There won't be a Grammy sweep of the Big Four categories like Billie Eilish pulled off last year. But if these predictions are accurate, you'll see Eilish and Taylor Swift grabbing trophies.
Album of the year: Jhené Aiko, "Chilombo"; Black Pumas, "Black Pumas (Deluxe)"; Coldplay, "Everyday Life"; Jacob Collier, "Djesse Vol. 3"; Haim, "Women in Music Pt. III"; Dua Lipa, "Future Nostalgia"; Post Malone, "Hollywood's Bleeding"; Swift, "Folklore."
There are left-field choices (Collier, Black Pumas) and bright spots (the poppy, harmonizing Haim, the nouveau disco Lipa). But nothing says 2020 like "Folklore," Swift's unexpected, pandemic journey into non-autobiographical indie-folk delivered with grace, emotion and nuance. She will become the first woman to claim album of the year for a third time, following "Fearless" and "1989."
Record of the year: Beyoncé, "Black Parade"; Black Pumas, "Colors"; Da Baby featuring Roddy Ricch, "Rockstar"; Doja Cat, "Say So"; Eilish, "Everything I Wanted"; Lipa, "Don't Start Now"; Post Malone, "Circles"; Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé, "Savage."
It comes down to two songs perfect for the past year — the topical "Black Parade" about Black history, pride and racial reckoning set to an array of Black musical styles, and "Everything I Wanted," a haunting, down-tempo meditation on mental health and finding support. Beyoncé deserves it, but Eilish's momentum will continue.
Song of the year: "Black Parade"; "The Box" (Ricch); "Cardigan" (Swift); "Circles"; "Don't Start Now"; "Everything I Wanted"; "I Can't Breathe" (H.E.R.); "If the World Was Ending" (JP Saxe).
For a change, this winner might differ from the record of the year. "I Can't Breathe" is penetratingly timely, though "Black Parade" is equally relevant. "Everything I Wanted" is a triumph but I think Taylor's "Cardigan" is the one-size-fits-all victor here.
Best new artist: Ingrid Andress; Phoebe Bridgers; Chika; Noah Cyrus; D Smoke; Doja Cat; Kaytranada; Megan Thee Stallion.
Miley's little sis Noah may be the only nominee who won't challenge your autocorrect, but Megan Thee Stallion is the runaway winner. The mighty Houston phenom is a terrific rapper with irresistible attitude, even if her often sexually explicit raps can't be printed in this newspaper. That didn't stop her from landing two of 2020's biggest hits with the Cardi B collab "WAP" and her own "Savage."