Posted: February 06, 2019
By Jeff Nelson
As music’s biggest night approaches, the hosts of Beats 1 radio are weighing in on who will win Grammy gold.
Ahead of the 61st annual Grammys on Sunday, the industry experts — Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, Julie Adenuga and Brooke Reese — debated for PEOPLE about who should win. Below, the Apple Music personalities’ predictions.
Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Grammys coverage to get the latest news on music’s biggest night.
ZANE: Every one of these albums deserves their place and could easily win the award … but in the end, for me, I feel like it will come down to the Apple Music album of the year Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves which I absolutely love and the Black Panther soundtrack, which was the perfect musical accompaniment to the groundbreaking film. Both albums are incredible.
EBRO: Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By.This is a cultural moment in the history of Black music. Kendrick Lamar quarterbacked a multi-genre musical classic, capturing Black America and Africa at the same time. I hope the Grammys appreciates this.
JULIE: Cardi B, Invasion Of Privacy. Thirteen bangers! From an artist that everyone doubted. She made an album that spoke about real, relatable issues with collaborations that made sense to the music. I’m still listening to the album today. Not many people would have delivered something this sick with the amount of pressure she was under in the lead up to the release. I was gonna end this with a quote from the album, but all of my favorites are too explicit. #CardiForPresident!
BROOKE: Kacey Musgraves completely pushed herself outside her comfort zone and delivered her most personal project yet. Women in country music are always pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules; Kacey did that with this album. People who may not consider themselves fans of country music have found themselves listening to this LP start to finish.
ZANE: Drake was our artist of the year at Apple Music, and “God’s Plan” was the most streamed song in 2018. On paper it feels like it’s going to be his. That being said, “All The Stars” and “Shallow” are everywhere right now thanks to their involvement in two great films, and “I Like It” was one of those records that everyone agreed was one of the year’s best. “This Is America” was also one of those incredible moments.
EBRO: Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin’s “I Like It” was a super smash in multiple genres. This song is timeless and fun — and the Grammys better recognize its importance!
EBRO: Drake “God’s Plan.”An amazing message and amazing response from music lovers everywhere. This song was gigantic!
JULIE: “God’s Plan.” From the lyrics to the video to the album. I love Drake’s ability to get things right, over and over and over again with his music. One of my favorite artists — reliable and consistent when it comes to making the music you want to sing along loudly to from the shower all the way to the club. He knows how to make great songs and still say new witty things. Living legend.
ZANE: An amazing and varied selection of talent that have achieved a ton in a short amount of time, thanks in some degree to streaming. We’ve supported every one of these artists at Apple Music, but I think the award will go to H.E.R., who is in a strong position. Dua Lipa and Jorja Smith also both brought huge value to modern pop in 2018.
EBRO: Bebe Rexha. She’s from N.Y.C. and has already had bonafide hits, plus she’s collaborated outside of pop with Florida Georgia Line. She is a songwriter and amazing singer. Great for music!
JULIE: Jorja Smith. You have to recognize a Queen when you see one. Talented, hard working, determined, fearless, authentic, genuine and real. Jorja is everything people complain everyone else isn’t. Independent, open, honest and working day in and day out to accomplish her goals and dreams. I can’t wait to see her 10 years deep in this game. The complete soundtrack to my emotions.
BROOKE: Bebe Rexha has written hits songs for some of the biggest artist in the world for years, and now she is getting the recognition she 100 percent deserves. She even stepped outside her comfort zone and wrote the country track “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line that became one of the biggest songs of 2018, and it led the trend of pop country collaborations we saw all through the charts in last year.
BROOKE: Ariana Grande, Sweetener. After experiencing one of the most difficult years of her life, Ariana turned that pain into an honest and heartfelt album. This fourth project from Ariana truly feels like she has finally found her voice.
ZANE: My album of 2018 is Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, so I’m sticking with that to win.
BROOKE: Kacey Musgraves breaks all the rules with Golden Hour. Delivering a new wave of country that feels refreshing and vibrant. A perfect album that blends her classic country sound, with dreamy and catchy themes about the world we live in and love.
ZANE: Four established rock acts and one Apple Music Up Next artist in the Best Rock Album category this year. As much as I love the legends, I have a sneaking feeling the Grammy committee are going to put forward some new blood this year. I feel like Greta Van Fleet (From the Fires) had enough momentum behind them to cause an upset.
BROOKE: Greta Van Fleet has resurrected that classic rock ‘n’ roll sound on their debut LP. Reminiscent of some of the biggest rock bands in the world, they are reintroducing this sound to a new generation.
ZANE: 2018 was one of the best years for rap music of all time. It’s bittersweet to see Mac Miller’s Swimming in the category, and I love the Nipsey Hustle and Pusha T records, but in the end I think it’s going to come down to a toss of the coin between Cardi B and Travis Scott.
EBRO: Nipsey Hustle (Victory Lap). Musically dynamic. Lyrically vulnerable and introspective. He is self-made and unapologetically representing for his community in a positive way. Grammys better get this right.
EBRO: The Carters, Everything is Love. Beyoncé out-raps her husband! They are being vulnerable and showing us something we have never seen in the most important genre in music… Hip-hop has never had a mom and dad duo selling out football stadiums and making albums.
The 61st Annual Grammy Awards are broadcasting live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on CBS.
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