Who will be the top nominee for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards? We’ll find out on Friday (Nov. 10) when the Recording Academy announces its nominees in all 94 categories, including three that were added this year – best African music performance, best pop dance recording and best alternative jazz album.
Thirteen past Grammy winners, ranging from Amy Grant to Kim Petras, will help announce the nominees in a 25-minute livestream event that will begin at 11 a.m. ET. (There’s also a 15-minute pre-show and a wrap-up show for Grammy die-hards.) The announcement will be accessible onand YouTube.
Other Grammy winners onboard for the event include Arooj Aftab, Vince Gill, Jimmy Jam, Jon Bon Jovi, Samara Joy, Muni Long, Cheryl Pawelski, Judith Sherman, St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy and “Weird Al” Yankovic. They will be joined by CBS Mornings co-hosts Gayle King, Nate Burleson and Tony Dokoupil and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr.
We don’t know for sure who’s going to be nominated, but we have a pretty good idea of some artists who are likely to be nominated in the so-called Big Four categories (album, record and song of the year plus best new artist), and what those nominations would mean in terms of Grammy history.
A few reminders first: It will be a little harder to crack the Big Four categories than it was the last two years, as The Recording Academy is cutting the number of nominees in each of those categories from a bloated 10 to eight, which was the magic number from 2020 to 2022. (Before that, it was generally five.)
This year’s eligibility period ran from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 15. (That closing date is two weeks earlier than usual.) Final-round voting extends from Dec. 14 to Jan. 4, 2024. The awards will be presented on Feb. 4, 2024, atArena in Los Angeles.
In a welcome change, the Academy reinstated a baseline of involvement needed to receive an album of the year nod. Credited and featured artists, songwriters, producers, engineers, mixers and mastering engineers must have worked on at least 20% of an album’s playing time to receive a nod. This is up from no baseline the last two years, when the Academy handed out nominations in this category like they were Halloween candy.
Here are 17 artists (and a soundtrack) who have a chance to make history when the nominations are announced. We also indicate how likely it is that this will happen.
Possible Feat: If “Anti-Hero” (which Swift co-wrote with Jack Antonoff) is nominated for song of the year, she would become the first songwriter in Grammy history to amass seven nods in that category. She is currently tied with Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie for most nods in the category – six each.
Likelihood: Near certain
Possible Feat: If “Anti-Hero” is nominated for record of the year, Swift would be the first person whose first five nominations in this category were for solo recordings (no collabs or group/duo recordings allowed) since Frank Sinatra in the ’50s and ’60s. Swift’s previous nods were for “You Belong with Me,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space.”
Likelihood: Near certain
Possible Feat: If Midnights is nominated for album of the year, Swift would tie Barbra Streisand for the most nods in this category (six) by a female artist in Grammy history. Streisand’s album of the year nominations spanned 24 years (1963-86). True to her name, Swift will have achieved the feat more swiftly. Her album of the year nods would span just 15 years (2009-23).
Likelihood: Near certain
P.S.: Swift could make even bigger history when the Grammys are presented in February, becoming the first person to win album of the year four times. She’s currently tied with Grammy greats Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon with three wins each. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Possible Feat: If “Fast Car” is nominated for record of the year, Tracy Chapman’s song would become only the second in Grammy history to be the basis of two singles that received record of the year nods. The first was “Mack the Knife.” Bobby Darin’s classic recording, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks, was the 1959 winner; Ella Fitzgerald’s cover version was a 1960 nominee. Chapman’s original version of “Fast Car” was nominated in 1988.
Likelihood: Near certain. The only question is whether the Grammys will be able to secure a joint Combs/Chapman performance. (We predict they will do whatever it takes, even if that means dispatching Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. to personally drive Chapman to rehearsals.)
P.S.: Chapman won’t be eligible for song of the year because the song is already well-known. In fact, it was nominated in that category 35 years ago. Combs, a best new artist nominee five years ago, also has a fairly good shot at an album of the year nod for Gettin’ Old.
