connection to the tragedy of the Manchester Bombing will only boost its standing.
Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” and Niall Horan’s “Slow Hands” were big hits and to a lesser extent so was Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar,” but their reputation as teeny-boppers will hold them back, as will their lack of Grammy history. Dua Lipa’s “New Rules,” is exploding right now, but she doesn’t have the name recognition to make it in. Lastly, “Love,” by Lana Del Rey aged beautifully, she has Grammy history, and the single is gorgeous but she might not make it in, sadly.
Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You
Lady Gaga – “Million Reasons”
Kesha – “Praying”
Sam Smith – “Too Good At Goodbyes”
Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry”
ALT: Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do” and James Arthur – “Say You Won’t Let Go,” Ariana Grande – “Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Live from One Love Manchester)”