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GRAMMYs 2018

2018 GRAMMYs: Fuse Staff Predicts the Winners

Will Kendrick Lamar make a clean sweep? Will Childish Gambino surprise everyone and come out on top in the biggest categories? Who will collect the coveted Best New Artist trophy? We have some opinions here at Fuse...

1
1 / 19

Album of the Year

Nominees:
Childish Gambino - "Awaken, My Love!"
Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
Lorde - Melodrama
Jay-Z - 4:44
Bruno Mars - 24k Magic

Fuse Chose: Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

DAMN., Kendrick Lamar’s fourth album, is his most beautifully crafted work to date. The rapper pushes his limits both musically and lyrically as he continues to tackle heavy topics like racism, social injustice, and the pressures placed on black men that are painfully timely in this post-Trump society. The album balances the gritty, dark themes that longtime fans appreciate with warmer topics like unconditional love and loyalty (that killer Rihanna feature doesn’t hurt either), which makes it accessible for everyone. K. Dot has already proved he’s one of the most important artists of this generation, and DAMN. supports that notion. —Bianca Gracie

2
2 / 19

Record of the Year

Nominees:
Bruno Mars - "24k Magic"
Childish Gambino - "Redbone"
Jay-Z - "The Story Of O.J."
Kendrick Lamar - "Humble."
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee - “Despacito (ft. Justin Bieber)”

Fuse Chose: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee - “Despacito (ft. Justin Bieber)”

Record of the Year honors the song that made the greatest impact and the influence of "Despacito" goes way beyond its record-breaking chart run. The Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber team up proved that a good song was a good song no matter what the language with the massive hit laying the groundwork for more Spanish-language songs to enter the charts and open the doors for international collaborations. We think the success of "Despacito" will go beyond Latin music too, with more and more people being open to listening to music in other languages after realizing how much they loved "Despacito." —Jeff Benjamin

3
3 / 19

Song of the Year

Nominees:
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee - “Despacito (ft. Justin Bieber)”
Jay-Z - "4:44"
Julia Michaels - "Issues"
Logic - "1-800-273-8255 (ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid)"
Bruno Mars - "That's What I Like"

Fuse Chose: Logic - "1-800-273-8255 (ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid)"

Song of the Year focuses on the songwriting and songwriters and it's hard to say that any of the nominees had a stronger message than "1-800-273-8255." Despite how connected the world is thanks to technology, many of us still feel alone and confused about what to do in the world when we face difficulties.  Logic Khalid and  Alessia Cara came together to tell a journey of mental anguish to mental recovery, and undoubtedly helped: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is where the song's title comes from, reported that calls have gone up 33 percent compared to last year, while getting three times the activity on Facebook. —Jeff Benjamin

4
4 / 19

Best New Artist

Nominees:
Alessia Cara
Khalid
Lil Uzi Vert
Julia Michaels
SZA

Fuse Chose: SZA

While SZA's been on the scene for a minute, the singer truly came into herself by owning her unique vocal delivery and all-too-real storytelling side with her full-length Ctrl album. While she garnered critical as well as commercial success with the LP, honoring SZA with Best New Artist will prove the importance of never giving up on your dreams—at one point SZA said "I actually quit" over delay frustrations for the album, but clearly never did—and finding yourself as an artist. —Jeff Benjamin

5
5 / 19

Best Pop Vocal Album

Nominees:
Coldplay - Kaleidoscope EP
Lana Del Rey - Lust For Life
Lady Gaga - Joanne
Kesha - Rainbow
Ed Sheeran - ÷ (Divide)
Imagine Dragons - Evolve

Fuse Chose: Lana Del Rey - Lust For Life or Ed Sheeran - ÷ (Divide)

Best Pop Vocal Album is always one of the most-talked-about categories at the GRAMMYs, since it is typically populated by the biggest and most-followed artists on the planet. Every musician nominated has a devoted fan base, and no matter who wins and who loses, there are sure to be plenty of stans disappointed that their fave didn’t own the night.

