808s / Grammys / Grammys 2019

Grammy Awards 2019: Nomination Predictions – Pop

I’m kicking off this year’s Grammy Award Nomination predictions a little later than usual given how inaccurate I have been in previous years. This time I waited for confirmation of the submissions for most of the big categories, namely Best New Artist where some shock omissions from the list would have made my eventual predictions obsolete within the week. I’m glad I waited and now I’m putting together some predictions for the smallest of the big genre categories, Pop.

Best Pop Solo Performance

Better Now – Post Malone Delicate – Taylor Swift God Is A Woman – Ariana Grande Havana (Live) – Camila Cabello High Horse – Kacey Musgraves

Alternatives: I Don’t Think About You – Kelly Clarkson, Pray – Sam Smith, Sober – Demi Lovato 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Girls Like You – Maroon 5 (Featuring Cardi B) The Middle – Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey Perfect Duet – Ed Sheeran (with Beyoncé) Psycho – Post Malone (Featuring Ty Dolla Sign) Say Something – Justin Timberlake (Featuring Chris Stapleton)

Don’t Matter To Me – Drake (Featuring Michael Jackson),  High Hopes – Panic! at the Disco, Pray For Me – Kendrick Lamar & The Weeknd

Best Pop Vocal Album

Beautiful Trauma – P!nk Beerbongs & Bentleys – Post Malone Meaning Of Life – Kelly Clarkson reputation – Taylor Swift The Thrill of it All – Sam Smith

Alternatives: High As Hope – Florence and the Machine, Red Pill Blues – Maroon 5, Sweetener – Ariana Grande

Last year I quite openly predicted that Ed Sheeran was the one to beat in the major 4 Grammy categories. While my confidence was ill fated when he failed to even be nominated in these categories, he did go on to win both Best Pop Vocal Album and Pop Solo performance. This year there really isn’t such an obvious favourite in this category, especially since Bruno Mars and Cardi B opted to avoid submitting Finesse here. That leaves the appearance Ed makes here alongside Beyoncé with #1 hit Perfect as the most obvious winner.

Duo/Group Performance is arguably the most competitive category here, with a set of the biggest hits of the year competing for even just a nomination. Maroon 5’s current Hot 100 #1 hit with Cardi B is a certainty, as are previous winners Zedd and Maren Morris who debuted their genre crossing collaboration The Middle during the 2018 Grammy Awards. This category is Justin Timberlake’s best chance at a nomination this year, with Say Something that features Grammy favourite Chris Stapleton, a collaboration that I think will tip him into contention over the likes of outsiders like 5 Seconds of Summer and Marshmallow with Anne Marie. I think Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd will just miss out here too, edged out by Post Malone’s #1 hit Psycho. It’s baffling to consider that Post Malone could be a favourite in the pop categories, but that might actually attract non Rap affiliated voters towards him. I’m actually predicting a clean sweep of nominations for Post Malone in the Pop categories as current hit Better Now and album Beerbongs & Bentleys are both eligible here. The lack of eligibility for Best New Artist could help his chances of people using either one of these categories to replace that achievement. Outside of the obvious inclusion of the biggest radio hit from Taylor Swift’s Reputation album, the standout Delicate, the rest of the Solo Performance category is up for grabs. I wouldn’t rule out P!nk or Kelly Clarkson who both made this category based on the lead singles of albums sure to be nominated for Pop Vocal Album this year, while Ariana Grande is rarely one to doubt when it comes to vocal performance. It’s interesting that they’ve opted for God Is A Woman here over the arguably more successful No More Tears Left To Cry, but I think it could be a smart move in the end. Given the prediction (and hope) that she will sweep nominations in every category she has submitted to, I think Kacey Musgraves might sneak into a non Country category for the first time too, completing the trio of crossovers from that genre here. Panic! At the Disco could find themselves in the pop category for the first time too, while I wouldn’t bet too far against Florence and the Machine achieving their third consecutive nomination for Pop Vocal Album. Outsiders for the other categories include Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born hit Shallow that is only building in the charts right now, while Make Me Feel by Janelle Monáe or Colors by Beck could supply a more let field choice among the big hits. Despite winning both Song of the Year and Record of the Year for is breakout hit Stay With Me, Sam Smith actually lost the Pop Solo Performance category against a live recording of Happy by Pharrell Williams. He did pick up the award for Album, which I’m predicting he could well do this year too, but I could see a similar fate happening for him this year. I’m not even certain that the undeniably brilliant performance he has on Pray is enough to secure a nomination here, the Pop categories usually skew towards big hits that voters already know. One of these these hits that appears here after a hurriedly released Live version (Literally days before the eligibility window closed) is my pick for the eventual winner. Camila Cabello may sound like a crazy choice against the massive vocalists in this category, but something tells me the voters will opt to celebrate Havana which became one of the biggest hits of the last 12 months. I’d be even more certain if it was the original version of the song that was eligible, but interestingly it would then sit in the much more competitive Duo/Group Performance category. Stranger things have happened at the Grammys so an objectively less talented singer winning Best Pop Vocal Performance wouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
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