Who Will Win And Who Should Win At The 2022 Grammys

The 2022 Grammys are finally right around the corner after being postponed due to Omicron concerns and moved from LA to Las Vegas. As the self-proclaimed “biggest night in music,” the 2022 Grammys are expected to be a joyous gathering after last year’s ceremony was eclipsed by controversy and COVID. While this year still has a bit of controversy (Kanye West was reportedly banned from performing), The Recording Academy has increased the number of nominations to strive for more diversity. Now, all four major categories (Album Of The Year, Best New Artist, Song Of The Year, and Record Of The Year) changed from eight nominations to ten, allowing a few more artists to get recognized for their musical achievements. The expanded categories mean there is even more great music to choose from, so Uproxx has you covered with our predictions for who will win and who should win at the 2022 Grammys.

2021 saw some big breakouts and some hard-hitting releases as the US rolled out vaccines and people began to re-entering society. The artist leading the nominations is Jon Batiste, who holds an impressive 11 nominations across all categories. Following Baptiste, Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, and HER are all tied for second-most nominated, with each artist holding eight nominations.

This year is also expected to big a big one for Olivia Rodrigo, who very well could pull a Billie Eilish and sweep all four major categories, seeing as her debut album, Sour, was a smash hit. Speaking of Eilish, the singer’s Happier Than Ever earned her a number of nods, as well. She’s actually tied with Rodrigo for third-most nominations as they both received seven.

Check out our predictions below for how the biggest and most coveted categories could play out.

Best Rap Album

J. Cole — The Off-Season

Drake — Certified Lover Boy

Nas — King’s Disease II

Tyler, the Creator — Call Me If You Get Lost

Kanye West — Donda

Who will win: Kanye West — Donda

Who should win: Tyler The Creator — Call Me If You Get Lost

This year’s Best Rap Album category is filled with well-established artists. Both Kanye West’s Donda and Drake’s Certified Lover Boy dominated news cycles after being postponed and ended up getting released within days of each other. Kanye’s Donda is also nominated for Album Of The Year, and seeing as the rapper already holds 22 wins and 75 nominations throughout his career, it’s likely the Recording Academy will give him the Best Rap Album award. However, Tyler The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost is the one that deserves to take home the trophy. The album shows off Tyler’s impeccable MC skills and his alter ego, Tyler Baudelaire, feels like his most genuine thus far. The LP addresses important contemporary topics and sees Tyler showing off some new techniques, resulting in a top-level album as a whole.

Best Rap Performance

Baby Keem — “Family Ties” Feat. Kendrick Lamar

Cardi B — “Up”

J. Cole — “My Life” Feat. 21 Savage and Morray

Drake — “Way 2 Sexy” Feat. Future and Young Thug

Megan Thee Stallion — “Thot Sh*t”

Who will win: Cardi B — “Up”

Who should win: Baby Keem “Family Ties” Feat. Kendrick Lamar

The Best Rap Performance category saw a number of deserving nominations this year. Of course, Cardi B show-stopped with her 2021 track “Up,” which featured tongue-tied verses so catchy it went viral on TikTok. Megan Thee Stallion’s “Thot Sh*t” also gets an honorable mention as it became an instant hit and its video showed the rapper torturing a misogynistic, slut-shaming senator. But even with those two songs deserving of the award, we lean towards Best New Artist nominee Baby Keem, whose role in his Kendrick Lamar collaboration, “Family Ties,” proves he more than lives up to the hype. The rapper’s flow matches the energy of the song’s propulsive beat and flexes his witty penmanship and impressive breath control.

Best Alternative Music Album

Fleet Foxes — Shore

Halsey — If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power

Japanese Breakfast — Jubilee

Arlo Parks — Collapsed In Sunbeams

St. Vincent — Daddy’s Home

Who will win: St. Vincent — Daddy’s Home

Who should win: Japanese Breakfast — Jubilee

2021 was a great year for indie and alternative music lovers. Nearly all the artists in the category delivered career highlights, with Halsey joining forces with Nine Inch Nails members for her darkest release yet, and Arlo Parks crooning spine-chilling prose that deal with the realities of mental health crises, heartbreak, and unrequited queer love. St. Vincent’s Daddy’s Home is a likely winner, per The Recording Academy’s history of awarding Annie Clark in the category in 2015, which is surprising based on its lukewarm reviews. The real winner here is Japanese Breakfast, whose album Jubilee was free of dull moments and overall constituted an electrifying and heartfelt effort from the musician.

Best Pop Solo Performance

Justin Bieber — “Anyone”

Brandi Carlile — “Right on Time”

Billie Eilish — “Happier Than Ever”

Ariana Grande — “Positions”

Olivia Rodrigo — “Drivers License”

Who will win: Olivia Rodrigo — “Drivers License”

Who should win: Olivia Rodrigo — “Drivers License”

This year’s Best Pop Solo Performance category includes more ballads than upbeat pop bangers. Even still, Billie Eilish did put on a wonderful display of her talents in “Happier Than Ever” and Ariana Grande busted out her far-reaching vocals for “Positions.” However, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” is the most likely winner in the category. The track was both her debut single and the song that put her on the map, leading to several weeks at No. 1. While the rest of her catalog is filled with more dance-ready tunes, the emotions in “Drivers License” are tangible and most definitely Grammy-worthy.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Justin Bieber — Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)

Doja Cat — Planet Her (Deluxe)

Billie Eilish — Happier Than Ever

Ariana Grande — Positions

Olivia Rodrigo — Sour

Who will win: Olivia Rodrigo — Sour

Who should win: Doja Cat — Planet Her (Deluxe)

We all know that Olivia Rodrigo’s has some impressive pipes, but Doja Cat’s Planet Her deserves the award due to its versatility. The album features some radio-ready, melodic bops like “Kiss Me More,” but it also includes several songs that show Doja trying out inventive tactics. Her voice is breathy and robust on “Woman” while she distorts her voice into airy and swaggering bursts on “Get Into It (Yuh).” The combination of styles on this Planet Her makes for an enticing and impressive effort, and one that should win Best Pop Vocal Album.

