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.
BEST NEW ARTIST
One of the most coveted awards in the music industry, Best New Artist, is awarded to the artist that had the strongest breakout year and the brightest future. The rules change virtually every year so this is one of the hardest categories to predict. Recent winners Meghan Trainor, Chance the Rapper, and Sam Smith, suggest the Academy favors… anything?
SZA (left) has the longest running top ten female album of the year and she notched three top 40 hits with “What Lovers Do,” “The Weekend,” and “Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott).” She’s scored nominations at the BET Awards and the VMAs, she is a lock for a nomination here. Khalid (right) is the frontrunner here, he’s scored hits with great longevity such as “Location” and “Young Dumb & Broke.” His debut album, American Teen, is also an outside contender for AOTY and it notched multiple weeks in the top ten. He is also a featured artist on the SOTY contender “1-800-273-8255.” These are your locks for Best New Artist.
Julia Michaels reached the top fifteen with debut single “Issues” and she’s written smash records for Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani, and more. She could be this year’s, Meghan Trainor. Cardi B made history with her debut major label single “Bodak Yellow” she could totally sneak in; she would be the fourth female rapper to be nominated here since Lauryn Hill (1999), Nicki Minaj (2012), and Iggy Azalea (2015). Logic could get up to three Grammy nominations in addition to this. He’s had a breakout year with a #1 album that had poignant messages sprinkled throughout his music, watch out for him. Kane Brown’s debut album reached the top ten and he notched a hit single with “What Ifs (feat. Lauren Alaina),” he is country music’s best chance here.
On The Fence
Brett Young (top right) is a strong country contender but he’s lacking the x-factor to bring it home. Dua Lipa (bottom right) is currently on a successful world tour, getting a real smash hit with “New Rules,” and her album got strong reviews. She could make it. James Arthur had a smash hit with “Say You Won’t Let Go,” and he is of the British singer-songwriter types that brought Adele and Sam to Grammy gold. Finally, Post Malone has racked up hits this year including “Congratulations (feat. Quavo),” “I Fall Apart,” and “rockstar (feat. 21 Savage).” His album has shown great longevity so he could definitely make it in.
21 Savage had a top ten album and hits like “rockstar” and “Bank Account” but I can;t see him making it in over Cardi B, Logic, or Post Malone. Rag ‘N’ Bone Man had a massive year in the U.K. but his failure to crossover to the U.S. will hurt his chances. Lastly, Old Dominion got a big country hit this year with “Ain’t My Fault,” but I don’t think they can make it all the way.
ALT: Post Malone, Logic (he might be deemed ineligible), James Arthur, Brett Young, Sampha (dark horse, not pictured)
*Note: It appears that Alessia Cara’s label has submitted her for this category. If nominated she WILL win, but I think that she will be “Ariana Grande’d.” Ariana’s label submitted her in 2014 despite her “breakout year” being 2013 when she notched a top ten single and a number one album. Alessia’s breakout year was 2016 where she got top five hit and a successful top ten album, she’s past her breakout year at this point.