Possible Feat: SZA could receive nominations for album, record and song of the year for the second time in three years. Two years ago, she was nominated for record and song of the year for “Kiss Me More” (her hit collab with Doja Cat) and album of the year as a featured artist on Doja’s Planet Her.
Likelihood: Very high. “Kill Bill” would be SZA’s third record of the year nominee – her first on her own. She was previously nominated for collabs with Kendrick Lamar (“All the Stars”) and Doja Cat (“Kiss Me More”). It would also be her third song of the year nominee, following those same songs.
Possible Feat: If “Flowers” is nominated for record of the year, Cyrus and her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, would become just the third parent and child to each receive record of the year nods, following the Sinatras (Frank and Nancy) and the Coles (Nat King and Natalie).
Billy Ray Cyrus has received two record of the year nods – for “Achy Breaky Heart” and “Old Town Road,” his collab with Lil Nas X. Frank Sinatra amassed seven record of the year nods; Nancy had one, for “Somethin’ Stupid,” a 1967 collab with her father. Nat King Cole had one, for “Ramblin’ Rose” (1962); Natalie also had one for “Unforgettable” (1991). Nat wasn’t nominated for that silky, studio-assembled collab because his part had been recorded many years earlier.
Likelihood: Very high. Miley Cyrus has never been nominated in a General Field category, but if she isn’t for this great record, with a storyline that echoes “I Will Survive” (a 1979 record and song the year nominee), something’s wrong – and not with Miley. “Flowers” is also very likely to receive a song of the year nod.
Possible Feat: If Guts is nominated for album of the year, and “Vampire” is nominated for record and song of the year, Rodrigo would become the first artist to sweep nominations in all three categories with both of her first two studio albums since Billie Eilish.
Likelihood: Very high. The album, which enters the Billboard 200 at No. 1 this week, has received strong reviews and has already spawned two top 10 hits on the Hot 100.
P.S.: This would also be the second time Rodrigo has been nominated alongside one of her childhood idols, Taylor Swift, for album of the year. Sour competed with Swift’s Evermore two years ago.
Possible Feat: If “Paint the Town Red” is nominated for record of the year, Doja will become the first artist since Frank Sinatra to receive four consecutive nominations in that category. Doja was nominated for “Say So” (2020), “Kiss Me More” (collab with SZA, 2021) and “Woman” (2022). Sinatra was nominated in the first four years of the Grammys (1958-61) for “Witchcraft,” “High Hopes,” “Nice ‘N Easy” and “The Second Time Around.”
Likelihood: Fairly good. Doja’s track record in this category speaks for itself, but some voters may think the record leans too heavily on the sample of Dionne Warwick’s 1964 classic “Walk on By.” Unfortunately, Warwick cannot be nominated as a featured artist because she recorded her part six decades ago. Her original recording was nominated for best rhythm & blues recording (1964) – but not record of the year. And Bacharach wasn’t nominated at all that year, either for composing the song or for his superb arrangement. (Too late to demand a recount?)
Possible Feat: The rapper turned country artist, who turns 39 in December, would be the oldest individual nominated for best new artist since Andrea Bocelli, who was 40 when he was nominated 25 years ago.
Likelihood: Very good, if the Recording Academy deems him eligible. The rules in this category are complicated and ever-changing. Jelly Roll doesn’t run afoul of the cardinal rule (he’s never been nominated), and he also seems to meet this criterion: “This category recognizes an artist whose eligibility-year release(s) achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and notably impacted the musical landscape.” But this isn’t Jelly Roll’s first rodeo: He has been putting out records (without much notice) since 2011.
The CMA Awards, which is highly respected in the awards community, deemed Jelly (Mr. Roll?) eligible for their new artist of the year award. That makes it much easier for the Grammys to come to the same determination, without risking being seen as out-of-touch or ill-informed. At the CMAs, Jelly Roll is competing with Zach Bryan (who was nominated for a Grammy in a performance category last year and thus is not eligible here), Parker McCollum, Megan Moroney and Hailey Whitters.
