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.
SONG OF THE YEAR
One of the most coveted awards in the music industry, Song of the Year, is awarded to the songwriters. Recent winners Adele (“Hello”), Ed Sheeran (“Thinking Out Loud”), and Sam Smith (“Stay With Me”), suggest the Academy favors classic ballads, here we go!
“Million Reasons,” the most successful single off of Lady Gaga’s Joanne, is one of our first locks for Song of the Year. The song was a top five hit, is a classic piano-vocal ballad, and a song about heartbreak that comes from a deeply personal place. I suspect Gaga will campaign heavily as well; she is also a previous nominee in this category for “Poker Face” in 2010.
Kendrick Lamar’s #1 hit, “HUMBLE.,” is also a lock for a nomination, it’ll fulfill the token urban slot and it shows the Academy’s hip side. Kendrick is also a former nominee in this category with 2016’s “Alright.”
Lastly, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” one of the biggest hits of this century will be nominated here, there is no doubt. Ed won this category in 2016 for “Thinking Out Loud” and he was nominated here in 2013 for “The A Team” and 2017 for Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.”
Little Big Town’s “Better Man,” is shaping up to be the token country slot in this category, and country usually fares well here, so I would not be surprised if it won. This track has Taylor Swift’s name attached to it, which is never a bad thing, and Little Big Town has been in the critic’s goodwill for their entire album cycle.
Ed Sheeran could easily get in for “Castle On The Hill,” or for both of his tracks. “Castle on the Hill” is more traditional Ed Sheeran and has the live instrument-ballad appeal, so watch out for it. Logic’s “1-800-273-8255 (feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid),” is the most political song of the bunch, it’s title is the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. The track features three booming new artists and it sends a powerful message, it should get a spot in this category.
Finally, “Praying,” Kesha’s emotional comeback single could get a slot here. Its production may be messy, but it’s lyrically strong and it would be a beautiful gesture to celebrate Kesha’s return to the music scene.
On The Fence
Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Backroad,” one of the biggest country chart hits ever and the first country song to go top ten in three and a half years, could definitely make it in. Sam may be barred by the fact that the Academy may wrongly classify him as bro-country and go in favor of Miranda Lambert.
Speaking of Ms. Lambert, her heartbreakingly beautiful, “Tin Man,” could also make it in here, I’m currently predicting her for AOTY so her goodwill may extend to multiple General Field categories.
James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go,” would be in line with Grammy history if it got nominated, Brits singing schmaltzy love/heartbreak ballads soundtracked by a guitar or piano. If the atrocious “7 Years” got in last year, don’t be surprised if this makes it as well. Harry Styles’ gorgeous and ambitious “Sign of the Times,” is also a viable but option but I wouldn’t count on it. Lastly, Khalid’s “Location,” could be the R&B entry, but I personally wouldn’t bet on it, it seems too good to be true.
Julia Michaels’ “Issues,” and Miley Cyrus, “Malibu” were both moderate pop hits with interesting songwriting that could make it in. Imagine Dragons, “Believer,” and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man’s “Human,” would fill the rock/alternative slot but I don’t think either has the legs to make it to the final five in this category.
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This,” was a smash hit and has the kind of nostalgic lyrics that the Academy loves. The Chainsmokers won a Grammy last year and Coldplay won this category in 2009 with “Viva La Vida.” Lastly, Alessia Cara’s “Scars To Your Beautiful” is the kind of self-empowerment anthem that powered “Roar” and “Shake It Off” to nominations in this category. Alessia was arguably the most successful female artist of the past year, so I would only be slightly surprised if she snuck in here (the video did get a Video of the Year nomination at the VMAs, so that might help its case).
Linkin Park’s poignant “One More Light,” could also make it in. Linkin Park is a two-time winning band and they are one of the most successful and influential American bands of all time. Given the tragic suicide of their lead vocalist, Chester Bennington, this could be a nice way of memorializing him. Lastly, Taylor Swift. You simply can’t discuss the General Field at the Grammys without including Taylor Swift. Ms. Swift is the definition of Grammy darling, but her goodwill may end here. Swift has been nominated in this category in 2010 for “You Belong With Me, 2015 for “Shake It Off,” and 2016 for “Blank Space.” “Look What You Made Me Do” is easily Taylor’s weakest lead single, but I wouldn’t put anything past the academy.
Lady Gaga – “Million Reasons”
Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”
Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You”
Little Big Town – “Better Man”
Logic – “1-800-273-8255 (feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid)”
ALT: Kesha – “Praying,” James Arthur – “Say You Won’t Let Go,” Miranda Lambert – “TIn Man”