The 2024 Grammys: Comparing the expectations to the realities

The 2024 Grammys: Comparing the expectations to the realities

Commentary: With a star-studded nominations list and (at least) a few snubs, this year’s Grammy Awards either pleased or disappointed fans.

SZA performs during the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
SZA performs hits from her album “SOS” at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards

Grammy season; the time of year when music fans take their stance on who deserves to win an award, who shouldn’t and everyone’s controversial predictions on certain albums winning over others. Over the years we have seen countless snubs paired with shocking wins, leading to overall excitement or failure in the future of the music industry.

Based on this years recent trends for both musicians and albums, it is time to dwindle the nominations into a single winner. Below are my predictions and reactions to the 66th Annual Grammy Awards show.

The Predictions & Nominee Overviews

When it comes to Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year, expect the female-led pop and R&B genres to dominate. Taylor Swift, SZA, and Billie Eilish should all take a Grammy in specific categories. Swift’s “Anti-Hero” and Eilish’s “What Was I Made For [From the Motion Picture Barbie]” will compete for record and song of the year, while SZA’s SOS or Swift’s Midnights could very well take home the best Album of the Year.

2024’s Best New Artist will feature at least one snub. It’s a guarantee every year, especially with how stacked the field can be. Talent-wise, I expect Noah Kahan to take home the award, but that would leave out current rap superstar Ice Spice, country sensation Jelly Roll and the immensely talented house producer Fred again.. out of the picture. Regarding popularity, Ice Spice is probably the odds-on favorite to win the Grammy.

Rap Album of the Year has been one of the most debated categories within the past decade, as it is clear we have seen some of the biggest Grammy snubs coming from this category. This award should be between two picks: Heroes & Villains by Metro Boomin, who may also take home Producer of the Year, and Travis Scott’s UTOPIA. Scott’s 2018 loss with Astroworld left a sore taste in his mouth, as referenced across his recent album, and it will be another close call in 2024 between Metro and Travis.

In the country and R&B sections, I anticipate Zach Bryan, Coco Jones, Chris Stapleton and SZA to all win awards in their nominated categories. I believe Zach Bryan will be crowned with Country Album of the Year. R&B Album of the Year should be a toss-up between Victoria Monet and the previously mentioned Coco Jones, but I believe Jones will take it.

The Reactions

Miley Cyrus’ success with “Flowers,” winning both Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance over nominees like Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and album of the year winner Swift came as a bit of a surprise to me. Cyrus taking home her first Grammy award was a highlight, even moreso that she had multiple wins.

Flipping to the other side of the spectrum, Midnights winning Album of the Year came as a no-brainer. Additionally, Swift broke social media shortly after winning Best Pop Vocal Album, surprising audiences with a new upcoming album, The Tortured Poet’s Department, to be released in April. SZA and Billie Eilish also dominated the awards, leaving with a combined five Grammys.

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Killer Mike has been in rap for a long time, coming up with Outkast and the rest of Atlanta in the early 2000s, and delivered a solid performance on Michael. Yet, the album winning over UTOPIA and Heroes & Villains comes as a huge surprise. The Travis Scott snubs continue for one of the most talented artists in the game right now, and now two of his best pieces of work have failed to win Grammys despite being heavy favorites going in. 

Country’s Album of the Year going to Lainey Wilson was a great selection. Wilson poured talent into Bell Bottom Country, and the Grammy win was well deserved. Chris Stapleton and Zach Bryan would also win Grammys for singles “White Horse” and “I Remember Everything.” 

In my eyes, Victoria Monét was a great pick for Best New Artist and R&B Album of the Year. Although she had fierce competition, Monét received many nominations at this year’s award show and took home two of the night’s biggest, winning three overall.

Besides the winners, this year’s performances also lived up to expectations. Billy Joel debuted his first new song in over 30 years, Travis Scott brought out Playboi Carti for “FE!N,” SZA played a phenomenal set for “Kill Bill,” and a strong conclusion from Burna Boy stood out as the major highlights.