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); “I Like It” (Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin); “This Is America” (Childish Gambino); “Perfect Duet” (Ed Sheeran & Beyoncé)
These three songs are all strong bets for a nomination. “God’s Plan” owned the spring with 11 weeks at #1. “This Is America” caused a cultural firestorm when the provocative record debuted at #1. Cardi’s “I Like It” was #1 summer anthem. Ed and Beyoncé’s “Perfect Duet” dominated the winter and showed incredible longevity. All of these artists are former Grammy winners and Cardi is a former Grammy nominee. If any of these records missed a nomination here, I would be legitimately shocked.
“The Middle” (Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey); “APESH*T” (The Carters); “Girls Like You” (Maroon 5, Cardi B); “rockstar” (Post Malone, 21 Savage); “Meant to Be” (Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line)
“Girls Like You” and “rockstar” were both massive #1 hits and defining songs for two of the biggest new artists of the past two years. Last ceremony, “Body Like A Backroad,” Sam Hunt’s huge country crossover hit, was passed over for a nomination here. “Meant to Be” is an even bigger country-pop crossover, which buoys its chances for a nomination here. “The Middle” was yet another pop smash featuring two former Grammy winners (Zedd and Maren Morris). Finally, “APESH*T,” was a moderate hit but: 1) it has Grammy darlings Beyoncé and Jay-Z and 2) that music video actually broke the Internet.
“God is a woman” (Ariana Grande); “Delicate” (Taylor Swift); “Shallow” (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper); “Make Me Feel” (Janelle Monáe), “High Horse” (Kacey Musgraves), “Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai), “All the Stars” (Kendrick Lamar & SZA)
“God is a woman” and “Delicate” were acclaimed hits that dominated pop radio. Both songs will be entered, and likely nominated, for Best Pop Solo Performance, so they have a decent shot. “Make Me Feel” and “High Horse” are critically lauded hits in two genres underrepresented in the General Field recently: R&B and Country. If one of these songs does get nominated, I highly doubt the other will. Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” was a defining hit of 2018, and the throwback-but-current R&B sound that led Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” to nomination here last year, could float her in. Finally, two soundtrack smashes, “Shallow” and “All the Stars,” are vying for recognition here. I would give the edge to Kendrick & SZA, as, in recent times, they have proven to be stronger Grammy forces than Mother Monster.
Final Predictions: “God’s Plan” (Drake), “I Like It” (Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin), “This Is America” (Childish Gambino), “Perfect Duet” (Ed Sheeran & Beyoncé), “Girls Like You” (Maroon 5, Cardi B), “Meant to Be” (Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line), “Boo’d Up” (Ella Mai), “APESH*T” (The Carters)
ALT: “rockstar” (Post Malone, 21 Savage) and “The Middle” (Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey)