2018 GRAMMYs Predictions: The R&B Field

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.

This was probably the hardest group of categories to predict thus far; there are so many deserving nominees and everyone has a legitimate shot at getting a nomination, here we go!

Best R&B Performance

best r&b performance

Bruno Mars – “That’s What I Like”

Khalid – “Location”

Tamar Braxton – “My Man”

John Legend featuring Chance The Rapper – “Penthouse Floor”

DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts”

Bruno, Khalid, and DJ Khaled are locks for nominations here. Braxton’s “My Man,” made major waves in urban circles and the song carries a new weight in light of her recent divorce. The last spot could probably go to John Legend’s “Penthouse Floor (feat. Chance The Rapper).” Legend and Chance have a combined 13 Grammys, but the spot could go to Miguel’s “Sky Walker” and Jhené Aiko’s “While We’re Young.” Sampha is also one to watch here with “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano.”


Best Traditional R&B Performance

best traditional r&b performance

Childish Gambino – “Redbone”

Alicia Keys – “Work On It”

Anthony Hamilton featuring The HamilTones – “What I’m Feelin'”

Toni Braxton – “Deadwood”

John Legend featuring Brittany Howard – “Darkness and Light”

Childish Gambino is a definite lock and Toni Braxton seems like a sure bet here as well. These two spots aside, this may be the hardest category to predict. My gut tells me to go with artists who have rich Grammy history, so Alicia keys (fifteen wins) and John Legend and Brittany Howard (thirteen combined wins) and Anthony Hamilton (one win from thirteen nominations) are my choices. It also doesn’t hurt that they released sublime tracks this past year.

Best R&B Song

best r&b song

Lalah Hathaway – “I Can’t Wait”

Childish Gambino – “Redbone”

SZA featuring Travis Scott – “Love Galore”

Bruno Mars – “That’s What I Like”

Khalid – “Location”


As previously stated, the first three are locks. SZA has had an incredible year: she notched the longest lasting top ten female album of the year thus far, a gold album, and multiple platinum singles. I think “Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott)” could make it in. The last spot is kind of up-in-the-air, but Lalah Hathway a five-time winner and seven-time nominee is as safe a bet as any.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

urban contemporary album

Jhené Aiko – Trip

The Weeknd – Starboy

SZA – Ctrl

Khalid – American Teen

Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”

Everyone listed here is a lock, bar Jhené. The first four albums were successful, acclaimed and launched hit singles. The final album was an artistic tour-de-force met with critical acclaim. These are my surest bets for any of the R&B categories.


Best R&B Album

best r&b album

Bell Biv Devoe – Three Stripes

Tamar Braxton – Bluebird of Happiness

John Legend – Darkness and Light

Mary J. Blige – Strength of a Woman

Bruno Mars – 24K Magic

In my humble opinion, Bruno, John, and Mary are sure bets. Tamar could get in off the strength of strong UAC singles and a formidable album. The last spot is open to pretty much anyone but I think nostalgia and the BET biopic will help push Bell Biv Devoe over the finish line.


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