Here are predictions for some of the many Grammys up for grabs Sunday night, including the four main categories.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Should win/will win: Kacey Musgraves’s sun-country pop (“Golden Hour”) and Brandi Carlile’s to-the-bone Americana (“By The Way, I Forgive You”) are genre exemplars, but no album in this year’s field has the stylistic range, artistic scope, and musicianship of Janelle Monáe’s high-concept, groove-heavy “Dirty Computer.”
Also nominated: “Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B; “Scorpion,” Drake; “H.E.R.,” H.E.R.; “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” Post Malone; “Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By,” various artists
SONG OF THE YEAR
Should win: In a year brimming with sad boys, Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up,” with its sweetly satisfied description of crushed-out feelings, was a balm.
Will win: This is a songwriting award, and Brandi Carlile is up for five other awards. “The Joke” will pull it out.
Also nominated: “All the Stars,” performed by Kendrick Lamar and SZA; “God’s Plan,” performed by Drake; “In My Blood,” performed by Shawn Mendes; “The Middle,” performed by Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey; “Shallow,” performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper; “This Is America,” performed by Childish Gambino
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Should win: The unlikely combination of pop DJ Zedd and country belter Maren Morris made for one of 2018’s best couplings, with “The Middle” its exuberant offspring.
Will win: Lady Gaga’s successful crossover into acting and ability to hold a 17-second note will give this to “Shallow,” her collaboration with Bradley Cooper.
Also nominated: “This Is America,” Childish Gambino; “I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin; “God’s Plan,” Drake; “All the Stars,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA; “Rockstar,” Post Malone; “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
BEST NEW ARTIST
Should win: The pseudonymous H.E.R. has slowly emerged from the shadows over the past two years, releasing increasingly strong collections of soul-baring R&B.
Will win: America’s music-business executives love the dusky-voiced house-music belter Dua Lipa — and so do audiences.
Also nominated: Chloe x Halle, Luke Combs, Greta Van Fleet, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha, Jorja Smith
URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
Should win: This year’s strongest genre-specific category peaks with Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Ventriloquism,” a blazing yet personal reinvention of the ‘80s pop catalog. But Miguel’s dystopian yet sexy “War & Leisure” is good too.
Will win: The Carters — that’s Jay-Z and Beyoncé — completed their take on “Scenes From a Marriage” with the triumphant, yet tender “Everything Is Love.”
Also nominated: “The Kids Are Alright,” Chloe x Halle; “Chris Dave and the Drumhedz,” Chris Dave and the Drumhedz
BEST COUNTRY DUO/
Should win: Dan + Shay’s “Tequila” is two parts ’90s boy-band ballad, one part liquor-soaked twang. No twist, but it still goes down smoothly.
Will win: “Meant to Be,” the swirling collaboration between mega-duo Florida Georgia Line and pop lifer Bebe Rexha, was a rare country-pop radio crossover.
Also nominated: “Shoot Me Straight,” Brothers Osborne; “When Someone Stops Loving You,” Little Big Town; “Dear Hate,” Maren Morris and Vince Gill
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Should win: Canadian pop idol Shawn Mendes’s self-titled album increases the tension between his voice and the guitars surrounding it, singing of everyday emotions with heart and hope.
Will win: Camila Cabello’s first album since leaving Fifth Harmony, “Camila,” is packed with crowd-pleasers and fronted by a five-tool superstar.
Also nominated: “Meaning of Life,” Kelly Clarkson; “Sweetener,” Ariana Grande; “Beautiful Trauma,” P!nk; “Reputation,” Taylor SwiftMaura Johnston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.