The Grammy’s 2020: What to Expect and Award Predictions


Hayden Fowler, SPiN Wired Editor-in-Chief

In previous years, the Grammy’s have proven to be one of the most controversial award shows on television. Many view this show as a way for critics alone to make money and not focus on strong musical content featured throughout the past year. Opinions do, of course, differ from person to person, but results of the Grammy’s have caused many concerns as to what critics really look at when deciding what the best music of the year truly was.

2019 had quite a lot to offer when it came to the field of music. From Billie Eilish’s debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”, and hit performances from breakout stars like Lizzo, Da Baby, and Lil Nas X, to new styles of work from artists like Tyler, the Creator and Ariana Grande, 2019’s featured music was most definitely unique. When it comes to who did it best, audience members will have to tune in to the Grammy’s on Jan. 26, 2019 on CBS to find out.

Now, there are over 80 potential categories to be won at the Grammy’s this year, and while every category is important in its own way, we’re only going to focus on the most popular, standout ones.

To begin, the category of “Album of the Year” is absolutely one of the biggest. This year, nominations come in the form of work from Bon Iver, Lana Del Rey, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, H.E.R., Lil Nas X, Lizzo, and Vampire Weekend. Personally, I listened to almost all of these albums except for Vampire Weekend’s and Bon Iver’s, but based on previous track records, I would guess that neither one of these artists stand a chance in winning “Album of the Year”. I would also rule out Lizzo and Lil Nas X, simply based on the fact that they were more than likely only placed in this category to their sudden popularity. Also, Nas’ work came only as a simple seven-track EP that did not completely thrive in record sales. In general, I would predict that the winner of this category would go to either Billie Eilish or Lana Del Rey due to the success of both of their albums and overall popularity as an artist.

“I guess I would say Billie Eilish for “Album of the Year,” agreed Senior Alyssa Scruggs, “mainly because of uprising popularity.”

Billie Eilish’s debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”.
Lana Del Rey presents “Norman F*****g Rockwell”.

The category of “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”, to me, seem to be quite similar and basically the same, but with different contenders. For “Record of the Year”, Bon Iver’s “Hey, Ma”, Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”, Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings”, H.E.R.’s “Hard Place”, Khalid’s “Talk”, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”, Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”, and Post Malone & Swae Lee’s “Sunflower” all were nominated. These songs fully exemplify this year’s most popular singles and overall, I feel like either “Old Town Road” or “7 Rings” could take the crown for “Record of the Year”. While the nominations somewhat differ for “Song of the Year”, many remain the same, including Eilish’s “Bad Guy” and Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”, which could both easily win in this category.

Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and Lil Nas X are all in the running for multiple awards this year and actually all tie for most nominations. The next three awards, “Best New Artist”, “Best Pop Vocal Album” and “Best Pop Solo Performance”, in my opinion, all could go to Billie Eilish. She absolutely conquered this year as a musician at only 17-years-old and I believe will also do quite well at this year’s Grammy’s. Although she is up against some strong competitors like Lil Nas X, Ariana Grande, and even the likes of the Queen of Pop, Beyoncé, Eilish’s chances of going home with multiple Grammy’s is extremely possible and quite likely.

“Best New Artist” nominee Billie Eilish

Quite a few of the categories have some confusing placements of nominations as it seems many contestants and their submissions do not really belong. For example, “Old Town Road” was originally categorized as Hip-Hop/Country song on the charts and is nominated for “Best Pop Duo Performance” and same for Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower”. Similar cases come as Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” was nominated for “Best Pop Vocal Album”, and anyone who listened would more than likely not qualify this album as anything “Pop” related. This is just one of the issues that makes the Grammy’s as controversial as they are.

The R&B category is filled with phenomenal pieces of music from 2019. To quickly summarize, I would predict “Best R&B Performance” to go to “Could’ve Been” by H.E.R. featuring Bryson Tiller, “Best Traditional R&B Performance” to Lizzo’s “Jerome”, “Best R&B Song” to “No Guidance” by Chris Brown, and “Best R&B Album” to either “Painted” from Lucky Daye or “Venture” by Anderson .Paak.

The final section of music I’m going to cover is Rap, as I don’t tend to tune into the sides of Country, Rock, Reggae, or Metal.

If I’m being frank, this year was not the year of Hip-Hop or Rap. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were some amazing Rap and Hip-Hop albums, but the overall category was quite disappointing, especially when looking at the nominations for this year’s Grammy’s.

With the current nominations, I would rightfully give “Best Rap Performance” to J. Cole’s “Middle Child” as it was an exceptional track from this year. “Best Rap/Sung Performance”, more than likely, will go to DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle & John Legend’s “Higher” after the passing of Nipsey. YBN Cordae and Chance the Rapper’s “Bad Idea”, although not a very well-known song, has the potential to win “Best Rap Song”, considering its presented lyrical content and musical embrace being quite strong. Tyler, the Creator has become one of my favorite artists and his most recent album, “IGOR”, particularly stood out for me this year and ranks in my favorite albums of 2019. If “IGOR” doesn’t win the “Best Rap Album” category I’ll be quite surprised.

Tyler, the Creator’s “IGOR” is nominated for “Best Rap Album

Scruggs also mentioned Tyler’s album “IGOR”, stating, “I feel like it has a pretty good chance of winning…it was really unique and really stood out in the category.”

Overall, the Grammy’s has a lot to offer entertainment-wise and I expect this year’s show to be an interesting one.