Note: This article was originally published last summer, as a preview of some of the artists who could eventually end up getting nominated for the 2022 Grammy Awards. You can scroll down to read that original article.
In the meantime, now that the nominees have officially been announced, here are some of our quick takes on who we think may walk away with the trophies at the ’22 Grammys.
2022 Grammy Awards Predictions
Record of the Year
This is a fascinating category this time around. Billie Eilish has won it two years in a row. And as much as some people want to move on from her, there is a very good chance that the Recording Academy gives her the award for a third straight year, which would be unprecedented.
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett will be sentimental favorites. As the top overall nominee in 2022, Jon Batiste has a ton of Academy support. Brandi Carlile is a major dark horse due to her support from rock voters, a huge contingent within the Academy. Silk Sonic and Grammy fave Bruno Mars have to merit consideration, and Lil Nas X will get some votes as the only true hip-hop nominee.
But ultimately, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” was the most iconic and ubiquitous song of 2021, and I have to think that she will take home this award.
Record of the Year Prediction
Should win: “Drivers License,” Olivia Rodrigo
Will win: “Drivers License,” Olivia Rodrigo
Album of the Year
Here again, we have the same three primary contenders: Billie Eilish for Happier Than Ever, Olivia Rodrigo for Sour, and Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s Love for Sale. This time, Rodrigo isn’t the favorite. We see a likely battle between Eilish and Gaga/Bennett.
It was be amazing to see 95-year-old Tony Bennett win Album of the Year 27 years after his last win in the category. And Gaga has been nominated on three prior occasions without winning. But we just have a funny feeling that some Academy members have never been sold on Gaga’s singing and songwriting skills, maybe because they were distracted by all the crazy outfits she used to wear. For those voters, Eilish may be seen as a more sensible choice.
Our prediction is that Billie Eilish wins a General Field award for the third year in a row.
Album of the Year Prediction
Should win: Sour, Olivia Rodrigo
Will win: Happier Than Ever, Billie Eilish
Best New Artist
This one’s a runaway. Olivia Rodrigo takes home the gramophone. Finneas is the only other nominee with a snowball’s chance here.
Best New Artist Prediction
Should win: Olivia Rodrigo
Will win: Olivia Rodrigo
Best Country Album
Since Kacey Musgraves was deemed ineligible for Best Country Album and moved to the Pop field instead, the country album category is more wide open. Mickey Guyton and Sturgill Simpson will have their supporters, and Miranda Lambert’s trio with Joe Randall and Jack Ingram released a solid album.
But the money is on Chris Stapleton, who’s been revered in country music circles for the past several years. He’s won this award twice already and should make it three with a 2022 Grammy win for Starting Over. That said, the dark horses – and my personal favorites – are the Brothers Osborne, one of the only country acts who can out-rock Stapleton with their heavy guitars.
Best Country Album Prediction
Should win: Skeletons, Brothers Osborne
Will win: Starting Over, Chris Stapleton
Best Comedy Album
We’ve had great success predicting the comedy category over the years, so let’s give it another shot. This year’s group of nominees is fascinating. The only prior winners nominated again are Louis CK and Lewis Black. But both cater to similar audiences, so they could split the vote.
And Louis CK obviously had a high-profile #MeToo situation a couple years back, which cost him a lot of goodwill. Still, he earned enough votes to get nominated again, so he has a chance.
Kevin Hart is a contender. He’s never won this award, and he’s still considered one of the best in the business, so he could be a strong pick. Chelsea Handler has a lot of industry supporters, and as the only female nominated in the category, she must be considered a threat to win as well.
The dark horse is likable everyman Nate Bargatze, who’s been killing it with his Netflix specials and Tonight Show appearances over the past few years. Bargatze’s The Greatest Average American was the best comedy special of last year, just ahead of Louis CK’s Sincerely. Notably, Bargatze was invited to join the panel of folks who announced the 2022 Grammy nominees, which could be a sign that he has some Academy support.
This will be a very tight race. Black, CK, Hart, Handler, and Bargatze all have a real chance. We’re going to go out on a limb and say that first-time nominee Bargatze pulls out the win, just edging out Hart and Black.
Best Comedy Album Prediction
Should win: The Greatest Average American, Nate Bargatze
Will win: The Greatest Average American, Nate Bargatze
Best Rap Album
Lil Nas X’s Montero would figure to be the favorite for Rap Album of the Year at the 2022 Grammys. Except it’s not even nominated. So despite being nominated for the big prize of Album of the Year, Lil Nas X won’t be taking home the hip hop award.
The next favorite would’ve been Drake, nominated for Certified Lover Boy, but he suddenly withdrew his nominations for reasons unexplained.
So who does that leave? Kanye West is up for Donda. He’s a divisive figure, and he continues to turn off more people everyday with his erratic public behavior. The previous two winners, Tyler the Creator and Nas, are both nominated again as well.
Given the small field and limited options, we think enough Grammy voters will decide to reward Kanye anyway. He edges out Tyler to take the award.
Best Rap Album Prediction
Should win: Call Me If You Get Lost, Tyler the Creator
Will win: Donda, Kanye West
Best Pop/Duo Group Performance
Will this be the year that BTS get a Grammy? Or will Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga win the sentimental vote? The latter scenario is much more likely. BTS’ “Butter” wasn’t as big a hit as last year’s entry, “Dynamite,” so we don’t think they’ll get enough votes from the Recording Academy to win.
