Who Will—and Should—Win at the 2023 Grammys

The 65th Annual Grammy Awards are set to take place this Sunday, and the nominations are stacked. The musicians up against one another in the major categories have broken numerous records, shifted the culture, and released albums that still have people talking months after their music was released. Beyoncé is back with her momentous album Renaissance, up for nine awards including Album of the Year. Adele will face off against Beyoncé in all of the major categories for the first time since 2017, when she famously rejected the night’s biggest award, saying it should have gone to Beyoncé for Lemonade. Taylor Swift is also back, having submitted her best song, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” for two categories and secured nominations for Song of the Year and Best Music Video.

Because this year is filled with great nominations, three TIME staffers gathered around a (virtual) roundtable to put their money on who is the most likely to win and to argue over who should actually take home the trophies. Here are those predictions.

Read more: Everything to Know about the 2023 Grammy Awards

Album of the Year

Voyage — ABBA

30 — Adele

Un Verano Sin Ti — Bad Bunny

Renaissance — Beyoncé

Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe) — Mary J. Blige

In These Silent Days — Brandi Carlile

Music of the Spheres — Coldplay

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers — Kendrick Lamar

Special — Lizzo

Harry’s House — Harry Styles

Who Will Win

Andrew R. Chow: No, it’s not just deja vu: Beyoncé and Adele will face off for the Grammys’ biggest prizes just like they did in 2017. That year, Adele came away undefeated in four head-to-head categories, including album of the year (25 over Lemonade). Adele was nearly as unhappy as Twitter was about her own victory, saying onstage: “I can’t possibly accept this award… My artist of my life is Beyoncé. And this album to me, the Lemonade album, was just so monumental.”

A lot has changed since then. The Grammys faced several firestorms around diversity, causing them to swap out their leadership several times and dramatically increase the number of people of color in their voting ranks. This Album of the Year category, then, serves as a litmus test for how much the Grammys have really changed course over six years—and how much voters pay attention to the zeitgeist. If they choose Adele over Beyoncé again, you can bet that there will be another social media firestorm.

Read More: How the Grammys Descended Into Behind-the-Scenes Chaos

Moises Mendez II: To Andrew’s point, the BeyHive already have their pitchforks ready, and the only way to avoid their having to use them is by giving Beyoncé the night’s biggest prize. To be clear, she deserves the honor not because of her passionate fans, but because Renaissance is a perfect album, front to back. This would be her first ever Album of the Year Grammy, and it’s fitting that this should be the album to win her that accolade. Throughout her solo career, her albums have gotten more intentional and message-driven. With Renaissance, Beyoncé gave voice and flowers to so many queer folk who didn’t receive them when they were alive, including her Uncle Johnny and drag queen Moi Renee, while others like ballroom legend Kevin Aviance and activist TS Madison who are still with us are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

I love Adele’s 30. It’s her best album (I’ll say it) and “To Be Loved” is her best song, lyrically and performance-wise. But Beyoncé’s album was much more of a culture-defining moment.

Who Should Win

ARC: Both the Adele and Beyoncé projects are lesser than their 2015-6 works—and to relitigate this face-off would be to ignore the man at the actual current center of the pop world. Bad Bunny has already made history here, with Un Verano Sin Ti becoming the first-ever Spanish-language album to be nominated in this category. If there’s any justice in the world, he’ll win it, too.

TIME named it the best album of 2022, with Cady Lang praising how Bad Bunny “firmly roots the album in the deeply personal, mining the universal experiences of love, loss, and the supreme pleasure of being alive, for an exceptional project that is genre-defying, intergenerational, and groundbreaking.”

Cady Lang: GIVE BAD BUNNY ALBUM OF THE YEAR, YOU COWARDS!!!! That’s all I have to say about this.

