Predictions for the 2021 Grammys

Top+Row+%28Left+to+Right%29%3A+Hollywood%27s+Bleeding+by+Post+Malone%2C+Folklore+by+Taylor+Swift%2C+COLORS+by+Black+Pumas.%0ACenter+Row+%28Left+to+Right%29%3A+Everything+I+Wanted+by+Billie+Eilish%2C+Future+Nostalgia+by+Dua+Lipa%2C+Women+in+Music+Pt.+III+by+Haim.%0ABottom+Row+%28Left+to+Right%29%3A+Punisher+by+Phoebe+Bridgers%2C+The+Box+by+Roddy+Ricch%2C+Suga+by+Megan+Thee+Stallion

Photo Credit: Sydney Wold

Top Row (Left to Right): Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone, Folklore by Taylor Swift, COLORS by Black Pumas. Center Row (Left to Right): Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish, Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa, Women in Music Pt. III by Haim. Bottom Row (Left to Right): Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers, The Box by Roddy Ricch, Suga by Megan Thee Stallion

Sydney Wold, Reporter

 

The 2021 Grammy Nominations were a trending topic of conversation when first released. Similar to 2020, diversity controversies plagued almost every category, most notably the Best Children’s Music Album where three of the five nominees rescinded due to a lack of women and people of color among the nominees according to Pitchfork. 

Fans of Abel Tesfaye, known as The Weeknd, were also angered that he had zero nominations despite the record-breaking success of his album, After Hours. The nominations this year dissatisfied fans and artists alike, but until the winners are disclosed  on January 31st, music fans worldwide will be left waiting for the ceremony. Until then, here is my personal list of predictions for the winners of the four most notable categories.

Record of the Year (ROTY): Out of all seven songs, Beyonce’s Black Parade and Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now have been favorite predictions among critics for good reasons. Black Parade is a catchy, fast-paced hit infused with elements of R&B and trap. Don’t Start Now takes on the almost obsolete genre of disco and upgrades it into a captivating single that was met with positive critical reception and over 1.2 billion streams on Spotify. Both singles are well-known and performed by Grammy favorites. While Billie Eilish’s Everything I Wanted is another beautifully written contender, the Record of the Year award focuses more on the performance rather than the song writing, something which Beyonce excels at and Dua Lipa has improved immensely. Eilish is a great singer, but her peers’ ability challenges her own. The other nominees, Rockstar, Circles, and Savage, pale in comparison to these three, while COLORS, though a great soul song, is relatively unknown and is pitted against the biggest records in music. 

Song of the Year (SOTY): Unlike ROTY, SOTY is awarded to the songwriters of a nominated song rather than the performer. Black Parade, Everything I Wanted, and Cardigan are the three songs most likely to win this category. Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas, both stand out among their contemporaries for their beautiful song-writing. Everything I Wanted is a shining example of this, as it’s both heart-breaking and scenic in its descriptions of an issue that millions deal with, yet it never glorifies or glosses over the seriousness. Similar to Eilish, Taylor Swift is famous for her song-writing abilities. Cardigan is every good thing about Taylor Swift, but it especially showcases her ability to pen a love song that hits hard but remains graceful. Black Parade is going up against two song-writing giants, but Beyonce’s message is one that is relevant to 2020. If neither Swift or Eilish win, it would be safe to bet that Black Parade will take home the prize. I Can’t Breathe is similar to Black Parade and is another safe bet, even if it is less well known. The other songs nominated, The Box, Circles, Don’t Start Now, and If the World is Ending, fall short in the song-writing department, especially when compared to Swift and Eilish. 

Album of the Year (AOTY): The AOTY nominations were, self-admittedly, not the greatest. Three of the albums, Chilombo by Jhene Aiko, Black Pumas by Black Pumas, and Djesse Vol. 3 by Jacob Collier, were, to be blunt, irrelevant. Technically, AOTY isn’t supposed to reflect popularity, but these three albums had zero impact on the music industry, which is heavily considered. Coldplay’s Everyday Life was released by a widely-known band, but again, it hardly made a dent in the industry and personally, I didn’t even know Coldplay still made music. The two albums that have been favored for the win are Taylor Swift’s Folklore and Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia. Future Nostalgia renewed disco and demonstrated Dua Lipa’s artistic growth from her self-titled debut album while Folklore brought Taylor back from Lover and was full of gorgeous song-writing. In terms of maybe winners, Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone wasn’t the best album, but it sold well and wasn’t unlistenable while HAIM’s Women in Music Pt. III was received well by critics, but will struggle against music titans Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift.

Best New Artist (BNA): This year’s BNA is one of the more diverse categories, especially genre wise, which makes it harder to narrow down a victor. My most likely picks, Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, reflect who I know the best. Megan Thee Stallion made a ripple in the industry with the release of albums Suga and Good News, alongside hits such as Body, WAP, and Savage. Artistry-wise, Megan Thee Stallion is one of the more eye-catching voices in music and is critically acclaimed. Doja Cat is another artist who makes interesting songs, such as the disco-inspired Say So and has also had her fair share of critical acclaim. Phoebe Bridgers, though sonically different from Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, is just as likely to win the award. Bridger’s Punisher, has found its way onto many Top Albums of 2020 lists and is one of the most masterful nominees. Before writing this article, I gave each artist a listen to gain a better perspective. Though each is nominated for a reason, the BNA with the greatest presence tends to win the award, which makes Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Phoebe Bridgers slated for BNA.