2024 Grammys Predictions in Every Category

Variety‘s Awards Circuit is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the the official predictions for the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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Awards Commentary (Updated: Jan. 29, 2024): “SOS” is the name of SZA’s Grammy-contending album this year. It might also be the emergency signal being sent out by anyone whose job it is to prognosticate the Grammys this year. All four of the top categories have at least two, three or even four very plausible candidates lined up, out of eight candidates. But the spreading out of the field is part of what makes the Grammy competition arguably more fun than certain other contests where the blogosphere is able to boringly detect the prevailing winds. At the Grammys, a vaunted “Adele vs. Beyonce” battle can be decided with a “neither of the above,” and a Jon Batiste can win the top prize after being forecast by no one in the world. It can feel like chaos theory in action, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

That said, giving up on making predictions at all is the coward’s way out. And going into the nominations, Variety did already correctly pick six out of this year’s eight nominees for album of the year, so we’d like to pretend that we’re officially on a roll. (If only we hadn’t incorrectly foreseen the Grammys giving a top nomination to a Latin artist, Karol G. Silly us.) With that triumph behind us, we will boldly charge into who we think will prevail for record, album, song and new artist of the year — with a hell of a lot of hedging.

About the only thing we truly feel confident in predicting is that there won’t likely be any sweeps, because the Recording Academy does like to spread the love. Whether that’s on purpose, or due to the votership being a collection of separate fiefdoms whose interests just barely prevail in any given category, it’s difficult to say.

Read the final predictions in select categories below with commentary in the top four races.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

*** = Predicted Winner

Record of the Year

Record of the Year
Record of the Year

“Worship,” Jon Batiste
“Not Strong Enough,” Boygenius
“Flowers,” Miley Cyrus ***
“What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie,” Billie Eilish
“On My Mama,” Victoria Monét
“Vampire,” Olivia Rodrigo
“Anti-Hero,” Taylor Swift
“Kill Bill,” SZA

Will win: “Flowers”
Could win: “What Was I Made For?”; “Anti-Hero”

Three reasons to put money on “Flowers,” if you’re a brave gambler: (a) It felt ubiquitous, in an age where the monoculture no longer exists; (b) it feels like an anthem for everybody, as opposed to niche, novel or micro-targeted in its lyrics; (c) it’s a bop. Does that mean it was actually the best? Hardly, but it did come in like a wrecking ball, and sometimes — not always — mainstream voters who don’t have a vested interest in any of the other nominees will let their admiration for the craft that leads to a hit lead to an anointing of the year’s most obvious monster.

Eilish’s “Barbie” theme could (and for my money, should) sneak in the top slot here, with virtually universal love for the soul-searching ballad. The only serious reason to suppose it won’t is that a lot of voters may feel that it’s predestined to win the best song Oscar, so that’ll be enough reward for it. (If “What Was I Made For?” does win the top Grammy and the Oscar, it’ll be the first tune to do so since “My Heart Will Go On” in ’97.)

Months back, we were predicting that most of the top categories would be a Swift vs. SZA battle. That could still turn out to be the case. The only thing either “Anti-Hero” and “Kill Bill” have going against them is how spectacularly peculiar they are, lyrically — which should be a good thing, but isn’t, always. When voters are making an assessment of what best represents a year as a whole, will they pick a song about feeling like a monster, or homicidal impulses toward an ex? Or for that matter, Rodrigo’s “Vampire,” a slightly profane song about a celebrity parasite? It’d be great if they went with one of those wonderful, slightly sour picks, but the best bet is still probably on a song that combines tempo with I-will-survive positivity.

Album of the Year

Album of the Year
Album of the Year

“World Music Radio,” Jon Batiste 
“The Record,”  Boygenius 
“Endless Summer Vacation,” Miley Cyrus 
“Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” Lana Del Rey 
“The Age of Pleasure,” Janelle Monáe 
“Guts,” Olivia Rodrigo 
“Midnights,” Taylor Swift ***

Will win: “Midnights” 
Could win: “SOS”; “The Record”

Let’s look at the two artists who have won in this category before: Swift and Batiste. It wouldn’t be crazy to imagine Batiste could come through in a surprise finish here — not much crazier than it was fathoming it the first time he did it — but we’re still going to go with his previous win having been a fun fluke (and coronation of him being the most likeable guy in music, along with virtuoso) versus, say, a repeatable phenomenon.