Jelly Roll’s “Need a Favor” is also a top candidate for record and song of the year nods.
Possible Feat: Ice Spice, who won best new artist at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12, could become the fourth VMA winner in that category in the past five years to receive a Grammy nod in the same category. She would follow Billie Eilish, Doja Cat and Olivia Rodrigo. (The 2022 VMA winner, Dove Cameron, was snubbed by the Grammys.)
Likelihood: Very high. Ice Spice has landed three top five hits on the Hot 100 in 2023, thanks to collabs with Pink Pantheress (“Boy’s a Liar, Pt. 2”) and past best new artist nominees Taylor Swift (“Karma”) and Nicki Minaj (“Princess Diana”).
Possible Feat: “Boy’s a Liar, Pt. 2” is vying to become the third all-female collab in the past four years to land a record of the year nod. “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé was nominated three years ago. “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA was a contender two years ago. Several other all-female collabs are vying for a nod this year, including “TQG” by Karol G featuring Shakira, “Barbie World” by Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice and “Breakfast in Birmingham” by Tanya Tucker featuring Brandi Carlile.
Likelihood: Fair. It has a shot, but there so many eligible records (619 last year) and so few nominations slots (just eight this year, down from 10 the last two years).
Rema & Selena Gomez
Possible feat: “Calm Down” could become the first Afrobeats smash to receive a record of the year nomination – if the Academy deems it eligible. The remix with Gomez was released on Aug. 25, 2022, more than a month before the end of the previous eligibility year. Rema’s original solo version of the song was entered, but not nominated, for best global music performance last year. (The Grammys didn’t have a dedicated category for Afrobeats last year, but is adding one this year, called best African music performance.)
Likelihood: If it’s deemed eligible, it may well be nominated. This would be the third year in a row that Gomez has received a Grammy nod. Two years ago, she was nominated for best Latin pop album for Revelación. Last year she was nominated for album of the year as a featured artist on Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres. The multi-tasker also has a hit TV show, Only Murders in the Building, for which she has received back-to-back Primetime Emmy nods as an executive producer.
Possible Feat: The superstar could finally land her first song of the year nod for “Lift Me Up,” which she-wrote with composer Ludwig Göransson, Tems and film director Ryan Coogler. A pregnant Rihanna performed the soulful and elegant ballad from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on the Oscar telecast in March, where it was nominated for best original song.
This would also be Rihanna’s fourth record of the year nomination – and her first on her own. She was previously nominated for collabs with Jay-Z (“Umbrella”), Eminem (“Love the Way You Lie”) and Drake (“Work”).
Likelihood: Fair. “Lift Me Up” is an eminently worthy contender in both categories. Its biggest drawback is that it is so old: It was released on Oct. 28, 2022, in the first month of the eligibility year. It debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in November.
Possible Feat: Eilish could receive her fourth record of the year nod in five years for the hypnotic ballad “What Was I Made For?.” She won for “Bad Guy” (2019) and “Everything I Wanted” (2020) and was nominated for “Happier Than Ever” (2021) but missed out last year when “TV” wasn’t nominated. Eilish would be the first artist in Grammy history to receive four record of the year nods before turning 22. (She’ll reach that age on Dec. 18, five weeks after the nominations are announced.)
Likelihood: Fair. Eilish is definitively a contender, but a nomination is far from certain. Some voters may prefer to wait for her third studio album rather than reward her for this offering from Barbie: The Album.
Possible Feat: One Thing at a Time would be the first country album to be nominated for album of the year since Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour five years ago (which won); the first by a male artist since Chris Stapleton’s Traveller eight years ago.
