Grammys 2019: Expert Predictions of Who Will Win, Betting Odds – Rolling Stone
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Grammys 2019: The Major Awards — Who Ya Got?

Our experts break down four of the biggest Grammys

grammy major awards

REX/Shutterstock, John Salangsang/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock, Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup/REX/Shutterstock

Will Kendrick finally win Album of the Year? Is Ariana the new queen of pop? Will Taylor go home empty-handed?

Record of the Year

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

The Experts Pick
“God’s Plan”
“The Grammys have never given this prize to a hip-hop track,” notes Scott Plagenhoef, global head of music programming at Apple Music. “It’d be nice to see ‘I Like It’ honored — multicultural and multi-genre hits were the pop narrative of the year — but Drake is the likely winner.”

“The Middle”
Shanon Cook, trends expert at Spotify, says “God’s Plan” “had godlike status” with her listeners, who streamed it more than 1.1 billion times. But “don’t count out ‘The Middle,’ a dance-country collaboration that’s been popular with everyone from young kids to gymgoers.”

Vegas Favors
“This Is America” 1-1

Bear in Mind
Expect a fierce competition. Unlike Song of the Year, this award honors the recording itself — it’s more a producer’s than songwriter’s award — making “I Like It,” “This Is America,” “All the Stars” and “The Middle” strong contenders.

Who Will Win
“This Is America” A first-ever win for a hip-hop track here would be a political statement, and “This Is America” adds actual politics to that. Also, notes odds-maker RJ Bell — founder of the sports-betting company Pregame.com — bookies are usually on the nose with every award.

Best New Artist

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

The Experts Pick
Dua Lipa
“Margo Price has quietly been making outstanding records,” says Plagenhoef. “But the nomination is likely the reward for her.” He expects Lipa, the “New Rules” hitmaker, to win.

R&B singer Gabi Wilson, better known as H.E.R., poses for a portrait in New York. She is Apple Music's latest "Up Next" artist and ranks sixth among R&B artists on the streaming platformH.E.R. Portrait Session, New York, USA - 13 Aug 2018

H.E.R. Photo credit: Victoria Will/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

H.E.R.
“[The R&B singer’s] stack of surprise nominations shows Grammy voters are rooting for her,” says music marketing consultant Andrew Hampp of 1803 LLC. “She’s barely scratched the surface of her talent.”

Luke Combs
Cook thinks Combs is a dark horse: “Country doesn’t always get to shine in this category, but maybe Combs can turn that around.”

Vegas Favors
H.E.R. 2-1

Bear In Mind
The Academy ruled Cardi B (right) and Post Malone ineligible, but not Bebe Rexha, who’s charted songs since 2015. Hmm.

Who Will Win
H.E.R. Alessia Cara won this award last year over SZA, Khalid and Lil Uzi Vert. But in a year in which R&B has been resurgent, look for H.E.R. to take home the trophy. The enigmatic singer is exactly the sort of artist Grammy voters love: progressive, but firmly rooted in tradition.

Album of the Year

Invasion of Privacy
Cardi B

By the Way, I Forgive You
Brandi Carlile

Scorpion
Drake

H.E.R.
H.E.R.

Beerbongs & Bentleys
Post Malone

Dirty Computer
Janelle Monáe

Golden Hour
Kacey Musgraves

Black Panther: The Album
Various Artists

The Experts Pick
Golden Hour
Hampp calls Musgraves “a lock in this category. It’s the rare album that appeals to both the old guard and the new guard of the Recording Academy. Many nominees sound more like playlists, but this was a true album lover’s album.”

Post MaloneReading Festival, UK - 24 Aug 2018

Post Malone. Photo credit: Roger Goodgroves/REX/Shutterstock

Beerbongs & Bentleys
Cook thinks Post Malone will take it — at the expense of her fave. “It would be really cool to see this one go to Brandi Carlile,” she says. “By the Way, I Forgive You is a glorious, gutsy album, and as the Grammys’ most nominated woman, a win here for Carlile would be -meaningful.”

Vegas Favors
Golden Hour and Black Panther 4-1

Bear In Mind
The toss-up for a betting favorite is interesting: Bell notes music experts tend to pick Musgraves, while the public puts its money on the Kendrick Lamar-helmed
Black Panther soundtrack.

Who Will Win
Black Panther
After denying Lamar (right) AOTY in 2016 (Taylor Swift’s
1989 won) and 2018 (to Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic), voters will do the right thing — or the closest they can come to it this year.

Best Pop Vocal Album

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

The Experts Pick
Ariana Grande
“She’s the dominant capital-P pop star of the moment,” says Plagenhoef. “And she made the strong-est album statement of her career.”

Ariana Grande performs at Wango Tango at Banc of California Stadium, in Los Angeles2018 Wango Tango - Show, Los Angeles, USA - 02 Jun 2018

Ariana Grande. Photo credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Grande
“This will surely go to Ariana Grande,” says Cook. As she points out, Grande’s late-2018 non–album smash “thank u, next” put her at the top of voters’ minds just as the nominations were announced.

Grande
It’s a landslide: Hampp calls Sweetener Grande’s Ray of Light, pointing out that LP won Madonna her first non-music-video Grammy back in 1999.

Vegas Favors
Ariana Grande 1-1

Bear In Mind
Snub alert: Swift received -exactly one nomination — a career low — for Reputation, and it came in this cate-gory. Among the shifts of this year’s Grammys may be Swift going home empty-handed.

Who Will Win
Ariana Grande
Cook says Grande’s odds are better expressed as –110, so you’d have to bet $1.10 to get a dollar back. Sorry, Taylor.

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