Who Will Win Best New Artist, Best Album?

The Nominees
Jon Batiste – “Worship”
boygenius – “Not Strong Enough”
Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”
Billie Eilish – “What Was I Made For?”
Victoria Monét – “On My Mama”
Olivia Rodrigo – “Vampire”
Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero”
SZA – “Kill Bill”

The Lowdown
Of all the top categories, Record of the Year — which rewards the best finished song, not the underlying songwriting — might be the hardest to predict, with variables everywhere you look. “Anti-Hero” may seem like an obvious pick, but Taylor Swift has never won this category, despite four noms over the years. There’s no shortage of other hits that could claim the title in her place, from Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers” to SZA’s “Kill Bill.” Plenty of other songs have a shot at crashing the party, too, like Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire” and Billie Eilish’s Barbie ballad “What Was I Made For?” Rob Kruz, the program director of Hot 99.5 in Washington, D.C., says all roads lead to SZA. “It’s going to be ‘Kill Bill,’“ Kruz says. “Based on what we’ve seen from the Grammy voting, I think that’ll be a very interesting choice. And it’s well-deserved.”

Who Should Win
Miley Cyrus, “Flowers”
Prior to “Flowers,” it had been 10 long years since Miley Cyrus had a Number One hit. After years of stylistic shifts — from alt-rock stoner to Malibu hippie singer-songwriter — it was unclear she still had a hold on the mainstream pop audience, especially after the modest performance of her 2020 Dua Lipa collaboration, “Prisoner,” which failed to crack the Top 40. “Flowers” answered those doubts practically overnight. Written in the aftermath of her divorce from actor Liam Hemsworth, it’s a song of self-empowerment and cathartic rage, its bubbling shifts between darkness and light courtesy of Harry Styles collaborators Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson. The song hit in January 2023, was played a record 96 million times in its first week on Spotify, and spent eight weeks at Number One. It’s still in heavy rotation on Top 40 radio.

Who Will Win
SZA, “Kill Bill”
After years of sharing the spotlight with bigger names on huge songs (“Love Galore” with Travis Scott, “The Weekend” with Calvin Harris, “All the Stars” with Kendrick Lamar), SZA dominated the charts on her own with “Kill Bill.” Over atmospherics that are part movie soundtrack and part nightmare, SZA unfurls a modern murder ballad in the vein of “Goodbye Earl,” by the Chicks, with a video that pays loving homage to Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, culminating in a gruesome scene where a ninja SZA rips her ex’s heart out of his body and licks it. The song rose up the charts throughout early 2023, eventually knocking Morgan Wallen’s seemingly unstoppable “Last Night” out of the top spot.

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