The new year is officially in full swing, and along with the resolutions comes one of music’s biggest events: the Grammy Awards. Airing on Sunday, the 60th anniversary of the awards show will celebrate captivating records from across genres over the past year. In honor of the event, here are a few predictions for The Grammys’ most prestigious awards of the night.
Record of the Year: JAY-Z — “The Story of O.J.”
Record of the year is consistently a category that’s hard to predict. One record stands alone as opposed to judging an artist or project as a whole, and this year is no easier to guess. JAY-Z and Kendrick Lamar go toe-to-toe at the end of the day, with Lamar snapping at a breakneck speed on “HUMBLE.” and JAY-Z going slow and steady on “The Story of O.J.” Although the power of both records is palpable, the political and racial message that JAY-Z makes with “The Story of O.J.” is one that will send shivers down your spine, especially when taking the somber samples of Nina Simone’s “Four Women” and the controversial music video into consideration.
Album of the Year: Kendrick Lamar — “DAMN.”
Although Kendrick Lamar may lose by a hair for record of the year, “DAMN.” leapt into the spotlight throughout 2017, with tracks from “DNA.” to “LOVE.” drawing praise from critics and fans alike. The competition is fierce with Lorde, Bruno Mars, JAY-Z and Childish Gambino in the mix, but Lamar’s complex lyricism combined with an in-your-face flow and clean production style takes “DAMN.” a step above the rest. Many would argue that 2017 was the year of Lamar, with Vice, Vince Staples and a host of other publications and artists dubbing him the best rapper alive. That idea will no doubt shine through this weekend.
Song of the Year: Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars and more — “That’s What I Like” (Bruno Mars)
Although Bruno Mars appears on a staggering six categories this year, song of the year is where he and his fellow songwriters will shine. “That’s What I Like” was arguably the catchiest and simultaneously most easy-going track of 2017, and it was something that music fans of any kind could get behind. Considering the fact that this category judges on songwriting alone, this lyrically smooth track will take the win.
Best New Artist: Khalid
The best new artist category boasts a powerhouse group of artists this year with Alessia Cara, Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels and SZA all earning a spot. Although each made waves within music in 2017 — Alessia Cara’s feature on Zedd’s “Stay” and Lil Uzi Vert’s iconic “XO TOUR Llif3” are two examples — 19-year-old R&B breakout artist Khalid edges out the rest with his work ethic and pure star power. Between his smooth-as-silk debut album “American Teen,” star-studded collaborations with artists like Marshmello and Calvin Harris and his headlining spots at festivals across the country, Khalid lands on top in this category.
The 60th Grammy Awards will air Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on CBS.