Taylor Swift, SZA and maybe Morgan Wallen? Our predictions for Friday’s Grammy nominations

Mikael Wood | (TNS) Los Angeles Times

The competition for Grammy nominations is a little stiffer this go-around: After two years in which the Recording Academy selected 10 nominees for each of the top four prizes, the group is lowering the number to eight for the 66th Grammy Awards, nods for which are due to be announced on Friday. (The annual ceremony itself will be held Feb. 4 at Crypto.com Arena.) To be eligible for consideration, a recording must have been released between Oct. 1, 2022 and Sept. 15, 2023.

Here are our predictions for nominations in some of the more closely watched categories, with potential honorees listed in alphabetical order.


Boygenius, “The Record”

Zach Bryan, “Zach Bryan”

Drake & 21 Savage, “Her Loss”

Foo Fighters, “But Here We Are”

Olivia Rodrigo, “Guts”

Taylor Swift, “Midnights”


Morgan Wallen, “One Thing at a Time”

Possible surprise: Jon Batiste, “World Music Radio”

Possible snub: “One Thing at a Time”

Each a commercial blockbuster and a critic’s fave, SZA’s “SOS” and Swift’s “Midnights” are all but certain to vie for the Grammys’ equivalent of best picture. But Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time” dwarfs those two in terms of overall consumption; what’s unclear is whether academy members (who blanked the country superstar in 2021 and 2022) are ready to embrace him nearly three years after he was caught on video drunkenly using a racial slur. Watch out for a return appearance by Batiste, the Louisiana-born jazz musician who won the category last year in an upset over A-list stars including Swift and Rodrigo.


Zach Bryan feat. Kacey Musgraves, “I Remember Everything”

Luke Combs, “Fast Car”

Miley Cyrus, “Flowers”

Doja Cat, “Paint the Town Red”

Billie Eilish, “What Was I Made For?”

Olivia Rodrigo, “Vampire”

Taylor Swift, “Anti-Hero”

SZA, “Kill Bill”

Possible surprise: Morgan Wallen, “Last Night”

Possible snub: “Paint the Town Red”

At only 21, Eilish has already taken home this award twice, so figure that her delicate “Barbie” ballad is a lock for a nomination along with the Hot 100-topping singles from Swift’s and SZA’s LPs. Rodrigo’s rock-operatic “Vampire” is a feat of imaginative record-making; Cyrus’ “I Will Survive”-ish “Flowers” hits this category’s throwback sweet spot. And then there’s Combs’ extremely faithful rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” which is likely to remind voters of their good taste back in 1989, when they nominated Chapman’s original for the same Grammy.


“Anti-Hero,” written by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff (performed by Taylor Swift)

“Flowers,” written by Miley Cyrus, Gregory “Aldae” Hein and Michael Pollack (performed by Miley Cyrus)

“I Remember Everything,” written by Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves (performed by Zach Bryan feat. Kacey Musgraves)

“Kill Bill,” written by SZA, Rob Bisel and Carter Lang (performed by SZA)

“Lift Me Up,” written by Rihanna, Tems, Ludwig Göransson and Ryan Coogler (performed by Rihanna)

“Ready As I’ll Never Be,” written by Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile (performed by Tanya Tucker)

“Vampire,” written by Olivia Rodrigo and Dan Nigro (performed by Olivia Rodrigo)

“What Was I Made For?,” written by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (performed by Billie Eilish)

Possible surprise: “Need a Favor,” written by Jelly Roll, Joe Ragosta, Rob Ragosta and Austin Nivarel (performed by Jelly Roll)

Possible snub: “Lift Me Up”

A nod for “Anti-Hero” would bring Swift’s nominations in this category to seven — more than anyone else in Grammy history. (Oddly enough, she’s never actually won song of the year, which recognizes songwriters as opposed to record of the year, which goes to performers and producers.) Carlile is such an academy fave that she scored two song of the year nods at last year’s ceremony.


Ice Spice

Jelly Roll

Coco Jones

Noah Kahan



Peso Pluma

Bailey Zimmerman

Possible surprise: Lainey Wilson

Possible snub: PinkPantheress

With her Taylor Swift collab and her deal with Dunkin Donuts, Ice Spice is no doubt the most visible of best new artist’s potential nominees. But given the big year country music has had on the charts, we might see more than one Nashville act in the running for just the third time this century with a nod for 23-year-old Zimmerman and one for Jelly Roll, the veteran rapper who recently remade himself as a singer. Expect nods too for Pluma, the young star of regional Mexican music, and Kahan, a foot-stomping folkie in the Lumineers/Mumford & Sons mold.


Kelly Clarkson, “Chemistry”

Miley Cyrus, “Endless Summer Vacation”

Olivia Rodrigo, “Guts”

Sam Smith, “Gloria”

Taylor Swift, “Midnights”

Possible surprise: Ed Sheeran, “-”

Possible snub: “Gloria”

Clarkson’s album didn’t make much noise when it came out in June, but voters have previously nominated her in this category five times.


Drake & 21 Savage, “Her Loss”

Gunna, “A Gift & A Curse”

Ice Spice, “Like..?”

Metro Boomin, “Heroes & Villains”

Travis Scott, “Utopia”

Possible surprise: Billy Woods and Kenny Segal, “Maps”

Possible snub: “Utopia”

After years of recognizing rap elders past their prime, voters have begun nominating work by younger, more vital artists in this category — especially when their albums command ginormous streaming numbers.


Zach Bryan, “Zach Bryan”

Luke Combs, “Gettin’ Old”

Jelly Roll, “Whitsitt Chapel”

Morgan Wallen, “One Thing at a Time”

Lainey Wilson, “Bell Bottom Country”

Possible surprise: The War and Treaty, “Lover’s Game”

Possible snub: “One Thing at a Time”

The academy declined to get behind Bryan in a major way at this year’s ceremony; eight months (and one chart-topping LP) later, his anointment seems inevitable.


Foo Fighters, “But Here We Are”

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “Weathervanes”

Metallica, “72 Seasons”

Paramore, “This Is Why”

Queens of the Stone Age, “In Times New Roman…”

Possible surprise: Måneskin, “Rush!”

Possible snub: “Weathervanes”

Write it down now: There is a zero percent chance that Foo Fighters don’t win this award.


©2023 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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