The best of music—singers, songwriters, producers—will be lauded at the Grammys on January 26 at the Staple Center in Los Angeles. Before the golden gramophones are engraved with 2020’s winners, I’m predicting or, more accurately, wishing, that these deserving artists, songs and albums will receive recognition on music’s biggest night.
MY PICK: Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift
Leading up to the Grammys, there has been a campaign for Beyoncé’s Homecoming to be nominated for Best Music Film and Album of the Year. But for me, her “love letter to Africa” should take home a win. I was immediately drawn into the range of rhythms—from Nigerian Afrobeat (“Don’t Jealous Me”) to West African Wassoulou (“Mood 4 Eva”) to South African gqom (“My Power”). “When I recorded that record, I knew it was special,” says Tiwa Savage about “Keys to the Kingdom,” her track with Mr Eazi. Let’s hope the Academy agrees.
MY PICK: Lizzo
Very few artists break through with big songs (“Truth Hurts” was tied for number one for seven weeks, the longest for a rap song by a female artist), a big personality and even bigger affirmations. All signs say “Hell, yes” to Lizzo for being crowned with a Grammy.
MY PICK: Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road (Remix)” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
A little ditty about a horse and a road uprooted all we know about hip-hop and country—and became the longest-running No. 1 song in U.S. history. Give Lil Nas X his trophy.
MY PICK: “Hot Girl Summer” by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
On her debut, Megan Thee Stallion urged us to “unapologetically” be our authentic selves, making her one of the hottest women in hip-hop.
MY PICK: “Built for Love” by PJ Morton featuring Jazmine Sullivan
Last year PJ Morton tied for this Grammy. This time I hope he wins it outright for the instant vintage ballad with Jazmine Sullivan.
MY PICK: Summer Walker’s EP Last Day of Summer
Technically, Walker’s fall release debut album, Over It, missed the 2019 eligibility period (which is restricted to albums released between October 1, 2018-August 31, 2019), but her EP did not—and it has just as many bops.