Don’t expect a singular act to sweep at the 2018 Grammy Awards. This year’s list of nominees includes a ton of strong contenders across all genres, which may result in a multitude of artists taking the stage to accept awards. Below, Us Weekly predicts which performers, albums and songs will and should win in the top four categories.
Album of the Year
24K Magic — Bruno Mars
Awaken, My Love! — Childish Gambino
4:44 — Jay-Z
DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama — Lorde
Will Win: Melodrama — Lorde
Should Win: DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
Jay-Z leads this year with eight nominations, but don’t expect him to take home the night’s top prize. It’s rare for a rap album to win in this category (the last time was OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2004). The Recording Academy will likely celebrate Lorde’s well-crafted record, which included the hit “Green Light.” Lamar should really take the trophy, though. All three of his studio albums have been nominated for AOTY, so a win is long overdue. After all, DAMN. was one the most acclaimed and forward-thinking albums of the past decade.
Record of the Year
“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars
“Redbone” — Childish Gambino
“The Story of O.J.” — Jay-Z
“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
Will Win: “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
Should Win: “Despacito” — Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
While Mars and Childish Gambino’s tracks made people of all ages stand up and dance, Lamar commanded otherwise: Sit down, be humble. It didn’t take long for the rapper’s boastful anthem to make waves — and eventually become the biggest hit of his career thus far. He’ll probably collect the Grammy for this one, but don’t be surprised if it goes to “Despacito.” The addition of Bieber to the remix of the can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head reggaeton jam helped it become the first primarily Spanish-language song to top the Billboard Hot 100 since “Macarena” in 1996. Beat that, K-Dot.
Song of the Year
“Despacito” — Ramón Ayala Rodriguez, Justin Bieber, Jason Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi and Marty James Garton Jr., songwriters (Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber)
“4:44” — Shawn Carter and Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)
“Issues” — Benjamin Levin, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels and Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)
“1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury, Khalid Robinson and Andrew Taggart, songwriters (Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid)
“That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
Will Win: “That’s What I Like” — Bruno Mars
Should Win: “4:44” — Jay-Z
This songwriting category typically goes to the Record of the Year recipient, but let’s share the wealth and pop some strawberry champagne. Mars may take home the Grammy for his funky and harmonic tune, which he performed at the 2017 ceremony, giving the Academy plenty of time to take it into consideration. The powerful lyrics of Logic’s suicide prevention song make it a strong contender, too. But the award should go to Jay-Z’s soulful confessional about the ups and downs of his marriage to Beyoncé because, well, let’s be real: If Queen Bey can forgive him, so can we.
Best New Artist
Lil Uzi Vert
Will Win: Alessia Cara
Should Win: Khalid
Cara dropped hit after hit last year, beginning with her debut single, “Here,” and later “Scars to Your Beautiful,” the Zedd collaboration “Stay” and Logic’s “1-800.” She proved that she has plenty of potential for longevity, a quality that the Academy loves. But Khalid deserves some recognition, too. The Texas native dropped one of the hottest albums of the year (American Teen) just a few months after graduating from high school. His songs “Location” and “Young Dumb & Broke” have already defined a generation, and he hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down since.
Hosted by James Corden, the 2018 Grammy Awards air live on CBS on Sunday, January 28, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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