Who Won at the 2019 Grammys
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2019 GRAMMY Predictions: Who I Believe Will Win Big

Who will take home a golden gramophone this year?

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2019 GRAMMY Predictions: Who I Believe Will Win Big
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It's known that receiving a Grammy award is a milestone and a rite of passage in a music artist's career. A golden gramophone is one of the most prestigious awards in the industry. Much like other major award shows (like the Academy Awards and Golden Globes), the GRAMMYs are voted and issued by a panel of industry experts, notably known as the Recording Academy.

For the past six decades, the GRAMMY Awards have recognized who we now know as the biggest names in music through an annual televised ceremony. The 2019 ceremony is being held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, February 10th and will be aired on CBS at 8:00 PM EST. Fifteen-time GRAMMY recipient Alicia Keys is hosting this year's ceremony, which includes performances from Miley Cyrus, H.E.R, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more.

Alicia Keys, host of the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, poses with her first five awards at the 2002 ceremony. People Magazine

Lady Gaga fans are looking forward to the ceremony to see if the singer furthers her EGOT (Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony) eligibility with her leading role in the 2018 reboot of A Star Is Born. "Shallow," the lead single for the film, is up for four awards. Folk/Americana singer Brandi Carlile is up for six awards, which came as a shock to some. This year's nomination list contains many more women than last year's as spectators felt that Kesha's "Praying" was snubbed when Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" won Best Pop Solo Performance against the four women in the category.

The nominees in this year's General Field are competing head-to-head for a golden gramophone, and honestly, it could be anyone's year.

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1. Record of the Year

• I LIKE IT by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin

• THE JOKE by Brandi Carlile

• THIS IS AMERICA by Childish Gambino

• GOD'S PLAN by Drake

• SHALLOW by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

• ALL THE STARS by Kendrick Lamar & SZA

• ROCKSTAR by Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage

• THE MIDDLE by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

At least half of the songs on this list took over Top 40 radio during the eligibility period of October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. These songs include "I Like It" by Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin, which was undoubtedly the song of summer 2018; "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey, which premiered at last year's awards and brought Morris mainstream fame; "Rockstar" by Post Malone and 21 Savage, which took over college clubs in late 2017. "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA also blew up when Marvel's Black Panther released in February 2018.

However, I think the main contenders for Record of the Year are Cardi B's "I Like It" and Childish Gambino's "This is America." The music video for Gambino's single quite literally broke the internet as it boldly spoke out against racism and gun violence by calling out how the general public pays no mind to serious issues when they're watching funny dance videos or making fun of someone's looks. Because the song and visual evoke such a powerful message, it could very well take home the GRAMMY.

2. Album of the Year

Brandi Carlile

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• INVASION OF PRIVACY by Cardi B

• BY THE WAY, I FORGIVE YOU by Brandi Carlile

• SCORPION by Drake

• H.E.R by H.E.R

• BEERBONGS & BENTLEYS by Post Malone

• DIRTY COMPUTER by Janelle Monáe

• GOLDEN HOUR by Kacey Musgraves

• BLACK PANTHER: THE ALBUM, MUSIC FROM AND INSPIRED BY by Various Artists

2018 seemed to be Cardi B's year — she rose to mainstream prominence when her #1 single "Bodak Yellow" received support on social media and impacted radio stations, got married and pregnant with her firstborn. It's no surprise that her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, received a nomination in the category. Two-time GRAMMY recipient Kacey Musgraves combined her usual country style with disco and pop influences to create 2018's Golden Hour, which has been received well by mainstream audiences after she supported ex-One Direction member Harry Styles on tour. However, the GRAMMYs tend to throw curveballs when the audience least expects it, which leads me to believe that Brandi Carlile could take the prize. Carlile's been nominated a total of seven times during her nearly two-decade-long career; six of those times being this year. Maybe it's time she actually won the award for once.

