2021 American Music Awards R&B predictions: Should we expect repeat wins for The Weeknd and Doja Cat?

R&B has had an amazing year, and you can definitely tell that by looking at the American Music Awards nominations. From cross-genre artists like Chris Brown, Doja Cat, and The Weeknd, to R&B purists like H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan, and Giveon, the nominations honor the best and biggest in R&B this year. But who’s taking an AMA home with them on November 21?

Favorite Male R&B Artist

This category will be a likely win for The Weeknd. Not only did he have another great year with the continued success of his “After Hours” era due to the success of “Save Your Tears” as well as a Super Bowl Halftime Show, but the artist just swept the R&B categories last year, taking home this award as well as Favorite R&B Song and Favorite R&B Album. Still, it’s always smart to watch out for an upset, so don’t rule out Chris Brown here. Brown also had a good year with his hit “Go Crazy” becoming yet another smash for the singer. Finally, Giveon has been having a breakthrough year with the success of his song “Heartbreak Anniversary,” so a lot of fans could vote for him to honor some new blood in the game.

Favorite Female R&B Artist

Much like Male R&B Artist, this category will likely be a repeat of last year. Defending champ Doja Cat has had the biggest year of her career, notching multiple hits including the top-10s “Kiss Me More” and “Need to Know.” Furthermore, her album “Planet Her” has been a fixture in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 and has had a slew of popular streaming songs. If someone were to challenge Doja Cat, it could be her “Kiss Me More” collaborator SZA, who also has a pretty big fan base and has had crossover hits this year like “Good Days.” Still, Doja’s win here might be her most secure this year.

Favorite R&B Album

A win for Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” is very safe here as well. Besides the reasons mentioned above, “Planet Her” is easily the most popular album here, and Doja’s cross-genre appeal will make sure she gets votes from multiple crowds. A possible upset could be Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales,” which has gotten a lot of buzz and support from R&B lovers. However, since Sullivan’s fan base skew be older than your average AMA voter, and definitely less obsessively stan-like, she will likely get beaten by Doja Cat, who has a more active army of supporters.

Favorite R&B Song

There’s a good chance this category will be won by one of the men nominated here. The biggest hits are Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open” and Chris Brown and Young Thug’s “Go Crazy,” but both might have a couple of roadblocks. For Silk Sonic, it might be the song peaking quite early (it went to number-one back in the spring), as well as the fact that their type of R&B might be more retro and traditional than modern fans.

For Chris Brown, his controversial history might put off a lot of people, not to mention his song also peaked very early. As such, I think it is entirely possible that Giveon’s “Heartbreak Anniversary” takes the cake here. The song is also helped by it being a TikTok hit, which might make it more beloved by your average, younger AMA voter than the other nominated songs here. Still, this might be the most open R&B race this year.

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