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When the nominations for the 65th annual Grammy Awards are announced Nov. 15, Adele, Beyoncé, Silk Sonic and Harry Styles could each wind up competing for album, record and song of the year. Adele, Beyoncé and Silk Sonic’s Bruno Mars have each swept those three nominations twice before, but this would be Styles’ first nod in any of those marquee categories.
For now, there is only one thing that’s for sure: There will be 10 nominees in each of the Big Four categories for the second year in a row. Below are Billboard’s best bets for who will be in the running.
Album of the Year
Three British pop superstars — Adele, Ed Sheeran and Styles — are apt to be nominated. They will likely face off against Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, who are still looking for their first wins in this category. The big question mark is Taylor Swift, whose Red (Taylor’s Version) could become the first rerecording of an artist’s album to be nominated for album of the year.
This would be Adele’s third consecutive album to be nominated in this category. She won with her last two studio albums, 21 and 25. 30 has spawned two top five hits on the Billboard Hot 100 — “Easy on Me” and “Oh My God.” Billboard 200 peak: No. 1 (its first six weeks)
Un Verano Sin Ti
This project is vying to become the first Spanish-language album to receive an album of the year nod. Bad Bunny won Grammys in each of the last two years with YHLQMDLG (best Latin pop or urban album) and El Último Tour del Mundo (best música urbana album). Four songs from Un Verano Sin Ti made the top 10 on the Hot 100. Billboard 200 peak: No. 1 (seven weeks so far)
Released July 29, Renaissance would be Beyoncé’s fourth album to be nominated in this category, following I Am… Sasha Fierce (2009), Beyoncé (2014) and Lemonade (2016). She would become the first woman of color to receive four album of the year nods as a lead artist.
In These Silent Days
This would be Carlile’s second album in a row to be nominated in this category. Its lead single, “Right On Time,” was nominated last year for record and song of the year. Billboard 200 peak: No. 11
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
This would be Lamar’s fourth studio album to be nominated in this category, which would tie Ye (aka Kanye West) for the most by a rapper. Four songs from Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers made the top 10 on the Hot 100. Billboard 200 peak: No. 1 (one week)
This would be Sheeran’s second nod in this category. Two songs from =, “Bad Habits” and “Shivers,” made the top five on the Hot 100. “Bad Habits” was nominated last year for song of the year. Billboard 200 peak: No. 1 (one week)
An Evening With Silk Sonic
“Leave the Door Open,” the debut hit by the retro-soul duo of Mars and Anderson .Paak, won four awards at the 64th annual Grammys in April. An Evening With Silk Sonic won album of the year at the BET Awards in June. The project spawned two top five hits on the Hot 100, “Leave the Door Open” and “Smokin’ Out the Window.” Billboard 200 peak: No. 2
Two years ago, Styles’ smash “Watermelon Sugar” won best pop solo vocal performance, but he is overdue for a nod in a Big Four category. Four songs from Harry’s House made the top 10 on the Hot 100. Billboard 200 peak: No. 1 (two weeks)
Red (Taylor’s Version)
This would be Swift’s sixth nomination in this category, which would tie Barbra Streisand for the most nods by a female artist. Moreover, it would be the third year in a row Swift has been nominated — the most consecutive years with a nod in this category since Lady Gaga three-peated from 2009 to 2011. Swift’s original Red was nominated nine years ago. Billboard 200 peak: No. 1 (one week)
Encanto film soundtrack
This is vying to become the first soundtrack to an animated movie to be nominated in this category since Beauty and the Beast 30 years ago. The album produced two top five hits on the Hot 100 — “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure.” Billboard 200 peak: No. 1 (nine weeks)
Within Reach: Drake, Honestly, Nevermind; Future, I Never Liked You; Elton John, The Lockdown Sessions; Miranda Lambert, Palomino; Lizzo, Special; Post Malone, Twelve Carat Toothache; Bonnie Raitt, Just Like That…; Rosalía, Motomami; Summer Walker, Still Over It; The Weeknd, Dawn FM
Song of the Year
Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version),” an expanded take of a song from her 2012 album, Red, may not be eligible, though the Academy hasn’t made a final ruling. The rules state: “A song … must have been released on a recording for the first time, or achieved prominence for the first time, during the current eligibility year.” Last year, seven of the 10 works that were nominated for record of the year were also nominated for song of the year. This year, it looks like six could be up for both awards.
