2018 Grammy Award Predictions

Story posted January 28, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment by Arts Staff.

Beloved by some and scorned by others, The Grammys are the biggest night in American music each year. Here are the Art Department’s predictions on who will take home the nights biggest awards (though not necessarily the artists that may deserve them).

*NOTE: All predicted winners are bolded.*

Record of the Year

Childish Gambino & Ludwig Goransson  - “Redbone”

Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Josh Gudwin, Mauricio Rengifo & Andrés Torres Featuring Justin Bieber - “Despacito”

JAY-Z & No I.D., - “The Story Of O.J.”

Kendrick Lamar, Asheton Hogan & Mike Will Made It - “HUMBLE.”

Bruno Mars, Shampoo Press & Curl - “24K Magic”

The Grammys have decided to pit five incredible pieces against each other for Record of the Year. However,“Redbone” will be the victor for this award. The mixing of the song and the vocal range of Childish Gambino is enough to outweigh the popular choice of “Despacito,” as well as the other contenders such as “HUMBLE.” and “24K Magic.” In addition, it was featured in popular films such as “Get Out,” boosting its prevalence and popularity and exposing more people to it. Its influence in the industry and pop culture still holds strong today. - Jack Grossman

Album of the Year

Childish Gambino - “Awaken, My Love!”

Jay-Z - 4:44

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

Lorde - Melodrama

Bruno Mars - 24K Magic

It’s unlikely that a hip hop album will take home this award for several reasons. For one, it is likely that 4:44 and DAMN. split the vote from the hip hop community. Also, hip hop has traditionally not gotten the respect from the Grammy Awards that it deserves. The surprise album to be nominated though was Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” Donald Glover has been having a major mainstream moment in the last year and him being nominated and winning this award feels like the icing on the cake. - David Arroyo

Song of the Year

Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber) - “Despacito”

Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z) - “4:44”

Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels) - “Issues”

Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid) - “1-800-273-8255”

Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars) - “That’s What I Like”

Awards shows like to make statements and there is no better statement that the Grammy Awards could make than by giving a song about mental health song of the year. Although a song that does not truly capture the essence of what it is like to have mental health issues, the impact “1-800” had is undeniable. There are far more deserving winners in this category, but Logic put himself in a perfect position to win. Creating a song alongside Alessia Cara and Khalid, two artists major labels desperately want to push down our throats, basically locks this award up for the rapper. - David Arroyo

Best New Artist

Alessia Cara


Lil Uzi Vert

Julia Michaels


When it comes to the selection of Best New Artists, the voters have been given a stellar cast of artists. Despite this, Khalid, with his rapidly increasing and phenomenal popularity, is sure to snag the award. With help from Kylie Jenner in exposing him to the world, hundreds and thousands of fans flocked to him in record time. It set not only a new standard, but higher expectations for R&B/Soul industry plants like himself. The rapid advancement of his fan base and charts for his albums are going to secure him the award of Best New Artist over the likes of more deserving artists like Lil Uzi Vert and SZA. - Jack Grossman

Best Rock Album

Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand

Metallica - Hardwired… To Self-Destruct

Nothing More - The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Queens Of The Stone Age - Villains

The War On Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

Though The War On Drugs had the strongest release of all the nominees and Metallica has been a favorite of the voting board before, Villains will more than likely take the award for the fact that industry golden child Mark Ronson produced the album. Ronson has one five prior grammys (three less than Metallica) for records such as Bruno Mars’  “Uptown Funk” and Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” With his successful foray into the rock world and Queens of the Stone Age somehow with no Grammys under their belt still despite being one of the few commercially successful traditional-rock bands of the 2010s, Villains will take home the award. - Chandler Copenheaver

Best Alternative Music Album

Arcade Fire - Everything Now

Gorillaz - Humanz

LCD Soundsystem - American Dream

Father John Misty - Pure Comedy

The National - Sleep Well Beast

The alternative category should be another instance this year where the nominee most deserving of the award is able to bring it home. With appearances on SNL, widespread critical acclaim from mainstream and independent publications and a decent chart performance, Father John Misty is the kind of artist the voting board can pick to look like they have strong sense of the independent music scene. With co-signs from Grammy favorites Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, Father John Misty’s dystopian vision of America is a fitting pick for the current political and social climate. - Chandler Copenheaver

Best Urban Contemporary Album

6LACK - Free 6LACK

Childish Gambino - “Awaken, My Love!”

