Women who rock: Female artists could run away with Grammy races for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song

The Grammy races in the rock field are some of the tightest they’ve ever been. From newcomers looking for their first awards to overdue veterans, let’s take a look at who is in the hunt for some gold in the song categories come March.

Best Rock Performance

Kudos to the recording academy for making this an all-women lineup. Women in rock have been underrepresented in past years, and 2020 was truly the year for women in the genre, with many releasing critically acclaimed albums that defined the year.

By process of elimination, we can take out Big Thief’s “Not”; the band missed Best Alternative Album. HAIM (“The Steps”) were also snubbed in the alternative category, but they got into Album of the Year, so there might still be strong support for them across the academy. That said, “The Steps” will probably suffer the same fate as “Not.” Similarly, while Grace Potter (“Daylight”) is nominated for Best Rock Album, she will probably not win here either due to just how strong the three other nominees are: Fiona Apple’s “Shameika,” Phoebe Bridgers’s “Kyoto” and Brittany Howard’s “Stay High.”

The award is likely going to one of those last three. But which one? Well, it’s really a toss-up. Apple has the most acclaimed album of the year, but Bridgers isn’t far behind in that regard while also having the most acclaimed song out of these nominees (“Kyoto” made the most 2020 best lists and ranked higher in albumoftheyear.org’s aggregate). Meanwhile, Howard is an academy favorite and has the most wins out of the three, including a previous victory here in 2016 as the front woman for Alabama Shakes.

I’m gonna go with Apple for the win here; the hype for “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” might be too big to ignore, and Grammys love sweeps in general. However, “Kyoto” is probably not far behind.

Will Win: Fiona Apple, “Shameika”
Dark Horse: Phoebe Bridgers, “Kyoto”; Brittany Howard, “Stay High”

Best Rock Song

This category is even harder to predict, since Tame Impala got in here, and unlike HAIM they do have an Alternative Album nomination. Could their “Lost in Yesterday” pull off an upset? It is the biggest hit in contention, so we shouldn’t underestimate it. However, Apple and Bridgers may have more critical hype, plus they have more nominations overall, so they might still be ahead after all, just like in the Best Rock Performance category.

Will Win: Fiona Apple, “Shameika” or Phoebe Bridgers, “Kyoto”
Dark Horse: Tame Impala, “Lost In Yesterday”

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