Who Will Win And Who Should Win At The 2020 Grammy Awards

With the 2020 Grammy nominations emerging just hours ago, certainly the dialogue will mutate over the course of the next several months, until the awards take place on January 26. But for now, two names are (deservingly) dominating the discourse: Lizzo and Billie Eilish. Both cleaned up in nominations, with both up for all four of the biggest awards, and nominated for 8 and 6 trophies respectively. Eilish is also the youngest person ever nominated in the four biggest categories. Whether or not both women can remain frontrunners ahead of the awards show remains to be seen, but for now, we expect them to have big Grammy nights.

Does that mean the many other artists nominated this year are out of luck? By no means. Along with the predictions below, artists like Post Malone, Swae Lee, Vampire Weekend, Cage The Elephant, and Tool should manage Grammy wins in smaller categories, while it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lizzo also grab trophies in the R&B and Urban Contemporary fields. And while there are never enough Grammys to make everyone a winner (or even enough nominations, sorry BTS and Bruce Springsteen), the 2020 Grammys feels like an opportunity to spread the wealth around to a number of worth participants. Check out our predictions below for how the biggest categories could shake out.

Philip Cosores

Best Rap Album

Dreamville – Revenge of the Dreamers III
Meek Mill – Championships
Tyler the Creator – IGOR
21 Savage – I Am > I Was
YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy

Who Will Win? Tyler The Creator

Who Should Win? YBN Cordae

There seems to be a distinct possibility that J. Cole and his Dreamville crew take home a Grammy for their massive collaboration, but something tells me that despite Tyler’s snubs in the major categories, he still has people’s vote as the best rap album of the year. And it would feel deserved, considering the strength of his recent releases, even if Cordae’s debut is our pick for the best album of the bunch. But this will likely be about more than just a recent album, as Cole and Tyler have 15 career nominations between them, without either ever winning a trophy.

Best Rap Song

YBN Cordae – “Bad Idea” Feat. Chance the Rapper
Rick Ross – “Gold Roses” Feat. Drake
21 Savage – “A Lot” Feat. J. Cole
Nipsey Hussle – “Racks in the Middle” Feat. Roddy Ricch & Hit-Boy
DaBaby – “Suge”

Who Will Win? Nipsey Hussle

Who Should Win? 21 Savage

For as absent as hip-hop is in the major categories, the genre choices are generally strong, if not for the general lack of a female presence. Still, wins for all here (minus Rick Ross) feel like they are deserved to some extent, with the narrative of honoring the late Nipsey Hussle probably more persuasive than the narrative of honoring 21 Savage following his ICE fiasco. DaBaby, though, should not be counted out here.

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Best Alternative Music Album

Big Thief – U.F.O.F.
James Blake – Assume Form
Bon Iver – i,i
Vampire Weekend – Father Of The Bride
Thom Yorke – Anima

Who Will Win? Bon Iver

Who Should Win? Big Thief

There might not be a more delightful surprise this Grammy nomination morning that to see Big Thief up for their first Grammy. Long championed by music blogs such as this one, it’s a rare moment where it feels like years of yelling about one of the best bands of our time is finally paying off. And though it would be amazing for them to win a Grammy for one of their two excellent 2019 albums, Bon Iver is hardly a drop off in quality, and feels equally deserving. Vampire Weekend could also be in play as a past winner, while Thom Yorke (also a past winner here with Radiohead) and James Blake are happy to be nominated for their strong works.

Best Solo Pop Performance

Beyoncé – “Spirit”
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”
Ariana Grande – “7 Rings”
Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”
Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down”

Who Will Win? Lizzo

Who Should Win? Lizzo

Here’s another dart throw. It feels impossible to know if voters will be leaning more towards Billie Eilish or Lizzo in the many categories that they are competing in, and it will likely come down to how the voters feel about the other categories here. But a few facts: Pharrell Williams is the only person of color to win this category, which would make a Lizzo (or Beyonce) victory particularly historic. Eilish feels more likely in other categories, but could easily take this one home, too.

