The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

The student news site of Carroll Senior High School

Dragon Media

The 66th Grammys: the ‘Big Four’

A who’s who of the annual music awards, predictions of the main four categories
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The 66th Grammys are right around the corner, airing on Feb 4, at 7pm CST. The 91 categories throughout all genres of music are highly coveted, and this year is no exception. Despite that vast number of nominations, there are four major categories–the “Big Four.” These are Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year. This year has some strong nominees, and I’m so excited to see who takes home what. Below are my predictions and reasoning for the 66th Grammys. 

Best New Artist

Gracie Abrams – PREDICTED WINNER, WHO I WANT TO WIN
Fred again.. – DEFINITELY NOT
Ice Spice – MAYBE
Jelly Roll
Coco Jones
Noah Kahan
Victoria Monét
The War And Treaty 

Eligibility: At least one, no more than three total albums. Had a widespread impact on public culture. 

Coming off the weaker 65th Grammys nominees, this year is far stronger. I have heard all of these artists at one point or another, and I’m sure you have too, at least accidentally. Gracie Abrams and Ice Spice have had the biggest year out of the nominations, by far. Abrams released her debut album, “Good Riddance,” went on her third headlining tour, supported Taylor Swift on her Eras Tour, and had a massive increase of streams because of that. Spice burst into the rap scene last year, with her hit single “Munch (Feelin’ U). She continued her rise with the EP “Like..?” and collaborated with artists like Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, and is now supporting Doja Cat on her Scarlet Tour. Her singles have become viral hits, and her fame only seems to continue to grow. 

Of course, the other artists have had wild successes in their fields as well–Kahan achieved fame after many years in the industry with widespread touring of his third studio album, “Stick Season,” Jones released her debut EP and notably collaborated with Renee Rapp on her song “Tummy Hurts,” Roll is making huge waves in the Nashville country world, The War and Treaty have nonstop toured and featured on Zach Bryan’s “Hey Driver,” Monét released her debut album “Jaguar II” and toured as well, and UK producer Fred again.. worked with numerous artists, and headlined multiple festivals. 

 

Record of the Year

Worship, Jon Batiste
Not Strong Enough, Boygenius – WHO I WANT TO WIN
Flowers, Miley Cyrus – DEFINITELY NOT
What Was I Made For? [From The Motion Picture “Barbie”], Billie Eilish – MAYBE
On My Mama, Victoria Monét
Vampire, Olivia Rodrigo
Anti-Hero, Taylor Swift
Kill Bill, SZA – PREDICTED WINNER

Eligibility: Recognizes the artist’s performance alongside the contributions of the producer(s), engineer(s), and mixer(s). 

All of these songs are solid, of course, since they’re nominated for this award. SZA has had a fantastic year, partly proven through the success of “Kill Bill.” The creepy, lilting synth under SZA’s smooth, sweetly-threatening vocals ensured the success of the record, and in my eyes, is a shoo-in for the award. Of course, Billie Eilish is a Grammys darling, and “What Was I Made For?” produced by herself and her longtime collaborator and brother, Finneas, is another high contender for the award. I’m a huge fan of Boygenius, and seeing them win would be incredible, and I truly think that they are more likely to win than more popular stars, like Rodrigo and Batiste. 

 

Song of the Year

A&W, Jack Antonoff, Lana Del Rey & Sam Dew, songwriters (Lana Del Rey) – WHO I WANT TO WIN
Anti-Hero, Jack Antonoff & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift) – MAYBE
Butterfly, Jon Batiste & Dan Wilson, songwriters (Jon Batiste)
Dance The Night (From Barbie The Album), Caroline Ailin, Dua Lipa, Mark Ronson & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Dua Lipa)
Flowers, Miley Cyrus, Gregory Aldae Hein & Michael Pollack, songwriters (Miley Cyrus) – DEFINITELY NOT
Kill Bill, Rob Bisel, Carter Lang & Solána Rowe, songwriters (SZA)
Vampire, Daniel Nigro & Olivia Rodrigo, songwriters (Olivia Rodrigo)
What Was I Made For? [From The Motion Picture “Barbie”], Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish) – PREDICTED WINNER

Eligibility: Focuses on the composition of a song, recognizes songwriters.

Considering the songwriting aspect of many of the same songs as the previous category, things change. There’s a few different songs, but now we can see how the substance of the songs come into play. Eilish’s haunting and painful “What Was I Made For?” is one of the strongest written songs in the nominations for sure, and I think has a high chance of securing the trophy. Swift’s omnipresent “Anti-Hero” is also a strong contender, and considering the fact that she has never taken home a Song of the Year award, this would be a huge win for her. While I love both Eilish’s and Swift’s songs, I do hope Del Rey’s “A&W” wins. The song is quite honestly a masterpiece from the singer/songwriter, and is a full 7 minute journey, with a major vibe-shift towards the end of the song. 

 

Album of the Year

World Music Radio, Jon Batiste
the record, Boygenius – WHO I WANT TO WIN
Endless Summer Vacation, Miley Cyrus
Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, Lana Del Rey – WHO I WANT TO WIN (kind of)
The Age Of Pleasure, Janelle Monáe
GUTS, Olivia Rodrigo – DEFINITELY NOT
Midnights, Taylor Swift
SOS, SZA – PREDICTED WINNER

Eligibility: Recordings must have at least five tracks and a playing time of 15 minutes, or at least 30 minutes without a track requirement. Quality and artistry is considered as a whole, award is given to anyone who has at least 33 percent of the playing time.

This is the biggest of the “Big Four,” and is usually hotly contested. Last year, Harry Styles’s third studio album, “Harry’s House,” won, to simultaneous backlash and praise on the academy, since it won over Beyoncé’s groundbreaking album, “Renaissance.” This year seems to be a stronger year than last, with some incredibly popular albums. While the awards are often brushed off, I think the most concrete example of their illegitimacy would be the loss of SZA’s “SOS” in this category. Despite the other great albums in this category, “SOS” is by far the most diverse, creative, and interesting. I’m a huge Swiftie, and I desperately do not want Swift to win in this category, nor do I want Rodrigo’s “Guts” to win, either. If “SOS” does not win, I hope that either Boygenius’s debut, or Del Rey’s ninth studio album wins. Both artists are incredibly talented, and those wins would be huge for them. Del Rey has never won in this category, and if Boygenius were to win, it would be massive for the group. 

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About the Contributor
Joe Ferrara, Staff
Joe is a senior at Carroll Senior High School, and is a first-year member of Dragon Media. He’s always had an interest in writing, and recently worked on the 2023 Literary Magazine Club. Besides writing, he’s also active in the Carroll Art Department, is an Eagle Scout, and works part-time at Starbucks. He plans to major in journalism in college.