Jake’s Take: Early Thoughts & Predictions On The 2019 Grammy Noms

(Graphic property of the Recording Academy & CBS)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is the most wonderful time of the year! The Recording Academy announced the artists, producers, and songwriters that have beennominated to receive a Grammy Award.  Jake’s Take looks at some of the mostcompetitive races that social media influencers and music tastemakers arealready buzzing about. We also made early predictions and named early frontrunnersthat might take home a Grammy on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019.

Album of the Year:

  • By the Way, I Forgive You-Brandi Carlile
  • Invasion of Privacy-Cardi B
  • Scorpion-Drake
  • H.E.R.-H.E.R.
  • Dirty Computer-Janelle Monae
  • Golden Hour-Kacey Musgraves
  • Black Panther: The Album-Kendrick Lamar& Various Artists
  • Beerbongs & Bentleys-Post Malone

Album of the Year is going to be a tight race. We have several major standouts in this category including Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, Drake’s Scorpion, and Black Panther: the Album.  The true dark horses might be Brandi Carlile and H.E.R., but we should not count Cardi B out unless Recording Academy voters consider recent headlines revolving around the “Bodak Yellow” rapper’s legal problems.  

Several tracks from Black Panther: The Album are nominated for a couple of Grammys. (Album cover property of Top Dawg, Aftermath & Interscope Records) 

Jake’s Early Take & Prediction: Either Black Panther: The Album, Dirty Computer, or Scorpion might take home the win.

Best New Artist:

  • Bebe Rexha
  • Chloe x Halle
  • Dua Lipa
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • H.E.R.
  • Jorja Smith
  • Luke Combs
  • Margo Price

Honestly, I am a little disappointed with this Best New Artist group. The Recording Academy overlooked amazing male vocalists such as Jordan Smith, Michael Tyler, and ZAYN. Also, it does not help that I have honestly not heard of almost 75 percent of the artists nominated.

Bebe Rexha Expectations
(Album cover of Warner Bros. Records)

Jake’s Take’s Early Take & Prediction: Best New Artist is Bebe Rexha’s award to lose! She has worked hard this year as she launched her debut album, Expectations, and made constant TV appearances. Also, with the successes of “I’m A Mess” and “Meant to Be,” we should be seeing her accept this award on the Staples Center stage on music’s biggest night.

Record of the Year:

  • “The Joke”: Brandi Carlile
  • “ I Like It”: Cardi B, Bad Bunny, & J Balvin
  • “This is America”: Childish Gambino
  • “God’s Plan”: Drake
  • “All the Stars”: Kendrick Lamar & SZA
  • “Shallow”: Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
  • “Rockstar”: Post Malone featuring 21 Savage
  • “The Middle”: Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

For the first time in a while, two songs from two different soundtracks are nominated for Record of the Year.  In addition, Rap and R&B have a very strong hold on this category as they make up over half of this year’s nominees. It is also a strong year for collaborations. Record of the Year will be one of the interesting categories this year.

“A Star is Born’s” signature song, “Shallow,” received four Grammy nominations. (Album cover property of Interscope Records)

Jake’s Early Take & Prediction: Keep an eye on “All the Stars” and “The Middle.” Both tracks have had massive radio play and have been featured on iTunes’ Top Songs multiple times. Also, “Shallow” might receive an additional push thanks to its Golden Globe and Oscars buzz.

Song of the Year:

  • “The Joke”: Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth
  • “This is America”: Donald Glover & Ludwig Göransson
  • “God’s Plan”: Drake, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron Latour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib
  • “Boo’d Up”: Ella Mai, Dijon McFarlane, Larrance Dopson, & Joelle James
  • “All The Stars”: Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Mark Spears, Al Shuckburgh, & Anthony Tiffith
  • “Shallow”: Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, & Andrew Wyatt
  • “In My Blood”: Shawn Mendes, Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris & Geoffrey Warburton
  • “The Middle”: Zedd, Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, & Michael Trewartha.

Song of the Year is going to be a category that is completely up in the air. All of these songs are amazing and everyone is a winner in this group!

Jake’s Early Take & Prediction: “All the Stars,” “The Middle,” and “Shallow” are the clear front-runners in this group. However, it will be amazing if Donald Glover and Ludwig  Göransson’s dark horse “This is America,” which talks about the current state of the USA, walks away with the win!

