Here are our predictions for the 2022 Grammys

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards takes place on Sunday, April 3. We talked about what might happen at the ceremony.

Here are our predictions for the 2022 Grammys (L) Olivia Rodrigo. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for MRC (M) Kanye West. Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images (R) Billie Eilish. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images  

What's going to go down at this year's Grammy Awards? It's a question that has plagued music writers since the dawn of time, otherwise known as 1929. Before the 64th ceremony takes place on Sunday, April 3, The FADER wrote down some thoughts on the nominations, what was left out, and how the Grammys will, undoubtedly, make all the right decisions this year.

Who's going to have the biggest night?

David Renshaw: I can't see beyond a picture of Olivia Rodrigo cradling the big four Grammys come Monday morning. The Grammys love to claim a pop star as their own and, with Billie Eilish firmly in their grasp, Rodrigo seems like a natural next step. She's young and has a social media savvy audience but, crucially, makes sense to the older voters with her traditional songwriting chops and, in "Drivers License," the undeniable biggest song of the past year.


Alex Robert Ross: I desperately want to say something interesting and left-field here. What about Silk Sonic, who, with their soft-soul throwback vibes and high production quality, seem as though they were built with the Grammys in mind? Bruno Mars cleaned up last time he was nominated, back in 2018; Anderson .Paak has taken home a couple of awards already. Or maybe Jon Batiste? He’s nominated for so many awards that even winning half of them would be a headline-grabbing success. There’s also Billie Eilish — the same Billie Eilish who dominated in 2020, just with two more years of stardom behind her. But the answer is obviously Olivia Rodrigo.

Jordan Darville: I've long abandoned the guessing game of who will win the most at the Grammys. The general consensus is Olivia Rodrigo, right? Since she's nominated for the most awards, safe money would be on her having the "biggest night" in terms of trophies. In my heart, though, I'm manifesting a win for Arooj Aftab in the Best New Artist category. A win for her there would be more important than a Rodrigo sweep.

Larisha Paul: The state of pop in the first quarter of 2022 has been so dismal in the shadow of Olivia Rodrigo’s sudden and groundbreaking debut in 2021. If Billie Eilish’s Grammys debut is any indication, hopefully in some ways more than others (another full sweep would be boring), pop’s new It Girl is slated to become the Recording Academy’s latest darling.


Raphael Helfand: I'm no good at predicting these things, but it seems to me that Olivia Rodrigo is poised to have a very big year at the Grammys. Not sure if SOUR will take Album of the Year or if "Drivers License" will take Record/Song of the Year, but it would be silly if "Good 4 U" didn't win Best Music Video, and it would seem that she's the shoo-in for Best New Artist — although wouldn't it be cool if they gave that one to Arooj Aftab?

Brandon Callender: If it’s not Doja Cat, I don’t know. It’d be nice for the Recording Academy to recognize a top tier shitposter’s contributions to music.

Who are you most excited to see?

DR: Last time Lil Nas X performed at an awards ceremony he dressed as ancient Egyptian royalty and made out with his backing dancer, causing outrage across the most boring sections of the internet. Nobody understands how to use a platform better than Nas so if anyone can inject the Grammy's with some energy and relevance it's him.

ARR: Japanese Breakfast and Arooj Aftab being beamed out to the world. The Grammys often feel like they exist in a parallel universe — a much worse, much duller place — so it’s always a weird thrill to hear independent artists you really love on that stage, even if it’s just for a moment. Performance-wise, I’m happy for any chance to hear Brandi Carlile and/or Chris Stapleton sing.


JD: Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow performing "Industry Baby." I'm not a fan of the song, but Lil Nas X knows how to put on a show. J Balvin and María Becerra singing (what I assume will be) “Qué Más Pues?” will be fun, too—their chemistry on that song has made it a deserved hit.

LP: I’m really excited about seeing Lil Nas X re-enter the GRAMMYs arena as an artist with an actual vision and presence as this crossover Black, queer, pop-rap superstar. I haven’t gotten the feeling that he’s a big frontrunner in anyone’s predictions for wins, but it feels really significant that he’s been able to arrive at this point in his career post-“Old Town Road” and rack up these incredibly well-deserved nominations. Plus, I’m so sure he’s going to put on a killer performance that’ll have me on the floor.

RH: I'm hoping BTS end up performing, even if it has to be without Jungkook and J-Hope (both of whom recently tested positive for COVID). They always put on a killer show, whether or not you're familiar with the songs. It'll also be cool to watch Olivia Rodrigo make her Grammys debut, and to see what Nas performs after King's Disease took Best Rap Album last year.


BC: Crossing my fingers on this, but I’m hoping to see Jazmine Sullivan walk across that stage more than once to pick up the trophies she deserves. It’s crazy to me that she hasn’t won a single Grammy.

What do you wish you didn’t have to see?

DR: Host Trevor Noah's hastily written gag about Will Smith that is presumably being crowbarred into his opening monologue as we speak.

ARR: I was going try to be be diplomatic here, but then I read David and Larisha’s answers and realized that we’re in for a whole night of people making extremely weak jokes about Will Smith and Chris Rock. This will be torture.

