After being pushed back two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Grammy Ceremony date is set for March 14th. See the full list of nominees on the Grammys website here, and fill out predictions of your own and compete against Recess in these 13 categories by filling out this form.
Album Of The Year
Taylor Swift has won album of the year twice before – in 2010 for “Fearless” and 2016 for “1989” – and “Folklore” is all but certain to make her the first woman to win the Grammy’s biggest award for the third time. Her combination of critical and commercial success makes her likely to join the likes of other three-time winners Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon. It would be a deserving win, too: “Folklore” beautifully captured the spirit of 2020 with its hushed tone and narrative songwriting. If an upset is going to happen, look to the radio queen Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” or the well-connected Jacob Collier’s “Djesse Vol. 3.”
Who should win “Folklore” by Taylor Swift
Who will win: “Folklore” by Taylor Swift
Record Of The Year
This award goes to the song with the best production and vocal performance of the year, and with past winners like “Uptown Funk,” “This Is America” and “Hello,” it is a very hit-driven category. Grammy-darling Billie Eilish, fresh off her sweep at the 2020 ceremony, is nominated again with “Everything I Wanted” and has the potential to repeat her success this year. Beyoncé is nominated not once but twice for “Black Parade” and “Savage,” the latter as a feature on a Megan Thee Stallion song. However, Dua Lipa is likely the favorite here with her retro-smash “Don’t Start Now.”
Who should win: “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé
Who will win: “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa
Song Of The Year
Songwriting, namely lyrics and melodies, is the focus of this award. Unfortunately, Grammy voters are rather lazy, so it almost always goes to the same song as Record Of The Year, regardless of how deserving the actual songwriting is (see: “Bad Guy, “Stay With Me,” “Hello”). As a result, it would make a lot of sense for the the Grammy to go to likely-Record-Of-The-Year winner “Don’t Start Now,” but this year, a split between the two categories may actually be more likely, as a result of “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift being nominated in this category. The song could ride the “Folklore” wave to a victory here, especially considering how high-quality its songwriting is and how “Folklore” has a songwriting-first narrative behind it. It helps that many see Swift as long overdue for a Song Of The Year victory. Potential spoilers include “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R. or “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish.
Who should win: “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift
Who will win: “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift
Best New Artist
While 2019 was largely dominated by new artists, in 2020 veterans tightened their grip on the music industry. As a result, it’s somewhat a down year for the Best New Artist category. Nevertheless, there are inspiring faces here: Megan Thee Stallion, the rising star of female rap, and Phoebe Bridgers, the rising star of indie, are the most noteworthy. Either would be just as deserving, but Megan has the support of the bigger genre, so expect her to walk away with the award. Doja Cat has potential to steal because of her support from the pop genre, but she probably doesn’t have the name power to win the award.
Who should win: Megan Thee Stallion or Phoebe Bridgers
Who will win: Megan Thee Stallion
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Songs that aren’t sent to pop radio usually aren’t frontrunners to win pop genre Grammy awards, which is what makes Taylor Swift and Bon Iver’s “Exile” all the more interesting as a contenter in this category. Adding to the weirdness is that one contenter is the first K-pop song to ever be nominated (“Dynamite”), one is in Spanish (“Un Dia”) and one is by the critically-reviled Justin Bieber (“Intentions”). In a normal year, that would mean that “Rain On Me,” an acclaimed moderate hit by two huge pop artists, would be the favorite. However, “Exile” is the kind of song Grammy voters eat up, and it should be able to ride a “Folklore” wave to a win here.
Who should win: “Exile” by Taylor Swift ft. Bon Iver