Grammys 2023 predictions: Who will win, who should win and who’ll get robbed

A photo triptych with three top Grammy nominees
From left, Beyoncé, Brandi Carlile and Harry Styles.
(Mason Poole, Emma McIntyre, Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images )

After a year with no audience and a year in Las Vegas, the 65th Grammy Awards will return to normal on Sunday evening with a full house at the ceremony’s longtime home of Arena in downtown Los Angeles.

Top nominees include Beyoncé with nine nods, followed by Kendrick Lamar with eight and Adele and Brandi Carlile with seven apiece. Among the other superstars in the mix for major prizes are Bad Bunny, Harry Styles, Lizzo and Taylor Swift.

Here are our predictions for how the night will shake out in 10 top categories, offered with the caveat that the thing about the Grammys is that nothing is off the table. Just ask last year’s surprise standout Jon Batiste.


From a 12-time winner to first-time nominees, Kim Petras, Muni Long, Babyface, Blake Slatkin and Nija Charles discuss their paths to the Grammy Awards.

Dec. 9, 2022

ABBA, “Voyage”
Adele, “30”
Bad Bunny, “Un Verano Sin Ti”
Beyoncé, “Renaissance”
Mary J. Blige, “Good Morning Gorgeous”
Brandi Carlile, “In These Silent Days”
Coldplay, “Music of the Spheres”
Kendrick Lamar, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”
Lizzo, “Special”
Harry Styles, “Harry’s House”

Should win: Beyoncé, “Renaissance”
Will win: Brandi Carlile, “In These Silent Days”

What can you say about an award for which Beyoncé’s deeply researched “Renaissance” has to compete against an album on which Coldplay’s Chris Martin sings, “We’re only human / But we’re capable of kindness / So they call us humankind”? Yes, the Grammys’ flagship prize has some considerable structural problems, not least the fact that musicians can’t even agree if an album is the thing everyone should be worrying about anymore. With two inexcusable losses under her belt — including one where the victor, Adele, admitted she didn’t deserve to win — Beyoncé is the intellectual (and emotional) favorite this time. But insiders say Carlile, a committed Grammys hobnobber who helped bring the legendary Joni Mitchell back to the stage last year, might have the edge.

ABBA, “Don’t Shut Me Down”
Adele, “Easy on Me”
Beyoncé, “Break My Soul”
Mary J. Blige, “Good Morning Gorgeous”
Brandi Carlile feat. Lucius, “You and Me on the Rock”
Doja Cat, “Woman”
Steve Lacy, “Bad Habit”
Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Part 5”
Lizzo, “About Damn Time”
Harry Styles, “As It Was”

Should win: Steve Lacy, “Bad Habit”
Will win: Lizzo, “About Damn Time”

Nobody’s won this prize more times than Bruno Mars, who took his third record of the year trophy in 2022 with Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open.” So think of the category as a safe space for meticulously crafted throwback jams whose success on pop radio offers older voters reassurance that kids today still have some sense. Case in point: the finely detailed disco-funk of “About Damn Time.”

The event included performances from Maneskin, Lizzo, Sheryl Crow, Jennifer Hudson, Frankie Valli, Lauren Daigle, Latto, Lil Baby and Lil Wayne.

Feb. 5, 2023

“abcdefu,” written by Sara Davis, Gayle and Dave Pittenger (performed by Gayle)
“About Damn Time,” written by Melissa “Lizzo” Jefferson, Eric Frederic, Blake Slatkin and Theron Makiel Thomas (performed by Lizzo)
“All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” written by Liz Rose and Taylor Swift (performed by Taylor Swift)
“As It Was,” written by Tyler Johnson, Kid Harpoon and Harry Styles (performed by Harry Styles)
“Bad Habit,” written by Matthew Castellanos, Brittany Fousheé, Diana Gordon, John Carroll Kirby and Steve Lacy (performed by Steve Lacy)
“Break My Soul,” written by Beyoncé, S. Carter, Terius “The-Dream” Gesteelde-Diamant and Christopher A. Stewart (performed by Beyoncé)
“Easy on Me,” written by Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin (performed by Adele)
“God Did,” written by Tarik Azzouz, E. Blackmon, Khaled Khaled, F. LeBlanc, Shawn Carter, John Stephens, Dwayne Carter, Williams Roberts and Nicholas Warwar (performed by DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend and Fridayy)
“The Heart Part 5,” written by Jake Kosich, Johnny Kosich, Kendrick Lamar and Matt Schaeffer (performed by Kendrick Lamar)
“Just Like That,” written by Bonnie Raitt (performed by Bonnie Raitt)

Should win: “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”
Will win: “Easy on Me”

It seems insane that the most consequential songwriter of her generation has never won this award (which recognizes songwriters while record of the year goes to performers and producers). But with her newly recorded director’s cut of her 2012 masterpiece, Swift, who’s been nominated for song of the year six times — as many as Lionel Richie and Paul McCartney — faces stiff competition from a pair of longtime Grammy faves: 73-year-old Raitt, just now enjoying her first songwriting nods with a moving and complex tale of a mother’s encounter with the recipient of her late son’s transplanted heart; and Adele, whose “Easy on Me” shares approximately 70% of its musical DNA with her Grammy-winning “Hello.”

