Posted: February 05, 2019
By EW Staff
Three industry insiders — past winners and current nominees — share their unfiltered opinions about who they think (and hope!) will take home the big prizes when the 61st Grammy Awards air Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Our anonymous participants this year include a rock singer who knows a thing or two about owning a song and winning awards, one of Nashville’s most highly decorated songwriters, and a veteran producer for A-list pop, rock, and country artists.
As told to EW’s Sarah Rodman and Alex Suskind.
THE SINGER: The honesty of this Brandi Carlile album — it made me cry. It was like, “Wow, thank you so much for telling your truth and making me get emotional about it.”
THE SONGWRITER: I just think Kacey Musgraves has got it. My main reason is because there’s eight nominees. If there were five, I don’t think it would be as clear a path. There’s so many people that cross different genres, they’re spreading out votes. The people that vote for country are going to vote for Kacey.
THE PRODUCER: Brandi Carlile. It’s such a great body of work because of her storytelling. It’s the one record [I] listened to and didn’t stop and move on to the next. H.E.R. is awesome too. I love that album. But to me, Brandi should take it.
THE PRODUCER: Brandi Carlile. The lyrical content and story are incredible. “This Is America” is badass, but in the [political] climate right now… it may be too controversial. The best song is [Carlile’s] “The Joke.” It’s a game-changer.
THE SINGER: Brandi Carlile. I don’t know whether it’s the times or just everything that I was praying for personally and professionally at the time [when I heard it] — it struck me all at once.
THE SONGWRITER: Lady Gaga. I feel like she’s in that place right now when it starts coming down to a process of elimination. It’s like, “Where do we honor that film in a big category?” It’s going to win, but it’s the worst song there.
THE PRODUCER: This one is between Drake, Gaga, and Brandi. But again I will vote for Brandi. To me it’s the far superior record from a songwriting point of view. Brandi came in out of nowhere and got six nominations. And she’s a credible artist. To me, it’s a no-brainer that she should sweep the Grammys.
THE SINGER: They get a lot of sh— for sounding like Zeppelin. I get it. Yes, they do. At the same time, the great thing about Greta Van Fleet is that they are holding a flag for kids that actually play instruments. Which is rock 101.
THE SONGWRITER: Dua Lipa’s a little more known outside of her specific genre. I feel like she has really left an impression on songwriters and creators.
THE PRODUCER: H.E.R. or Greta Van Fleet. I can’t absolutely tell you, because one is not standing out to me over the other.
THE SINGER: Everyone’s like, “Oh yeah, whatever, it’s Pink. She does her thing.” But this album is beautiful. She still sings her ass off.
THE SONGWRITER: This category blows my mind. I believe most of these nominees were very much snubbed in the big categories. It’s Ariana Grande’s, and she should be nominated more places. She made a great record.
THE PRODUCER: Shawn Mendes is going to get it, but Pink deserves it. She’s just the superior singer. But he’s got a cute little thing going on. I don’t think Shawn is going to get the awards that he’s up for in the other categories [like Song of the Year]. This will probably be the one he gets, because he puts out great pop vocals.
THE SINGER: Chris Stapleton. I f—ing love him. He’s amazing. It’s what country music is supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be “We’re trying to be Bon Jovi” or “We’re trying to be pop music.” And it’s honest. I love the fact that it’s From a Room: Volume 2. Because that’s what it sounds like. He’s just in a room, writing the songs.
THE SONGWRITER: Kacey Musgraves has got the momentum. I think the fact that it has been a minute for her between records and because she came back with something that people weren’t expecting [will help].
THE PRODUCER: I don’t know these records as well. But Kacey is great. It’s a good record. People love it. I will give it to her.
THE SINGER: Eminem. The rapid-fire energy is what attracts me to it.
THE SONGWRITER: I love “God’s Plan.” I don’t have strong feelings about Drake. I just think this record and particularly this song are amazing.
THE PRODUCER: That one is hard. Travis, Kendrick, and Drake, it’s between those guys for sure. Kendrick is the superior act, but it could go to Travis because he’s like the hip, cool one. But Drake is also the seasoned favorite. I’m torn. I’m going with Drake.
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