Who Will Win And Who Should Win At The 2024 Grammy Awards

The 2024 Grammy Awards are just around the corner, and much like previous iterations of the annual ceremony, there likely won’t be a shortage of show-stopping performances. But above all, fans are hoping to see if their favorite artists’ hard work will pay off with a win, and the chance to take home their own golden gramophone trophies as they secure their spot in music history.

When it comes to the Grammys in particular, half of the fun is trying to understand the voting criteria, which remains elusive from year to year. While music journalists are just as in the dark as average music fans about who gets to win a Grammy, nerding out over this stuff is what we do best. (Though we’re aware that we may end up dropping some potentially controversial viewpoints, thus testing the pressure cooker that is the internet in the process.)

In anticipation of the big night, this music journalist is taking a look at 10 stacked nomination pools, and will distinguish which artists probably will win, and who probably should win that coveted Grammy gold. (But please, go easy on me if you don’t agree!)

Best Pop Dance Recording

“Baby Don’t Hurt Me,” David Guetta, Anne-Marie and Coi Leray
“Miracle,” Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding
“Padam Padam,” Kylie Minogue
“One in a Million,” Bebe Rexha & David Guetta
“Rush,” Troye Sivan

Will win: “Padam Padam”
Should Win: “Padam Padam”

“Padam Padam” is Kylie Minogue’s first single in two years, and with its infectious dance-pop sound, energetic synths, and sweet, sticky chorus, it was almost guaranteed to be a hit. To create a song that penetrates the pop landscape, social media, and the LGBTQ+ community this deep into her decades-long career proves Minogue’s affinity for hit-making. A win in this inaugural category would be justified and incredibly appropriate.

Best African Music Performance

“Amapiano,” Asake and Olamide
“City Boys,” Burna Boy
“Unavailable,” Davido featuring Musa Keys
“Rush,” Ayra Starr
“Water,” Tyla

Will Win: “Water”
Should Win: “Unavailable”

A win by any of these artists would be a win for the culture, Africa, and Afrobeats, which continues to be overlooked by the Recording Academy in all-genre categories despite its influence. This is the first time this award will be presented, though few can deny the impact this style has made to the sonic landscape of modern-day music as a whole.

“Unavailable” in particular became the first song by a Nigerian act to hit 100 million streams on Spotify in 2023. This achievement is merely a footnote for Davido when observing the larger picture of his success and musical contributions, achieved through his artistic and cultural integrity. A Davido win would be incredibly overdue, but Afrobeats’ oft-omitted importance places all nominated acts in a deserving light.

Best Rap Song

“Attention,” Doja Cat
“Barbie World,” Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice ft. Aqua
“Just Wanna Rock,” Lil Uzi Vert
“Rich Flex,” Drake & 21 Savage
“Scientists & Engineers,” Killer Mike and André 3000 feat. Future and Eryn Allen Kane

Will win: “Barbie World”
Should win: “Scientists & Engineers”

Women have (rightfully) been running the hip-hop game for the better part of the last few years. A win by either the Queen of Rap and the new pop-rap princess—or even rap’s resident chameleon Doja Cat—would be a welcome, tide-shifting moment for the macho genre.

However, in “Scientists & Engineers,” one of rap’s most respected voices Killer Mike shines through conscientious bars, while Future’s undeniable flow showcases why he’s one of the biggest names in contemporary music. Elsewhere in this link-up for the ages, fellow ‘Dungeon Family’ member André 3000 provides what very well could be his final rap verse on wax. “Scientists & Engineers” carries attributes that continue to stand the test of time in hip-hop: authentic rhymes, rhythm, and collaboration.

Best R&B Song

“ICU,” Coco Jones
“Angel,” Halle
“Back to Love,” Robert Glasper ft. SiR & Alex Isley
“Snooze,” SZA
“On My Mama,” Victoria Monét

Will win: “Snooze”
Should win: “ICU”

As one of the highlights on an album full of highlights, the smoothness and soothing vibes found in SZA’s “Snooze” would cap off an incredible year for the Jersey girl.

Though in her breakout single “ICU,” Coco Jones’ lower register and unbelievably velvety vocals display that the hallmarks of R&B live on in our newest stars. A win in this category for Jones would solidify her place among one of the brightest lights in the genre today, and would bring a happy ending the former Disney darling’s Cinderella story.

Alternative Music Album

The Car, Arctic Monkeys
The Record, Boygenius
Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, Lana Del Rey
Cracker Island, Gorillaz
I Inside the Old Year Dying, PJ Harvey

Who will win: The Record
Who should win: The Record

The debut studio LP from the supergroup (comprised of Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers) is crafted in a way that showcases each member’s individual strengths, but also proves the power of collaboration and teamwork. Their long-awaited link-up remains modern while still evoking the sounds and styles that inspire them, from rock to folk. Christened the best album of 2023 in UPROXX’s Music Critics Poll, this is virtually a no-brainer.