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

  • “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”: Backstreet Boys
  • “Fall in Line”: Christina Aguilera & Demi Lovato
  • “Say Something”: Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton
  • “Shallow”: Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
  • “Girls Like You”: Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B
  • “ ‘S Wonderful”: Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
  • “The Middle”: Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

This category is too close to call! There are so many frontrunners in this category that calling a victor will be equivalent of predicting the winner of a photo finish race. However, I am very surprised that Maroon 5 and Cardi B’s abysmal “Girls Like You” remix made the cut. I think that either Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson’s “Symphony” or The Struts and Kesha’s “Body Talks” should have been nominated in its place.

(Zedd, Maren Morris, & Grey’s “The Middle” has been nominated for several awards.  Album cover property of Interscope Records)

Jake’s Early Take & Prediction: Either one of the following four collaborations could win the Grammy. The four songs are Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato’s “Fall in Line,” Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton’s “Say Something,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow,” and Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey’s “The Middle.”

Best Pop Vocal Album:

  • Sweetener by Ariana Grande
  • Camila by Camila Cabello
  • Meaning of Life by Kelly Clarkson
  • Beautiful Trauma by P!nk
  • Shawn Mendes by Shawn Mendes
  • Reputation by Taylor Swift

Throughout this decade, Taylor Swift has struck Grammy gold. Several music insiders could point to the “Look What You Made Me Do”singer-songwriter to win the award, but this race will be much harder for her to win. Several powerhouse singers (Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson, and P!nk) delivered impactful vocal albums this year and I think it is down to either oneof them to win.

Pink Beautiful Trauma
(Album cover property of RCA Records/Sony Music)

Jake’s Early Take & Prediction: While Arianators might pressure the Recording Academy into voting for Sweetener, Kelly Clarkson might have an edge due to her increasing presence in the public eye thanks to The Voice and her upcoming talk show. However, P!nk’s Beautiful Trauma might win because of its superb tracks.

Best Rap/Sung Performance:

  • “Pretty Little Fears”: 6lack Featuring J. Cole
  • “This is America”: Childish Gambino
  • “Like I Do”: Christina Aguilera Featuring Goldlink
  • “All the Stars”: Kendrick Lamar & SZA
  • “Rockstar” by Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage

It seems every year that the Best Rap/Sung Performance category continues to get better in the eyes of Grammy viewers. All five songs have made their respective marks on the music industry. 

Jake’s Early Take & Prediction: Black Panther’s award campaign could pick up a win if “All the Stars” score the coveted Grammy. I honestly believe Best Rap/Sung Performance is Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s to lose.

Best Country Solo Performance:

  • “Millionaire” by Chris Stapleton
  • “Butterflies” by Kasey Musgraves
  • “Parallel Line” by Keith Urban
  • “Wouldn’t It Be Great?” by Loretta Lynn
  •  “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” by Maren Morris

Country music icon Loretta Lynn received her eighteenth Grammy nomination for her latest hit in her legendary career. Three rising stars joined Lynn and former American Idol judge Keith Urban in this category.  Best Country Solo Performance is going to be one incredible race to watch.

Jake’s Early Take & Prediction: Maren Morris’ “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” gave me chills and might be the frontrunner to take home this award. However, my gut instinct is also stated that I should not underestimate Chris Stapleton’s artistry.

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:

  • “Meant to Be”: Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
  • “Shoot Me Straight”: Brothers Osborne
  • “Tequila”: Dan + Shay
  • “When Someone Stops Loving You”: Little Big Town
  • “Dear Hate”: Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill

Best Country Duo/Group Performance is another strong category! Vince Gill is the lone legend standing as a new generation of hitmakers surround him in this competitive category. However, the biggest outlier, the country pop hybrid “Meant to Be” could score big and be the top frontrunner in this race.

Jake’s Early Take & Prediction: As of this article’s publication, the “Meant to Be” music video has been viewed over 652 million times and the song peaked at the number one spot on the 2018 Billboard’s US Hot Country Songs.  Numbers do not lie and it could secure a Grammy win for both Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line.

For more information about the Grammy nominations, visit the Recording Academy’s website.

Jake’s Take is not affiliated with the Grammys. The predictions are the author’s views and opinions on this year’s Grammys race.  The author does not have any voting power.


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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar