Who is going to be a big winner for the 2020 Grammys? We predicted the winners for the major categories, from Best New Artist to Album of the Year.
The 62nd Grammy Awards are going down this weekend. It’s arguably the most important night in music. Hosted by Alicia Keys in Los Angeles, the evening will be filled with wins by the industry’s biggest and possibly most underrated artists. This year’s nominations could be described as a bit diverse, even though the Recording Academy did miss a few marks mainly by excluding acts like Rapsody and Ari Lennox.
The album-of-the-year category features a creative mashup of current industry favorites, including Lizzo, Lil Nas X, H.E.R., Ariana Grande, and Billie Eilish.
It’s also going to be an important night for the Nipsey Hussle family. The late rapper was nominated for three Grammys and there will be a special performance honoring the legendary rapper.
So who’s going to have a big night? We decided to take out our crystal ball and predict the winners for all the major categories, from Best New Artist to Record of the Year.
Check out our picks below.
Best New Artist
Lil Nas X
Tank And The Bangas
Our Prediction: Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X is the underdog that everyone keeps rooting for. His mixture of country and hip-hop on his debut EP 7 was impressive and it’s not hard picturing him winning Best New Artist. What can’t be ignored here is the fact that Billie Eilish and Lizzo provide a bit of competition for Lil Nas X since they also experienced tremendous success last year. Yet, since pop singer Dua Lipa unsurprisingly won this award last and is still relevant, we’re betting on the fact that Nas X is gaining traction for a concrete career rather than 15 minutes of Internet fame (no shade to Eilish).
Best R&B Performance
“Love Again” — Daniel Caesar and Brandy
“Could’ve Been” — H.E.R. featuring Bryson Tiller
“Exactly How I Feel” — Lizzo featuring Gucci Mane
“Roll Some Mo” — Lucky Daye
“Come Home” — Anderson .Paak featuring André 3000
Our Prediction: “Roll Some Mo” — Lucky Daye
Lucky Daye is somewhat a hidden gem in the R&B genre. In “Roll Some Mo” he truly shines and makes it clear he’s a force to be reckoned with. The track, which serves as an intro song on his debut album Painted, is perfect from its catchy chorus to each note that Daye hits throughout it. Also in this category are heavy contenders like “Could’ve Been” by Grammy Award winner H.E.R. and “Love Again” by Daniel Caesar. Lucky should win for the authenticity and beauty of “Roll Some Mo.”
Best Traditional R&B Performance:
“Time Today” — BJ The Chicago Kid
“Steady Love” — India Arie
“Jerome” — Lizzo
“Real Games” — Lucky Daye
“Built For Love” — PJ Morton featuring Jazmine Sullivan
Our Prediction: “Built For Love” — PJ Morton featuring Jazmine Sullivan
This isn’t an easy choice since this category is stacked with vocalists that are deserving of a moment to shine. PJ Morton and Jazmine Sullivan’s “Built for Love” is a stunning song that can’t be ignored. The strength of both of their commanding voices is on full display here. “Time Today” by BJ The Chicago and “Real Games” by Lucky Daye are a bit more modern, but “Built for Love’ sticks true to R&B’s soulful roots. The Grammys tend to be more conservative so that’s who we think they’re going to pick.
Best R&B Song
“Could’ve Been” — H.E.R. featuring Bryson Tiller
“Look At Me Now” — Emily King & Jeremy Most
“No Guidance” — Chris Brown featuring Drake
“Roll Some Mo” — Lucky Daye
“Say So” — PJ Morton featuring JoJo
Our Prediction: “No Guidance” — Chris Brown featuring Drake
Chris Brown and Drake’s “No Guidance” is one of the biggest songs to drop in 2019. It’s a club song that did tremendously well on the Billboard charts. It definitely is more of a popular song than a few singles it’s competing with. So that’s our pick.
Best R&B Album
1123 — BJ The Chicago Kid
Painted — Lucky Daye
Ella Mai — Ella Mai
PAUL — PJ Morton
Ventura — Anderson .Paak
Our Prediction: 1123 — BJ The Chicago Kid
BJ The Chicago Kid’s 1123 is a cohesive R&B album filled with riveting songs. On this project, he showcases his maturity as an artist with songs like “Time Today,” “Can’t Wait,” and “Rather Be With You.” BJ is honestly a bit underrated so this win would be monumental for him. The category also features Lucky Daye’s Painted and Ella Mai’s self-titled debut album, but this is the Chicago artist’s sixth Grammy nomination, he’s not the new kid on the block. We think the Grammys are going to go with the vet.
Best Rap Performance
“Middle Child” — J.Cole
“Suge” — DaBaby
“Down Bad” — Dreamville featuring J.I.D., Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG and Young Nudy
“Racks In The Middle” — Nipsey Hussle featuring Roddy Rich and Hit-Boy
“Clout” — Offset featuring Cardi B
Our Prediction: “Racks In The Middle” — Nipsey Hussle featuring Roddy Rich and Hit-Boy
When Nipsey Hussle’s “Racks In The Middle” was nominated we knew this song would take home a Grammy. The song is stronger than “Clout” by Cardi B and Offset, “Suge” by Grammy newbie DaBaby, and “Middle Child” by J. Cole . The posthumous nomination rings loudly for the indelible impact Hussle has left on the rap industry. It’s a no brainer this song takes home the award.