A female singer performs onstage
Best new artist nominee Anitta performs at Coachella 2022.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Omar Apollo
Domi & JD Beck
Muni Long
Samara Joy
Tobe Nwigwe
Molly Tuttle
Wet Leg

Should win: Omar Apollo
Will win: Molly Tuttle

Minus a clear breakout star à la Olivia Rodrigo or Megan Thee Stallion — and with a handful of acts many academy members probably hadn’t heard of until they searched Spotify — this year’s best new artist race is likely to come down to entrenched genre loyalties. If that’s the case, consider that Tuttle, a young bluegrass phenom, has no natural competition for the votes of the academy’s sizable Nashville contingent.

The singer-songwriter is a nominee for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the subject of a tribute concert and a forthcoming documentary.

Feb. 1, 2023

Amy Allen
Nija Charles
Tobias Jesso Jr.
Laura Veltz

Should win: The-Dream
Will win: The-Dream

A new award being handed out for the first time, songwriter of the year should go to The-Dream if only for the depth of his work on Beyoncé’s “Renaissance.” But with culture-shaping hits going back to Rihanna’s “Umbrella, the R&B wizard would seem to have the lifetime-achievement angle covered as well — unless Jesso woos softies with the sensitive ballads he’s penned for Adele and Harry Styles.


ABBA, “Don’t Shut Me Down”
Camila Cabello feat. Ed Sheeran, “Bam Bam”
Coldplay and BTS, “My Universe”
Post Malone and Doja Cat, “I Like You (A Happier Song)”
Sam Smith and Kim Petras, “Unholy”

Should win: Sam Smith and Kim Petras, “Unholy”
Will win: Coldplay and BTS, “My Universe”

With more than 750 million streams on Spotify alone, “Unholy” has the commercial clout and the feel-good distinction of being the first song by a nonbinary person and a trans person to score a Grammy nom. But having handed defeat to BTS twice in this category in the last two years — and thereby subjecting themselves to the wrath of K-pop’s most devoted fan base — voters may finally throw the boy band a bone.

DJ Khaled, “God Did”
Future, “I Never Liked You”
Jack Harlow, “Come Home the Kids Miss You”
Kendrick Lamar, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”
Pusha T, “It’s Almost Dry”

Should win: Kendrick Lamar, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”
Will win: Kendrick Lamar, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”

Lamar hasn’t lost this prize since 2014, when voters infamously picked Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ goofy “The Heist” over his groundbreaking major-label debut, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.” And though the knotty “Mr. Morale” hasn’t spun off a hit single on the order of “Alright” or “Humble,” he still embodies many members’ ideas of what a rapper should be.

A male country singer with long pigtails performs onstage with an acoustic guitar
Willie Nelson is nominated for country solo performance.
(Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP / Getty Images)

Kelsea Ballerini, “Heartfirst”
Zach Bryan, “Something in the Orange”
Miranda Lambert, “In His Arms”
Maren Morris, “Circles Around This Town”
Willie Nelson, “Live Forever”

Should win: Zach Bryan, “Something in the Orange”
Will win: Willie Nelson, “Live Forever”

A streaming colossus with his 34-track “American Heartbreak” LP, Bryan was thought by many to be a lock for high-level nods for best new artist and album of the year. But insiders say Nashville spurned him because he’s shown little interest in playing industry ball; as a result, perhaps, Bryan earned a measly one nomination for the appealingly ragged “Something in the Orange.” Expect the universally beloved Nelson to win, as he did in 2020 — back when he was only 86.

The Black Keys, “Dropout Boogie”
Elvis Costello and the Imposters, “The Boy Named If”
Idles, “Crawler”
Machine Gun Kelly, “Mainstream Sellout”
Ozzy Osbourne, “Patient Number 9”
Spoon, “Lucifer on the Sofa”

Should win: Spoon, “Lucifer on the Sofa”
Will win: Ozzy Osbourne, “Patient Number 9”

One wonders whether Spoon, Ozzy and Machine Gun Kelly had ever been mentioned in the same sentence before they ended up in this dog’s breakfast of a category. Figure that Spoon and the Black Keys will split the young(-ish) alt-rock vote, and figure that too many academy members still think of MGK as a rapper (if they think of him at all). Which leaves an opening for Osbourne’s late-career team-up with a hit-making producer, Andrew Watt, familiar to many Grammy types.

“Be Alive,” from “King Richard,” written by Beyoncé and Darius Scott Dixson (performed by Beyoncé)
“Carolina,” from “Where the Crawdads Sing,” written by Taylor Swift (performed by Taylor Swift)
“Hold My Hand,” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” written by Bloodpop and Stefani Germanotta (performed by Lady Gaga)
“Keep Rising (The Woman King),” from “The Woman King,” written by Angelique Kidjo, Jeremy Lutito and Jessy Wilson (performed by Jessy Wilson featuring Angelique Kidjo)
“Nobody Like U,” from “Turning Red,” written by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (performed by 4*Town, Jordan Fisher, Finneas O’Connell, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo and Grayson Villanueva)
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” from “Encanto,” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (performed by Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz and “Encanto” cast)


Should win: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”
Will win: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”

Presented as the 67th category (out of 91) in the academy’s official nominations listings, this movie-music award doesn’t typically garner much attention. But this year it’s surprisingly stacked with superstars, including Gaga, who’d love a Grammy win to propel her toward the Oscars, where her “Top Gun” power ballad is nominated for best original song. One obstacle in her way: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s chatty “Encanto” ensemble number, the first tune from a Disney animated movie to top the Hot 100 since “Aladdin’s” “A Whole New World” in 1993.