The 61st Grammy Awards: Who’s Likely To Be Nominated?

By Adam MaidmentMusicngear Contributing Editor

Article photo - The 61st Grammy Awards: Who’s Likely To Be Nominated?

The Grammy Awards are an important occasion on the music industry calendar, and getting nominated in one of the 84 categories can turn a minor hit into a worldwide seller overnight. Being able to add ‘Grammy-nominated’ to your list of accolades mustn’t hurt, either.

Music’s biggest night will take place on Sunday 10th February 2019, whilst the nominations for each category will be unveiled at a glitzy event on December 5th 2018. Recordings released between October 1st 2017 and September 30th 2018 will be eligible to be nominated.

Whilst previous years have seen likely contenders Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Adele, and Kendrick Lamar sweep the board, this year’s nominations could be a little more open-field. The Recording Academy recently announced that the number of nominations in the Record, Song and Album of the Year, and Best New Artist categories will expand from five to eight.

With just over a month left for new releases to claim their spot and four months until nominations are announced, we decided to take a look at some of the likely contenders for the 61st Grammy’s.


Nobody has conquered the charts in 2018 quite like Drake has, so it’s a pretty safe that he’ll be nabbing a fair few nominations.

Whilst many people felt his latest album ‘Scorpion’ a little bloated at 25 tracks long (of which all entered the Billboard Top 100), it’s hard to deny he’s reigned supreme this year. Lead single ‘In My Feelings’ will be expected to get most attention here, and we wouldn’t be surprised at a Record of the Year nom for the track either.


With rap dominating the charts, the nominations for the genre’s awards are likely to be the most hotly-contested. XXXTENTACION could posthumously get his first Grammy nominations for second album ‘?’ and its lead single ‘SAD!’.

Fans were notably upset last year at the rapper’s lack of nominations, but we reckon that ‘SAD!’ is a shoe-in for a Best Rap Song nomination at this current moment in time.

Cardi B

Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine, Cardi B has also had an impressive year.

As the first female rapper to claim multiple number one hits on the Billboard Top 100 chart, Cardi has also dominated the year with her album ‘Invasion of Privacy’ and single ‘I Like It’. Cardi B’s mammoth hit ‘Bodak Yellow’ received nominations last year for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, and we wouldn’t be surprised if she got a mention in either category again this year. An Album of the Year nomination will also be expected.

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves is a five-time Grammy nominee, and a two-time winner (Best Country Song and Best Country Album in 2013). The country singer is guaranteed to get nominations in the genre field for her third album ‘Golden Hour’. However, Kacey could also see her first cross-over nominations this year.

‘Golden Hour’ has been well-received since its release. In fact, the album has already been included highly in many ‘Best of 2018’ lists already with the album generating an average score of 89 on Metacritic.

We’re going to put Musgraves on the board for likely Best Country Album and Album of the Year nominations right now. Will we be correct?

The Carters

When Jay-Z and Beyonce team up, you know it’s going to be big. The collaboration and subsequent release of ‘Everything Is Love’ took fans by surprise in June. Dealing with love, black pride, wealth, and fame, the album made waves for its bold commentary.

Album Of The Year, Best Rap Performance (‘Apeshit’), and Best Music Video (‘Apeshit’) are the expected contenders here.

St. Vincent

Having already won Best Alternative Music Album in 2015 for her self-titled effort, St. Vincent is already friendly with the Grammy panel. Her latest album ‘Masseducation’ appeared on numerous ‘Best of 2017’ album lists, which will only help proceedings.

Expect St. Vincent to achieve a second Best Alternative Music Album nomination this year, and possibly could even secure an Album of the Year nod thanks to the extended shortlist.

Childish Gambino

‘This Is America’ caused a storm when it was released back in May. Addressing gun violence and racism in America, the track climbed straight to the top of the Billboard Top 100, whilst the music video for the track has more than 360 million streams.

The track deserves to be nominated for Best Music Video, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. Considering the response to the track, we reckon it’s very likely that ‘This Is America’ will be one of the big winners on Grammy night.

Honourable Mentions

Kendrick Lamar: Whilst he may not have released a new studio album this year, he was responsible for the Black Panther soundtrack and its lead single ‘All The Stars’ featuring SZA. ‘King’s Dead’, another soundtrack song by Jay Rock, Lamar, Future, and James Blake, could also blow up the rap nominations.

Janelle Monáe: The visual conception and storytelling behind ‘Dirty Computer’ make it one of the most compelling and stand-out albums of 2018. Unfortunately, an Album of the Year may be a bit unlikely as other bigger releases shuffle their way in. An Urban Contemporary Album nod should be on the cards though.

Taylor Swift: Her latest album ‘reputation’ may not have made as much noise as her previous releases, but Taylor Swift is a Grammy favourite and the album still stemmed a few successful releases. Album of the Year and Pop Vocal Album nods should see the pop star continue her streak of Grammy nominations.

Nicki Minaj: The rapper surprised us with the early release of her forth studio album ‘Queen’. Whilst it’s early days, the response has been quite positive and could see the singer make a late dent in shortlists.

What artists would you love to see make an appearance in the Grammy nominations? Tweet us and let us know. Meanwhile, if you’re going to want to create your very own masterpiece that’ll grab the Recording Academy’s attention, you’re going to want to ensure you have the very best studio and music equipment.

About Adam Maidment

Adam Maidment is a content writer with a keen interest in entertainment, music and pop culture. His music tastes are as varied as his interests, ranging from Kate Bush, CHVRCHES, Santigold, Friendly Fires, and Childish Gambino. You can follow him on Twitter at

Contact Adam Maidment at

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