That leaves the advantage there with Swift, who has won album of the year three times, a category that voters obviously like her for, even if, strangely, they’ve never given her record of the year once. Commercially and culturally, she was obviously the behemoth of the year, but unlike in the lyrics of “Anti-Hero,” people didn’t hate her for it — well, most people — and didn’t mind her being the 50-foot woman (or 50,000,000 foot woman) of music, because she represented virtually everything virtuous about the artform. And even if there was some honest critical debate over whether “Midnights” was her at her record-making peak, the album made for a great half-hour final act on the “Eras Tour” — the album you left the stadium happily humming.

The elephant in the room is the worthiness of SZA, and the Recording Academy’s reliability in overlooking great R&B or hip-hop-flavored albums. If Beyonce has yet to prevail in this category, despite multiple nominations, can SZA pull off what Bey so far couldn’t? On the other hand, if SZA can get a leading nine nominations and not win any of the top three, what will tht say? This could be a test of just how diverse the growing votership is or isn’t becoming… unless it just ends up being a test of how indomitable Time magazine’s Person of the Year really is.

Song of the Year

Song of the Year
Song of the Year

“A&W,” Jack Antonoff, Lana Del Rey and Sam Dew, songwriters (Lana Del Rey) 
“Anti-Hero,” Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift) 
“Butterfly,” Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson, songwriters (Jon Batiste) 
“Dance the Night” (From “Barbie: The Album”) Caroline Ailin, Dua Lipa, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Dua Lipa) 
“Flowers,” Miley Cyrus, Gregory Aldae Hein and Michael Pollack, songwriters (Miley Cyrus) 
“Kill Bill,” Rob Bisel, Carter Lang and Solána Rowe, songwriters (SZA) 
“Vampire,” Daniel Nigro and Olivia Rodrigo, songwriters (Olivia Rodrigo) 
“What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie,” Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish) ***

Will win: “What Was I Made For?” 
Could win: “Flowers”; “Anti-Hero”

Voters are supposed to consider songwriting over production elements in this category… but do they, really, across the board? That’s up for question, eternally. But let’s suppose that most of them are putting more weight on actual songcraft, which, theoretically, at least, can favor a ballad over a bop. That’s one reason to go out on a limb and believe that Eilish (and her co-writer brother Finneas) might have a slightly better shot at coming out on top in song of the year than record of the year, even if Recording Academy members do assume that she’ll be double-bagging an Oscar and Grammy. With a song this phenomenally well-conceived and heart-tugging, they can’t hold its origins as assignment writing for Tinseltown against it, can they?

Yet, as with the other top four categories, just about anything could go here — including, certainly, a win for Cyrus, Swift or SZA. Or, for that matter, a first-time win in one of the top categories for Rodrigo, who has yet to win any of them besides best new artist? It feels overdue, even if she is only on her second album.

Best New Artist

Best New Artist
Best New Artist

Gracie Abrams 
Fred Again 
Ice Spice 
Jelly Roll 
Coco Jones 
Noah Kahan 
Victoria Monét ***
The War and Treaty

Will win: Victoria Monét 
Could win: Noah Kahan; Jelly Roll

Kahan has the most wind in his sails, commercially, at this point. As of this writing, his “Stick Season” album is back in the top five of the Billboard 200, quite an accomplishment for a record that came out in 2022. He represents the triumph of acoustic authenticity in a sometimes plasticine pop universe, which will be a hard narrative for many voters to resist.

