Melodic Mag’s 2023 Grammy Predictions


In-depth analysis of the big four categories and condensed predictions of the Pop, Alternative, R&B, Rap, and Musical Theatre categories. The Grammys are live on CBS this Sunday night.

General Field


  1. Record Of The Year
  • “Don’t Shut Me Down” – ABBA
  • “Easy On Me” – Adele
  • “BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyoncé
  • “Good Morning Gorgeous” – Mary J. Blige
  • “You And Me On The Rock” – Brandi Carlile featuring Lucius
  • “Woman” – Doja Cat
  • “Bad Habit” – Steve Lacy
  • “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar
  • “About Damn Time” – Lizzo
  • “As It Was” – Harry Styles

It’s always interesting to pit the biggest artists in mainstream music against each other. If you’re looking at it from a charting perspective, “As It Was” should win. If you’re looking to establish a new star, give it to “Bad Habit.” If you’re looking to just give it to the biggest artist of the bunch, it would probably go to “Easy On Me.” That last option is, basically, what happened at the 2017 ceremony with Adele’s 25 won over Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Was 25 the better of the two? I’d personally say no, but Adele was just too massive for her own good at that point. As we saw, even SHE didn’t want to win over Beyoncé.

She’d probably say the same thing this time around. However, while 30 is, very easily, Adele’s best album, it hasn’t translated in the same with that 25 to mass audiences and “Easy On Me” has not had the long-term staying power her other major singles have. You could argue that BREAK MY SOUL” hasn’t either… it wasn’t a chart-topper, no music video, no live performance. It’s just a really great song that pays tribute to a community that has done more for almost all of these artists than almost any other group of people. At this point in her career, Beyoncé doesn’t NEED to win Grammys… she has won almost 30 of them, but only one in a big four category. She should… not will, but should, however, win this one.

“Good Morning Gorgeous” is a mid-tier song from a mid-tier album by an artist who can do a lot better, the inclusion of “Don’t Shut Me Down” is more due to the legacy of ABBA more than anything, and both “Woman” and “You And Me On The Rock” are secondary singles by artists who could have won with another song (whether in this cycle or another). “About Damn Time” would be a serious contender in a year that didn’t involve Beyoncé and Adele, but, unfortunately, Lizzo is stuck in between them. As is Kendrick Lamar, who has been robbed twice for major album prizes. “The Heart Part 5,” along with its predecessors, serve as previews to a Kendrick album that is, ultimately, not included on the album nor performed live. While it is a stirring track, I don’t think it has the overall impact to beat out Adele or Beyoncé.

Even with “BREAK MY SOUL” in the picture, Harry may just sneak away with this one. If he can win a Grammy for “Watermelon Sugar,” he can most definitely win for a song infinitely more popular.

Prediction: “As It Was”



  1. Album Of The Year
  • Voyage- ABBA
  • 30- Adele
  • Un Verano Sin Ti- Bad Bunny
  • RENAISSANCE- Beyoncé
  • Good Morning Gorgeous- Mary J. Blige
  • In These Silent Days- Brandi Carlile
  • Music Of The Spheres- Coldplay
  • Morale & The Big Steppers- Kendrick Lamar
  • Special- Lizzo
  • Harry’s House- Harry Styles

This is the trickiest category of them all. Making an album is no small feat. Making an album that impacts popular culture is even harder. Lumping together 10 artists whose projects have ALL impacted pop culture and deciding which massive undertaking to award is near impossible and will always be a divisive topic among the community of mass music consumers.

30, as stated earlier, is, arguably, Adele’s best album. Her most commercial album? No. But her best? Possibly. From the very start of her career, Adele could almost be seen as the Barbra Streisand of her generation. A young artist with an ethereal voice that appeals to audiences of all ages, therefore putting her in the position to be both a pop artist as well as something that could be considered a legacy artist in the world of adult contemporary. With 30, she is fully entrenched in adulthood, embracing everything the world has thrown at her differently than she ever has before. It is a record that has still not caught on the way it should have, but one that will be looked back on 5-10 years from now with reverence.

Put that up against a record like Harry’s House. In all fairness, it is, undoubtedly, a step down from Styles’ previous release Fine Line, but the majority of the general audience does not care about metrics or any of the analytical details. With Justin Bieber out of the limelight at the moment, Harry Styles is easily the most popular contemporary male artist in the world. Sold out residencies in New York, Chicago, LA, etc., not even a year after a seemingly never-ending run of Fine Line on tour. It is mind-boggling, but it is really no surprise considering this is the guy whose first solo single post-One Direction was “Sign Of The Times.”

However, if you want to talk about global stars, look no further than Bad Bunny. The music is incredibly accessible to anyone, and so is he, as an entertainer in general (see his work in the WWE and the respect he has for the professional wrestling business). If it’s based on sheer popularity across the board, Bad Bunny takes it home easily.

