Grammys 2024 Predictions: Who Will Win and Who Should Win?

Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, Karol G, Lana Del Rey, and SZA (Photos via Getty Images)

The Grammy Awards are back on Sunday night, and isn’t that great? SZA leads the field with nine nominations. Victoria Monét and Boygenius aren’t far behind. For the past couple of years, each of the Big Four categories had 10 nominees. This year, when voting for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, or Best New Artist, the Recording Academy’s members had to choose between only eight contenders apiece. In theory, that should mean less vote-splitting and solid, meaningful victories. In practice, we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Grammys will be there again—live from Los Angeles’ Arena—to delight, maybe disappoint, and, at the very least, add to the discourse at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS and Paramount+ With Showtime. Here’s our breakdown of who will win and who should win in key categories we’re watching.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 08: A view of a GRAMMY statue on stage during GRAMMY Legacies and Looking Ahead at Jay Pritzker Pavilion on August 08, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 08: A view of a GRAMMY statue on stage during GRAMMY Legacies and Looking Ahead at Jay Pritzker Pavilion on August 08, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Find out who’s up for Record of the Year, Best Alternative Music Album, Best New Artist, and more

Album of the Year

  • Boygenius - The Record

  • Janelle Monáe - The Age of Pleasure

  • Jon Batiste - World Music Radio

  • Lana Del Rey - Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd

  • Miley Cyrus - Endless Summer Vacation

  • Olivia Rodrigo - Guts

  • SZA - SOS

  • Taylor Swift - Midnights

Should win: SZA - SOS

Will win: Olivia Rodrigo - Guts

Taylor Swift may look like the easy choice, as a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2024 would be her fourth win in this category—the most by any primary artist, ever, breaking Swift’s current tie with music legends Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Simon. Still, Olivia Rodrigo is also a Grammy darling, with three statuettes to her name, including Best New Artist in 2022. Importantly, Rodrigo’s beloved sophomore album, Guts, rocks out with an alt-pop energy and razor-sharp wit that could feel like the future to the academy voters.

Boygenius, Lana Del Rey, and Janelle Monáe would be welcome winners, but it’s SZA who deserves this trophy for SOS, her soul-baring, genre-hopping tour de force. Strangely, what might be holding her back is that the artist with the most Grammy nominations in a given year often leaves without best-album honors (just ask Kendrick Lamar and ​​Beyoncé). Between two rising stars with angry hit songs about exes, Rodrigo seems the more likely to land on the Grammy stage accepting this award. Bad idea, right? Nah, seriously, it’s fine. –Marc Hogan

SZA’s long, ambitious, luxurious new album solidifies her position as a generational talent, an artist who translates her innermost feelings into indelible moments.

Record of the Year

  • Billie Eilish - “What Was I Made For?” [From the Motion Picture “Barbie”]

  • Boygenius - “Not Strong Enough”

  • Jon Batiste - “Worship”

  • Miley Cyrus - “Flowers”

  • Olivia Rodrigo - “Vampire”

  • SZA - “Kill Bill”

  • Taylor Swift - “Anti-Hero”

  • Victoria Monét - “On My Mama”

Should win: SZA - “Kill Bill”

Will win: Miley Cyrus - “Flowers”

The Record of the Year category, which is meant to honor the performance and production of a particular track, can be mystifying even by Grammys standards. Anything Bruno Mars-related generally seems bound to win. Something similar goes for Billie Eilish, who, a few years ago, became the first artist to win this award twice in a row since U2. If Eilish were to win this for a third time, she’d become only the third lead musician to do so, after Mars and Paul Simon. She could do it, obviously, but there’s a reason it’s happened so rarely.

As the defining track from the should-be Album of the Year, SZA’s cinematic smash hit “Kill Bill” feels like the natural choice in 2024. But there’s one quiet factor that could work against her: Engineer Serban Ghenea is an academy favorite, having won Record of the Year three times. Only one engineer has won the category four times—the late Tom Coyne—and Ghenea could well join the club, as he worked on Jon Batiste’s “Worship,” and Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers.” The former track is an ambitiously bland uplift from the 2021 AOTY winner, and the latter is a calculating yet effective “I Will Survive” update from an industry scion and lifer who hasn’t yet won a Grammy. Now and then, the Grammys exceed our expectations, but here’s betting they pick “Flowers.” –Marc Hogan

The pop singer’s self-helpy new single illustrates how her music often doesn’t match her star power.

