Grammy predictions: Can Harry Styles or Steve Lacy stop Adele from winning Best Pop Solo Performance again?

The pop categories at the Grammys are often the most star-packed of them all. With the likes of Harry Styles, Adele, Lizzo, and Bad Bunny all in the mix this year, let’s take a look at who’s likely winning Best Pop Solo Performance, and who could potentially stop them from doing so.

I think it’s safe to write off Bad Bunny’s “Moscow Mule” and Doja Cat’s “Woman.” Latin songs don’t have a good track record in the pop field, and “Woman” might feel a bit old to voters. Then there’s Lizzo’s “About Damn Time.” The track could manage a win, but much like her fellow BNA class of 2020 alumni Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish, it’s looking like Lizzo is bound to go home empty-handed in her sophomore era. It doesn’t help that the other three nominees were bigger hits and two of them are still charting relatively high, in contrast to “About Damn Time.” Still, a Lizzo win wouldn’t necessarily come out of nowhere; she’s won this category before for “Truth Hurts.”

That said, I believe the award will end up being between Harry Styles’s “As It Was,” Adele’s “Easy On Me,” and Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit.” All three of these songs were year-defining hits, and they all have advantages that could lead to a win. Adele has the ballad advantage, plus the fact that she hasn’t lost a Grammy since her “19” era more than a decade ago. But if there were a year Adele could lose, it’s this one; the cultural reception to her “30” album felt rather muted compared to her previous blockbuster releases, and her competition is just as successful or more this time around. Still, voters love Adele, so she’s always a strong bet. That said, pop voters have been bold with their choices recently and many Grammy faves have lost here. I think this helps Styles, who not only has far and away the biggest hit here, but is already a recent winner in this category for “Watermelon Sugar” in 2021 meaning he’s definitely on voters’ radar. “As It Was” is also still in heavy rotation, so voters will likely remember the song and how massive it has been.

Finally there’s Lacy, who could very well be the dark horse of the race. Like Lizzo in 2020, Lacy has the advantage of being the hot new kid on the block. He also has the latest hit and, therefore, the song voters are least tired of. This likely helped Harry Styles in 2021 as well, so there’s an argument to be made that voters might be inclined to go with a more recent, less overplayed hit. “Bad Habit” might also be the most unique song nominated and will appeal to voters from many genres. Ultimately, I’m going with Styles here as the safe pick, but there might be enough love for a Lacy upset or an Adele namecheck too.

Will win: Harry Styles, “As It Was”
Likeliest upset: Adele, “Easy On Me”
Dark horse: Steve Lacy, “Bad Habit”

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