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Our 2023 Grammy Award Predictions

Now that the nominations have been announced, who has the best chance at Grammy glory? 

by Ben Boddez

Photo Illustration: Michelle Cavaleri

Despite huge names like Drake, The Weeknd, and Silk Sonic withdrawing their music from competition (after taking home some of the biggest trophies last year), the 2023 iteration of Music’s Biggest Night seems like it’ll still pack a legendary amount of star power into the room.

With the exception of a few to-be-expected head-scratching picks, the Big 4 Awards are headlined by Bad Bunny bringing Spanish language into the general field for the first time, Kendrick Lamar and Harry Styles showing up big, and a Beyonce and Adele rematch after 25 and Lemonade went head-to-head back in 2017 — remember when a tearful Adele famously snapped her award in half and gave part of it to Queen Bey? In fact, Beyonce’s leading nine nominations put her in a tie for the most of all-time, incredibly, with her husband Jay-Z who picked up five 2023 noms of his own. 

Based on the Grammys’ history of giving out awards to whoever has the most obvious combination of commercial success and critical acclaim, here are our best guesses for who will be adding some golden gramophones to their mantle when winter rolls around. If you’re wondering where Midnights is, the eligibility period spans from October 2021 to September 2022. 

Album of the Year

ABBA – Voyage

Adele – 30

Bad Bunny – Un Verano Sin Ti


Brandi Carlile – In These Silent Days

Coldplay – Music of the Spheres

Harry Styles – Harry’s House

Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers

Lizzo – Special

Mary J. Blige – Good Morning Gorgeous

You won’t find a bigger Grammy darling than Adele, who has won 13 of the 13 awards she’s been nominated for since the release of her breakthrough project, 21. But after a more muted reception to her latest, Adele publicly criticizing the show during her last victory speech, and a restructuring of the Grammy voter base inviting more members of colour on board that’s heralded wins considered less “safe” for acts like Billie Eilish and Jon Batiste, you have to image that the Recording Academy might want to make up for 2017. Truthfully, no album defined 2022 like Bad Bunny’s, but we’ll certainly take Beyonce’s mind-bending dance music pivot as consolation. Watch for the high-selling Harry’s House or a long-overdue Kendrick Lamar to play spoiler, as the two racked up nominations elsewhere. 

Should Win: Un Verano Sin Ti
Should Have Been Here: ROSALIA – MOTOMAMI

Record of the Year

ABBA – “Don’t Shut Me Down”

Adele – “Easy On Me”

Beyonce – “BREAK MY SOUL”

Brandi Carlile – “You and Me on the Rock (Ft. Lucius)”

Doja Cat – “Woman”

Harry Styles – “As It Was”

Kendrick Lamar – “The Heart Part 5”

Lizzo – “About Damn Time”

Mary J. Blige – “Good Morning Gorgeous”

Steve Lacy – “Bad Habit”

While Adele’s album as a whole might not have connected with the general public as much as her past releases, you still have to expect her to pick up a couple awards – and a comeback single as agreeable as “Easy On Me” might have voters scrambling to add to her total as soon as they hear the vocal runs on the back end. This one usually goes to an inescapable #1 hit, and if they just want to award the most successful song of the year, it could be Harry’s to lose. Other possibilities include Beyonce padding her lead as the most-awarded woman in history, or the academy recognizing the new normal of TikTok-fuelled smashes from Lizzo and Steve Lacy.  

Will Win: “Easy On Me”
Should Win: “Bad Habit”
Should Have Been Here: Bad Bunny – “Titi Me Pregunto”

Song of the Year

Adele – “Easy On Me”

Beyonce – “BREAK MY SOUL”

Bonnie Raitt – “Just Like That”

DJ Khaled – “GOD DID (Ft. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend & Fridayy)”

GAYLE – “abcdefu”

Harry Styles – “As It Was”

Kendrick Lamar – “The Heart Part 5”

Lizzo – “About Damn Time”

Steve Lacy – “Bad Habit”

Taylor Swift – “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” 

Here’s your yearly reminder: Record of the Year is for the song itself, but Song of the Year is focused on the message and lyrical composition, going to the songwriter – that’s why you see a couple more poetic tracks pop up here. The Grammys have awarded a couple tracks focused on social justice in this category in recent years, so Kendrick Lamar has a great chance – but another superstar the Grammys can’t seem to stay away from has crashed the party with a track that might contain the most songwriting of any track in the category’s history. While we love Jay-Z’s breathless 4-minute verse being recognized on “GOD DID,” Taylor Swift did more than double that with her updated 2012 anthem. Of course, Adele and Beyonce could keep stomping through the competition here as well. 

Will Win: “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”
Should Win: “The Heart Part 5”
Should Have Been Here: Joji – “Glimpse of Us” 

Best New Artist


Domi & JD Beck



Molly Tuttle

Muni Long

Omar Apollo

Samara Joy

Tobe Nwigwe

Wet Leg

After victories in recent years from acts like Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo, 2022’s Best New Artist class doesn’t have an obvious, hit-making frontrunner. Anitta is a global superstar at a ceremony that’s unfortunately still lagging behind when it comes to recognizing music in other languages. Latto scored a smash hit with “Big Energy” this year, but she doesn’t have the critically acclaimed catalogue of her predecessors. The acts here picking up the most nominations in other categories are actually R&B singer Muni Long and indie-rock outfit Wet Leg. Since Long has been behind the scenes across multiple genres in the industry for over a decade, we’ll give her the slight edge when you consider who’s voting. 