Song of the Year

  • Billie Eilish - “What Was I Made For?” [From the Motion Picture “Barbie”]

  • Dua Lipa - “Dance the Night” (From Barbie the Album)

  • Jon Batiste - “Butterfly”

  • Lana Del Rey - “A&W”

  • Miley Cyrus - “Flowers”

  • Olivia Rodrigo - “Vampire”

  • SZA - “Kill Bill”

  • Taylor Swift - “Anti-Hero”

Should win: Lana Del Rey - “A&W”

Will win: Billie Eilish - “What Was I Made For?”

If Record of the Year is often confounding, then don’t get us started on Song of the Year, which, in theory, recognizes a work’s lyrics and melody. Last year, no one seemed more surprised than Bonnie Raitt at her win in this category, for the title song from the revered songwriter’s understated return to form Just Like That. Rewind a little further, and the winner back in 2020 was Billie Eilish for “Bad Guy.” Eilish was nominated in this category in 2021 and 2022, too, a rare three-year streak. Hmm.

Lana Del Rey’s career-encapsulating opus “A&W” is Pitchfork’s clear favorite, and we certainly wouldn’t mind more accolades for SZA’s “Kill Bill.” But Eilish’s patiently unfurling “What Was I Made For?”—a Barbie song built cleverly out of piano, strings, and quavering introspection, rather than plastic—should land right in the Grammys’ sweet spot, allowing voters to pick the type of MOR ballad voters typically prefer. –Marc Hogan

The singer-songwriter breezes through every iteration of herself on a chimeric folk-trap ballad that acts as a crash course in Lana signifiers.

Best New Artist

  • Coco Jones

  • Gracie Abrams

  • Fred Again..

  • Ice Spice

  • Jelly Roll

  • Noah Kahan

  • Victoria Monét

  • The War and Treaty

Should win: Victoria Monét

Will win: Victoria Monét

The academy’s criteria for Best New Artist nominees include artists who have broken into the wider public sphere during the eligible period, which makes for its notoriously flexible definition of the term “New.” Hence, we have the War and Treaty, the married folk/country duo who’ve been releasing music for close to a decade, but, in 2023, released their first album on a major label and a Top 20 Zach Bryan collab; and Jelly Roll, the country-rapper who was dropping singles on DJ Paul and Juicy J’s label Hypnotize Minds during Obama’s first term. Both artists have considerable industry weight behind them, and the Best New Artist voters love to choose this category from left field. This year’s Americana-heavy nominees—also including Noah Kahan, artisanal New England folk singer and another charting Zach Bryan collaborator; and the twinkling songwriter Gracie Abrams, who released her debut, Aaron Dessner–produced album and opened for Taylor Swift—all have a fighting chance, though, with the category pared down to eight nominees from 10, one presumes the votes will be slightly less split as they have been, or at least perceived to be, in the past.

Really, though, it’s Victoria Monét’s category to lose, with seven total nominations and a song of the summer/Record of the Year contender in “On My Mama,” followed closely by the mellifluous R&B singer Coco Jones (five nominations), BX sweetheart Ice Spice (four), and the ubiquitous dance producer Fred Again.. (four). Monét’s been Grammy nominated thrice before, as a longtime songwriter for Ariana Grande, but this is the versatile, sultry R&B singer's breakout year, with an album that traverses dance, hip-hop, pop, soul, and dancehall as handily as any keyed-up Fred sound collage—and if there’s one thing academy voters love, it’s a musician who can prove their chops behind the boards as well in front. Monét might even do a little two-step to it, too. –Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

The decorated pop songwriter arrives in the spotlight with a full-length debut whose plush R&B and live-band arrangements strike a tone that’s classic, sexy, and understated.

Best Rock Performance

  • Arctic Monkeys - “Sculptures of Anything Goes”

  • Black Pumas - “More Than a Love Song”

  • Boygenius - “Not Strong Enough”

  • Foo Fighters - “Rescued”

  • Metallica - “Lux Æterna”

Should win: Boygenius - “Not Strong Enough”

Will win: Boygenius - “Not Strong Enough”

A harmony-drenched revelation that towers over an album full of such close-knit catharsis, Boygenius’ “Not Strong Enough” would surely have the Pitchfork vote. And it’s the only track from this list that’s also nominated in one of the Big Four categories. Sure, we’re partial, as well, to the atmospheric churn and acrid surrealism of the Arctic Monkeys’ “Sculptures of Anything Goes.” Meanwhile, Foo Fighters and Metallica have 24 Grammys in total between them, and Black Pumas received almost as many Grammy nods across two albums (seven) as the Arctic Monkeys have throughout their two-decade career (nine). We’re probably setting ourselves up for pain, but if “Not Strong Enough” doesn’t prevail, it’s still a great song to shout out the car window the next morning. –Marc Hogan

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus devote their debut record to their singular bond. Each amplifies the other’s songwriting, enriches the detail, and heightens the emotion.

Best Alternative Music Performance

  • Alvvays - “Belinda Says”

  • Arctic Monkeys - “Body Paint”

  • Boygenius - “Cool About It”

  • Lana Del Rey - “A&W”

  • Paramore - “This Is Why”

Should win: Alvvays - “Belinda Says”

Will win: Lana Del Rey - “A&W”

Almost four decades after founding Spin columnist Andrea ’Enthal asked, “Who’s going to be an alternative to alternative radio,” it’s best not to overthink what “alternative” might mean, in 2024, to the Grammys. In the case of Best Alternative Music Performance, it means one of the award show’s best sets of nominees. Heaven might not be a place on Earth, but a victory for the dream-pop storytelling of Alvvays’ “Belinda Says”—Pitchfork’s No. 1 song of 2022—would go a long way toward making Music’s Biggest Night special. Of course, it’s also up against Pitchfork’s No. 1 song of 2023—Lana Del Rey’s “A&W”—along with ostensibly more alternative selections by Boygenius (“Cool About It,” lilting folk with a hint of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer”) and Arctic Monkeys (“Body Paint,” the most mesmerizing song from 2022’s The Car). It’s a treat to see Paramore on the list too, although, in a characteristic Grammy bummer, Hayley Williams & co. should have way more than four total nominations by now. Shockingly, none of the nominated acts has ever won a Grammy before! But “A&W” is also up for Song of the Year, the only track here nominated in another category. Your mom called: Tell her Lana wins this. –Marc Hogan

The Toronto band’s third album is a triumph of power pop, a densely layered, witty, blithe, and beautiful record that sets a new benchmark for the genre.

Best Country Song

  • Brandy Clark - “Buried”

  • Chris Stapleton - “White Horse”

  • Morgan Wallen - “Last Night”

  • Tyler Childers - “In Your Love”

  • Zach Bryan Featuring Kacey Musgraves - “I Remember Everything”

Should win: Brandy Clark - “Buried”

Will win: Chris Stapleton - “White Horse”

Country music has come a long way when it comes to queer representation in the genre. The late Patrick Haggerty helped lead the charge with his exultantly gay-themed country project Lavender Country, and there are prominent artists featured in the 2022 book Queer Country. So, the representation for small-town LBGTQ+ romance in the video for Tyler Childers’ fine ballad “In Your Love” shouldn’t be a big deal anymore, but with top Republicans still spewing hate like village idiots, here we are. A better song, though, is the exquisitely crafted “Buried,” by veteran Nashville tunesmith Brandy Clark, who knows firsthand the challenges of working in Music City as a gay woman. “If you don't love me anymore,” she sings, “I’ll be an over-you-achiever,” and the transparent effortfulness—the doomed and increasingly elaborate nature of her attempts to quit an unrequited love—is the point of the song.

Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” topped the Hot 100, but the Grammys pride themselves on recognizing merit rather than commercial success, and Wallen’s drunken ignornace isn’t the type of thing you easily forget. Zach Bryan’s “I Remember Everything”—not a cover of John Prine’s final song—is an evocative slow-burner that happens to remind me of an early Josh Ritter nugget, and, with a charmingly apropos guest verse from Kacey Musgraves, it could be tough to beat. But Chris Stapleton won in this category in 2022 when we thought Mickey Guyton might get it, and he was on two nominated songs last year, canceling himself out. Taking all of that into account, Stapleton’s smoldering blues-rocker “White Horse,” with its familiar clichés about cowboys, sunsets, and not being the type to settle down, seems sure to win him another Grammy Award. Given the atavistic politics in country music’s romanticized rural heartland right now, the Grammys could certainly do worse. –Marc Hogan

Produced by Brandi Carlile, the Nashville songwriter's melancholy new album presents only a few facets of a complex artist.