Khalid - American Teen

SZA - Ctrl

The Weeknd - Starboy

The rational around this pick is simple: “Awaken, My Love!” is the only album on the list that is nominated for Album of the Year. Because of that, it will win this award. However, SZA should actually be getting the award for Ctrl. One of the most empowering albums of the last year, SZA deserves all of the praise she is getting for that album. She won’t get the ultimate prize because of Donald Glover, but she should. - David Arroyo

Best R&B Album

Daniel Caesar - Freudian

Ledisi - Let Love Rule

Bruno Mars - 24K Magic

PJ Morton - Gumbo

Musiq Soulchild - Feel the Real

Another fairly obvious choice, Bruno Mars also has the best album on the list. Bruno Mars took a different strategy from most of his contemporaries, choosing to go with quality over quantity. That one quality album, almost two years later, is still producing hits for Mars. If not Bruno Mars, Daniel Caesar has a great chance to win with his breakout Freudian. However, it is highly unlikely that Mars doesn’t win this one. - David Arroyo

Best Rap Album

JAY-Z - 4:44

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

Migos- Culture

Rapsody - Laila’s Wisdom

Tyler, The Creator - Flower Boy

The voters are faced with a tough decision to make when deciding what will win Rap Album of the Year, considering the strength of the field. But, the voters will have a hard time voting against an album like Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. DAMN. was heard everywhere, which was evident considering every song off the album was on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Not to mention “LOVE.,” “LOYALTY.,” “DNA.” and “HUMBLE.” charted inside the top 15, with “HUMBLE.” peaking at number one. Out of every album in the field, DAMN. separates itself from the pack because of how large of an audience it was able to reach. - Jerome Taylor

Best Country Album

Kenny Chesney - Cosmic Hallelujah

Lady Antebellum - Heart Break

Little Big Town - The Breaker

Thomas Rhett - Life Changes

Chris Stapleton - From A Room: Volume 1

Chris Stapleton's From A Room: Volume 1 not only will, but deserves to win Country Album of the Year at the 60th Grammy Awards. Stapleton is the epitome of what country music should be and given how Stapleton leads with the most nominees for a country artist this year, it’s safe to say Grammy voters will agree. His powerful soulful voice paired with his songwriting skills make him stand out from the other nominees in the category. He hasn't transformed his music to the modern country-pop sound, keeping the traditional twang sound, which makes From A Room: Volume 1 the perfect contender to win country album of the year. - Lauren Smith


Jack Grossman is a sophomore majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jackdgrossman@gmail.com.

David Arroyo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email arroyodavid01@gmail.com.

Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email chandlercopenheaver@gmail.com.

Jerome Taylor is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jerometaylor91697@gmail.com.

Lauren Smith is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email lks5244@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

David Arroyo's photo

David Arroyo

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

David Arroyo is both a social media and arts director for CommRadio and also contributes to the sports staff. He has served as a producer for multiple Penn State sports while in CommRadio, has done play by play for Penn State sporting events such as football, basketball and volleyball and co-hosted and produced his own talk show. During the fall of 2017, David was also an anchor, producer and reporter for the Centre County Report. David has interned at B94.5 (State College) and Center City Film and Video (Philadelphia). Follow him on Twitter (@_arroyodavid) or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

ChandlerCopenheaver's photo


Senior / Public Relations

Chandler Copenheaver is a Production Director and Arts Director of CommRadio who has been a member of CommRadio since the spring of 2015. Chandler’s responsibilities entail managing the production department, managing the arts department, creating audio commercials for CommRadio and external organizations, scheduling commercial blocks, and writing editorial content related to the arts. Chandler Copenheaver has worked most recently at Arlington Thrive in Arlington, VA as a Development & Program Intern, WellSpan Health in South Central PA as a Public Relations & Marketing Intern and served as a teaching assistant for the Penn State course BiSci 3 Environmental Science. Chandler aims to work in the fields of Public Relations, Communications Strategy or Communications Management. Follow him on Twitter @C_Copenheaver or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Lauren Smith's photo

Lauren Smith

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Lauren is an on-air personality for Penn State’s web-based CommRadio station. She is also a member of the CommRadio arts department writing music reviews. Lauren attended the Confer Radio Talent Institute in 2016 and was accepted to attend the National Association of Broadcasting Convention in 2016 and 2017. She is also certified by the RAB and the Radio Marketing Professional Program For Radio Sales. She aspired to work as an anchor, reporter or on-air for radio and television. Her dream is to work for a station in Nashville.