Bennett & Gaga are the big favorites to win Pop Group/Duo Performance. Doja Cat and SZA will pull some votes, and Coldplay could as well. We expect “I Get a Kick Out of You” to take home the trophy.
Best Pop Group/Duo Performance Prediction
Should win: Kiss Me More, Doja Cat featuring SZA
Will win: I Get a Kick Out of You, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
Original Article: Early Predictions for 2022 Grammy Awards
Believe it or not, we’re already more than halfway through the eligibility year for the 64th annual Grammy Awards in 2022! The eligibility window runs from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021. Since more than half of the Grammy window has already passed, we can start to make some informed calls and early 2022 Grammy predictions. Let’s run down some of the contenders!
2022 Grammy Predictions: Early Contenders
Let’s start with Taylor Swift, who’s always in the conversation. She was nominated for six Grammys in 2021 for Folkore, the sparse, folk-adjacent recorded in seclusion during lockdown. That album’s follow-up, Evermore, was released in December, so it will be eligible in 2022.
How many nominations might Evermore secure? Probably not as many as Folklore, but it could still nab a couple. Lead single “Willow” would be a possible contender for Song of the Year or Pop Solo Performance. Her Haim collaboration “No Body, No Crime” stands a good shot in the Pop Duo/Group Performance category since Haim are Grammy favorites.
Perhaps the top newcomer of the year so far is 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo, the Disney actress who broke out in a massive way with her debut single “Drivers License,” which earned 8 weeks at #1 and ranks as one of the most impressive debut songs ever by a pop singer. The song is surprisingly mature and thoughtful, and will be in the conversation for Record and Song of the Year at the 2022 Grammys.
Rodrigo could be among the favorites to win multiple awards, especially now that she’s released a full album of material. The Recording Academy might not have considered her if she’d only released the one single, but now that listeners have heard follow-up tracks “Deja Vu” and “Good 4 U,” expect Rodrigo to be a major contender at the 2022 Grammy Awards. She’s the overwhelming favorite for Best New Artist now.
In 2015, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) became one of the few women to win the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy, and she earned a second nod in that category in 2019. With the May release of Daddy’s Home, she is back in the running for that category again, and potentially some bigger awards such as Album of the Year.
Although Cardi and Megan Thee Stallion’s mega-smash “WAP” was eligible for the Grammys last year, Cardi chose not to submit it for consideration. She wanted to hold it back until her full album dropped. Now that her second studio album is officially on the way, expect Cardi to earn some Grammy love in 2022 – either for “WAP,” or the new album’s lead single “Up,” or something else from the record.
Bruno Mars famously took home six awards in 2018, including Album of the Year for 24K Magic. Critics may not have been happy with that win, but Bruno is going to remain a Grammy contender whether rock critics like it or not. His new project with Anderson .Paak, called Silk Sonic, would appear to have loads of Grammy potential, and since they performed on the ’21 Grammys, voters already know the song “Leave the Door Open.”
Last year, we were one of the few outlets that correctly predicted Eilish to win Record of the Year twice in a row, when most observers inexplicably thought Dua Lipa would take the award. Are we ready to predict that Eilish will win it a third straight year? Not yet. But she’ll have a really good chance. The May release of “Your Power” puts Eilish right back in the Grammy conversation, and her album Happier Than Ever makes her an Album of the Year frontrunner as well.
Other Possible Contenders
Phoebe Bridgers famously broke through to earn her first taste of Grammy acclaim in 2021. Could her boygenius bandmate Julien Baker do the same in 2022? Baker’s February release Little Oblivions has earned rave reviews.
Lana Del Rey could be back in the running, although if she couldn’t win anything for Norman F***ing Rockwell, which seemed to be the commercial and artistic peak of her career, she’s unlikely to capture any awards in 2022 for Chemtrails Over the Country Club.
Other possible 2022 Grammy nominees include Jazmine Sullivan, Barry Gibb, Lil Nas X, Drake, and Justin Bieber. And since the Grammys removed the quality control committees, you can expect past-their-prime veterans like Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, and Eric Church to be in the running again.
Artists Who Will Be Grammy Contenders if They Release New Music
Every year, Adele is the first name we mention in this section. The powerhouse vocal diva hasn’t yet confirmed that she’ll be releasing a new album in ’21, but if she does, she instantly becomes the favorite to win all the big categories.
Adele won Best New Artist in 2009 and went on to ridiculous numbers of Grammys for her last two albums, 21 and 25. She has won 15 Grammys out of 18 nominations, an obscene winning percentage of 83.3% that is one of the highest in history.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar is another Grammy favorite. Although his last two records sadly didn’t win Album of the Year, he’s still managed to take home 13 Grammys over the past seven years. A Kendrick album would be guaranteed to earn multiple nominations.
Beyonce must always be in the discussion. Bey didn’t even release a new album in 2020 and still earned a whopping 9 nominations from just one single, “Black Parade,” and a feature on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage.” Just imagine how many nods she could earn with a full album! Beyonce, by the way, is just 1 nomination shy of the all-time career record for most nominations.
Post Malone would be back in the picture if he drops a new album. He has been nominated for Record of the Year for three consecutive years, tying the longest streak in Grammy history.
And of course, there are the artists who haven’t released new albums in a while, but would most likely be welcomed back with open arms by the Recording Academy. That list includes names like Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Lizzo, SZA, and Lorde.
What are your 2022 Grammy predictions?