Album of the year: The albums by Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Lana Del Rey and Ariana Grande all made my best-of-2019 list. Lizzo’s ubiquitousness may give her an edge, but I’m predicting that the striking accomplishment of Eilish — 16 at the time she recorded her bedroom pop classic — will deservedly prevail.
Record of the year: You can’t find a more unlikely story than Lil Nas X’s record-setting hit “Old Town Road.” He bought the beat for $100 online and got a Nashville-credibility boost with a remix contribution by Billy Ray Cyrus. But Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” is 100% the winner.
Best new artist: Because of her youth and the fact that she actually is brand new, Eilish deserves it. But, even though Lizzo has issued three albums, our former homegirl and her music have been everywhere in the past year; she takes the trophy.
Song of the year: Sentiment sometimes rules the Grammys, which is why I’m predicting a prize for Tanya Tucker’s collaboration with Brandi Carlile, “Bring My Flowers Now,” a terrific pre-funeral wish.
Best alternative album: Vampire Weekend triumphs for the adventurous “Father of the Bride.”
Best urban contemporary album: Because we love Lizzo, it’s “Cuz I Love You.”
Best rap album: In a less than stellar year for this category, Tyler the Creator’s “Igor” was the most creative album.
Best country album: The sentimental vote gives the trophy to Tanya Tucker for “While I’m Livin’,” though I think the Pistol Annies merit it for “Interstate Gospel.”
Best Americana album: This boils down to two singer-songwriters not originally from America — England’s Yola and Minnesota’s J.S. Ondara, who was born and raised in Kenya. Yola has the momentum for “Walk Through Fire.”
Best compilation soundtrack: “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” was a hoot with its hodgepodge of music circa 1969. And who couldn’t appreciate “Rocketman” and what Beyoncé did for “Lion King”? But this Grammy goes to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper for “A Star Is Born.”