MM: Beyoncé, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Read More: The Best Albums of 2022

Record of the Year

“Don’t Shut Me Down” — ABBA

“Easy on Me” — Adele

“Break My Soul” — Beyoncé

“Good Morning Gorgeous” — Mary J. Blige

“You and Me on the Rock” — Brandi Carlile feat. Lucius

“Woman” — Doja Cat

“Bad Habit” — Steve Lacy

“The Heart Part 5″ — Kendrick Lamar

“About Damn Time” — Lizzo

“As It Was” — Harry Styles

Who Will Win

MM: For me, it’s between “As It Was” by Harry Styles and “About Damn Time” by Lizzo. Those songs were completely inescapable last year, with Lizzo having a massive year on TikTok and Harry taking over the airwaves all summer. They are inarguably the two biggest songs of the year.

ARC: While those two songs were ubiquitous last year, several betting websites have named Adele’s “Easy on Me” as the frontrunner. It may be hard to remember because the song came out a full 16 months ago, but “Easy on Me” was a middlebrow titan, breaking Spotify and Alexa records and sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 10 weeks. The song also happens to be one of Adele’s best, skillfully walking the line between heartbreak and uplift. (I still think its back half could use some drums, though.)

Given that the whole “Beyoncé vs. Adele” album matchup is freighted with so much tension and history, I think voters will more comfortably choose Adele here and not feel bad about it.

Who Should Win

MM: I wouldn’t mind seeing this one go to either Beyoncé or Steve Lacy. Out of the crop of nominated songs, they deserve the most recognition for their interesting production.

CL: For me, this category should absolutely go to Beyoncé; there was no other song that so wholly dominated the better part of 2022 both online and in real life more than “Break My Soul.”

Song of the Year

“abcdefu” — GAYLE

“About Damn Time” — Lizzo

“All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (The Short Film)” — Taylor Swift

“As It Was” — Harry Styles

“Bad Habit” — Steve Lacy

“Break My Soul” — Beyoncé

“Easy on Me” — Adele

“God Did” — DJ Khaled feat. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend & Fridayy

“The Heart Part 5″ — Kendrick Lamar

“Just Like That” — Bonnie Raitt

Who Will Win

CL: Since SOTY deals with composition and songwriting and the Recording Academy has a history of favoring singers who primarily write their own songs, I wouldn’t be surprised if this went to the likes of Adele or Taylor Swift—although there’s a much stronger case for Adele, whose seven nominations this year make her a force to be reckoned with.

MM: This is a hard category to predict because not only are nominations vastly different, but to me, there doesn’t seem to be a clear frontrunner. Adele and Beyoncé are neck and neck for so many major categories; Taylor Swift’s magnum opus is a strong contender but has an uphill battle against other heavyweights like Harry Styles, Lizzo, and the aforementioned pop stars. It’s really anyone’s game at this point, and I’m hard pressed to pick from among those five.

Who Should Win

ARC: Amidst the ticketing fiascos, the A-list feuds, the rabid fandom, and the marketing gimmicks, it can sometimes be easy to forget why Taylor Swift is such a monumental cultural figure in the first place. But Swift got famous for her exacting, intensely personal songwriting, particularly her heartbreak ballads—and “All Too Well” is the pinnacle of what she does best. It’s a vivid, devastating, and blazingly mean recounting of a relationship’s rise and fall, written just as she was acclimating to fame in 2011. And her 2022 update, which tacks on five more minutes of intrigue, is the best thing she’s ever done, full stop.

CL: I am the furthest thing from a Swiftie, but I have to agree with Andrew here—Taylor’s 10-minute version of ”All Too Well” is her opus and I would love to see it win Song of the Year.

MM: Yeah, I’m going to give it to “All Too Well (10 minute version)(Taylor’s Version)(From the Vault)(The Short Film).” When Red initially came out, this wasn’t my go-to song and I didn’t know the lore around the 10-minute version until she released Red (Taylor’s Version). But now this is the only way I’ll listen to this song. I can scream-sing every line.

