Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by Scott Shetler
2023 Record of the Year Grammy Nominees:
• Don’t Shut Me Down, Abba
• Easy on Me, Adele
• Break My Soul, Beyonce
• Good Morning Gorgeous, Mary J. Blige
• You and Me on the Rock, Brandi Carlile & Lucius
• Woman, Doja Cat
• Bad Habit, Steve Lacy
• The Heart Part 5, Kendrick Lamar
• About Damn Time, Lizzo
• As It Was, Harry Styles
While Album of the Year at the 2023 Grammys is mostly framed as Adele against Beyonce (although we predict there will be a surprise upset winner), Record of the Year is more wide open. Several artists are in the running, including Harry Styles, Brandi Carlile, and Steve Lacy.
We have to start with Adele, since’s she already won this award twice. Her album 30 wasn’t nearly as much of a commercial juggernaut as her previous two albums. But the lead single “Easy on Me” was a big hit. So it’s possible Academy voters will reward the song, even if the album was generally seen as underperforming.
Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” was another huge hit from a huge album. She has a good chance to win Album of the Year, but Record of the Year could be more difficult to win. This is her record 8th nomination in this category, and she has yet to win. She’s also up against several other R&B-pop acts, including Mary J. Blige, Lizzo, Doja Cat, and Steve Lacy, so votes will be split in a lot of different directions.
Harry Styles figures to be in the running with “As it Was,” the biggest pop hit of the year. Styles won his first Grammy two years back, and he could take away some votes that would’ve previously gone to Adele.
If Brandi Carlile were nominated for a more rocking song, say, “Broken Horses,” she might have a better chance of winning. With no true rock act in the field, she should be in line to win over the rock vote. But “You and Me on the Rock” is more of a lightweight, breezy, mostly-acoustic tune. It’s a wonderful song, but not one that I see the Academy’s hard rock and heavy metal musicians voting for.
None of the other acts figure to be in contention. Kendrick Lamar isn’t going to win for a song that go no mainstream radio play. Abba’s nomination is a joke.
Record of the Year Prediction
This is the first Record of the Year category I can remember that doesn’t feature a true rock artist or country artist. Carlile is rock-adjacent and country-adjacent, but she’s more of a folkie.
So the winner here will ultimately be determined by the massive rock and country contingents within the Recording Academy. Who do the Dave Grohls and Miranda Lamberts of the world decide to throw their support to? It’s a fascinating question, without an obvious answer.
Carlile will get support from both camps for sure. But “You and Me on the Rock” wasn’t nominated for Song of the Year, so it just doesn’t feel like it will get enough votes here to keep up.
I really believe most rock voters will go for either Beyonce, because they want to reward her since she’s been overlooked in major Grammy categories for so long, or Lacy, who is the best example of a “real musician” in the field, outside of Carlile. Lacy could be a dark horse here if he emerges as the consensus pick for rock voters.
As for country voters, some may choose Beyonce, but most are likely to go for the safest pop choices – Adele and Styles. And that could ultimately be enough to put either over the top.
The breadth of Beyonce’s support from across the musical spectrum means that she could triumph here. But my gut tells me “Break My Soul” isn’t winning Record of the Year. It would be very weird if Beyonce wins Record of the Year but doesn’t win Album of the Year.
In the end, betting against Adele at the Grammys is never a smart move. Our Record of the Year prediction is Adele winning in a squeaker over Carlile, Styles, and Beyonce.
2023 Grammy Awards: Record of the Year Prediction
Deserves to win: Break My Soul, Beyonce
Will win: Easy on Me, Adele
Should have been nominated: Unholy, Sam Smith & Kim Petras
See also our complete list of 2023 Grammy predictions.
What’s your Record of the Year prediction?