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Published on February 10th, 2019 | by Alan Cross

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Grammy Award predictions? Okay, if I must. [UPDATED with the actual winners in the rock categories, too.]

Let’s be very, very clear about what the Grammys are.

  1. First and foremost, they’re a prime time network TV show designed to grab as many eyeballs as possible. It’s about TV ratings first, music second.
  2. Who gets nominated and who gets to appear on the show is insanely political. The whole process is filled with lobbying and arm-twisting.
  3. The Grammys never been credible. The Beatles won Album of the Year just once (in 1968 for Sgt. Pepper). Christopher Cross’ sappy debut record was deemed better than Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1980). And the Grammys will never live down giving Jethro Tull winning Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance in 1989, beating out Metallica, Iggy Pop, Jane’s Addiction and AC/DC. The Grammys have never, ever really understood hard rock.
  4. For the music industry, the goal is to squeeze a final bit of promotion out of last year’s releases and to plug anything new, including singles, albums, and tours.
  5. The Grammy people still think it’s 1989. They believe that an old-school TV show will be of interest to today’s young music fans. They get their music online and many have cut the cord. They watch network TV–or any regular TV. Yet the Grammy people keep programming to that audience–an audience that largely isn’t there and doesn’t care. Yes, there will be a live stream, but we’ll see how many people that attracts.
  6. Rankings will suck again this year. The music is for young fans. The viewers will inevitably be older fans who aren’t that interested in much of today’s music. See the disconnect?
  7. Hint: If they perform or appear, chances are they’re gonna get an award. Otherwise, how do producers get people to show up?
  8. The Grammy people can be insanely arrogant. Just look at the fight they picked Ariana Grande which resulted in her refusing to appear. She’s one of the hottest singers in the world right now and just released a highly-anticipated album on Friday. Do the Grammys honestly think that she needs them more than they need her? Seriously?
  9. The Grammys don’t care about rock. The only rock performers on the broadcast will be the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  10. If you win and you thank God, does that mean God hates the other people in the category?
  11. In other words:

*Sigh* Still, I have to watch. It’s my job. Here are my predictions for the rock categories. Note that some winners were announced Sunday afternoon, long before the TV show. I’ll update everything as info becomes available.

Best Alternative Music Album, Vocal or Instrumental.

  • TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL + CASINO, Arctic Monkey
  • COLORS, Beck
  • UTOPIA, Björk
  • AMERICAN UTOPIA, David Byrne
  • MASSEDUCTION, St. Vincent

Should win: St. Vincent

Will win: David Byrne

Did win: Beck

Best Rock Performance

For new vocal or instrumental solo, duo/group or collaborative rock recordings.

  • FOUR OUT OF FIVE, Arctic Monkeys
  • WHEN BAD DOES GOOD, Chris Cornell
  • MADE AN AMERICA, THE FEVER 333
  • HIGHWAY TUNE, Greta Van Fleet
  • UNCOMFORTABLE, Halestorm

Should win: Greta Fan Fleet

Will win: Chris Cornell (sentimental vote)

Did win: Chris Cornell

Best Metal Performance

For new vocal or instrumental solo, duo/group or collaborative metal recordings.

  • CONDEMNED TO THE GALLOWS, Between The Buried And Me
  • HONEYCOMB, Deafheaven
  • ELECTRIC MESSIAH, High On Fire
  • BETRAYER, Trivium
  • ON MY TEETH, Underoath

Should win: Underoath

Will win: The Grammys don’t understand metal. Voters will just guess.

Did win: ELECTRIC MESSIAH, High on Fire

Best Rock Song

A Songwriter(s) Award. Includes Rock, Hard Rock and Metal songs. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • BLACK SMOKE RISING, Jacob Thomas Kiszka, Joshua Michael Kiszka, Samuel Francis Kiszka & Daniel Robert Wagner, songwriters (Greta Van Fleet)
  • JUMPSUIT, Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
  • MANTRA, Jordan Fish, Matthew Kean, Lee Malia, Matthew Nicholls & Oliver Sykes, songwriters (Bring Me The Horizon)
  • MASSEDUCTION, Jack Antonoff & Annie Clark, songwriters (St. Vincent)
  • RATS, Tom Dalgety & A Ghoul Writer, songwriters (Ghost)

Should win: Greta Van Fleet

Will Win: Greta Van Fleet, although Twenty One Pilots could sneak past.

Did win: MASSEDUCTION. Colour me shocked.

Best Rock Album

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new rock, hard rock or metal recordings.

  • RAINIER FOG, Alice In Chains
  • M A N I A, Fall Out Boy
  • PREQUELLE, Ghost
  • FROM THE FIRES, Greta Van Fleet
  • PACIFIC DAYDREAM, Weezer

Should win: Ghost

Will win: Greta Van Fleet.

Did win: Greta Van Fleet.

If you want to see who’s nominated on all the categories, go here.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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One Response to Grammy Award predictions? Okay, if I must. [UPDATED with the actual winners in the rock categories, too.]

  1. Nigel Smith says:

    I wouldn’t be upset at all if AM won one or both of their nominations. Tranquility Base took a couple listens to get used to, but it’s a great album.

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