Your guide to the 2021 Grammys

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This year’s Grammy Awards are going to stand out compared to previous years. The Grammys will be taking place on March 14 instead of Jan. 31, and there won’t be any fans in attendance due to COVID-19 safety regulations. Despite this dilemma, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about this year’s Grammy Awards. 

For Album of the Year, the field of nominees is more diverse than ever before. Superstars such as Taylor Swift and Post Malone are in the same category as newcomers including Black Pumas and Jacob Collier. My pick to win this award is Dua Lipa with her record “Future Nostalgia.”  Her blend of ‘80s synth-pop and modern dance music along with her commercial success should seal the deal with Grammy voters. HAIM and Jhene Aiko are also nominated for the award along with Coldplay, but it is hard to see anyone other than Lipa taking home the Grammy for Album of the Year. 

Then there is Record of the Year. Unlike the previous category, the winner is not as clear cut. There’s “Rockstar” with DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch, which was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, adding fuel to DaBaby’s rising career. Then you have “Don’t Start Know,” a lead single from Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia,” which has been a hit on radio stations across nations.  

The song that I think will win the award, however, is “Circles” by Post Malone. It managed to remain on the Billboard Hot 100 for 61 weeks in total, including three weeks at No. 1. It would be foolish for Grammy voters to ignore those numbers when considering record of the year. Malone’s greatest competitor will be Beyonce, who has two nominations: one for her solo hit “Black Parade” and the other for her feature on “Savage” with Megan Thee Stallion. The latter has a better chance of defeating “Circles,” but it will be a contest. 

When it comes to picking a winner for best new artist, I see Phoebe Bridgers winning the award. Her album “Punisher” was a favorite among listeners and critics in 2020, and she is only garnering more attention as time goes on. Other nominees that have a chance at winning the award include Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat, two of the biggest rising stars in music. Other nominees like Kaytranada and Noah Cyrus are talented and have large fan bases, but will probably lose the award due to lack of consistent radio play. 

For song of the year, “The Box” by Roddy Ricch will probably win this award. Not only was the song No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 11 consecutive weeks, but its popularity  on social media sites like Tik Tok have made the song a cultural icon. Other songs that are nominated for the award include “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R and “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift. Both are strong contenders to win the award, but do not share the same chart success as “The Box” does. “Circles” could also snag this award, but given the competition, it seems unlikely Malone will win both record and song of the year. 

Performers at this year’s Grammys will include artists such as Harry Styles, BTS and Cardi B. The premier ceremony will be hosted by Jhene Aiko, and will feature an opening rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy, Mercy Me” performed by artists including Kamasi Washington, PJ Morton and Grace Potter. Burna Boy and Poppy will also perform before the Grammys but will not be part of “Mercy, Mercy Me.” 

The Grammys will air on CBS and stream from the Grammy’s website on March 14 at 8 p.m. EST. Trevor Noah will host the ceremony from Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

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