Grammy Predictions 2023
Grammy Predictions 2023
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Grammy Predictions 2023: Our Guesses at Who’ll Win the Big Four (And Other Categories)

Will Beyoncé win over Adele? Will Steve Lacy have his breakout moment? Will Kendrick have a rap takeover? Here's our 2023 Grammy predictions.

One thing should be understood about the Grammys: the artist you feel should win may not (and probably will not) win. The Recording Academy has always come across as disconnected from the music landscape, but more so in recent years, resulting in snubs and upsets that has left viewers disappointed time and time again. Although the 2023 Grammy Awards likely won’t be too different from its predecessors in that regard, it’s the first time in a while that the Recording Academy seems to agree with the general public on some of the significant highs in music last year.

From Steve Lacy — whose hit song “Bad Habit” took over TikTok and surely played a part in him being nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance — to Glorilla — the rising rap star who got some unexpected (but very welcomed) shine, receiving a nomination for Best Rap Performance for her song “FNF (Let’s Go)” — this year’s Grammys is shaping up to be one of its most interesting in recent years (with another showdown between Beyoncé and Adele for Album of the Year to top it all off).

An evening full of immense competition in the main and sub categories alike, a part of the fun of the Grammys is trying to guess who’ll take home the gold. Ahead of the awards ceremony’s airing on Sunday, February 12, we’ve compiled our own guesses for who we think will be leaving with a trophy in categories that include everything from Best New Artist to Record of the Year.

Grammy Predictions 2023

Grammy Predictions 2023 Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET

Best New Artist — Muni Long

Muni Long had an amazing run in 2022. She went from pushing the pen for others to standing in the spotlight with her own music, releasing her debut album Public Displays of Affection: The Album, in September. Trickle in some social media domination courtesy of her inescapable and viral hit song “Hrs & Hrs,” and the Grammy should be hers.

Best R&B Performance — Beyonce, “Virgo’s Groove”

Although the category is pretty stacked with quality records from Jazmine Sullivan and Lucky Daye, there’s still a clear winner — “Virgo’s Groove.” It’s easy to get lost in the song’s dance floor-friendly groove, but the star of it all is Beyoncé’s skill and technique as a singer. Her performance is a masterclass; six minutes and 15 seconds of brilliance that deserves this Grammy over everybody else.

Best Progressive R&B Album — Steve Lacy, Gemini Rights

Despite still not knowing what “Progressive R&B” means — the award, which was originally Best Urban Contemporary Album, has been won by Lizzo (Cuz I Love You), Thundercat (It Is What It Is), and Lucky Daye (Table for Two) since being renamed in 2020 — Steve Lacy should be accepting the award this year. Gemini Rights not only showcased his talent as a musician but a songwriter, too, melding R&B, jazz, funk, soul, and rock into an album that was catchy, enjoyable, and inventive. Sprinkle in the TikTok acclaim that came from “Bad Habit,” and it’s hard to argue against why Lacy shouldn’t earn this prize.

Best Traditional R&B Performance — Beyonce, “Plastic Off the Sofa”

She may be up against some fellow R&B powerhouses in this category (Mary J. Blige, Adam Blackstone, and Jazmine Sullivan), but it’s likely that Queen B will add another Grammy to her collection thanks to “Plastic Off the Sofa.” With Bey already being a two-time recipient of the award for “At Last” and “Love On Top,” “Plastic Off the Sofa” feels worthy of filling out the trio.

Grammy Predictions 2023 Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal

Best R&B Song — Beyonce, “Cuff It”

Factoring in that Best R&B Song tends to be a legacy award (and that this category is a songwriter’s award), “Cuff It” will likely take home the award. After all, Beyonce has previously taken home the honor, but the top 10 hit also boasts Raphael Saadiq, Nile Rogers, and other notable songwriters on its credits, too.

Best R&B Album — Mary J. Blige, Good Morning Gorgeous

This is the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul’s award to win, and although Good Morning Gorgeous is also up for Album of the Year (and its title track in the running for Record of the Year), Best R&B Album would be the easiest for Mary to get. Being 16 years since she took home the win for 2005’s The Breakthrough, now feels perfect to award Mary for not only a good album, but her consistency as well.

Best Rap Performance — Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Part 5”

While many may quickly say this award goes to Kendrick Lamar, votes could sway in the favor of other nominees like DJ Khaled’s “God Did” and Glorilla’s breakout “FNF (Let’s Go).” However, as Kendrick’s Mr. Morale finds itself being the sole hip-hop album in the Album of the Year category, it feels more likely that “The Heart Part 5” will be able to beat its competition and earn the win.

Best Melodic Rap Performance — Future ft. Drake & Tems, “Wait For U”

Best Melodic Rap Performance feels like it could be anyone’s race. Grammy voters have proven themselves to be fans of Kendrick Lamar and his work, so it’s unsurprising that “Die Hard” is a nominee. But there’s also Jack Harlow’s “First Class” and Latto’s “Big Energy,” both hits that are defined by their melodic samples. However, considering Future reigns as one of the main figures of melodic rap (it also helps having the superstar status of Drake and beloved rising star Tems on a track), it’s not far-fetched to say “Wait For U” can pull off the win.

Grammy Predictions 2023 Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images for Spotify

Best Rap Song — Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Part 5”

Sure, DJ Khaled’s “God Did” stands a chance solely off the strength of JAY-Z’s otherworldly verse. that commanded any and every Hip-Hop fan’s attention last year. But Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5” commanded every hip-hop fan’s attention last year, the song made that much more compelling thanks to its interesting (and slightly unnerving) music video. While JAY’s verse is good, unfortunately it’s just a feature. So, it makes sense that the Grammys will probably acknowledge Kendrick instead, and crown him winner.

Best Rap Album — Kendrick Lamar, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers

This award is going to Kendrick Lamar. It has to. A two-time winner (should be three — looking at you, Macklemore) in the category for To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN., Kendrick’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is the best album among the five that were nominated in the category. It’d be a surprise (and travesty, really) if any other album won.

Album of the Year — Beyonce, RENAISSANCE

If Beyonce doesn’t win this category, it’d be understandable for her to ask, “What else do you want from me?” RENAISSANCE covers all the bases for what many would and should consider a successful album that also defined 2022. Platinum-selling (and counting) with multiple top ten hits and acclaim from critics, RENAISSANCE was inescapable after it released, proving that Bey is still pop’s greatest force. Although she does face stiff competition from Harry Styles, Adele, and Bad Bunny, this feels like the year that she finally gets to add her long overdue Album of the Year award to her collection.

Song of the Year — Adele, “Easy On Me”

Not to be confused with Record of the Year, the Song of the Year Grammy is another songwriter’s award. Coming for her three-peat, Adele could run away with the award after previously winning it for “Rolling in the Deep” and “Hello” in 2012 and 2017, respectively. But there’s fellow Grammy darling Taylor Swift to keep an eye out for, with her 10-minute track “All Too Well” standing a high chance (although she’s never taken home the Grammy in this category before). There’s also Harry Styles and Steve Lacy’s respective hits “As It Was” and “Bad Habit.” Still, it’s more than likely that Adele’s “Easy On Me” will bring in the win for this big four category.

Grammy Predictions 2023 Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Adele

Record of the Year — Adele, “Easy On Me”

It’s foolish to think the Grammys are going to let Adele go home empty-handed in one of the main categories of the night, and Record of the Year isn’t going to be one of them. Mimicking her Song of the Year wins in 2012 and 2017, she has also taken home Record of the Year in both of those years, and “Easy On Me” will probably continue that streak for her. Go ahead and get your award, ma’am.