Fuse can’t decide between  Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey, both of whom have been nominated here before. It is widely thought that Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) was snubbed this year, as it didn’t receive an Album of the Year nomination, and voters may gift him this award in lieu of that oversight. Lana Del Rey has racked up several GRAMMY nominations throughout the years but never collected anything, so perhaps those in the Recording Academy will finally make her a champion this time around. —Hugh McIntyre

6
6 / 19

Best Pop Solo Performance

Nominees:
Kelly Clarkson - “Love So Soft”
Kesha - “Praying”
Lady Gaga - “Million Reasons”
Pink - “What About Us”
Ed Sheeran - “Shape Of You”

Fuse Chose: Kesha - “Praying”

After powering through several years of label drama and a dramatic, heartbreaking court battle with her former producer Dr. Luke, Kesha finally got the go-ahead to release new music, and she was more than ready to jumpstart her career with a different sound. She officially returned with “Praying,” which is both the song she had to sing and the one her fans needed to hear. The powerful tune showcases a Kesha the world had never heard before, and even though it’s autotuned, her high note at the end proves she’s still an underrated vocalist. —Hugh McIntyre

7
7 / 19

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Nominees:
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay - “Something Just Like This”
Imagine Dragons - “Thunder”
Zedd - “Stay (ft. Alessia Cara)”
Portugal. The Man - “Feel It Still”
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee - “Despacito (ft. Justin Bieber)”

Fuse Chose: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee - "Despacito (ft. Justin Bieber)"

Not only is the song a hot-fire reggaeton banger—don't deny that you love it too—but this collaboration stands out for the blending and respect of cultures coming together. Justin Bieber impressively tackled some sophisticated Spanish for his chorus while Luis Fonsi ended up adding his own English verse for the remix. The song is a celebration of cultures and languages coming together in a way only musical collaborations can and that deserves to be celebrated. —Jeff Benjamin

8
8 / 19

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Nominees:
Bonobo - Migration
Mura Masa - Mura Masa
Kraftwerk - 3-D The Catalogue
Odesza - A Moment Apart
Sylvan Esso - What Now

Fuse Chose: Mura Masa - Mura Masa

Mura Masa (known to his family as Alexander Crossan) has been a critically-acclaimed electronic musician for a few years now, and it seemed as if it was only a matter of time before he broke out in a major way and finally earned the recognition he deserved. While his debut full-length self-titled album didn’t make him a star in the U.S. or launch a big single, it has earned him some GRAMMY love for the first time. Fuse has selected him as the winner in this vertical, and a quick listen to Mura Masa will prove why we voted for him. —Hugh McIntyre

9
9 / 19

Best Rap Album

Nominees:
Jay-Z - 4:44
Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
Migos - Culture
Rapsody - Laila’s Wisdom
Tyler, The Creator - Flower Boy

Fuse Chose: Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

2018 marks the third time Kendrick Lamar has been nominated for Best Rap Album, though he’s only won the category once (he lost on his first attempt to  MacklemoreRyan Lewis, which was quite the controversy). It looks as if the upcoming GRAMMY Awards will see him earn his second piece of gold in this specific grouping, despite the fact that he’s up against noteworthy collections. We also feel that DAMN. is going to end up taking Album of the Year, so it would be strange if it didn’t lead with its own vertical. —Hugh McIntyre

10
10 / 19

Best Rap Performance

Nominees:
Big Sean - “Bounce Back”
Cardi B - “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”
Jay-Z - “4:44”
Kendrick Lamar - “Humble.”
Migos - “Bad and Boujee (ft. Lil Uzi Vert)”

Fuse Chose: Cardi B - “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” or Kendrick Lamar - “Humble.”