Philip Cosores

Best Pop Vocal Album

Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next
Ed Sheeran – No. 6 Collaborations Project
Taylor Swift – Lover

Who Will Win? Billie Eilish

Who Should Win? Ariana Grande

There is a chance here that with Eilish’s recognition in bigger categories, voters use the chance here to share the wealth. But considering just how prominent support of Eilish is this year, it’s hard to bet against her in this category. Still, if anyone pulls off the upset, Ariana Grande feels like she has the best chance, with her own clear contingent of support in major categories, leaving this win within the realm of possibility. Grande won this category last year, though, so a member of the old guard sneaking in is also a possibility, making this one of the most interesting categories of the night.

Best New Artist

Black Pumas
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Maggie Rogers
Tank and the Bangas

Who Will Win? Lizzo

Who Should Win? Lizzo

This feels like a coin flip between Eilish and Lizzo, and this feels like a year where the wealth will be spread, so look for whoever of the two loses out here to maybe take home an award in the songs categories. But outside of those clear favorites, it should be noted that rising pop star Maggie Rogers and Spanish singer Rosalia are both plenty deserving if an upset is in order. Others, like Tank And The Bangas and Yola, are happy just to be nominated.

Philip Cosores

Song Of The Year

Lady Gaga – “Always Remember Us This Way”
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”
Brandi Ca – “Bring My Flowers Now”
H.E.R. – “Hard Place”
Taylor Swift – “Lover”
Lana Del Rey – “Norman F*cking Rockwell”
Lewis Capaldi – “Someone You Loved”
Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”

Who Will Win? Billie Eilish

Who Should Win? Billie Eilish

This is a songwriter’s award, and it feels like many on here don’t stand a huge chance (particularly Lana Del Rey, nominated for a song that virtually no one considers the album’s standout). Lizzo is obviously in play here (despite her song’s writing debated by some), and while Swift is always a threat (and the only nominee to write the song by themself) and Lewis Capaldi is def having a moment right now, this seems like the best chance to honor Eilish in the big categories for “Bad Guy.” And allowing her to share the award with her brother, Finneas, would just be icing on the cake

Record Of The Year

Bon Iver – “Hey, Ma”
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”
Ariana Grande – “7 rings”
H.E.R. – “Hard Place”
Khalid – “Talk”
Lil Nas X – “Old Town Road”
Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”
Post Malone feat. Swae Lee – “Sunflower”

Who Will Win? Lil Nas X

Who Should Win? Lizzo

This is where I remind you that Record Of The Year is for the recorded final product, and that it is not a songwriting award. So, it feels particularly fitting for Lizzo to take this home, considering the controversy surrounding the actual songwriting of “Truth Hurts.” It would be a plenty deserving win, though “Bad Guy” could easily replace it in our mind as the most accomplished recording of the year. But honestly, don’t be surprised if Lil Nas X comes through and wins this one. It’s literally the biggest hit of all time, so winning a major award just makes too much sense

Philip Cosores

Album Of The Year

Bon Iver – i,i
Lana Del Rey – Norman F*cking Rockwell
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next
H.E.R – I Used to Know Her
Lil Nas X – 7
Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
Vampire Weekend – Father Of The Bride

Who Will Win? Lana Del Rey

Who Should Win? Lana Del Rey

More than half of the nominees this year can easily claim to be deserving, with really only Lil Nas X showing up for an album that didn’t really turn heads (and didn’t even seem like a real album). That said, Lizzo and Billie Eilish feel like frontrunners if we’re considering just the amount of nominations they received. But for Album Of The Year, that doesn’t always matter, and there is a fighting chance for the year’s actual best album, Lana Del Rey’s Norman F*cking Rockwell, to wind up with the award. Kacey Musgraves’ win last year was an equally deserving moment, and one that could start a trend leading to 2020.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.