Then, of course, you have the, as I stated earlier, legacy inclusion of ABBA and, in this case, both Coldplay AND Mary J. Blige. Music Of The Spheres is a significant step up from Coldplay’s last record, but they are at a point in their career where anything they put out, regardless of quality, results in a worldwide stadium run and the “just because you’re you” treatment at these major award shows. Blige’s record is sort of a head-scratcher… it’s nice to see her here, sort of as an extension of her victory lap post a triumphant appearance during last year’s Super Bowl halftime show, but still a bit strange.

In These Silent Days is in the position that Jon Batiste’s FREEDOM and Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour were in in their respective winning years. Brandi Carlile, well over a decade and a half into her career, is finally being recognized as the talent she is and always has been and is working with just about everyone right now. She is a musician’s musician. She is a legacy act in the making. The heir to Joni Mitchell. All of that. It doesn’t hurt that the album is pretty stellar, so this could be the dark horse pick.

An album release from Kendrick Lamar is a big deal. It has been for a long time and always will be going forward. He is, arguably, the most impressive modern lyricist in hip-hop and perhaps in mainstream music in general. However, the decision to release an album, go on tour just weeks later, and finish the album cycle all within a seven-month period may have been to his detriment. Sort of an “out of sight, out of mind” situation, he never allowed the album the chance to sit with audiences before charging out to get the cycle out of the way. And not HIS audience, but, again, the general audiences. Letting projects simmer is critical in these situations.

Lizzo, though at the top of her game right now, is not particularly known for her complete bodies of work. Not to say her albums aren’t good as a whole, but it’s safe to say “Truth Hurts,” “Good As Hell,” and “About Damn Time” outshined the larger bodies of work they were included on, even as time has passed.

Then there’s Beyoncé. Who just announced a world tour promoting RENAISSANCE today, at the time of writing. The tour will, likely, be anyone’s first glimpse into the visual element of this collection of songs which, for a Beyoncé cycle, is out of the ordinary. Everything she’d put out from her self-titled album until now has captured the idea of the master perfectionist that Beyoncé is, with carefully crafted and thematic visuals that speak to her positioning as the influential figurehead that she is. But somehow, even with nothing but the music itself, this record has become almost timeless already. A classic. A perfectly executed homage to the standard bearers of the LGBTQ+ community. It was almost impossible to think of anything more deserving of this award than Lemonade was, but RENAISSANCE just might be that project.




  1. Song Of The Year
  • “abcdefu” – GAYLE
  • “About Damn Time” – Lizzo
  • “All Too Well” – (10-Minute Version) – Taylor Swift
  • “As It Was” – Harry Styles
  • “Bad Habit” – Steve Lacy
  • “BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyoncé
  • “Easy On Me” – Adele
  • “GOD DID” – DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend & Fridayy
  • “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar
  • “Just Like That” – Bonnie Raitt

When I talk about letting projects simmer with audiences and allowing them to really live with it for a while, no one is better at making that happen than Taylor Swift. Even with this release, an extended version of a beloved song that came out a decade ago, how many times have we heard her thank Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien for their contributions to the short film? How many times has she performed the entire thing live, even in the most out-of-place spaces? She just milks it for everything she has, so it would be no surprise to see her walk away with a Grammy for “All Too Well (10-Minute Version).”

Not to say she doesn’t have competition for it though… she is up against all the heavy hitters, some new faces such as Steve Lacy and GAYLE, and the icon Bonnie Raitt. The Song Of The Year category is designed to honor the songwriter(s) involved in the scenario, a fact that is lost upon most of the viewing audience, and one that has had little to no effect on the overall outcome. H.E.R won the award for “I Can’t Breathe” in 2021, but Adele and Silk Sonic won for “Hello” and “Leave The Door Open” the same year they won for practically everything else. So, really, sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, there doesn’t seem to be one major outlier, but this could be Kendrick’s best shot at a big four award based on the songwriting aspect of it. If it comes down to say, Kendrick and Taylor, a repeat of 2015 is not necessarily something anyone wants to see, but she was who she was back then and she is 10X bigger than that now. Hard to compete with, hard to fend off for anyone. However, Kendrick was in a league of his own then, and he is even better than that now. So perhaps, in some way, they’re on an even playing field, which could open the door for Kendrick to walk away with it.

Prediction: The Heart Part 5”



  1. Best New Artist
  • Anitta
  • Omar Apollo
  • DOMi & JD Beck
  • Muni Long
  • Samara Joy
  • Latto
  • Tobe Nwigwe
  • Molly Tuttle
  • Wet Leg

A refreshing, competitive year for this category in which none of the participants had a groundbreaking number one debut single cement come out of nowhere, cementing their place in mainstream music i.e., Olivia Rodrigo with “Drivers License.”

A plethora of genres are represented here… pop, R&B, jazz, hip-hop, country, etc. Maneskin and Anitta are likely the favorites… the latter has been building her career up for years, and has built up a respectable repertoire and list of collaborations. Then there is Latto, whose co-sign from Mariah Carey catapulted her to inclusion in the mainstream conversation. Based on personal taste, it’d probably be between Samara Joy and Wet Leg, although the latter may still be fighting to attract the attention of those outside of Gen-Z.

