2022 Grammy predictions: Album of the Year [UPDATED: August 30]

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards are in 2022 and cover an eligibility period from September 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021. So who are the top contenders for Album of the Year? See our potential favorites, dark horses, and spoilers below. Check back often as new albums are announced and released.

Updated: August 30, 2021

Leading Contenders

“Back of My Mind” by H.E.R.
Label: MBK Entertainment/RCA
Release Date: June 18, 2021

“Certified Lover Boy” by Drake
Label: OVO/Republic
Release Date: September 3, 2021

“Evermore” by Taylor Swift
Label: Republic
Release Date: December 11, 2020

“Good News” by Megan Thee Stallion
Label: 1501 Certified/300
Release Date: November 20, 2020

“Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish
Label: Darkroom/Interscope
Release Date: July 30, 2021

“Justice” by Justin Bieber
Label: Def Jam
Release Date: March 19, 2021

“Medicine at Midnight” by Foo Fighters
Label: RCA/Roswell
Release Date: February 5, 2021

“Montero” by Lil Nas X
Label: Columbia
Release Date: Summer 2021

“Planet Her” by Doja Cat
Label: Kemosabe/RCA
Release Date: June 25, 2021

“Positions” by Ariana Grande
Label: Republic
Release Date: October 30, 2020

“Sour” by Olivia Rodrigo
Label: Geffen/Interscope
Release Date: May 21, 2021

“Star-Crossed” by Kacey Musgraves
Label: MCA Nashville/Interscope
Release Date: September 10, 2021

“Starting Over” by Chris Stapleton
Label: Mercury Nashville
Release Date: November 13, 2020

Strong Contenders

“Alicia” by Alicia Keys
Label: RCA
Release Date: September 18, 2020

“BE” by BTS
Label: Bit Hit/Columbia
Release Date: November 20, 2020

“Blue Weekend” by Wolf Alice
Label: Dirty Hit
Release Date: June 4, 2021

“Call Me If You Get Lost” by Tyler, the Creator
Label: Columbia
Release Date: June 25, 2021

“Chemtrails Over the Country Club” by Lana Del Rey
Label: Interscope/Polydor
Release Date: March 19, 2021

“Collapsed in Sunbeams” by Arlo Parks
Label: Transgressive
Release Date: January 29, 2021

“Daddy’s Home” by St. Vincent
Label: Loma Vista
Release Date: May 14, 2021

“Dancing with the Devil … The Art of Starting Over” by Demi Lovato
Label: Island
Release Date: April 2, 2021

“Faith” by Pop Smoke
Label: Victor Victor/Republic
Release Date: July 16, 2021

“Heaux Tales” by Jazmine Sullivan
Label: RCA
Release Date: January 8, 2021

“If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” by Halsey
Label: Capitol
Release Date: August 27, 2021

“Inside (The Songs)” by Bo Burnham
Label: Republic
Release Date: June 10, 2021

“Letter to You” by Bruce Springsteen
Label: Columbia
Release Date: October 23, 2020

“McCartney III” by Paul McCartney
Label: Capitol
Release Date: December 18, 2020

“The Off-Season” by J. Cole
Label: Dreamville/Roc Nation/Interscope
Release Date: May 14, 2021

“Plastic Hearts” by Miley Cyrus
Label: RCA
Release Date: November 27, 2020

“Solar Power” by Lorde
Label: Universal
Release Date: 2021

“Tickets to My Downfall” by Machine Gun Kelly
Label: Bad Boy/Interscope
Release Date: September 25, 2020

“El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo” by Bad Bunny
Label: Rimas
Release Date: November 27, 2020

“The Voice of the Heroes” by Lil Baby and Lil Durk
Label: Quality Control/4PF/Only the Family/Capitol/Motown/Alamo/Geffen
Release Date: June 4, 2021