So why imagine Monét might prevail over him, even though her album peaked at a modest No. 60? Well, numbers don’t lie — and beyond chart numbers, there is the amount of nominations she received from the Academy this year: seven, more than anyone else except SZA (who has nine). That huge groundswell of love from voters won’t have just gone away since nominations were announced in November, and whatever faction or factions pushed her to that surprising tally will be determined to see her rewarded further still. Since her chances for getting record or album are slimmer, new artist feels like the inevitable place for that anointing.

That said, Kahan seems virtually unstoppable, in his own fashion, and it would hardly be a shock if all the good will for Jelly Roll translates into him getting a due here that he won’t have a chance for in many other categories. Perhaps the only thing undercutting Jelly Roll’s chances is that the Nashville votership seems not to have nearly as much impact as it should in the general categories, and their votes here may be split between the rapper-turned-country-superstar and the much-beloved War and Treaty.

In any case, this is the strongest new artist field the Grammys have had in years, and its multi-genre breadth (with art-dance kingpin Fred Again giving the list a rare EDM inclusion) makes the category itself worthy of an award, for Best Sign of the Industry’s Continuing Health

Visual Media Compilation

Visual Media Compilation
Visual Media Compilation

Daisy Jones & The Six – Aurora 
Various Artists – Barbie The Album ***
Various Artists – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From and Inspired By 
Various Artists – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3: Awesome Mix, Vol. 3 
Weird Al Yankovic – Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Will Win: Barbie The Album
Could Win: Weird Al Yankovic

Visual Media Song

Visual Media Song
Visual Media Song

“Barbie World” from “Barbie the Album,” Naija Gaston, Ephrem Louis Lopez Jr. and Onika Maraj, songwriters (Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice featuring Aqua)
“Dance the Night” from “Barbie the Album,” Caroline Ailin, Dua Lipa, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Dua Lipa)
“I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie the Album,” Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Ryan Gosling)
“Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — Music From and Inspired By,” Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Göransson, Robyn Fenty and Temilade Openiyi, songwriters (Rihanna)
“What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie the Album,” Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish) ***

Will Win: “What Was I Made For?”
Could Win: “Lift Me Up”

Visual Media Score

Visual Media Score
Visual Media Score

“Barbie,” Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, composers
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Ludwig Göransson, composer
“The Fabelmans,” John Williams, composer
“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” John Williams, composer
“Oppenheimer,” Ludwig Göransson, composer ***

Will Win: “Oppenheimer”
Could Win: “Barbie”

Musical Theater Album

Musical Theater Album
Musical Theater Album

Kimberly Akimbo ***
Some Like It Hot
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Will Win: Kimberly Akimbo
Could Win: Some Like It Hot

Music Video

The Beatles – I’m Only Sleeping 
Tyler Childers – In Your Love 
Billie Eilish – What Was I Made For? ***
Kendrick Lamar – Count Me Out 
Troye Sivan – Rush

Will Win: Billie Eilish
Could Win: The Beatles

Comedy Album

Comedy Album
Comedy Album

Trevor Noah – I Wish You Would
Wanda Sykes – I’m An Entertainer
Chris Rock – Selective Outrage 
Sarah Silverman – Someone You Love 
Dave Chappelle – What’s In A Name? ***

Will Win: Dave Chappelle
Could Win: Trevor Noah

Audio Book, Narration, Storytelling

Audio Book, Narration, Storytelling
Audio Book, Narration, Storytelling

Meryl Streep – Big Tree 
William Shatner – Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder 
Rick Rubin – The Creative Act: A Way of Being 
Senator Bernie Sanders – It’s Ok to Be Angry About Capitalism 
Michelle Obama – The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times ***

Will Win: Michelle Obama
Could Win: Meryl Streep

Latin Pop Album

Latin Pop Album
Latin Pop Album

“La Cuarta Hoja,” Pablo Alborán
“Beautiful Humans, Vol. 1,” AleMor
“A Ciegas,” Paula Arenas
“La Neta,” Pedro Capó
“Don Juan,” Maluma ***
“X Mí (Vol. 1),” Gaby Moreno