Will Win: Muni Long
Should Win: Wet Leg
Should Have Been Here: Mitski (who was somehow submitted in this category)

Best Pop Vocal Album

ABBA – Voyage

Adele – 30

Coldplay – Music of the Spheres

Harry Styles – Harry’s House

Lizzo – Special

The pop category is frequently a big prognosticator for the biggest award of the night, as it’s often filled up with Album of the Year nominees. This year is no exception, and based on how the rest of the night plays out in the other categories, this one should come down to a clash of the Brits as 30 takes on Harry’s House. If you’re wondering where Beyonce is, she submitted RENAISSANCE to the dance categories, where it should pick up a couple surefire victories.

Will Win: 30
Should Win: Special
Should Have Been Here: Charli XCX – CRASH

Best Alternative Album

Arcade Fire – WE

Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

Björk – Fossora

Wet Leg – Wet Leg

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool It Down

Often one of the most interesting categories due to the indie darlings from a variety of different sounds and genres getting grouped together, this year’s field leans towards indie-rock after last year’s victory for St. Vincent in a historically all-female field. Not only does art pop royalty Björk’s album stand out among the pack in terms of its sound, but this makes her the most-nominated artist in the history of the category with nine — and she’s never won once, going 0 for 15 in her Grammy history. This might be the moment to give her an award to make up for all of that, as more of a career retrospective. Still, Big Thief has been a Grammy favourite in recent years, while Wet Leg broke into the Big 4. 

Will Win: Fossora
Should Win: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You
Should Have Been Here: FKA Twigs – CAPRISONGS

Best Rock Album

The Black Keys – Dropout Boogie

Elvis Costello & The Imposters – The Boy Named If


Machine Gun Kelly – Mainstream Sellout

Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number 9

Spoon – Lucifer on the Sofa

A category often criticized for sticking with the aging legends rather than looking to the genre’s future, Twitter responded this morning with a resounding “not like that!” when the voters switched gears and threw a nomination to Machine Gun Kelly. It’s great to see IDLES get some recognition amongst longtime favourites, and Spoon picked up their first-ever nomination this year for the critical smash hit Lucifer on the Sofa. But if we’re combining acclaim and chart success, Ozzy could pick up his 5th trophy for his celebrated album loaded with guests the voters are sure to love. 

Will Win: Patient Number 9
Should Win: CRAWLER
Should Have Been Here: Jack White – Fear of the Dawn

Best R&B Album

Chris Brown – Breezy

Lucky Daye – Candy Drip

Mary J. Blige – Good Morning Gorgeous

PJ Morton – Watch The Sun

Robert Glasper – Black Radio III

Year after year, the more interesting picks in the R&B field are moving on over to the “Best Progressive R&B Album” field – just check out Steve Lacy and Tank and the Bangas doing battle over there. With a couple of more traditionally-oriented favourites in this category that we seem to see almost every year, an unwelcome surprise from Chris Brown with his overlong Breezy, and a legitimate Album of the Year contender, we’re willing to bet that Mary J. will walk away with this one – and it’s the best album of the bunch as well. 

Will Win: Good Morning Gorgeous
Should Win: Good Morning Gorgeous
Should Have Been Here: Kehlani – blue water road

Best Rap Album

DJ Khaled – GOD DID


Jack Harlow – Come Home The Kids Miss You

Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers

Pusha T – It’s Almost Dry

There’s not another category that drew more ire from the online crowd when it came to these nominations. Historically one of the Grammys’ biggest blind spots, with a seemingly different approach to deciding the contenders each year, seeing DJ Khaled and Jack Harlow among the names in a fantastic year for hip-hop certainly rubbed some the wrong way. While it’s great to see Pusha T’s second nod in the category and, shockingly, the endlessly influential Future’s first, the sprawling opus that is Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers should have the most widespread appeal and important messaging to push it over the edge and give Kendrick his third straight win here. 

Will Win: Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Should Win: Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
Should Have Been Here: JID – The Forever Story

Best Country Album

Ashley McBryde – Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville

Luke Combs – Growin’ Up

Maren Morris – Humble Quest

Miranda Lambert – Palomino

Willie Nelson – A Beautiful Time

While the lack of one of country’s biggest rising stars in Zach Bryan from both this field and Best New Artist might be the most puzzling snub of the entire ceremony, the winners here have leaned towards big-name storytellers with crossover appeal like Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves. Luke Combs, still racking up big streaming numbers and scoring a rare country top 10 hit off of Growin’ Up, seems to fit the bill – although Maren Morris’ team-ups with some well-known pop songwriters on her latest heralded some great results as well. 

Will Win: Growin’ Up
Should Win: Humble Quest
Should Have Been Here: Zach Bryan – American Heartbreak

The 2023 GRAMMYs take place Sunday, Feb. 5 | MORE INFO