The US Grammy awards are a key event of the music year so what can be expected for the 2023 awards? Ben Nathan unpicks the nominations.
At the 2017 Grammy Awards, Adele’s ‘25’ shockingly beat Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ for Album of the Year, a decision which many people, even Adele herself, thought to be a huge mistake. Five years later, both powerhouse popstars are back in the Album of the Year category again with their follow-up albums, ‘30’ and ‘Renaissance’, respectively. Could Adele trump Beyonce again? Even though Adele has the obvious popularity and numbers to back her, Beyonce has the narrative behind her that she has never won Album of the Year before. With the overwhelming critical acclaim and love for ‘Renaissance’ and Beyonce herself (she’s now the most nominated artist in Grammys history, with 88), as well as the fact she controversially lost five years ago, I think this could go to Beyonce. However, I also see a path for someone different, notably Harry Styles and Kendrick Lamar for ‘Harry’s House’ and ‘Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers’ respectively, to take the gold on Grammys night.
Easy on Me and Break My Soul were huge worldwide hits
When it comes to Record and Song of the Year, I feel a pretty equivalent way as with Album of the Year, coming down to Adele and Beyonce again. Easy on Me and Break My Soul were huge worldwide hits, hitting number one in multiple countries worldwide. I think their genre nominations in Pop (Adele) and Dance (Beyonce) will also be won by them, therefore strengthening their chances in the general fields. However, I would also be on the lookout for As It Was by Harry Styles, which became the fourth longest running number one in US chart history. It ultimately seems like an appropriate fit for a Record of the Year winner.
Best New Artist is interesting this year because in a rare situation, it doesn’t include anyone who has really broken into the mainstream the way previous winners and nominees have done. It leads me to believe someone more lowkey could win this, such as Wet Leg or Molly Tuttle, however, I think this is between Anitta, Maneskin or Latto, who have appeared to have slightly more industry recognition than other nominees in this category.
I think Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song will eventually come down to Kendrick Lamar
In terms of the Rap categories, DJ Khaled is a huge presence with his album ‘God Did’, an extremely mediocre album and the lowest rated of his career. Other major appearances come from Future and Kendrick Lamar, who probably have more chance in these categories than DJ Khaled, but I think Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song will eventually come down to Kendrick Lamar. There has been some backlash to the rap categories this year because of seemingly mediocre projects receiving nominations, and other acclaimed artists, such as Vince Staples and Megan Thee Stallion being snubbed, for ‘Ramona Park Broke My Heart’ and ‘Traumazine’, respectively.
Legendary R&B singer Mary J. Blige dominates the R&B categories this year with her album ‘Good Morning Gorgeous’. Her status as a legacy act who also received her first ever Album of the Year nomination this year, could see her sweep in the R&B categories, but Jazmine Sullivan and Beyonce also significantly appear in these categories, suggesting they could take an award home too.
Snubs this year include Rosalia, who released the most acclaimed album this year, ‘MOTOMAMI’. She received a Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album nomination, but an Album of the Year nomination seemed deserved as well. Florence and the Machine were completely shut out for their acclaimed album ‘Dance Fever’ in the Dance categories. Summer Walker and SZA had huge years with acclaimed albums and singles but were snubbed out of the R&B categories, whilst Demi Lovato’s ‘HOLY FVCK’, the most acclaimed album of their career, was completely shut out of the rock categories.
What do you think of this year’s nominations? Who do you think was snubbed? The 65th Annual Grammy Awards will take place on 5th February 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
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