JD: Trevor Noah. Even for talented comedians (and Noah is not one), awards shows do not lend themselves to humor. It's probably because the setting and pace of these things are designed to leach out any tension needed to sustain a joke.


LP: I’m really not looking forward to hearing Trevor Noah attempt to incorporate the post-Oscars Slapgate discourse that has completely dominated GRAMMYs week into his hosting jokes. Most awards show hosts are corny – bar Cardi B at the American Music Awards and Doja Cat at the MTV Video Music Awards – which is fine, but after the week that we’ve just had online? Hard pass.

RH: "Industry Baby" is a good song, but it would be awesome if Jack Harlow stubbed his toe really hard and had to sit this one out.

BC: H.E.R. and John Legend live performances are gonna put me straight to sleep. I’m sure my mom will enjoy them though. —BC

Where could we see a legitimate surprise?

DR: H.E.R. is a magnet for industry awards and will presumably pick up more this Sunday. She's nominated eight times, five of which are in the genre categories, so "surprise" might be a stretch but it would certainly raise eyebrows were she to take home Album or Song of the Year. It's got to be worth a bet, right?

ARR I expect Halsey to take home the Best Alternative Music Album award, and that wouldn’t be a complete injustice — it’s an interesting record. But given the Best New Artist nod, I can see Michelle Zauner winning for Jubilee, which would be very cool.


JD: Kanye West winning for Donda. Yeah, he's been axed from the performances after harassing his ex-wife and her boyfriend. But the Recording Academy President Harvey Mason Jr has said "We won’t look back at people’s history" when deciding on nominees. Hence, the nod for Louis C.K. for Best Comedy Album and the presence of Marilyn Manson as a contributing artist on Donda's Album of the Year nomination. Ratings are down, and questions of the Grammys' relevance get the same level of coverage as the nominations each year. Faced with existential threats, the Grammys could make a cynical ploy for headlines and give the top award to an unfinished, mediocre project.

LP: Album of the Year is easily going to be the messiest category of the night, I think. Is the Recording Academy going to crown Olivia Rodrigo? Or give Lil Nas X his flowers for MONTERO, having previously nominated the dismal EP 7? But then again, Billie Eilish swept in 2019 before racking up two trophies – including a surprising Song of the Year win – while in-between album eras. Plus, something in the pre-GRAMMYs air has me nervous about Justin Bieber, like Justice is lurking around, waiting to pounce. This is the category the Recording Academy has historically gotten extremely wrong time and time again, so it’s almost always anyone’s guess.

RH: It would be surprising if Kanye won anything this year given his bad behavior of late, but the Grammys love Kanye and there have been reports that he may even still be performing at the ceremony, so who knows? "Jail" is probably the best nominee in the Best Rap Songs category, so it wouldn't be too far-fetched for him to win that one — although he'd have to split it with the seven other credited songwriters on the track.


BC: There’s a real chance that Silk Sonic gets shut out. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak are both beloved by the Recording Academy, but An Evening With Silk Sonic feels like a party that never really got started.

Who deserved a nomination but missed out?

DR: Jazmine Sullivan and Tyler, The Creator should both be up for Album of the Year. There is also an argument for breaking Best New Artist into two categories (Best New Artist and a Breakthrough prize) in order to accommodate artists at the beginning of their careers and those who are finally achieving long-deserved success. Best New Artist nominees Japanese Breakfast and Glass Animals have both been releasing albums for a while now. I'd swap them into the new category and replace them with EST Gee and Pinkpantheress.

ARR: I could sit here all day and say that good music should replace all of the bad music — and I would absolutely be right about that. But for the sake of brevity I will look at The FADER’s Album of the Year list from 2021 and say that Porter Robinson’s Nurture should have been nominated in one of the top four categories. That it didn’t even get a nomination for Best Electronic Album seems ridiculous.

JD: Porter Robinson for Nurture. I don't really care about what the Grammys chooses to nominate and overlook, but I was fairly surprised that the album didn't get a nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album. It's an album that would have simultaneously been an extremely worthy nomination and something that reasonably fits inside the ostensible purview of the Recording Academy.


LP: Miley Cyrus was robbed. Plastic Hearts was her most cohesive, high-quality record since Bangerz and the arrival of her rock era was long-overdue – she sounds so at home in it. I have to imagine her snub has something to do with the Recording Academy’s asinine standards of genre classification – but Miley covered all of her bases with this album and it produced some of the best songs of her career.

RH: The rock category in general is so laughably horrible, I guess anyone under 50 and not named Black Pumas who made a rock album this year would have been a more deserving nominee than any of the legacy acts in that field. Also, there really needs to be some fresh blood in the jazz category. It's cool that they finally nominated Sun Ra Arkestra for a Grammy nearly 30 years after Ra's death, but how are you making a list of best jazz albums of 2021 and not including Floating Points/Pharoah Sanders or Jeff Parker?

BC: Shawny Binladen deserved a Song of the Year nomination for “So Fresh So Clean.” I refuse to elaborate on this point.

Here are our predictions for the 2022 Grammys