Nominations for the 58th annual GRAMMY awards will be revealed on Monday (Dec. 7), so it’s time to start wrapping up the predictions for the big four categories: album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist. Record of the year is going to be a stuffed category, with several award-show darlings boasting big pop hits and a few outsiders believing that they have a legitimate shot at the shortlist. Who will follow up Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” win in 2015? We’ll find out in February, but we have a pretty good idea as to who will be competing come GRAMMY night.
Here are our official predictions for the five songs that will have their titles called when the record of the year nominees are announced next week. Check out our forecast, and tell us what you think! Also, check out our best new artist predictions here.
Undeniable fact: Ed Sheeran is a GRAMMY darling, with six nominations to his name, including three in the four major categories. Another undeniable fact: Ed Sheeran has yet to actually win a GRAMMY. “Thinking Out Loud” seems like a shoo-in for record of the year—which, coincidentally, is the only major category he hasn’t been nominated in.
Another No. 1 hit that looks to the past for inspiration, the Weeknd’s take on MJ swagger became his first chart-topper and features super-sleek production from Max Martin. Few artists had bigger years than Abel Tesfaye, and “Can’t Feel My Face” is a solid bet here.
A handful of bigger stars could show up in the final slot—we’re looking at you, Justin Bieber—but the smart money’s on country darling Sam Hunt, whose “Take Your Time” was soulful and smart in a way that GRAMMY voters love. Country doesn’t typically resonate in this category, but Hunt is not your typical country artist.