This year all of the General Field categories (Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist) have been expanded from five nominees each to eight. Although more nominees means more records and artists being recognized, this also means predicting these categories become much, much harder. I’ll separate these songs into three categories: Locks, Strong Contenders, and Outside Shots.
“God’s Plan” (Drake) and “This Is America” (Childish Gambino)
“God’s Plan” and “This Is America” are shoo-ins for nominations across the board, nothing to see her.
“no tears left to cry” (Ariana Grande); “Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai); “Meant to Be” (Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line); “Shallow” (Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, “All the Stars” (Kendrick Lamar, SZA)
Now, here is where things get interesting. Ariana Grande’s star has risen exponentially in the past year. The only thing holding me back from placing “no tears” as a lock is the fact that the song is not submitted, and thus will not be nominated, for Best Pop Solo Performance. Nevertheless, I think she has a good shot. “Boo’d Up” and “Meant to Be” also have solid shots but lack of name recognition could hold them back. Finally, “Shallow” and “All the Stars” have the inverse issue. These songs have the artist recognition but not the success that the aforementioned songs do.
“High Horse” (Kacey Musgraves), “Tequila” (Dan + Shay), “Delicate” (Taylor Swift), “Girls Like You” (Maroon 5, Cardi B), “Pray” (Sam Smith), “SAD!” (XXXTentacion), “The Middle” (Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey)
Record of the Year and Song of the Year often overlap so I would not be surprised if “Girls Like You” and “The Middle” scored nominations here. “Tequila” is a gorgeous song with a sizable success and mainstream appeal that could be a surprise nominee. Sam Smith’s “Pray” didn’t really make a dent Stateside, but the song is excellent and he is a previous winner here for “Stay With Me.” Finally, if the Grammys are willing to overlook XXXTentacion’s history of abuse and run the risk of intense backlash, the late rapper’s “SAD!” could score a nomination here.
Final Predictions: “God’s Plan” (Drake), “This Is America” (Childish Gambino), “no tears left to cry” (Ariana Grande), “Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai), “Meant to Be” (Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line), “Girls Like You” (Maroon 5, Cardi B), “Delicate” (Taylor Swift), “Shallow” (Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper)
ALT: “All the Stars” (Kendrick Lamar, SZA) OR “High Horse” (Kacey Musgraves)