“About Damn Time”
Songwriters: Blake Slatkin, Eric Frederic, Larry Price, Malcolm McLaren, Melissa Jefferson, Ronald Larkins, Stephen Hague, Theron Makiel Thomas
This would be the second nod in this category for Jefferson (aka Lizzo) and Frederic, who were both also co-writers of “Truth Hurts.”
“As It Was”
Songwriters: Harry Styles, Thomas Hull, Tyler Johnson
This would be Styles’ first nomination in a songwriting category. His three nominations two years ago were for best pop solo performance (which he won), best pop vocal album and best music video.
Songwriters: Delacey, Dove Cameron, Evan Blair, Skyler Stonestreet
This sultry single with a provocative lyric has helped Cameron leave her Disney Channel image behind. This would be the second year in a row that a song with an LGBTQ+ overtone was nominated in this category. Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” was nominated last year.
“Break My Soul”
Songwriters: Beyoncé Knowles, Shawn Carter, Freddie Ross, Terius Nash, Christopher Stewart, Allen George, Fred McFarlane, Adam Pigott
Beyoncé, Nash and Stewart were among the writers of “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” which won this category 13 years ago. This would be Beyoncé’s fifth nod in this category.
“Easy On Me”
Songwriters: Adele Adkins, Greg Kurstin
Adele and Kurstin won in this category six years ago for co-writing “Hello.” Adele previously won for co-writing “Rolling in the Deep,” and Kurstin was previously nominated for co-writing Kelly Clarkson’s smash “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”
Songwriters: Jackman Harlow, Jasper Harris, Douglas Ford, Rogét Chahayed, José Velazquez, Micaiah Raheem, Nickie Jon Pabón, Ryan Vojtesak, Stacy Ferguson, Jamal Jones, Will Adams, Elvis Williams, Christopher Bridges
This would be Chahayed’s second nomination in this category. He received his first nod last year for writing Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More.”
“Glimpse Of Us”
Songwriters: George Miller, Joel Castillo, Alexis Kesselman, Connor McDonough, Riley McDonough
The recording by Miller (aka Joji) entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 10 on the strength of heavy TikTok activity. If enough voters hear it, this poignant ballad could have a shot at a nod.
“Numb Little Bug”
Songwriters: Em Beihold, Nick Lopez, Dru DeCaro
This song’s whimsical nature belies the serious points it makes about mental health. Grammy voters often respond to songs with such lyrics, with nominations in this category in recent years for Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” (featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid) and Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood.”
“Smokin’ Out the Window”
Songwriters: Bruno Mars, Brandon Anderson, Dernst Emile II
If this is nominated, Mars will tie Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie for the most nods in this category (six). Mars, Anderson (aka Anderson .Paak) and Emile (aka D’Mile) are the reigning champs in this category for “Leave the Door Open.” In addition, D’Mile won the previous year for co-writing H.E.R.’s Black Lives Matter anthem, “I Can’t Breathe.”
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno”
Songwriter: Lin-Manuel Miranda
This would be Miranda’s first nomination in this category, as well as the first song penned by only one songwriter to be nominated since Taylor Swift’s “Lover” three years ago.