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

  • Daniel Nigro

  • Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II

  • Hit-Boy

  • Jack Antonoff

  • Metro Boomin

Should win: Jack Antonoff

Will win: Jack Antonoff

They really need to take “not to be confused with: Jack Abramoff” off of the new Jack’s Wikipedia page because nobody under 40 remembers the felonious Republican arch-lobbyist, but Jack Antonoff seems like he’ll be positioned to grab Producer of the Year plaudits for as long as he wants. The winner in this category for two years running would seem to face his stiffest competition in 2024 from Dan Nigro, who worked on Olivia Rodrigo’s Album of the Year–nominated Guts. But Antonoff? He was behind the board on two AOTY contenders, Lana Del Rey’s Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd and Taylor Swift’s Midnights. Hit-Boy and Metro Boomin are each up for Best Rap Album—for Nas’ King’s Disease II and Metro’s own Heroes & Villains, respectively—but, besides Antonoff and Nigro, the only other nominee who’s vying for a Big Four award is Victoria Monét’s “On My Mama” producer D’Mile (Record of the Year). These days, there should be no confusion about who Jack Antonoff is: the pop star whisperer with the Grammy-Midas touch. –Marc Hogan

The singer-songwriter’s ninth album arrives as a sweeping, sterling, often confounding work of self-mythology and psychoamericana: Lana’s in the zone.

Best Rap Song

  • Doja Cat - “Attention”

  • Drake & 21 Savage - “Rich Flex”

  • Killer Mike Featuring André 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane - “Scientists & Engineers”

  • Lil Uzi Vert - “Just Wanna Rock”

  • Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice Featuring Aqua - “Barbie World” [From Barbie the Album]

Should win: Doja Cat - “Attention”

Will win: Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice Featuring Aqua - “Barbie World” [From Barbie the Album]

Barbiemania surely hasn’t elided the Grammy voters, though even if Nicki and Ice nab this trophy, somebody somewhere will surely be crying about Margot Robbie. With the nostalgic assist from Aqua’s 1997 bubblegum single,“Barbie World” encapsulates the hot-pink gleam of the Barbie movie more than any other song on its soundtrack, and the duo’s complementary kitten purrs massage the original’s eye-popping hyperness from a sugar hangover into a cool slink. That said, it’s the first time Drake’s had a real submitted entry since he withdrew 2021’s Certified Lover Boy from consideration, plus he and 21 Savage have both won this category in recent years, so watch for voters to force a redemption arc. “Scientists & Engineers” is a prime dark horse, too, with an all-star roster, a gospel backdrop, and a message. Lil Uzi Vert’s Jersey club party-starter, “Just Wanna Rock,” was a hit on the internet, but its onomatopoeic vibes may prove too ephemeral for the academy.

All that said, Doja Cat spent 2023 nursing vengeance, and one of her prime objectives was to reiterate that the pop queen can still spit. “Attention” centered her clever bars (“The disrespect’s real—how this Patek look?”), and Doja was flexing her flow like, What, you didn’t know? She was mad, but, like, chill-mad. Nevermind that stanza calling out fair-weather fans; as a demonic reinvention, “Attention” was Grammy-worthy proof that, for all her past pop gleam and gloss, Miss Kitty shines brightest when she’s playing in the grime. –Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Over fluttering harp and ’90s hip-hop production, the rapper and pop star addresses recent criticisms from the peanut gallery.

Best Pop Dance Recording

  • Bebe Rexha & David Guetta - “One in a Million”

  • Calvin Harris Featuring Ellie Goulding - “Miracle”

  • David Guetta, Anne-Marie & Coi Leray - “Baby Don’t Hurt Me”

  • Kylie Minogue - “Padam Padam”

  • Troye Sivan - “Rush”

Should win: Troye Sivan - “Rush”

Will win: Kylie Minogue - “Padam Padam”

In a category packed with globally penetrative hotel-lobby bangers (Haddaway? In this economy?), Best Pop Dance Recording hopefully comes down to an Aussie battle royale between two of the year’s biggest queer anthems about love in this club. “Padam Padam” and “Rush” trade more on pathos than the adrenaline-fueled hedonism of their competitors. Truly, this category could go either way, but Kylie Minogue’s worldwide Pride theme song seems most likely, given her doyenne status and the fact that the last (and only) time she snagged a Grammy was more than 20 years ago, for 2001’s “Come Into My World.”

But we’d be remiss if we weren’t rooting for the breathless lust of Troye Sivan’s “Rush,” also nominated for Best Music Video (another category he should win, in a country where cops are raiding gay bars over jockstraps in ostensibly liberal cities). Sivan could have easily turned this light-house jam into a heavy-handed celebration of sweat, but his delicate vocal touch lends itself to giving over fully to the feeling, like the visceral, back-of-the-brain monologue your subconscious is having beneath gel lights and fog on the dancefloor. If it wins, it may also be the first song in Grammys history explicitly about poppers. –Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

The pop star’s sublime new anthem treats sex and partying as a practically religious act.

