Grammy predictions update: Olivia Rodrigo (‘Sour’) leaps to the top spot in Album of the Year odds

We’re nearing the end of the Grammys eligibility period: September 30 is the deadline, after which new music releases will be up for consideration for the awards held in 2023. And as we near that crucial date, there has been a major shift in our odds. Based on the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users, Olivia Rodrigo is now the front-runner to win Album of the Year for “Sour.”

Rodrigo has been a strong Grammy contender all year. Her breakthrough single “Drivers License” has been on top of our Record of the Year and Song of the Year odds since we launched our predictions center this past spring. But her album, which was released on May 21, has risen gradually and recently took over the top spot from Silk Sonic‘s “An Evening with Silk Sonic.”

Part of the reason may be that “An Evening with Silk Sonic,” from the superduo of Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, is still AWOL. The album has no announced release date as of this writing even though its chart-topping lead single “Leave the Door Open” was released back in March. A followup single, “Skate,” dropped on July 30, but still no album release date.

Of course, surprise album drops have become common enough that we may very well see “Evening” materialize before time runs out. After all, the reigning Album of the Year champ, Taylor Swift‘s “Folklore,” was released last year with less than a day’s notice. But the longer it goes without a release, the more we have to consider if it will be in contention this season after all.

Meanwhile, “Sour” has had impressive staying power. It has spent three nonconsecutive weeks at number-one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and this week (its 12th on the chart), it ticked back up to number-two. Its singles have remained potent as well. Though “Good 4 U” only spent its debut week in the top spot on the Hot 100, it has been a mainstay in the top five this summer, and has in fact tied the record for the most weeks ever spent at number-two (11 and counting).

So Rodrigo has managed to stay at the forefront of the cultural conversation since “Drivers License” was released in January. And the fact that she wrote or co-wrote every song on “Sour” and it received substantial critical acclaim may give the teen breakup album a sense of prestige that the often-snobby recording academy sometimes needs to vote for a winner. So “Sour” could end up being pretty sweet for Rodrigo in a few months.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article mistakenly listed the Grammys eligible period as ending on August 31 instead of the actual September 30.

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