Best New Artist


Omar Apollo

DOMi & JD Beck

Samara Joy



Muni Long

Tobe Nwigwe

Molly Tuttle

Wet Leg

Who Will Win

CL: The case for Anitta for Best New Artist is strong; the 29-year-old Brazilian singer and songwriter’s star has been on the rise in recent years, netting collaborations with the likes of Madonna and J. Balvin. Couple that with her social media fame and a studio album.

MM: While I would love for the Latina to take home the prize, I don’t think it’s going to Anitta. I think Latto is the frontrunner here. She had a massive year with “Big Energy” and got the Mariah Carey co-sign, no small feat. She’s been putting out popular song after popular song, her 777 album was pretty good, and it had some bangers like “It’s Givin,” which had a moment on TikTok. There’s a good chance she could take home the prize.

Who Should Win

CL: I’m not going to lie—I have a soft spot for Latto! Her braggadocious flow and boisterous (dare I say…big) energy is a reminder of why we need to give Southern hip hop its flowers. Also, anyone who will go toe-to-toe with Nicki Minaj and the Barbs on Twitter deserves a Grammy.

ARC: My long-shot favorite is Samara Joy, a virtuosic 23-year-old jazz vocalist who has made a very old genre feel completely at home on very new platforms like TikTok. Joyce’s husky, billowing voice and her deft lyrics belie her youth; she’s captivating whether in a 15-second clip on a small screen or live for an hour and a half at a concert hall.

MM: Omar Apollo should take this one home. His voice has the perfect balance of smoothness, to deliver those sultry ballads, and grit, to sing those corridos like “En El Olivdo,” on his most recent album, Ivory. He’s been making consistently great music since his first EP in 2018 and I really have to ride for my gays!

Best R&B Song

“Cuff It” — Beyoncé

“Good Morning Gorgeous” — Mary J. Blige

“Hrs & Hrs” — Muni Long

“Hurt Me So Good” — Jazmine Sullivan

“Please Don’t Walk Away” — PJ Morton

Who Will Win

CL: If, as Andrew reminds us, history is any indication, Beyoncé will probably take Best R&B song, the Academy’s concession for not giving her any of the big four awards of the night (although I would love to be proven otherwise on Grammys night!).

MM: “Cuff It” was the perfect song to make a single and the perfect song to submit for this category. It’s seductive, but still fun, making it the front-runner for this category.

Who Should Win

Who Will—and Should—Win at the 2023 Grammys

CL: While a Beyoncé win is always a win for me, this is such a stacked category full of songs that really embody R&B. I personally would love to see Mary J. Blige take home the prize for “Good Morning Gorgeous,” the beautifully felt, soulful title track of her 15th studio album. It’s a true testament to not only the show-stopping nature of her talent, but the longevity of her career.

MM: Jazmine Sullivan has the most impressive vocal range and ability I’ve ever heard on a singer since Aretha Franklin. The way this woman uses her voice with all of her crazy runs and the emotions she infuses in each song she sings is astonishing. All of that is on display in “Hurts Me So Good,” and it’s my pick for this category.

Best Alternative Music Performance

“There’d Better Be A Mirrorball” — Arctic Monkeys

“Certainty” — Big Thief

“King” — Florence + the Machine

“Chaise Longue” — Wet Leg

“Spitting off the Edge of the World” — Yeah Yeah Yeahs feat. Perfume Genius

Who Will Win

ARC: This is this category’s inaugural year—and one of these artists will take home their very first Grammy Award. I’m betting that the Grammys’ older voting bloc will be partial to the Arctic Monkeys’ schmaltzy lounge pop offering, which would sound right at home in a David Lynch film.

Who Should Win

ARC: I love all five songs. My favorite is “Spitting off the Edge of the World,” which perfectly fuses two generations of indie rock royalty: Perfume Genius’ tragic elegance and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ rattling venom.

Best Rap Performance

“God Did” — DJ Khaled feat. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend & Fridayy

“Vegas” — Doja Cat

“Pushin P” — Gunna & Future feat. Young Thug

“F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” — Hitkidd & Glorilla

“The Heart Part 5″ — Kendrick Lamar

Who Will Win

CL: It feels pretty clear that Kendrick, who’s leading the nominations in the rap categories and is the sole rap nomination for Album of the Year, will take the top prize for Best Rap performance. It’s a solid, safe choice for the Recording Academy.

