Check out our 2021 Grammy Awards predictions

Find out who we predict will win an award at the 63rd annual Grammys on Mar. 14.

Photo from Wikipedia, property of The Recording Academy

Find out who we predict will win an award at the 63rd annual Grammys on Mar. 14.

Anneliese Esparza, Editor-in-Chief

Music’s biggest night is nearly here, as the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards are scheduled for Mar. 14. Who will go home with an award and who will go home empty-handed? Here’s my best shot at predicting the winners of the four general field categories (album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist).

Album of the Year

Nominees: Chilombo (Jhené Aiko), Black Pumas Deluxe Edition (Black Pumas), Everyday Life (Coldplay), Djesse Vol. 3 (Jacob Collier), Women in Music Pt. III (HAIM), Future Nostalgia (Dua Lipa), Hollywood’s Bleeding (Post Malone), Folklore (Taylor Swift)

When nominations were announced in November, this category had one of the biggest shocks, as The Weeknd’s much-lauded After Hours was snubbed for a nomination for the night’s biggest award. The category is filled with a lot of surprise candidates, from Jacob Collier’s Djesse Vol. 3 to HAIM’s Women in Music Pt. III

Still, the real battle should be between two of the more mainstream yet much-deserving records: Taylor Swift’s masterpiece Folklore, which was made in isolation, and Dua Lipa’s upbeat disco-pop album Future Nostalgia. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of these win, but I give the edge to Folklore for better representing 2020 and because a win would be historic, making Swift the first female artist with three album of the year awards.

Who will win: Folklore

Who should win: Folklore

Record of the Year

Nominees: “Black Parade” (Beyoncé), “Colors” (Black Pumas), “Rockstar” (DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch), “Say So” (Doja Cat), “Everything I Wanted” (Billie Eilish), “Don’t Start Now” (Dua Lipa), “Circles” (Post Malone), “Savage Remix” (Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé)

I think this category will be between “Black Parade” (Beyoncé), “Don’t Start Now” (Dua Lipa), and “Savage Remix” (Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé), with Lipa as the frontrunner.

Still, don’t count out Billie Eilish, who swept all four general field categories last year. Her vulnerable song “Everything I Wanted,” about depression, suicidal thoughts and her relationship with her older brother is a strong contender for this category, and it’s the one that I’m rooting for. 

Who will win: “Don’t Start Now”

Who should win: “Everything I Wanted”

Song of the Year

Nominees: “Black Parade” (Beyoncé), “The Box” (Roddy Ricch), “Cardigan” (Taylor Swift), “Circles” (Post Malone), “Don’t Start Now” (Dua Lipa), “Everything I Wanted” (Billie Eilish), “I Can’t Breathe” (H.E.R.), “If the World Was Ending” (JP Saxe feat. Julia Michaels)

Similar to the album of the year race, this category will likely be between Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa. I anticipate that Swift will take the award here for her deft, haunting lyricism in “Cardigan,” which was Folklore’s lead single.

Another strong contender could be H.E.R., as “I Can’t Breathe” has both a relevant message of racial justice and sharp, impassioned lyricism.

Who will win: “Cardigan”

Who should win: “Cardigan”

Best New Artist

Nominees: Ingrid Andress, Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, Noah Cyrus, D Smoke, Doja Cat, Kaytranada, Megan Thee Stallion

This award is really a toss-up between indie rocker Phoebe Bridgers and rapper Megan Thee Stallion, although Doja Cat is a dark horse candidate. 

Who will win: Megan Thee Stallion

Who should win: Phoebe Bridgers 

Of course, no one can ever be sure what the Academy will pick, so we’ll just have to wait until Mar. 14 to see if my predictions were right. Below are additional predictions for some of the other awards, with predicted winners in bold. 


Best Pop Vocal Album: Changes (Justin Bieber), Chromatica (Lady Gaga), Future Nostalgia (Dua Lipa), Fine Line (Harry Styles), Folklore (Taylor Swift)

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Un Dia (One Day)” (J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy), “Intentions” (Justin Bieber feat. Quavo), “Dynamite” (BTS), “Rain On Me” (Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande), “Exile” (Taylor Swift feat. Bon Iver)

Best Pop Solo Performance: “Yummy” (Justin Bieber), “Say So” (Doja Cat), “Everything I Wanted” (Billie Eilish), “Don’t Start Now” (Dua Lipa), “Watermelon Sugar” (Harry Styles), “Cardigan” (Taylor Swift)


Best Rock Album: A Hero’s Death (Fontaines D.C.), Kiwanuka (Michael Kiwanuka), Daylight (Grace Potter), Sound & Fury (Sturgill Simpson), The New Abnormal (The Strokes)

Best Alternative Album: Fetch The Bolt Cutters (Fiona Apple), Hyperspace (Beck), Punisher (Phoebe Bridgers), Jaime (Brittany Howard), The Slow Rush (Tame Impala)

