The announcement of the 2021 Grammy Awards nominees is coming soon, and one of the most fascinating questions is this: How many nominations will Taylor Swift score?
Swift has been a Grammy favorite over the years, with 10 career wins, including two for Album of the Year. But her last two albums Reputation and Lover have been largely overlooked, earning just four nominations and no wins.
In the summer of 2020, Swift dropped Folklore, a left-turn folk-pop release in which she collaborated with Aaron Dessner of the National and Bon Iver. It was by far the most commercially successful album of the year, scoring a #1 single with “Cardigan” and spending several weeks atop the album chart.
Will Folklore return Swift to Grammy glory? We believe it’s likely she’ll earn several nominations. The big question is whether she earns an Album of the Year nod. The Recording Academy may have deliberately avoided nominating her last two albums because they know that she’s likely to win, and they don’t want her winning every year.
Is the Academy willing to nominate her again, taking a chance that she’ll become the first woman ever with three wins? If she wins, she would join Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder as the only 3-time Album of the Year winners in history. We think the Academy will in fact nominate her again. She’s not a shoo-in to win, so they may no longer have as much reluctance to feature her again in that category.
As for the other categories, as we noted in our 2021 Grammy predictions, the single “Cardigan” is a possible contender in Song and Record of the Year. It’s a likely nominee in at least one of those categories, though it probably won’t win.
Pop Vocal Album is the category Swift would be most likely to win, if she’s nominated. Though some have referred to Folklore as an indie rock or alternative album, it’s still more pop than anything else (although the Bon Iver collaboration “Exile” is one of the best AAA songs of the year.)
We expect to see Swift get nominated for: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Pop Vocal Album, Pop Solo Performance. Whether she wins is an entirely different story, but she should reclaim her status as a Grammy Awards favorite in 2021.