Grammys Song of the Year predictions: Can Harry Styles stop Adele from steamrolling the competition again?

Honoring songwriters, the Grammy for Song of the Year has gone to everyone from The Beatles to Adele and Childish Gambino. This year, with Grammy darlings and newer artists in the mix, it looks like the race is tighter than ever, even if it will probably go to some familiar faces.

The race seems to be a tossup between the two biggest songs: Adele’s “Easy On Me” and Harry Styles’s “As It Was.” The former’s biggest benefit is that Adele is arguably the most industry-beloved artist making music right now, only losing three Grammys throughout her whole career. “Easy On Me” is also very baity, being a sentimental ballad tailor-made for voters.

The argument against Adele here is that “Easy On Me” is not really an inventive song for the singer and might have faded from memory since its release in the fall of 2021. Plus, since voters know how heavily awarded Adele has been, many might want to switch it up. This is where Styles comes in, having the most successful song of the eligibility period with “As It Was.” The song is very Grammy-friendly and might be helped by its ginourmous success. However, while Styles would be a surefire winner in any other year, going up against Adele is never an easy task.

Since these are the Grammys and nothing is ever guaranteed, it’s smart to consider the other contenders in the category as well. Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” and Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” are likely going to be among the top five vote-getters, both being number-one hits by two of the defining artists of 2022. Lacy’s fusion of pop, rock, and R&B sounds might also prove successful in getting him quite a lot of votes from multiple blocs within the academy, while the love for “Renaissance” could prompt voters to go for Beyoncé’s tremendously fun and liberating anthem.

Another big number one hit is Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” which could easily appeal to most listeners. While it looks like Lizzo might go home empty-handed, voters could throw her a bone for the song somewhere, especially if they still love her as much as they did in 2020, when she took home three trophies.

There’s little room for the two hip-hop songs, Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Part 5” and DJ Khaled’s “God Did.” I also would not expect Gayle’s “abcdefu” to happen, not only due to the competition but the fact that Gayle couldn’t get a nomination in any other category. And while it technically is a possibility, the lack of love for Taylor Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version)” in the other general field categories, as well as the snubs in pop and country, might indicate that Swift will have to sit this out yet again for her 10-minute epic “All Too Well.” (Don’t worry Swifties, she may be a front-runner for next year’s awards already thanks to “Midnights”).

If anyone else poses a threat, it would be Bonnie Raitt’s “Just Like That.” While the song is virtually unknown to general audiences, its passion was definitely felt if it managed to get into such a prestigious category on a pure popular vote of academy members. It also sticks out the most in this lineup, being the only Americana song and the only song by a veteran artist. And let’s not forget Raitt has already won in the general field, taking home Album of the Year in the early ’90s forNick of Time.” If you have her at the bottom of your rankings, you might want to reconsider.

Out of the big names though, I might have to stick with Adele here. “Easy on Me” is certainly her weakest contender out of the last few times she’s competed in the general field, and she does have formidable competition with Styles in the mix, but I think voters could still reward her. Plus, it’s totally plausible that Adele wins here while Styles wins in the pop field, especially since those voters seem much less focused on awarding the usual darlings than the general membership in the top categories.

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

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