Best Rock Performance: “Shameika” (Fiona Apple), “Not” (Big Thief), “Kyoto” (Phoebe Bridgers), “The Steps” (HAIM), “Stay High” (Brittany Howard), “Daylight” (Grace Potter)

Best Rock Song: “Kyoto” (Phoebe Bridgers), “Lost In Yesterday” (Tame Impala), “Not” (Big Thief), “Shameika” (Fiona Apple), “Stay High” (Brittany Howard)


Best R&B Album: Happy 2 Be Here (Ant Clemons), Take Time (Giveon), To Feel Love/D (Luke James), Bigger Love (John Legend), All Rise (Gregory Porter)

Best Progressive R&B Album: Chilombo (Jhené Aiko), Ungodly Hour (Chloe X Halle), Free Nationals (Free Nationals), F*** Yo Feelings (Robert Glasper), It Is What It Is (Thundercat)

Best R&B Performance: “Lightning & Thunder” (Jhené Aiko feat. John Legend), “Black Parade” (Beyoncé), “All I Need” (Jacob Collier feat. Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign), “Goat Head” (Brittany Howard), “See Me” (Emily King)

Best Traditional R&B Performance: “Sit On Down” (The Baylor Project feat. Jean Baylor & Marcus Baylor), “Wonder What She Thinks Of Me” (Chloe X Halle), “Let Me Go” (Mykal Kilgore), “Anything For You” (Ledisi), “Distance” (Yebba)

Best R&B Song: “Better Than I Imagine” (Robert Glasper feat. H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello), “Black Parade” (Beyoncé), “Collide” (Tiana Major9 & Earthgang), “Do It” (Chloe X Halle), “Slow Down” (Skip Marley & H.E.R.)


Best Rap Album: Black Habits (D Smoke), Alfredo (Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist), A Written Testimony (Jay Electronica), King’s Disease (Nas), The Allegory (Royce Da 5’9”)

Best Rap Performance: “Deep Reverence” (Big Sean feat. Nipsey Hussle), “Bop” (DaBaby), “What’s Poppin” (Jack Harlow), “The Bigger Picture” (Lil Baby), “Savage Remix” (Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé), “Dior” (Pop Smoke)

Best Melodic Rap Performance: “Rockstar” (DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch), “Laugh Now, Cry Later” (Drake feat. Lil Durk), “Lockdown” (Anderson .Paak), “The Box” (Roddy Ricch), “Highest In The Room” (Travis Scott)

Best Rap Song: “The Bigger Picture” (Lil Baby), “The Box” (Roddy Ricch), “Laugh Now, Cry Later” (Drake feat. Lil Durk), “Rockstar” (DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch), “Savage” (Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé)


Best Country Album: Lady Like (Ingrid Andress), Your Life Is A Record (Brandy Clark), Wildcard (Miranda Lambert), Nightfall (Little Big Town), Never Will (Ashley McBryde)

Best Country Song: “Bluebird” (Miranda Lambert), “The Bones” (Maren Morris), “Crowded Table” (The Highwomen), “More Hearts Than Mine” (Ingrid Andress), “Some People Do” (Old Dominion)


Best Latin Pop or Urban Album: YHLQMDLG (Bad Bunny), Por Primera Vez (Camilo), Mesa Para Dos (Kany Garcia), Pausa (Ricky Martin), 3:33 (Debi Nova)

Visual Media

Best Song Written for Visual Media: “Beautiful Ghosts” [From Cats], “Carried Me With You” [From Onward], “Into the Unknown” [From Frozen 2], “No Time to Die” [From No Time to Die], “Stand Up” [From Harriet]

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: Ad Astra (Max Richter, composer), Becoming (Kamasi Washington, composer), Joker (Hildur Guðnadóttir, composer), 1917 (Thomas Newman, composer), Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (John Williams, composer)

Best Music Video: “Brown Skin Girl” (Beyoncé), “Life Is Good” (Future feat. Drake), “Lockdown” (Anderson .Paak), “Adore You” (Harry Styles), “Goliath” (Woodkid)

Best Music Film: Beastie Boys Story (Beastie Boys), Black Is King (Beyoncé), We Are Freestyle Love Supreme (Freestyle Love Supreme), Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice (Linda Ronstadt), That Little Ol’ Band From Texas  (ZZ Top)


Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Jack Antonoff, Dan Auerbach, Dave Cobb, Flying Lotus, Andrew Watt

Stay tuned for the 63rd Grammy Awards on Mar. 14.

Anneliese Esparza is a senior literature and writing studies major serving as The Cougar Chronicle’s Editor-in-Chief. She also freelances for local publications.  After graduation, she hopes to become a reporter (and eventually an editor) for a mid-size local newspaper. In her free time, Anneliese enjoys playing piano, reading, spending time with her family and hanging out with her three cats. Twitter handle: @a__esparza