Within Reach: “Enemy,” Imagine Dragons and JID; “Fingers Crossed,” Lauren Spencer-Smith; “Hrs & Hrs,” Muni Long; “I Hate U,” SZA; “Love Me More,” Sam Smith; “MAMIII,” Becky G featuring Karol G; “N95,” Kendrick Lamar; “Sweetest Pie,” Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa; “Wait 4 U,” Future featuring Drake & Tems; “Woman,” Doja Cat
Record of the Year
Six hits that would have been strong contenders in this category were released prior to Oct. 1, 2021, the start of the eligibility year. As such, they aren’t eligible, though live or alternate recordings of the songs may be. Those hits are Latto’s “Big Energy,” Lil Nas X’s “Thats What I Want,” Ed Sheeran’s “Shivers,” Justin Bieber’s “Ghost,” Doja Cat’s “Need To Know” and GAYLE’s “abcdefu.”
Adele, “Easy On Me”
This tender piano ballad will almost certainly lead to Adele’s fourth nomination in this category, following nods for “Chasing Pavements,” “Rolling in the Deep” and “Hello.” “Easy on Me” topped the Hot 100 for 10 weeks, one of only two singles to stay on top that long in this eligibility period.
Becky G Featuring Karol G, “MAMIII”
This would be the first all-Latin collaboration to be nominated. It would also be the third all-female pairing to get the nod in as many years, following Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” (featuring Beyoncé) and Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” (featuring SZA). Hot 100 peak: No. 15
Beyoncé, “Break My Soul”
This dance smash would be Beyoncé’s eighth single to be nominated in this category, which would set a new record. She’s tied for the lead with Frank Sinatra with seven nods each. Hot 100 peak: No. 7 (so far)
Doja Cat, “Woman”
This song could put Doja in record of the year contention for a third consecutive year following nods for “Say So” and “Kiss Me More.” Doja would be only the third woman in Grammy history to land three straight nominations in this category, following Roberta Flack (1972-74) and Billie Eilish (2019-21). Hot 100 peak: No. 7
Jack Harlow, “First Class”
This smash, which interpolates Fergie’s “Glamorous,” could lead to Harlow’s first record of the year nod. His previous hits “Whats Poppin” and “Industry Baby” (a collaboration with Lil Nas X) were nominated in rap performance categories. Hot 100 peak: No. 1 (three weeks)
Imagine Dragons & JID, “Enemy”
This rock-rap fusion, from the animated streaming series Arcane, would be the first song from a TV show to be nominated. This also would be Imagine Dragons’ second nod in this category; the band was in contention nine years ago for “Radioactive.” Hot 100 peak: No. 5
Lizzo, “About Damn Time”
This smash, which could have slid right into a 1979 disco playlist, has the flirty, playful sound and positive energy that have become Lizzo’s trademarks. It could bring her a second nod in this category, after she was nominated three years ago for her breakthrough hit, “Truth Hurts.” Hot 100 peak: No. 1
Silk Sonic, “Smokin’ Out the Window”
Silk Sonic was victorious for both record and song of the year with “Leave the Door Open.” The duo could return to the finals in both categories with this hit. This would be Bruno Mars’ seventh record of the year nomination and Anderson .Paak’s second. Hot 100 peak: No. 5.
Harry Styles, “As It Was”
On this sleek global smash, Styles projects the confidence and ease of an artist hitting his commercial and creative peak. Styles is vying to join such other boy band alums as Michael Jackson, Ricky Martin and Justin Timberlake with a solo nod in this category. Hot 100 peak: No. 1 (10 weeks)
Taylor Swift, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)”
This would be Swift’s fifth nod in this category and her first since “Blank Space” seven years ago. “All Too Well” broke the record held by Don McLean’s “American Pie” for nearly five decades as the longest song to top the Hot 100, where it ruled for one week.