Likelihood: Fairly good. The album topped the Billboard 200 for 15 weeks—longer than any other album since Adele’s 2011 blockbuster 21 (which, as you surely know if you’re reading this, won album of the year.) And One Thing is up for album of the year at the CMA Awards, along with three other albums that are eligible here — Lainey Wilson’s Bell Bottom Country, Luke Combs’ Gettin’ Old and Kelsea Ballerini’s Rolling Up the Welcome Mat – and one that isn’t, because it was entered here last year, in Ashley McBryde’s Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville. But it remains to be seen if increasingly diverse Grammy voters are as ready to forgive and forget Wallen’s 2021 N-word slur as CMA voters have been. We’ll find out when the Grammy nominations are announced.
Possible Feat: “Last Night” could be nominated for record of the year. The smash logged 16 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100, longer than any other strictly solo recording in history. “Last Night” was the 12th single to top the Hot 100 for 14 or more weeks. Of the first 11 to do this, all but two received record of the year nods. The two that didn’t were Los Del Rio’s “Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix),” which was probably seen as a fluke novelty hit, and Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997”/“Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” which was probably docked for being a re-do of an already-famous song.
Likelihood: Not great. “Last Night” was passed over for nods for both single of the year and song of the year at the CMA Awards.
Lil Durk & J. Cole
Possible Feat: “All My Life” would be the first collaboration by two rappers to receive a record of the year nod since Da Baby featuring Roddy Ricch’s “Rockstar” three years ago.
Likelihood: High. The song was a smash (No. 2 on the Hot 100). And its melodic chorus gives it broad demographic appeal. Who wouldn’t love this record from the first listen?
Possible Feat: Bryan could land his first nomination in a Big Four category. He’s a contender for an album of the year nod for Zach Bryan and record and song of the year for “I Remember Everything,” a collab with six-time Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves.
Likelihood: Good. Bryan has received only one Grammy nod to date (best country solo performance for “Something in the Orange”), but his eye-popping success this year – his album and single both entered Billboard’s flagship charts at No. 1 – should change that. This would be Musgraves’ first nod for record or song, but she’s an album of the year winner and a best new artist nominee.
Possible Feat: Mañana Será Bonito could become the first all-Spanish language album by a woman to receive an album of the year nod. Last year, Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti became the first all-Spanish language album to be nominated in the category. Mañana Será Bonito (Spanish for Tomorrow Will Be Pretty) entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 in February, becoming the first became the first all-Spanish language album by a woman to reach No. 1.
Likelihood: Fair. It has a chance, but it’s a fiercely competitive category. Good sign: It was nominated for album of the year at the Latin Grammys. Bunny’s album was nominated in that category last year, becoming the first album to be nominated for album of the year at both the Grammys and the Latin Grammys.
Possible Feat: The Mexican singer/songwriter is vying to become the third Latin artist to be nominated for best new artist in the past five years, following Rosalía and Anitta.
Likelihood: Fair. Génesis, his third studio album, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in July. “Ella Baila Sola,” his collab with Eslabon Armado, reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 in May. But Pluma’s surprising failure to receive any nominations at the Latin Grammys isn’t a good sign. “Ella Baila Sola” was passed over for a record of the year nod; Génesis was released too late to qualify for this year’s awards; Pluma wasn’t eligible for best new artist because he had released too many previous albums or EPs.
‘Barbie: The Album’
Possible Feat: The album could become the first album marketed as a soundtrack to receive an album of the year nod since Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By five years ago. Mark Ronson (a seven-time Grammy winner), Kevin Weaver and Brandon Davis are credited with producing the album.
Likelihood: Fairly good. The album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned three top 20 hits on the Hot 100. And the film is the year’s top-grossing hit and probably its most broadly-liked. But film soundtracks are rarely nominated in this category. The last two before Black Panther were Waiting to Exhale (1996) and Oh Brother, Where Art Thou (2001).
Notice something there? The film soundtracks that have received album of the year nominations in recent decades have been supervised by someone who is well-known in the music community: Babyface (Exhale), T Bone Burnett (O Brother) and Kendrick Lamar & Sounwave (Black Panther). Ronson, too, fits that description. Will it make it? Place your bets.