Record of the Year (awarded to the song itself)

“Worship,” Jon Batiste
“Not Strong Enough,” Boygenius
“Flowers,” Miley Cyrus
“What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie,” Billie Eilish
“On My Mama,” Victoria Monét
“Vampire,” Olivia Rodrigo
“Anti-Hero,” Taylor Swift
“Kill Bill,” SZA

Who will win: “Kill Bill”
Who should win: “Flowers”

“Kill Bill” spins the idea of breakup anthems on its head through thematics and sonics that slay. However, what gives “Flowers” the edge is the commercial and personal triumphs on top of its thematics. The funky, rockin’ self-love anthem feels like a cathartic return to form for the musical shapeshifter, whose personal life has undergone as many changes as her sonic identity.

Unlike her previous pop efforts like “Malibu” and “Prisoner,” which felt forced in some respects, “Flowers” found the superstar and the audience meeting at the right place and time. The song brings a sophisticated, confident maturity, and for the first time in a long time, it truly felt like Miley was just being Miley.

Song of the Year (awarded to the songwriter/songwriters)

“A&W” — Jack Antonoff, Lana Del Rey & Sam Dew, songwriters (Lana Del Rey)
“Anti-Hero” — Jack Antonoff & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
“Butterfly” — Jon Batiste & Dan Wilson, songwriters (Jon Batiste)
“Dance the Night” (From “Barbie the Album”) — Caroline Ailin, Dua Lipa, Mark Ronson & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Dua Lipa)
“Flowers” — Miley Cyrus, Gregory Aldae Hein & Michael Pollack, songwriters (Miley Cyrus)
“Kill Bill” — Rob Bisel, Carter Lang & Solána Rowe, songwriters (SZA)
“Vampire” — Daniel Nigro & Olivia Rodrigo, songwriters (Oliva Rodrigo)
“What Was I Made For?” [From the Motion Picture “Barbie”] — Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)

Who will win: “Anti-Hero”
Who should win: “What Was I Made For?”

“Anti-Hero” marks the seventh time Taylor Swift has been nominated in this category, now a Grammy record. The single serves as the pulse of her LP, has been virtually inescapable for over a year, and shows the depth of her pen and personal glossary. A T.S. win in this category would amplify the Grammy’s love of “making moments” at the ceremony.

However, the perfect, tear-jerking placement of “What Was I Made For?” in Barbie solidifies the power of Billie Eilish and brother Finneas’ lyrical simplicity. The (future Oscar-winning) song showcases what we love about Billie’s more subdued tracks: the palpable optimism underneath surface-level melancholia — which is befitting of the film’s underlying theme — as well as the general feelings of modern-day womanhood.

Best New Artist

Gracie Abrams
Fred Again..
Ice Spice
Jelly Roll
Coco Jones
Noah Kahan
Victoria Monét

Who will win: Ice Spice
Who should win: Victoria Monét

High-profile friendships, a masterful social media pull, and even a Chia Pet made in her likeness — it would seem as though Ice Spice would be the clear-cut favorite to win. High honors here would crown the Bronx artist as the third woman rapper in history to win Best New Artist, which could be a controversial bestowment amongst rap purists who deem Ice to be “too pop.”

But when was the last time we had a true blue triple threat in our midst? Victoria Monét has been under our noses the entire time. Her incredible stage presence, deeply quotable lyrics, and overall star power make her the full package, and a win of this magnitude would be worth the wait. Noah Kahan would also be a great choice, as his musicianship has steadily earned a following amongst both fans and artists alike.

Album of the Year

World Music Radio, Jon Batiste
The Record, Boygenius
Endless Summer Vacation, Miley Cyrus
Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, Lana Del Rey
The Age of Pleasure, Janelle Monáe
Guts, Olivia Rodrigo
Midnights, Taylor Swift
SOS, SZA

Who will win: Midnights
Who should: SOS

As mentioned earlier, the Grammys love “making moments.” Taylor Swift is far and away the biggest name in contemporary music, and a win in this category will provide the moment. If honored with the biggest award of the night, Taylor could surpass Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Frank Sinatra for the most Album of the Year wins by any artist in history. However, some could argue that — though thematically sound — Midnights is not a career high. Although a win would be the cherry on top of her banner year, star power and fanfare don’t always warrant an automatic win.

SOS on the other hand, is a true career high for SZA, solidifying her status as thee reigning R&B superstar. It was her first No. 1 album, it nabbed the biggest streaming figures for an R&B album in U.S. history, and it’s the longest-running No. 1 album by a woman in this decade. A much-deserved win in this category would also create a “moment”: SZA would be the first Black woman since Lauryn Hill in 1999 to win Album of the Year, and only the fourth ever after Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, and Hill. The personal triumphs, coupled with the album’s successes, will feel like a win for all.

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

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