3. Song of the Year

• BOO'D UP by Ella Mai

• THE JOKE by Brandi Carlile

• THIS IS AMERICA by Childish Gambino

• GOD'S PLAN by Drake

• SHALLOW by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

• ALL THE STARS by Kendrick Lamar & SZA

• IN MY BLOOD by Shawn Mendes

• THE MIDDLE by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

A lot of the Song of the Year nominees have one thing in common: the songs originated from deep within the artist's soul and are driven by emotion. Shawn Mendes' lead single for his self-titled album, "In My Blood," is an anecdote from Mendes' experience with anxiety and how he overcame it. "Help me / it's like the walls are caving in," he sings as he opens the track. Although written for the film A Star Is Born, "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper still digs deep into humanistic emotion by describing the faults of their characters: "I'm falling / in all the good times / I find myself longing / for change."

In an interview for NPR, Brandi Carlile stated that "The Joke" was written for "people that feel under-represented, unloved or illegal." "There are so many people feeling misrepresented [and] unloved," she said. "Boys feeling marginalized and forced into these awkward shapes of masculinity that they do or don't belong in... so many men and boys are trans or disabled or shy. Little girls who got so excited for the last election, and are dealing with the fallout." For the representation and the message it holds, along with its ability to become personal for the listener, "The Joke" is my prediction for Song of the Year.

4. Best Pop Solo Performance

• COLORS by Beck

• HAVANA (LIVE) by Camila Cabello

• GOD IS A WOMAN by Ariana Grande

• JOANNE (WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOIN'?) by Lady Gaga

• BETTER NOW by Post Malone

This is the category that infuriated the GRAMMYs audience last year, so it'd be pretty ignorant for the Recording Academy to ignore this feedback. This could be another curveball in which Beck takes home the golden gramophone, like he did in 2015 for Album of the Year. Or the academy could listen to the general public and award it to a woman. Ever since her solo debut, Camila Cabello has been taking over the world one trumpet solo at a time; the Fifth Harmony alum released her debut album, CAMILA, supported Taylor Swift on her Reputation stadium tour, and won Video of the Year at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

This award could very well be her first GRAMMY; on the contrary, six-time GRAMMY nominee Ariana Grande has broken records left and right in the past six months of her career. Grande broke the record for having the most (and second most) streams in the first day of a single release (first for "thank u, next" and then for "7 rings"). "God is a Woman," off her fourth studio album Sweetener, showcases Grande's notable vocal ability in glimmering layers, and that is why this could be her first GRAMMY win.

5. Best Pop Vocal Album

Ariana Grande performing at the Dangerous Woman world tour in 2017.

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• CAMILA by Camila Cabello

• MEANING OF LIFE by Kelly Clarkson

• SWEETENER by Ariana Grande

• SHAWN MENDES by Shawn Mendes

• BEAUTIFUL TRAUMA by P!nk

• REPUTATION by Taylor Swift

With 32 all-time GRAMMY nominations and 10 wins, Taylor Swift is one of the many faces of the awards show. Swift was the youngest nominee for Best New Artist in 2007, and shortly after, she dominated the country and pop genres of the music industry. Because of her continuous success, it's a shock that Swift's sixth studio album, Reputation, only snagged one GRAMMY nomination this year (fans thought she was snubbed at the 2018 MTV VMAs as well). Swift's comrades and past supporting acts, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, are also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. Cabello's solo debut was successful and well received; the proof is in the numerous awards she's received from Billboard, MTV, and the American Music Awards. Mendes rose to fame on Vine, a social media platform in which users could post 6-second videos, and skyrocketed into success as a singer-songwriter. His recent self-titled album discovers a more mature sound while highlighting personal experiences and features collaborations with Khalid and Julia Michaels.

This marks the third time that Ariana Grande has been nominated in this category over the years, which means that the Recording Academy recognizes her efforts and impact in pop music. Sweetener is Grande's first body of work following the tragic Manchester attacks and her first album cover that is in color. Executively produced by Pharrell Williams, Sweetener features the bubblegum-pop hit "No Tears Left to Cry," the bold feminist anthem "God is a Woman," and the self-love letter dedicated to fans, "Get Well Soon," which has a 5 minute and 22 second duration to honor the lives lost in the Manchester attack. Because she's been recognized several times and released an experimental pop record, Ariana Grande can take home the GRAMMY for Best Pop Vocal Album.

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