Grammy predictions slugfest: Big wins for Taylor Swift, the Weeknd … or Chris Stapleton?

taylor swift the weeknd chris stapleton

Grammy nominations are announced on Monday, December 7, so this week I chatted with one of our most fervent forum posters, Quintale Forte, about what we should expect from the nominations in the four general field categories: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. The big question: Will Taylor Swift sweep thanks to her blockbuster pop crossover album “1989“? No, according to Forte.

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“I don’t think she’s going to sweep this year. I think she’ll get into Album of the Year, and that’ll be her only nomination in the big four,” says Forte, going against the grain. Our racetrack odds, derived from the predictions of our editors who cover music awards year-round and hundreds of our readers, favor her to be nominated for Album (“1989”), Record (“Blank Space“) and Song of the Year (also “Blank Space”), and to win Album and Song, but Forte may be on to something. Remember that when Swift was last nominated for Album of the Year (“Red” in 2013), her corresponding hit single “I Knew You Were Trouble” was unexpectedly snubbed for Record and Song.

Forte is still predicting an Album nom for Swift, but he’s not anticipating a win, arguing that “it’s a little too soon to give her another Album of the Year win so fast” after claiming the prize in 2009 for “Fearless.” She was the youngest artist ever to win that award, and a win for “1989” would make her the first woman to win twice as a main album artist (other Album of the Year champs like Norah Jones and Alison Krauss have won additional times, but as featured artists).

But Forte is going out on a big limb in his prediction for who will beat her: Chris Stapleton for “Traveller.” “He had so much industry support [at the CMA Awards],” Forte explains, “and his album went number-one the following week. He seems like the kind of artist who would win that category against all of the more contemporary mainstream artists.” Forte will have huge bragging rights if he’s right; Stapleton ranks 15th in our Album of the Year predictions with long-shot odds of 50/1. “I hope I don’t regret this next week, but I’m pretty sold on him winning.”

Watch our slugfest below to hear more of our thoughts on Swift, Stapleton and Kendrick Lamar. Also, find out why we’re clashing over Meghan Trainor and The Weeknd, and who we’re surprised to agree on for Best New Artist.

Click here to see odds and rankings in our Grammy predictions

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Taylor Swift photo credit: REX

The Weeknd photo credit: Matt Baron/REX

Chris Stapleton photo credit: ABC

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