Childish Gambino is nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys for “Awaken, My Love,” so it stands to reason that he would be the frontrunner in his corresponding genre category: Best Urban Contemporary Album. Indeed, he currently leads our predictions with odds of 5/6. But our forum posters are skeptical. They think this will be an exception to the rule and that the genre category will disagree with the general field. That would open the door for Grammy newcomers SZA and Khalid.
It happens from time to time that a nominee for Album of the Year will actually lose its genre category. That happened once in this category when it was known as Best Contemporary R&B Album: in 2009 Ne-Yo was nominated for the top prize for “Year of the Gentelman,” but lost this award to Mary J. Blige‘s “Growing Pains,” which wasn’t up for the top award. Even Album of the Year winners don’t always win their genre races, as improbable as that sounds. For instance, “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire was named Album of the Year in 2011, but apparently there was a better Alternative Album, “Brothers” by The Black Keys. And in 2013 the Album of the Year was “Babel” by Mumford and Sons, but the Best Americana Album was “Slipstream” by Bonnie Raitt.
So will this year’s Urban Contemporary Album race have a similar paradoxical result? SZA (“Ctrl”) and Khalid (“American Teen”) both have as many nominations as Childish Gambino (five), and like Gambino they’re both nominated in the general field: SZA for Best New Artist and Khalid for New Artist and Song of the Year (‘1-800-273-8255″). That shows they both have ample support from the recording academy. But will that lead to an upset? Read some of our forum posters’ comments below, and join the debate here.
Kadeem Lee: “SZA will win this. Nobody is talking about Gambino’s album or cares. ‘Redbone’ yes, the album as a whole? Forgettable.”
PoweR: “I’m hoping there is a SZA upset here in the same way Chance the Rapper upset Drake in Rap Album [in 2017] and Kacey Musgraves upset Taylor Swift in Country Album in [in 2014], and I think it’s a possibility, especially if the Grammys are feeling only ‘Redbone.'”
smurty11: “A lot of genre awards don’t entirely go with what is nominated in the general field. Sometimes, they beat what is nominated for GF … SZA’s got this.”
Emmyfan: “Look out for Khalid!”
Xtina: “Honey, I wouldn’t be shocked if Khalid pulled an upset in this category. His album has sold well.”
Be sure to make your Grammy 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 winners are announced on January 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.