Other than the performances, it’s all about the Big Four categories — Album, Record and Song of the Year, plus Best New Artist — at the 2020 Grammy Awards on Sunday.
Lizzo and Billie Eilish are the only artists who are nominated for all four awards, and there’s a good chance that, between the two, they could sweep the Grammys.
Here’s who we think should win — and who will win — on music’s big night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Album of the Year
- “i, i” Bon Iver
- “Norman F - - king Rockwell,” Lana Del Rey
- “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Billie Eilish
- “Thank U, Next,” Ariana Grande
- “I Used to Know Her,” H.E.R.
- “7,” Lil Nas X
- “Cuz I Love You (Deluxe),” Lizzo
- “Father of the Bride,” Vampire Weekend
I’m still wondering how in the world Lil Nas X got nominated for a 19-minute album that was barely even an EP. So you can rule the “Old Town Road” rapper out here. Ditto for H.E.R., the enigmatic R&B artist who surprisingly scored her second consecutive Album of the Year nomination, and Grande, whose “Thank U, Next” peaked too early. Both Bon Iver and Lana Del Rey delivered strong sets worthy of their nominations, but neither feels like Album of the Year. Vampire Weekend, though, has a real shot for its ambitious double album, if the band corners the rock vote and favorites Eilish and Lizzo split the pop vote.
Should win: “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Only 17 when her debut album was released, Eilish created a haunting otherworld with the cohesive artistic vision of someone far beyond her years. Sounding unlike anything else, it was easily the best LP of 2019.
Will win: “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” If the Lizzo train doesn’t keep chugging all the way to a sweep.
Record of The Year
- “Hey, Ma,” Bon Iver
- “Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish
- “7 Rings,” Ariana Grande
- “Hard Place,” H.E.R.
- “Talk,” Khalid
- “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
- “Truth Hurts,” Lizzo
- “Sunflower,” Post Malone & Swae Lee
“Hey, Ma” and “Hard Place” are records that most people probably haven’t heard, and while “7 Rings,” “Talk” and “Sunflower” were hits, they are hardly award-worthy achievements. “Old Town Road” owned 2019, bridging the gap between country and rap, and if Nashville, Tenn., gets behind it, that record-setting smash could take the prize. But this will probably come down to a diva showdown between Eilish and Lizzo.
Should win: “Bad Guy.” Eilish puts a spell on you with that goth-pop groove.
Will win: “Truth Hurts.” Lizzo has all the momentum right now and the song, which was two years old when the world finally caught on to it, will be rewarded for the power of persistence.
Song of the Year
- “Always Remember Us This Way,” Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey & Lori McKenna, songwriters (Lady Gaga)
- “Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
- “Bring My Flowers Now,” Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
- “Hard Place,” Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris, H.E.R. & Rodney Jerkins, songwriters (H.E.R.)
- “Lover,” Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
- “Norman F - - king Rockwell,” Jack Antonoff & Lana Del Rey, songwriters (Lana Del Rey)
- “Someone You Loved,” Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn & Sam Roman, songwriters (Lewis Capaldi)
- “Truth Hurts,” Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson & Jesse Saint John, songwriters (Lizzo)
Let’s start with the songs that don’t have a prayer: “Always Remember Us This Way,” “Hard Place” and “Norman F - - king Rockwell.” “Someone You Loved” is the kind of classic piano ballad that Grammy loves, but “Bring My Flowers Now” and “Lover” are better bets because they will lasso the country vote. Plus, Swift is the only one who wrote her song all by her lonesome, and although her “Lover” album failed to get any other major nods, you can never count T-Swizzle out. There has been some controversy over the “Truth Hurts” writing credits, so that will hurt its chances here.
Should win: “Bring My Flowers Now.” Comeback country queen Tucker, who has never won a Grammy, deserves her flowers now for this poignant ballad.
Will win: “Bad Guy.” Eilish and her brother Finneas, who co-wrote the song, will have matching gramophones to bring home to Mom and Dad.
Best New Artist
- Black Pumas
- Billie Eilish
- Lil Nas X
- Maggie Rogers
- Tank and the Bangas
It’s a win for Black Pumas, Yola and Tank and the Bangas that they’re even in the mix with the rest of this group, so they’ll be happy just to be there on Sunday. In any other year, Lil Nas X, singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers and Spanish sensation Rosalía might have decent odds at joining the Best New Artist club. But there’s no way that anyone other than Eilish or Lizzo is getting this.
Should win: Eilish. This feels like the beginning of a long, exciting career in which she has already started to change the very idea of what a young female pop star can be.
Will win: Lizzo. It’s a close call with Eilish, but although Lizzo isn’t exactly “new,” having been in the game for years already, this feels like her moment.