Best Rap/Sung Performance
“Higher” — DJ Khaled featuring Nipsey Hussle and John Legend
“Drip Too Hard” — Lil Baby and Gunna
“Panini” — Lil Nas X
“Ballin” — Mustard featuring Roddy Rich
“The London” — Young Thug featuring J. Cole and Travis Scott
Our Prediction: “Ballin” — Mustard featuring Roddy Rich
What Roddy Rich does on Mustard’s “Ballin” is showcase his innate talent, Mustard simply emphasizes it with his excellent production. “Ballin” was undoubtedly one of the most popular rap songs of 2019. DJ Khaled’s “Higher” with Nipsey Hussle and John Legend is the only heavy contender we think could take home a win in this category since Legend is a Grammy favorite (he’s won 10).
Best Rap Song
“Bad Idea” — YBN Cordae featuring Chance The Rapper
“Gold Roses” — Rick Ross featuring Drake
“A Lot” — 21 Savage featuring J. Cole
“Racks In The Middle” Nipsey Hussle featuring Roddy Ricch & Hit-Boy
“Suge” — DaBaby
Our Prediction: “Racks In The Middle” Nipsey Hussle featuring Roddy Ricch & Hit-Boy
It’d be downright disrespectful if Nipsey Hussle’s “Racks In The Middle” with Roddy Rich and Hit-Boy doesn’t win Best Rap Song. The Recording Academy finally nominated Rick Ross in this category for “Black Roses” featuring Drake, but we don’t think this is the Miami rapper’s year to win. It’s also quite impressive that YBN Cordae’s “Bad Idea” caught the attention of the Academy, but it’s not his time yet either. “Racks In The Middle” features stellar production and chemistry between the three artists that can’t be denied. And the Grammys will honor Nipsey for his contributions to music.
Best Rap Album:
Revenge of the Dreamers III — Dreamville
Championships — Meek Mill
I Am > I Was — 21 Savage
IGOR — Tyler, the Creator
The Lost Boy — YBN Cordae
Our Prediction: Revenge of the Dreamers III — Dreamville
Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III was an expansive 18-track album that featured a slew of contributors, producers, rappers and singers. It’s a strong release that deserves this well-respected award. The best moments on ROTD3 are tracks like “Down Bad” featuring J.I.D., Bas, J. Cole, Young Nudy and EARTHGANG and “Self Love” by Ari Lennox, Bas and Baby Rose. Meek Mill’s comeback album Championships is another heavy hitter in this category and so is YBN Cordae’s The Lost Boy. But we think J. Cole and his crew will take home the statue.
Album of the Year
Cuz I Love You — Lizzo
I,I — Bon Iver
Norman Fucking Rockwell — Lana Del Rey
When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? — Billie Eilish
Thank U, Next — Ariana Grande
I Used To Know Her — H.E.R.
7 — Lil Nas X
Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) — Lizzo
Father of the Bride — Vampire Weekend
Our Prediction: Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) — Lizzo
This was Lizzo’s year. The fact that she’s managed to be on the tips of everyone’s tongue is no small feat. Cuz I Love You is filled with buzzy, feminist lyrics that sit well in the crux of the culture we live in. The catchy lyrics and vibrant production featured on “Like A Girl,” “Juice” and “Tempo” prove why this album should win over Ariana Grande’s thank u, next and also Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Song of the Year
“Always Remember Us This Way” Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell
“Bring My Flowers Now” — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth, and Tanya Tucker
“Hard Place” — Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris, H.E.R. and Rodney Jerkins
“Lover” — Taylor Swift
“Norman Fucking Rockwell” — Jack Antonoff and Lana Del Rey
“Someone You Loved” — Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn, and Sam Roman
“Truth Hurts” — Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson, and Jesse Saint John
Our Prediction: “Truth Hurts” — Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson, and Jesse Saint John
“I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that bitch,” was arguably one of the most used phrases of 2019. “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo is undeniably the biggest single within the Song of the Year category. Now, Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” won last year. And this might lead to the Recording Academy leaning towards a more conservative pick, like Lady Gaga’s “Always Remember Us This Way” or Taylor Swift’s “Lover.” But we’re ready for continuous acknowledgment of diverse talent. So we’re going with “Truth Hurts.”
Record of the Year
“Hey Ma” — Bon Iver
“Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish
“7 Rings” — Ariana Grande
“Hard Place” — H.E.R.
“Talk” — Khalid
“Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
“Truth Hurts” — Lizzo
“Sunflower” — Post Malone Swae Lee
Our Prediction: “Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
If you don’t think “Old Town Road” deserves Record of the Year you’re lying to yourself. The track, with country roots, was one of the most exciting songs to hit the mainstream last year. What’s great about “Old Town Road” is that it has crossover appeal and doesn’t just cater to one specific genre. Industry favorite Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” could swoop in and snatch Record of the Year from the rising star. Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” also had a big year despite the controversy that followed after it dropped. But “Old Town Road” is the safe bet here.
Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind @robyn_mowatt.