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?