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SONG OR RECORD? SWIFT'S STRATEGIC SPLIT

Releasing the year's biggest debut a week ahead of the Grammy submission deadline, Taylor Swift calls the shots for all things Swiftian, and she's damn good at it. Taylor didn't merely orchestrate every single step in the high-profile campaign for Lover, her first album through Republic, the savvy superstar did so with Grammy submissions in the foreground of her overall strategy.

The strategy she concocted was bold: She submitted "Lover" for Song of the Year and submitted "You Need to Calm Down" for Record of the Year. While she wasn't the first to do this—and certainly won't be the last—Taylor's overarching belief that she could walk away with wins in SOTY and ROTY with two separate tracks for the biggies speaks volumes about supreme self-confidence as well as her DIY acumen.

Last year, Childish Gambino's "This Is America" won for both ROTY and SOTY. But perhaps serving as an inspiration to Swift's 2020 strategy, two years ago Bruno Mars won ROTY and SOTY for two separate tracks: "24k Magic" (Record) and "That's What I Like" (Song).

Similarly, Swift's labelmate Ariana Grande submitted "7 rings" for ROTY and "thank u, next" for SOTY.

By contrast, Beyoncé submitted the same track—"Spirit”—for both Record and Song, as did Lady Gaga with "Always Remember Us This Way," Khalid with "Talk" and Billie Eilish with "bad guy."

By definition, ROTY honors the recording, while SOTY is a songwriter's award, but during the last decade, smashes like Sam Smith's "Stay With Me," Adele's "Hello" and Gambino's "This Is America" have taken home both.

How will Taylor's bifurcated campaign for the two tracks play out during the first round of voting? That will come into focus next weekend when she performs on SNL.

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