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THE GRAMMY CHEW:
ALBUM CONTENDERS

This edition of the Chew takes a look at a batch of Grammy contenders for Album of the Year—some obvious, some long shots. We have a large group vying for those eight spots, so let’s get right to it.

Billie Eilish: The teen marvel has to be the lock of the century, and is likelier than anyone to enjoy noms in all or most of the major categories. Her cultural impact is off the charts and she is a textbook new-artist story.

Ariana Grande: She wasn’t recognized last year, when she had huge success—and this year she’s even bigger, having fully cracked the streaming code with her most impactful material yet. Beware: The same committees are voting this year. All we can say is, enough already.

Khalid: He just gets bigger and bigger. Simply stated, there are no Grammys this year without Khalid in multiple categories. Get your calculators ready.

Taylor Swift: Let the controversy begin. Will the Academy recognize the world’s biggest star?

Beyoncé: Her Homecoming was an event and a distillation of everything that makes her a goddess. Will the Academy give this set its due even though it’s a live album? Ask Peter Frampton.

A Star Is Born: This gigantic cultural event, with Gaga showing still more stunning range and Bradley showing real music chops, should be a lock. Last year’s Grammy deadline fell between the drop of “Shallow” and the album.

P!nk: It’s amazing that, after all these years, P!nk hasn’t yet been given an AOTY nom. We thought she deserved it last time, and we think she deserves it this time.

Lizzo: The singer/songwriter/rapper is Eilish’s only rival for cultural impact, and her album has earned unqualified raves. It would be surprising if she didn’t make the cut.

Maggie Rogers: She’s right in the Grammy sweet spot. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this singer/songwriter, long a favorite of industry tastemakers, receive a top-tier nod.

Ed Sheeran: The mega-star had another dominant year, with lots of high-profile collabs. But Grammy politics have kept him from the recognition a star of his caliber would typically expect. Will Academy insiders change course?

Tyler, The Creator: The well-respected, forward-looking rapper’s latest is his most mass-appeal release yet, underscoring that he really is a Creator—and certainly deserving of a Best Album nod.

Dreamville: J. Cole’s compilation presents an opportunity for the Academy to recognize his enormous contribution to music and culture—he’s more than deserving.

Maren Morris: The Nashville star is woven into the Grammy fabric, and earned a BNA nod the first time out. Her GIRL set is all about female empowerment and she’s the first woman to get a #1 at Country radio in 18 months. A long shot, perhaps, but keep an eye on the CMA noms for possible foreshadowing.

Lewis Capaldi: The Scottish troubadour has gotten stronger and stronger during the eligibility period and seems destined to get recognized in the Best New Artist/SOTY/ROTY categories. Could the love extend to Album?

BTS: Another long shot, but these lads are leaders of the K-Pop movement. It stands to reason that the telecast’s team will want this troupe—whose rabid fans are a force of nature—on the Grammy stage.

Gary Clark, Jr.: A Grammy favorite and a peerless musician with huge appeal to traditionalists, Clark has made an album of substance that ticks a lot of Grammy boxes. Is it his time to go to the next level?

Eric Church: A gifted writer and strong performer who’s widely admired well beyond Nashville, Church continues to push the creative envelope.

Sheryl Crow:Beloved by Grammy since the beginning of her career, when Best New Artist was one of the first of many trophies, Crow returns with her strongest Grammy play in years, assisted by a stunning guest list of stars. Let’s see if momentum builds.

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