After putting it to a vote, we were torn between two No. 1 hip-hop singles that made major waves in 2017, and there’s a fairly solid chance that one of them will be called on Sunday. Kendrick Lamar has now been nominated four times, and he collected this prize two years in a row, first for “i” and at the following ceremony for “Alright.” When it comes to Cardi B, this year is her first time being nominated, and her flow on her breakout smash “Bodak Yellow” is undeniably impressive, and this category is likely her best shot at going home a winner. —Hugh McIntyre

11
11 / 19

Best Rap/Sung Performance

Nominees:
Jay-Z - “Family Feud (ft. Beyonce)”
Goldlink - “Crew (ft. Shy Glizzy and Brent Faiyaz)”
6lack - “PRBLMS”
Kendrick Lamar - “Loyalty (ft. Rihanna)”
SZA - “Love Galore (ft. Travis Scott)”

Fuse Chose: SZA - “Love Galore (ft. Travis Scott)”

Newcomer SZA is the most-nominated woman at the 2018 GRAMMYs, which is surely something she would never have expected in her musical career. While she has plenty of chances to win, she’s up against some pretty incredibly worthy competition in verticals like Best New Artist and Best Urban Contemporary Album, so Best Rap/Sung Performance might be her time to walk on stage and receive what she deserves. This win would also reward Travis Scott, who has been waiting for his moment in the GRAMMY spotlight to come as well, so if she can only collect one prize, hopefully it’s this. —Hugh McIntyre

12
12 / 19

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Nominees:
6lack - Free 6lack
Childish Gambino - "Awaken, My Love!"
Khalid - American Teen
The Weeknd - Starboy
SZA - Ctrl

Fuse Chose: Childish Gambino - "Awaken, My Love!"

We had to wait three years for Childish Gambino to bless us with another album, and "Awaken, My Love!" was more than worth it. The artist became known for his fusion of rap and R&B, but this LP found him stretching his musical capabilities and taking our ears to an unexpected place. Starting from the first track, “Me and Your Mama,” we are drifted to a galaxy filled with wacky takes on funk and modernized psychedelic rock. The album is a refreshing change of what “urban” music should sound like in 2018. And honestly, it should win this category based off of the genius of “Redbone” alone. —Bianca Gracie

13
13 / 19

Best Rock Album

Nominees:
Metallica - Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand
Nothing More - The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Queens Of The Stone Age - Villains
The War On Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

Fuse Chose: Queens Of The Stone Age - Villains

While they have been a fixture of the hard rock world for decades now,  Queens of the Stone Age have never been lucky enough to pick up a GRAMMY. The group has now been named as nominees seven times, which is a fairly high number of nods without even a single win, so 2018 seems to be their time to shine. Sure, they're up against some awesome records, but voters won’t forget all the times they chose someone else when it comes time to pick a name. —Hugh McIntyre

14
14 / 19

Best Rock Performance

Nominees:
Leonard Cohen - “You Want It Darker”
Chris Cornell - “The Promise”
Foo Fighters - “Run”
Kaleo - “No Good”
Nothing More - “Go To War”

Fuse Chose: Foo Fighters - “Run”

No matter the category or the year, it’s tough to bet against  Dave Grohl and his band. With 25 nominations (and 11 wins) to their credit, Foo Fighters are already one of the most-awarded groups in the rock verticals, and since they keep churning out top-quality music, they’ll likely continue their winning streak. “Run” toes the line between rock and hard rock/metal, and while Grohl’s screaming is new to the fray, voters love him and the band so much, they’ll likely beat out tracks from the likes of newcomers Kaleo and Nothing More, as well as late greats like Chris Cornell and Leonard Cohen, who might split voters who want to recognize someone who has passed. —Hugh McIntyre

15
15 / 19

Best Country Album

Nominees:
Kenny Chesney - Cosmic Hallelujah
Lady Antebellum - Heart Break
Little Big Town - The Breaker
Chris Stapleton - From A Room, Vol. 1
Thomas Rhett - Life Changes

Fuse Chose: Lady Antebellum - Heart Break or Little Big Town - The Breaker or Chris Stapleton - From A Room, Vol. 1