Prediction: Latto



  1. Best Pop Solo Performance
  • “Easy On Me” – Adele
  • “Moscow Mule” – Bad Bunny
  • “Woman” – Doja Cat
  • “Bad Habit” – Steve Lacy
  • “About Damn Time” – Lizzo
  • “As It Was” – Harry Styles

Prediction: “Easy On Me”

  1. Best Pop/Duo Group Performance
  • “Don’t Shut Me Down” – ABBA
  • “Bam Bam” – Camila Cabello featuring Ed Sheeran
  • “My Universe” – Coldplay & BTS
  • “I Like You (A Happier Song) – Post Malone & Doja Cat
  • “Unholy” – Sam Smith & Kim Petras

Prediction: “My Universe”

  1. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
  • Higher- Michael Buble
  • When Christmas Comes Around- Kelly Clarkson
  • I Dream Of Christmas (Extended)- Norah Jones
  • Evergreen- Pentatonix
  • Thank You- Diana Ross

Prediction: Higher

  1. Best Pop Vocal Album
  • Voyage- ABBA
  • 30- Adele
  • Music Of The Spheres- Coldplay
  • Special- Lizzo
  • Harry’s House- Harry Styles

Prediction: Harry’s House


  1. Best Alternative Music Performance
  • “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball” – Arctic Monkeys
  • “Certainty” – Big Thief
  • “King” – Florence + The Machine
  • “Chaise Lounge” – Wet Leg
  • “Spitting Off The Edge Of The World” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs featuring Perfume Genius

Prediction: “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball”

  1. Best Alternative Music Album
  • WE – Arcade Fire
  • Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You – Big Thief
  • Fossora – Bjork
  • Wet Leg – Wet Leg
  • Cool It Down – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Prediction: Wet Leg



  1. Best R&B Performance
  • “VIRGO’S GROOVE” – Beyoncé
  • “Here With Me” – Mary J. Blige featuring Anderson .Paak
  • “Hrs & Hrs” – Muni Long
  • “Over It” – Lucky Daye
  • “Hurt Me So Good” – Jazmine Sullivan

Prediction: “VIRGO’S GROOVE”


  1. Best Traditional R&B Performance
  • “Do 4 Love” Snoh Aalegra
  • “Keeps On Fallin’” – Babyface featuring Ella Mai
  • “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA” – Beyoncé
  • “’Round Midnight” – Adam Blackstone featuring Jazmine Sullivan
  • “Good Morning Gorgeous” – Mary J. Blige

Prediction: “Good Morning Gorgeous”

  1. Best R&B Song
  • “CUFF IT” – Beyoncé
  • “Good Morning Gorgeous” – Mary J. Blige
  • “Hrs & Hrs” – Muni Long
  • “Hurt Me So Good” – Jazmine Sullivan
  • “Please Don’t Walk Away” – PJ Morton

Prediction: “CUFF IT”

  1. Best Progressive R&B Album
  • Operation Funk- Cory Henry
  • Gemini Rights- Steve Lacy
  • Drones- Terrace Martin
  • Starfruit- Moonchild
  • Red Balloon- Tank and the Bangas

Prediction: Drones

  1. Best R&B Album
  • Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe) – Mary J Blige
  • Breezy (Deluxe)- Chris Brown
  • Black Radio III – Robert Glasper
  • Candydrip- Lucky Daye
  • Watch The Sun- PJ Morton

Prediction: Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe)



  1. Best Rap Performance
  • “GOD DID” – DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend & Fridayy
  • “Vegas” – Doja Cat
  • “pushin P” – Gunna & Future featuring Young Thug
  • “F.N.F” – Hitkidd & GloRilla
  • “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar

Prediction: “The Heart Part 5”

  1. Best Melodic Rap Performance
  • “BEAUTIFUL” – DJ Khaled featuring Future & SZA
  • “WAIT FOR U” – Future featuring Drake & Tems
  • “First Class” – Jack Harlow
  • “Die Hard” – Kendrick Lamar featuring Blxst & Amanda Reifer
  • “Big Energy (Live)” – Latto

Prediction: “WAIT FOR U”

  1. Best Rap Song
  • “Churchill Downs” – Jack Harlow featuring Drake
  • “GOD DID” – DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend & Fridayy
  • “The Heart Part 5” – Kendrick Lamar
  • “pushin P” – Gunna & Future featuring Young Thug
  • “WAIT FOR U” – Future featuring Drake & Tems

Prediction: “pushin P”

  1. Best Rap Album
  • GOD DID- DJ Khaled
  • I Never Liked You- Future
  • Come Home The Kids Miss You- Jack Harlow
  • Morale & The Big Steppers- Kendrick Lamar
  • It’s Almost Dry- Pusha T

Prediction: Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers


Musical Theatre

  1. Best Musical Theatre Album
  • Caroline, Or Change
  • Into The Woods (2022 Broadway Cast Recording)
  • MJ The Musical
  • Saturday Night
  • Six: Live On Opening Night
  • A Strange Loop

Prediction: Into The Woods (2022 Broadway Cast Recording)



Leave a Reply

Share post:

More from Author

More like this