Best Dance/Electronic Recording

  • Aphex Twin - “Blackbox Life Recorder 21f”

  • Disclosure - “Higher Than Ever Before”

  • James Blake - “Loading”

  • Romy & Fred Again.. - “Strong”

  • Skrillex, Fred Again.. & Flowdan - “Rumble”

Should win: Skrillex, Fred Again… & Flowdan - “Rumble”

Will win: Romy & Fred Again… - “Strong”

It’s a tough category this year as singles go, with ever-morphing elder Aphex Twin’s percussive study “Blackbox Life Recorder 21f” going up against work from some Richard D. James disciples: James Blake’s “Loading” is close to a return to form for those of us who still miss his earliest work, and Disclosure flexed their chops on an unexpectedly serene drum’n’bass single that time-traveled back to a slinkier era. All three are heavyweights, but the clear academy frontrunner looks to be “Strong,” with Romy’s vulnerability softening Fred Again..’s mistiest trance impulses in a big year for both artists. Still, Fred Again.. fared better with Skrillex on the skulking bass experiment “Rumble,” where both artists temper the others’ maximalism for a song that sounds like the grime underground from which it was pulled. Flowdan’s presence here alone deserves the win, as the veteran Roll Deep MC and grime OG blessed its jungle-gesturing bass with his storied baritone, confident and powerful like a lion stalking through the reeds. –Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Best Música Urbana Album

  • Karol G - Mañana Será Bonito

  • Rauw Alejandro - Saturno

  • Tainy - Data

Should win: Tainy - Data

Will win: Karol G - Mañana Será Bonito

Three entries chosen in this category out of a reported 40 submissions is simply confounding considering 2023 was, for instance, one of the biggest all-time years for música Mexicana in the Norteamericano space. (Sure Peso Pluma is nominated for Best Música Mexicana Album, but maybe his corrido tumbados aren’t “urban” enough.) Whether everyone has finally abandoned the Anglo Grammys in favor of the Latin ones—or whether the academy still doesn’t understand the massive cultural influence of Latin American music in the United States—is a question the institution needed to address at least two decades ago. Either way, Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonito should be a shoo-in here, as the influential singer’s genre versatility (and scorned womanness) exploded stateside. It doesn’t hurt that she’s already won Album of the Year at the Latin Grammy Awards. She’s more than deserving, but, as innovation goes, Tainy deserves his flowers, too, for delivering a progressive conceptual album that more than proved why he’s reggaeton’s go-to guy. Let’s just hope there are more nominees next year. –Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

The Puerto Rican superproducer’s debut LP is a wellspring of new ideas for reggaeton. Even when the concepts don’t fully connect, he remains one of the genre’s most forward-thinking architects.

Best African Music Performance

  • Asake & Olamide - “Amapiano”

  • Ayra Starr - “Rush”

  • Burna Boy - “City Boys”

  • Davido Featuring Musa Keys - “Unavailable”

  • Tyla - “Water”

Should win: Asake & Olamide - “Amapiano”

Will win: Burna Boy - “City Boys”

Best African Music Performance is a brand-new category, and its presence underscores how dominant Afrobeats and amapiano have become in the United States, with North American pop stars like Drake, Goldlink, and Usher borrowing elements of the sound. (It’s also worth noting, anecdotally, that all of these artists are Nigerian or South African, and several of them appeared on Barack Obama’s 2023 playlist.) It’s a wildly competitive category, but the comely agility of Burna Boy’s “City Boys” will certainly take home the trophy—plus, voters will want to honor his huge contribution to the popularity of Afrobeats. Still, Davido has been right alongside him, and “Unavailable” was the kind of hit with heart that felt pleasantly inescapable. Ayra Starr’s lovely, forward-thinking “Rush” is also a worthy nomination for a dizzyingly accomplished 21-year-old, and fellow young upstart Tyla’s anthemic viral single “Water” was made for night sweats at the 1 a.m. beach club.

And, yet, it’s Asake and Olamide’s “Amapiano” that deserves to take this one home, a song that encapsulates the heartfelt jazz-meets-kwaito vibe of its namesake genre—carefree and confident, free and breezy with a very quiet sax solo. Asake’s last two albums, Mr. Money With the Vibe and Work of Art, have established him as a star voice of the genre, and pairing with his YBNL label head and longtime rapper Olamide solidified his status, not a torch being passed so much as a union among greats. Besides, it’s a big vibe, all dem girls know. –Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Burna Boy’s fifth album takes in the view from the top, fusing his adventurous pan-African pop with memories of 1990s hip-hop, advice from Virgil Abloh, and a little victory-lap stunting.

Originally Appeared on Pitchfork