Best Progressive R&B Album

Eric Bellinger — New Light

Cory Henry — Something To Say

Hiatus Kaiyote — Mood Valiant

Lucky Daye — Table For Two

Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder and Kamasi Washington — Dinner Party: Dessert

Masego — Studying Abroad: Extended Stay

Who will win: Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder and Kamasi Washington — Dinner Party: Dessert

Who should win: Lucky Daye — Table For Two

Today’s modern R&B genre is stacked with prolific and groundbreaking artists, as exemplified by this year’s Best Progressive R&B Album category. Acclaimed artists Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder and Kamasi Washington came together for the jazzy joint album Dinner Party: Dessert, which tapped a massive team of collaborators and is likely to take home the winning trophy. But Lucky Daye’s album Table For Two also shines bright. The New Orleans native showed off his multi-faceted artistry on the album, seamlessly flipping from soulful ballads to sultry and rhythmic tracks. Either would be great wins, to be quite honest.

Record Of The Year

ABBA — “I Still Have Faith In You”

Jon Batiste — “Freedom”

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga — “I Get A Kick Out Of You”

Justin Bieber — “Peaches” Feat. Daniel Caesar and Giveon

Brandi Carlile — “Right On Time”

Doja Cat — “Kiss Me More” Feat. SZA

Billie Eilish — “Happier Than Ever”

Lil Nas X — “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”

Olivia Rodrigo — “Drivers License”

Silk Sonic — “Leave The Door Open”

Who will win: Olivia Rodrigo — “Drivers License”

Who should win: Doja Cat — “Kiss Me More” Feat. SZA

Record Of The Year is awarded to artists whose finished song made a huge cultural impact — and this year’s list includes a number of deserving names. Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” is the likely winner, seeing as the song dominated pop culture for months on end. But Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” featuring SZA is more than worthy of the award. The track is one of the most straightforward pop songs that both Doja Cat and SZA have ever made, and it definitely worked to their benefit. Not only is it playful, snappy, and captivating, but it offers a space for the two singers’ impressive vocals to shine through.

Best New Artist

Arooj Aftab

Jimmie Allen

Baby Keem


Glass Animals

Japanese Breakfast

The Kid Laroi

Arlo Parks

Olivia Rodrigo


Who will win: Olivia Rodrigo

Who should win: Olivia Rodrigo

One of the great aspects of the Best New Artist category is that it’s a career highlight just to be nominated. This year has some incredible honorable mentions, like Japanese Breakfast, whose third studio album Jubilee was a masterpiece, or Arlo Parks, whose debut LP Collapsed In Sunbeams was pure poetry. But this year, the award will likely go to the deserving artist Olivia Rodrigo. With her debut album Sour, Rodrigo managed to go from Disney Channel actor to one of today’s biggest names in music over the course of just a few months. The album put her name on the map and earned her the title of certified pop star.

Song Of The Year

Ed Sheeran — “Bad Habits”

Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile — “A Beautiful Noise”

Olivia Rodrigo — “Drivers License”

HER — “Fight For You”

Billie Eilish — “Happier Than Ever”

Doja Cat — “Kiss Me More” Feat. SZA

Silk Sonic — “Leave The Door Open”

Lil Nas X — “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”

Justin Bieber — “Peaches” Feat. Daniel Caesar and Giveon

Brandi Carlile — “Right On Time”

Who will win: Olivia Rodrigo — “Drivers License”

Who should win: Silk Sonic — “Leave The Door Open”

The Song Of The Year category, which oftentimes gets confused with Record Of The Year, awards those involved in the actual writing process of a track (which sometimes doesn’t include the artist). Olivia Rodrigo’s debut single “Drivers License” became a ubiquitous feature of pop culture shortly after its release and is likely to take home the trophy. It even got its own SNL-dedicated sketch. But the real winner in 2021 was the debut single “Leave The Door Open” by Silk Sonic, the duo of Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars. Inspired by the soul greats like Bootsy Collins and James Brown, “Leave The Door Open” is sensual, dreamy, and one of the most sonically interesting tracks in this category.

Album Of The Year

Jon Batiste — We Are

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga — Love For Sale

Justin Bieber — Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)

Doja Cat — Planet Her (Deluxe)

Billie Eilish — Happier Than Ever

HER — Back Of My Mind

Lil Nas X — Montero

Olivia Rodrigo — Sour

Taylor Swift — Evermore

Kanye West — Donda

Who will win: Billie Eilish — Happier Than Ever

Who should win: Olivia Rodrigo — Sour

The Album Of The Year category is perhaps the most coveted award at the Grammys. This year, there were ten different nominees to choose from. While music lovers and critics alike may have a clear winner in mind, the Recording Academy oftentimes chooses to throw a curveball in this category, like when Beck beat out both Beyonce and Ed Sheeran in 2015. But this year, it’s likely that the award will go to Billie Eilish. The Recording Academy is clearly fond of Eilish, seeing as she holds seven wins and 17 nominations in the two years she’s submitted her music. But the award truly deserves to go to Olivia Rodrigo, whose debut album Sour was an exceptionally strong effort from a new artist. Everything about Sour is a hit — from its genre-fluid, catchy tracks to its on-point elevated schoolgirl aesthetic. All generations of music lovers can relate to the songs on Sour, making it without a doubt the album of 2021.

The 2022 Grammys airs April 3 at 8:30 pm EST. Find out how to watch it here.

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