THE 2022 GRAMMYS: Predictions and Problems


A 1960s family, together on a burgundy couch, glued to their TV, watching Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles. Then, a group of college freshmen in the 90s, seeing Whitney Houston’s knockout performance of “I Will Always Love You”. Next, 2000’s teens obsessing over Beyonce’s “Dangerously In Love” performance. The Grammys have been a massive part of music and celebrity culture since their start in 1958. While the Grammys have had many controversial issues, especially in the last few years with the lack of diversity in their nominations and their incredibly biased voting process, they’ve undeniably had a profound impact on the future of music for the last 64 years. But how will they fit into the values of musicians and the public alike as viewership declines throughout all popular award shows?

As someone who listened to 50,000 minutes of music last year according to my Spotify Wrapped, I am an avid music enthusiast. While I recognize the flaws in the Grammy organization, I can’t help but get annoyingly obsessed with praying for my favorite artists to win the awards they are nominated for. Yet every year, I am always dissatisfied with many of the choices the Recording Academy makes when awarding the top artists of the year. So, to fix this, I have curated a list of the main 4 Grammy categories: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist and their nominees. Imagining if I was the President of the Grammys, I will give each award to who or what I think deserves it. Then, along with my own choices, I will predict who will realistically win, understanding the history of who the Grammys usually pick to win the awards.

Record of the Year

Ellie’s Pick: Leave the Door Open – Silk Sonic

Prediction: Kiss Me More – Doja Cat featuring SZA

Other Nominees:I Still Have Faith In You” by ABBA, “Freedom” by Jon Batiste, “I Get A Kick Out Of You” by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, “Peaches” by Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon, “Right On Time” by Brandi Carlile, “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X, and “driver’s license” by Olivia Rodrigo.

Starting with Record of the Year, this award primarily recognizes not only the artist but also the producers and engineers who also created the song, while the Song of the Year category is awarded to the songwriter(s), based on the quality of the melodies and lyrics. This year, this category is a battle generally between only 2 nominees: “Kiss Me More” and “driver’s license”. While both songs have a great chance of winning, Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More”, was the soundtrack to summer ’21. It is currently the longest-running all-female top 10 hit in US history and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Due to the song’s mass success on TikTok, its major disco-influenced, the hyper-feminine vibe has practically become ingrained in all our DNA. While Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open”, Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever”, and Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” were some of 2021’s best, “Kiss Me More” will inevitably have the best chance of bagging this award due to its undeniable commercial success.

Song of the Year

Ellie’s Pick: driver’s license – Olivia Rodrigo

Prediction: driver’s license – Olivia Rodrigo

Other Nominees: “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran, “A Beautiful Noise” by Alicia Keys featuring Brandi Carlile, “Fight For You” by H.E.R.”, “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish, “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA, “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X.

When we look back at 2021, all that may come to our minds is Olivia Rodrigo. It seems that no one has dominated the music scene quite so quickly and overwhelmingly as she has. “Driver’s license” never left the charts, the radio, TikTok, or our heads as Rodrigo continued to completely control the entire world’s ears. Because of many factors such as the nature of public opinion and fame, many have already started turning on their positive view of Rodrigo and she is now starting to receive the outdated and highly sexist criticism that Taylor Swift has been fighting her entire career. However, objectively, “driver’s license” is quite possibly a perfect pop song and it is quite certain that it will receive not only this award but many others.

Album of the Year

Ellie’s Pick: Sour – Olivia Rodrigo

Prediction: Sour – Olivia Rodrigo

Other nominees: “We Are” by Jon Batiste, “Love For Sale” by Tony Bennet and Lady Gaga, “Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)” by Justin Bieber, “Planet Her (Deluxe)” by Doja Cat, “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish, “Back of My Mind” by H.E.R, “Montero” by Lil Nas X, “evermore” by Taylor Swift, and “Donda” by Kanye West

As said previously, Olivia Rodrigo had a concrete chokehold on the world in 2021. Met with critical acclaim upon release, “Sour” garnered 385 million streams in its first week on Spotify, making it the biggest opening week for an album by a female artist on the platform. Heavily influenced by fellow nominees, Taylor Swift, Lorde, Alanis Morrissette, and Paramore, Rodrigo creates a seamless, skip-less, 34-minutes-of-everything-you’d-want-in-an-up-incoming-sad-girl-pop-superstar album, filled with gritty teenage-angst and rivers of tears; this award has her name written all over it.

Best New Artist

Ellie’s Pick – Olivia Rodrigo

Prediction – Olivia Rodrigo

Other nominees – Arooj Aftab, Jimmie Allen, Baby Keem, FINNEAS, Glass Animals, Japanese Breakfast, The Kid LAROI, Arlo Parks, and Saweetie

This goes without saying. If you disagree, I don’t believe that you lived in the year 2021.

While I may care what the outcome of these awards will be, it isn’t clear if anyone else does. In 2021, the Grammys had a viewership of 8.8 million, a 58% drop from the previous year (2020 garnered 18.7 million viewers). This is because of many reasons, the most obvious being the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, it may just be because no one cares what a heavily commercialized organization has to say about an industry based on something so fluid and ever-changing. Also, the length of the actual show is sometimes unbearable and pointless when you can get caught up in a matter of minutes on Twitter the next morning. Declining viewership is not subject to just the Grammys, but also all major award shows, like the Emmy Awards and the Oscars. The next few years will be essential to understand how much the little bronze statues will matter to the entertainment industry. 

Even though in the zeitgeist of modern music, the Grammys have held a strong presence, it will be fascinating to see what happens with them as we start valuing award shows less and less. There will always be worth in seeing the best artists be rewarded for their contributions to music, however, the current system must be evolved in order to continue progressing with the world around us. Not only will the upcoming Grammy Awards be a crucial moment to predict some of the biggest stars in music’s future critical success, but also the future of the music industry and the award shows themselves.