“We Are” by Jon Batiste
Label: Verve
Release Date: February 5, 2021

“Wonder” by Shawn Mendes
Label: Island
Release Date: March 19, 2021

Possible Contenders

“The Album” by Blackpink
Label: YG/Interscope
Release Date: October 2, 2020

“Dangerous” by Morgan Wallen
Label: Big Loud/Republic
Release Date: January 8, 2021

“Detroit 2” by Big Sean
Label: GOOD/Def Jam
Release Date: September 4, 2020

“Disco” by Kylie Minogue
Label: Darenote/BMG
Release Date: November 6, 2020

“Djesse Vol. 4” by Jacob Collier
Release Date: 2021

“Donda” by Kanye West
Label: GOOD/Def Jam
Release Date: August 29, 2021

“Flowers for Vases/Descansos” by Hayley Williams
Label: Atlantic
Release Date: February 5, 2021

“Heaven and Hell” by Ava Max
Label: Atlantic
Release Date: September 18, 2020

“Jubilee” by Japanese Breakfast
Label: Dead Oceans
Release Date: June 4, 2021

“Khaled Khaled” by DJ Khaled
Label: We the Best/Roc Nation/Epic
Release Date: April 30, 2021

“King’s Disease II” by Nas
Label: Mass Appeal/The Orchard
Release Date: August 6, 2021

“Love Goes” by Sam Smith
Label: Capitol
Release Date: October 30, 2020

“Nobody is Listening” by Zayn
Label: RCA
Release Date: January 15, 2021

“OK Human” by Weezer
Label: Atlantic/Crush
Release Date: January 29, 2021

“Pluto x Baby Pluto” by Future and Lil Uzi Vert
Label: Epic/Freebandz/Generation Now/Atlantic
Release Date: November 13, 2020

“Pressure Machine” by The Killers
Label: Island
Release Date: August 13, 2021

“Shore” by Fleet Foxes
Label: Anti-
Release Date: September 22, 2020

“Sob Rock” by John Mayer
Label: Columbia
Release Date: July 16, 2021

“Spaceman” by Nick Jonas
Label: Island
Release Date: March 12, 2021

“The Speed of Now, Part 1” by Keith Urban
Label: Hit Red/Capitol Nashville
Release Date: September 18, 2020

“Thats What They All Say” by Jack Harlow
Label: Generation Now/Atlantic
Release Date: December 11, 2020

“The Voice” by Lil Durk
Label: Only the Family/Alamo/Geffen
Release Date: December 24, 2020

“When You See Yourself” by Kings of Leon
Label: RCA
Release Date: March 5, 2021

“Whole Lotta Red” by Playboi Carti
Label: AWGE/Interscope
Release Date: December 25, 2020

The Grammys are decided by the Recording Academy, previously known as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). The organization comprises music professionals across the industry. The nominations in the Album of the Year category — along with Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and several genre awards — used to be more complicated, with nomination review committees making the final decisions about who makes the cut. But the academy cut those committees this year after years of criticism.

Nominations under the committee system were frequently controversial and raised questions about the Grammys’ fairness and transparency. At the 2021 awards, for instance, The Weeknd received zero nominations despite a critically acclaimed, bestselling album (“After Hours”) and a song (“Blinding Lights”) so blindingly popular it was Billboard’s number-one single of the year on the Hot 100 and shattered records for the longest run of any song in the top 10 and top five. The Weeknd accused the academy of corruption, echoing the frustrations of other artists like Halsey and Drake.

As the academy faced additional criticism for bias against women and Black artists, the Grammys have also made efforts to expand their membership. And they expanded their top four general field categories from five nominations to eight starting with the awards held in 2019, leading to three acclaimed female winners in a row (Kacey Musgraves‘s “Golden Hour,” Billie Eilish‘s “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” and Taylor Swift‘s “Folklore”), as well as the first-ever hip-hop song to win Record and Song of the Year (Childish Gambino‘s “This is America“), though allegations of unfair voting practices persisted.

All that could have an influence on who is nominated and how those nominations are perceived by the music industry at large. Will the recording academy make further efforts to reform their awards process? Who do you think voters will gravitate to in this year’s contest?

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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