MM: It’s going to be Kendrick. There’s not a shred of doubt in my mind. Like Cady said, it’s a safe choice, but sometimes the safe choice is preferable to a terrible Grammys surprise (justice for To Pimp a Butterfly). Let’s hope they keep their distance from “God Did.”

ARC: Yep. This category should essentially be renamed “The Kendrick Award,” as he’s scooped it five of the last eight years, and every year that he’s been nominated. Seriously, though: I think this is the worst set of songs in this category’s history. I think “F.N.F.” is the only one of these we’ll be listening to in five years, if that.

Who Should Win

CL: As much as I loved “Pushin P” (Free Young Thug!), the freshest rap performance of the year came from Memphis rapper Glorilla, whose boisterous track “F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” is not only a single lady’s crunk anthem, but the hardest song in hip hop right now, thanks to phenomenal production by Hitkidd and the deep-voiced and brash charisma of Glo.

MM: I’d love to see Doja Cat win this one because her decision to use Big Mama Thorton’s version of “Hound Dog” instead of Elvis Presley’s version for “Vegas” was such a powerful statement. Doja is a skillful rapper who just glides over the high-energy beat, making it such an exciting listen.

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Easy on Me” — Adele

“Moscow Mule” — Bad Bunny

“Woman” — Doja Cat

“Bad Habit” — Steve Lacy

“About Damn Time” — Lizzo

“As It Was” — Harry Styles

Who Will Win

ARC: Guys, Adele does not lose Grammys. She literally hasn’t lost in any category since 2010. In this category, she’s won three times, for “Hello,” “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire to the Rain.” She’ll have to get a separate cabinet for Pop Solo Performance Grammys alone.

MM: The Grammys loves a sad song, so it’s most likely going to Adele. It would be a welcome surprised if the award made it into the hands of any of these other artists.

Who Should Win

CL: Steve Lacy’s funky, wistful track “Bad Habit” was not only a TikTok banger, but one of the sweetest, most tender tracks of the year. Put some respect on this Gemini’s name!

MM: I want Benito to take home the Grammy for every single category he’s nominated for, but I especially want him to win for “Moscow Mule.” This song perfectly set the tone for his sprawling 2022 anthemic summer album that had a wealth of hits. He deserves his statues!

Best Dance/Electronic Recording

“Break My Soul” — Beyoncé

“Rosewood” — Bonobo

“Don’t Forget My Love” — Diplo & Miguel

“I’m Good (Blue)” — David Guetta & Bebe Rexha

“Intimidated” — Kaytranada feat. H.E.R.

“On My Knees” — Rüfüs Du Sol

Who Will Win:

ARC: Because I am a killjoy, “I’m Good (Blue)” makes me absolutely seethe. It’s a double pander to millennials: to the dance parties of their childhoods and then their college years, without a trace of originality in sight. Anyway, this one should be Beyoncé’s to lose.

MM: Renaissance was the top of almost every major publication’s year-end album lists. Let’s not forget that in 2017, the Grammys nominated Lemonade for nine awards and she only took home two (one for Best Urban Contemporary Album and another for Best Music Video). Some might say that two is better than nothing, but it’s Beyoncé we’re talking about here. Her latest album and “Break My Soul” will get the recognition it deserves for being a work of art.

Who Should Win:

MM: My joke answer is “I’m Good (Blue)” because it’s a terribly good song and reminds me of post-recession pop music a la “Like a G6” by Far East Movement and “Good Girls Go Bad” by Cobra Starship. But my real answer is, crazily enough, “Intimidated” by Kaytranada feat. H.E.R. That song is addictive, and I can listen to it repeatedly. I might have chosen Beyoncé if the song were “Cuff It” or “Virgo’s Groove,” but “Break My Soul” just isn’t the song for me.

Related Posts