Will Win: Maluma
Could Win: Gaby Moreno

Música Urbana Album

Música Urbana Album
Música Urbana Album

“Saturno,” Rauw Alejandro
“Mañana Será Bonito,” Karol G ***
“Data,” Tainy

Will Win: Karol G
Could Win: Tainy

Rap Song

Rap Song
Rap Song

Doja Cat – Attention
Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice ft. Aqua – Barbie World
Lil Uzi Vert – Just Wanna Rock
Drake & 21 Savage – Rich Flex ***
Killer Mike ft. André 3000, Future, and Eryn Allen Kane – Scientists & Engineers

Will Win: Drake
Could Win: Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice

Rap Album

Rap Album
Rap Album

Drake & 21 Savage – Her Loss
Killer Mike – Michael
Metro Boomin – Heroes & Villains ***
Nas – King’s Disease III
Travis Scott – Utopia

Will Win: Metro Boomin
Could Win: Nas

R&B Album

“Girls Night Out,” Babyface
“What I Didn’t Tell You (Deluxe),” Coco Jones
“Special Occasion,” Emily King
“Jaguar II,” Victoria Monét ***
“Clear 2: Soft Life EP,” Summer Walker

Will Win: Victoria Monét
Could Win: Babyface

R&B Song

Coco Jones – ICU
Halle – Angel
Robert Glasper ft. SiR & Alex Isley – Back to Love
SZA – Snooze
Victoria Monét – On My Mama ***

Will Win: Victoria Monet
Could Win: SZA

R&B Performance

R&B Performance
R&B Performance

“Summer Too Hot,” Chris Brown
“Back to Love,” Robert Glasper featuring SiR and Alex Isley
“ICU,” Coco Jones
“How Does It Make You Feel,” Victoria Monét
“Kill Bill,” SZA ***

Will Win: SZA
Could Win: Victoria Monet

Rock Album

Rock Album
Rock Album

“But Here We Are,” Foo Fighters ***
“Starcatcher,” Greta Van Fleet
“72 Seasons,” Metallica
“This Is Why,” Paramore
“In Times New Roman…,” Queens of the Stone Age

Will Win: Foo Fighters
Could Win: Metallica

Pop Vocal Album

Pop Vocal Album
Pop Vocal Album

Kelly Clarkson (“Chemistry”)
Miley Cyrus (“Endless Summer Vacation”)
Olivia Rodrigo (“Guts”)
Ed Sheeran (“Subtract”)
Taylor Swift (“Midnights”) ***

Will Win: Taylor Swift
Could Win: Olivia Rodrigo

Pop Solo

“Paint the Town Red,” “Doja Cat
“Flowers,” Miley Cyrus ***
“What Was I Made For?,” Billie Eilish
“Vampire,” Olivia Rodrigo
“Anti-Hero,” Taylor Swift

Will Win: Miley Cyrus
Could Win: Taylor Swift

Pop Duo/Group Performance

Pop Duo/Group Performance
Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Thousand Miles,” Miley Cyrus featuring Brandi Carlile
“Candy Necklace,” Lana Del Rey featuring Jon Batiste
“Never Felt So Alone,” Labrinth featuring Billie Eilish
“Karma,” Taylor Swift featuring Ice Spice ***
“Ghost in the Machine,” SZA featuring Phoebe Bridgers

Will Win: Taylor Swift feat. Ice Spice
Could Win: SZA featuring Phoebe Bridgers

Country Album

“Rolling Up the Welcome Mat,” Kelsea Ballerini
“Brothers Osborne,” Brothers Osborne
“Zach Bryan,” Zach Bryan ***
“Rustin’ in the Rain,” Tyler Childers
“Bell Bottom Country,” Lainey Wilson

Will Win: Zach Bryan
Could Win: Lainey Wilson

Dance/Electronic Album

Aphex Twin – Blackbox Life Recorder 21F
James Blake – Loading
Disclosure – Higher Than Ever BEfore
Romy & Fred again.. – Strong ***
Skrillex, Fred again.. & Flowdan – Rumble

Will Win: Romy & Fred again
Could Win: Skrillex, Fred again

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