We may be cheating a little bit here by picking three of the five nominees as the winner, but based on the votes, there isn’t a general consensus at Fuse about which country superstar will be named the winner. Lady Antebellum has already owned this category twice, but their new album Heart Break didn’t generate as much attention as their past several, so it's tough to call them frontrunners. Little Big Town returned to country with The Breaker to acclaim, and Chris Stapleton showed his fans he wasn’t a flash in the pan with his sophomore effort From A Room, which came in two parts. Country critics love all three acts, so it’s not obvious who will be chosen (even we had a hard time)! —Hugh McIntyre

16
16 / 19

Best Alternative Music Album

Nominees:
Arcade Fire - Everything Now
Gorillaz - Humanz
LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
The National - Sleep Well Beast

Fuse Chose: Gorillaz - Humanz

Everybody loves a comeback story, especially when it comes to a group that was beloved in their time who many felt disappeared too soon. Damon Albarn-fronted Gorillaz disbanded for only a few years, but they returned to much fanfare last year with a brand new album full of electronically-inclined weirdness that was exactly what fans wanted. Humanz could win them their first GRAMMY for an album, though voters may also go for LCD Soundsystem, who are in a similar situation as returning champions. —Hugh McIntyre

17
17 / 19

Best R&B Album

Nominees:
Daniel Caesar - Freudian
Ledisi - Let Love Rule
Bruno Mars - 24K Magic
PJ Morton - Gumbo
Musiq Soulchild - Feel The Real

Fuse Chose: Daniel Caesar - Freudian

Daniel Caesar has tough competition in this category, going up against seasoned artists like Ledisi, Bruno Mars, PJ Morton and Musiq Soulchild. But don’t let this Canadian singer’s newcomer status fool you—this award was made for him. Caesar’s debut album Freudian embodies what true R&B lovers have been craving for years. An older audience can appreciate it due to its classic vibe, while a younger generation can learn what neo-soul is supposed to sound like. With songs like “Best Part,” We Find Love” and “Get You,” the album makes you want to fall in love. And in this tense society, that’s what we really need. —Bianca Gracie

18
18 / 19

Best R&B Performance

Nominees:
Daniel Caesar - “Get You (ft. Kali Uchis)”
Kehlani - “Distraction”
Ledisi - “High”
Bruno Mars - “That’s What I Like”
SZA - “The Weekend”

Fuse Chose: Daniel Caesar - “Get You (ft. Kali Uchis)”

Many Daniel Caesar fans can vividly remember that first blissful time they heard Daniel Caesar’s “Get You.” The song may be up against tough contenders like Kehlani’s “Distraction,” Ledisi’s “High,” Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” and SZA’s “The Weekend,” yet none of them hold the same tangible magic as “Get You.” From Caesar’s vulnerable lyrics to Kali Uchis’ guest vocals that are oh so tender, the song is perfection from start to finish. —Bianca Gracie

19
19 / 19

Best Music Video

Nominees:
Jain - “Makeba”
Beck - “Up All Night”
Jay-Z - “The Story Of O.J.”
Kendrick Lamar - “Humble."
Logic - “1-800-273-8255 (ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid)”

Fuse Chose: Logic - “1-800-273-8255 (ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid)”

Say what you will about MTV's strained relationship with music videos, but when Logic, Khalid and Alessia Cara performed their moving track to promote suicide prevention at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, the connection was instantaneous with the song surging up the charts and garnering more video views.

The clip tells a beautiful, heartbreaking story of a young gay man exploring his sexuality, running into issues with his father, and considering taking his own life. The video's final scene where the families are happily celebrating together at the son's wedding to his high school sweetheart years later proves the important message of "It gets better" and why it's so important to look at the full picture or, in this case, the full music video. It's impossible to know how many lives this video may have saved, but even if it saved just one, then how could it not be Best Music Video? —Jeff Benjamin

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