English R&B singer Ella Mai had a breakthrough hit in 2018 with “Boo’d Up,” which reached the top five on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart and has gone quadruple platinum. Now she has two Grammy nominations, and while she didn’t get a Best New Artist bid like we expected, “Boo’d Up” did make the cut for Song of the Year. And according to the predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users she’s the front-runner to win Best R&B Song. But can she keep Childish Gambino and H.E.R. at bay?
“Boo’d Up” is a long-shot contender for Song of the Year, ranked eighth in our predictions with 19/2 odds. But the good news for Ella Mai is that it’s the only Song of the Year nominee that’s also up for Best R&B Song, so she may be the big fish in the small pond in that genre songwriting category. She’s the front-runner there with leading odds of 16/5 thanks to support from most of our Experts, 14 of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Grammys, and 13 of our All-Star Top 24 who got the best prediction scores when you combine the last two years’ results.
But could we be underestimating Mai’s rivals? While “Boo’d Up” is the only song in this category that also competes in the general field, she’s not the only artist who does. Ranked second with 19/5 odds is Childish Gambino for his single “Feels Like Summer“; he’s up for Record and Song of the Year for his better-known hit “This is America.” And H.E.R. is third in our predictions with 5/1 odds with her song “Focus”; unlike Mai, she is nominated for Best New Artist, and she’s up for Album of the Year too.
Those top nominations might indicate that we’re underestimating Childish and H.E.R. even though this is the only nomination for “Feels Like Summer” and “Focus.” Recording academy love for their work elsewhere could easily carry over here. So Mai should watch out in case Grammy voters pick a different boo.
Be sure to make your Grammy predictions so that Hollywood record executives and top name stars can see how their music is faring in our Grammy odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced on Sunday, February 10. And join in the fierce debate over the 2019 Grammys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.