Think you can out-guess our predictions for Sunday night’s Grammy Award winners?
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When the Grammy Awards expanded the number of nominees in the top four categories from five to eight, that made it harder to predict who’ll win at the 2019 Grammys, airing live at 7 p.m. Sunday on WBBM-CBS2. But let’s give it a shot:
Album of the year
“Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B; “By the Way, I Forgive You,” Brandi Carlile; “Scorpion,” Drake; “H.E.R.,” H.E.R.; “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” Post Malone; “Dirty Computer,” Janelle Monae; “Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves; “Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By,” Kendrick Lamar.
Mesfin Fedkadu: Kacey Musgraves’ beautiful and striking album will win. It’s between Brandi Carlile and Musgraves, who had more buzz and reached audiences outside the country world with her pop-leaning album.
Nekesa Mumbi Moody: Kacey Musgraves is the favorite. She blends country, roots and is a singer-songwriter with a strong feminist perspective. And you know who else that fits? Carlile. My gut tells me this will finally be the year she’s rewarded.
Record of the year
“I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin; “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile; “This Is America,” Childish Gambino; “God’s Plan,” Drake; “Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper; “All the Stars,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA; “Rockstar,” Post Malone and 21 Savage; “The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey.
Moody: The song that probably best summed up the political and social mood was Childish Gambino’s “This is America.” The video was a jaw-dropping, social media moment. Look for Grammy voters to make a statement.
Fekadu: I’m going with “The Middle,” which topped Billboard’s dance/electronic songs chart for a record 33 weeks.
Song of the year
“Boo’d Up,” Ella Mai, DJ Mustard, Larrance Dopson and Joelle James; “In My Blood,” Shawn Mendes, Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris and Geoffrey Warburton; “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth; “This Is America,” Childish Gambino and Ludwig Goransson; “God’s Plan,” Drake, Noah “40” Shebib, Boi-1Da, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan and Ron LaTour; “Shallow,” Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt; “All the Stars,” Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears and Anthony Tiffith; “The Middle,” Zedd, Grey, Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson and Marcus Lomax.
Fekadu: What definitely won’t win: “Boo’d Up,” ”In My Blood” and “All the Stars.” And since this award honors songwriting, we can probably eliminate “The Middle,” ”This Is America” and “God’s Plan.” That leaves Carlile’s “The Joke” and Gaga’s “Shallow,” which will win.
Moody: Since this is a songwriter’s award, they’ll give it to three songwriters who work magic together on the regular — Carlile, Cobb and the Hanseroth brothers for “The Joke.”
Best new artist
Chloe x Halle; Luke Combs; Greta Van Fleet; H.E.R.; Dua Lipa; Margo Price; Bebe Rexha; Jorja Smith.
Moody: H.E.R. didn’t have the success of Bebe Rexha, Dua Lipa or Luke Combs, but she’s also nominated for album of the year, which makes me think the voters must be in awe of her. She appeals to industry voters.
Fekadu: It’s great to see six women nominated, but Luke Combs dominated the country charts and streaming platforms. He wins.
Best pop vocal album
“Camila,” Camila Cabello; “Meaning of Life,” Kelly Clarkson; “Sweetener,” Ariana Grande; “Shawn Mendes,” Shawn Mendes; “Beautiful Trauma,” Pink; “Reputation,” Taylor Swift.
Fekadu: Taylor was snubbed in album of the year despite selling more than 1 million copies in a week and launching multiple hits. This category is the only one she’s nominated for. The Recording Academy will make up for things when she takes the prize.
Moody: She’ll win.
Best R&B song
“Boo’d Up,” Ella Mai, DJ Mustard, Larrance Dopson and Joelle James; “Come Through and Chill,” Miguel, J. Cole and Salaam Remi; “Feels Like Summer,” Childish Gambino and Ludwig Goransson; “Focus,” H.E.R., Darhyl Camper Jr. and Justin Love; “Long As I Live,” Toni Braxton, Antonio Dixon and Paul Boutin.
Fekadu: Childish Gambino could win this songwriter’s award. But who really remembers “Feels Like Summer?” The competition is between Ella Mai and H.E.R. Since “Boo’d Up” was the song of the summer and reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 —H.E.R.’s “Focus” peaked at No. 100 — I think the British singer wins.
Moody: I remember “Feels Like Summer.” It was a success, and, more importantly, it came from Childish! Grammy voters love this dude. The Grammy goes to Mr. Gambino.
Best rap album
“Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B; “Swimming,” Mac Miller; “Victory Lap,” Nipsey Hussle; “Daytona,” Pusha T; “Astroworld,” Travis Scott.
Moody: A solo female act has never won this. That will change when Cardi B takes the trophy.
Fekadu:. Congrats to Cardi B, who will win.