Within Reach: Em Beihold, “Numb Little Bug”; Dove Cameron, “Boyfriend”; Future featuring Drake & Tems, “Wait 4 U”; Joji, “Glimpse of Us”; Kendrick Lamar, “N95”; Muni Long, “Hrs & Hrs”; Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa, “Sweetest Pie”; Lauren Spencer-Smith, “Fingers Crossed”; SZA, “I Hate U”; Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz and cast of Encanto, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”
Best New Artist
This contest seems more wide open than in the last three years, when Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Olivia Rodrigo, respectively, were clear favorites. As past Grammy nominees, Tems, Walker Hayes, Big Thief and Chlöe are ineligible. Though the hits by GAYLE and Latto were released prior to this eligibility year, the academy has shown a bit more flexibility in this category in an effort to be inclusive.
Beihold, 23, cracked the top 20 on the Hot 100 with “Numb Little Bug.” She received attention on TikTok for her songs “City of Angels” and “Groundhog Day,” which led to her signing with Republic Records in January.
Bryan’s third studio album, American Heartbreak, reached No. 1 on Top Country Albums and No. 5 on the Billboard 200. The album’s fifth single, “Something in the Orange,” climbed to No. 3 on Hot Country Songs. Bryan would be the third male country artist to be nominated in this category in the past five years, following Luke Combs and Jimmie Allen.
The Grammy screening committee may have a lively debate regarding whether Cameron should be considered a new artist, due to her extensive previous work on Disney Channel projects. It may adhere to the usual Grammy philosophy in this category — to err on the side of inclusiveness. Such recent nominees as Alessia Cara, Megan Thee Stallion and Jimmie Allen weren’t entirely new when they were recognized.
GAYLE reached No. 3 on the Hot 100 with the witty “abcdefu,” a takedown of everything she wouldn’t miss about her no-good former boyfriend. (She spared his dog.) GAYLE is just 18, the same age as three major artists who were nominated in the past few years: Billie Eilish, The Kid LAROI and Olivia Rodrigo.
Latto won best new artist at the BET Awards in June. She’s vying to become the fifth artist to win in this category at both shows, following Alicia Keys, John Legend, Sam Smith and Chance the Rapper. Latto’s “Big Energy” reached No. 3 on the Hot 100. Her second album, 777, hit No. 15 on the Billboard 200.
The Linda Lindas
This all-female punk-rock band won best punk record at the Libera Awards in June for “Racist, Sexist Boy.” Its members are all between 11 and 17, which is similar to Hanson, whose members were between 12 and 17 when they were nominated in this category 25 years ago.
Long’s breakthrough this year with the sensuous ballad “Hrs & Hrs” (which reached No. 16 on the Hot 100) was a long time coming: She has been releasing records since 2009. Until this year, she was best-known as a writer for other artists. Her co-writes include Pitbull’s “Timber” (featuring Kesha), Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It” and Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood’s “Somethin’ Bad.”
This British-born Canadian artist had a top 20 hit on the Hot 100 with “Fingers Crossed.” Spencer-Smith is just 18, the same age as GAYLE. If both receive nods, this will be the first time two female solo teens were nominated in the same year since Avril Lavigne and Michelle Branch 20 years ago.
The British indie-rock band was founded in 2019 by Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers. Their eponymous debut album, featuring the viral hit “Chaise Longue,” reached No. 14 on the Billboard 200. Wet Leg won two trophies at the Libera Awards — breakthrough artist/release and video of the year, both for “Chaise Longue.” Wet Leg and The Linda Lindas may be the only groups to receive nominations. That’s par for the course. The last time there were more than two bands in the running was 2012.
Wilson’s single “Things a Man Oughta Know” reached No. 1 on Country Airplay, No. 3 on Hot Country Songs and No. 32 on the Hot 100. She won two awards at the Academy of Country Music Awards in March: new female artist of the year and song of the year for “Things a Man Oughta Know.”
Within Reach: Omar Apollo, Eslabon Armado, Blxst, CKay, Jnr Choi, Mitski, PinkPantheress, Morgan Wade, Mimi Webb, Bailey Zimmerman
This story originally appeared in the July 30, 2022, issue of Billboard.