Grammy predictions update: Kendrick Lamar (‘Damn’) is still Album of the Year frontrunner with nominations only days away

The Grammy nominations will be announced next Tuesday morning, November 28, and Kendrick Lamar (“Damn“) holds on to his position as the frontrunner for Album of the Year with 17/10 odds. “Damn” was released in April to some of the best reviews for any album this year, and it has been certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America based on two million equivalent units of album sales, track sales, and online streams. But there is still the question of whether Lamar can overcome the curse against rap music at the Grammys.

“Damn” would be Lamar’s third nomination for Album of the Year, which itself is impressive given the recording academy’s aversion to hip-hop music. Only one rap album has ever won the top prize, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” by OutKast (2004). Before that Lauryn Hill‘s landmark “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” won in 1999 with its rap and hip-hop influenced R&B. But the last nine winners in a row have been white artists from pop, country, or rock genres.

Nevertheless, Lamar’s latest album has support from all four of our Experts who have chimed in as of this writing: Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Edna Gundersen (Gold Derby), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), and Adnan Virk (ESPN). It’s also backed by 22 of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Grammy nominations, and 22 of our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ Grammy nominations.

That’s a decisive advantage against Lamar’s closest rival, Ed Sheeran (“Divide”). He’s the kind of adult contemporary artist the Grammys usually like, but he only has support from two of our Top 24 Users and two All-Stars, which gives him 4/1 odds overall. Sheeran has also already won a Grammy in the general field, claiming Song of the Year in 2016 for “Thinking Out Loud.” So don’t underestimate him here.

Be sure to make your Grammy nomination predictions so that Hollywood record executives and top name stars can see how their songs and albums are faring in our Grammy odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on November 28. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Grammys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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