The race for Top Billboard 200 Album at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards could go a few different ways, according to the combined predictions of hundreds of Gold Derby users who have entered their picks in anticipation of the awards coming up this Sunday, May 20. But it looks like the chart-toppers with the best chances of winning are Kendrick Lamar‘s “Damn” and Taylor Swift‘s “Reputation.”
As of this writing Lamar has the advantage with leading odds of 10/9. He’s supported by two Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby (Chris Beachum and myself), as well as 15 of the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s winners. “Damn” was released in April 2017 to universal acclaim and ended up winning Lamar five Grammys and even a Pulitzer Prize.
But it’s commercial performance that matters at the Billboard Awards, which are decided by a combination of record sales, radio airplay, streaming performance, touring and social engagement. And “Damn” did pretty damn well in that regard too. It debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 albums chart and has been certified double-platinum. And Billboard declared it the number-one album of 2017 on their year-end list.
However, Swift’s “Reputation” was also a massive success when it was released last November. It debuted at number-one with a remarkable 1.2 million copies sold, which made it the biggest album of the year based purely on record sales. Swift has won this award twice before at the Billboard Awards — for “Red” (2013) and “1989” (2015) — which ties her with 50 Cent, Adele and Eminem as the most awarded artist in this category. Now five Top Users are betting on her to set a new record with a third win, which gives her 27/10 odds overall.
Two other top users think “Divide” by Ed Sheeran will prevail (7/2 odds), while one is going out on a limb for “More Life” by Drake (4/1 odds), which would be his second straight victory in this category following his win for “Views” in 2017. Trailing in fifth place is Post Malone‘s debut album “Stoney” (5/1 odds). So who do you think will win?
Be sure to make your Billboard Music Award predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see this year’s contenders are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced. And join the discussion on this and more taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.