2023 Grammy Nominations for Album of the Year: Our Predictions – Billboard
The eligibility period for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards — October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 — ends Friday. So let’s take a look at the field of top contenders in what is widely considered to be Grammy’s most prestigious category: album of the year.
This is the second year that the Recording Academy will have 10 spots in each of the Big Four categories – album, record and song of the year, plus best new artist. From 1958, the first year of the Grammys, to 2017, there were typically only five nominees for album of the year. (The number of nominees increased to six four times.) From 2018 to 2020, there were eight nominees.
First-round voting for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards runs from October 13-23. Nominations will be announced on November 15. The awards will be presented on February 5, 2023 at the Crypto.com Arena (formerly, and more elegantly, known as the Staples Center) in Los Angeles.
The Grammys have a way of surprising us. Last year, ABBA received a Record of the Year nomination for “I Still Have Faith in You.” The vocal group had never received a nomination in any category. Thus, their very first nomination was in one of the flagship categories. Go figure. ABBA’s album Travel was released during that year of eligibility. Could it possibly receive an album of the year nod, or was last year’s recognition a fluke? We will find out on November 15.
These five albums seem certain to be nominated.
Adele, 30: It would be Adele’s third consecutive album to be nominated in this category. 25 won the 2011 award. 30 won the 2016 award. Adele: One night only won five Primetime Emmys earlier this month, including an outstanding variety special (pre-recorded). As the special’s executive producer, Adele shared this latest award, which means she just needs a Tony to get an EGOT. Ben Winston and Raj Kapoor, who won Emmys as executive producers of the special, are also executive producers of the Grammy broadcast. Does that give Adele some sort of home-court advantage here? It’s not. But it may increase the chances of seeing an Adele performance at the Grammys, and who wouldn’t be up for that?
Beyonce, Renaissance: It would be Beyoncé’s fourth album — and her third consecutive solo studio album — to be nominated. Bey was nominated for I am…Fierce Sasha (2009), Beyonce (2014) and Lemonade (2016). She is vying to become the first woman of color to receive four nominations for Album of the Year (as a lead artist). She is currently tied with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and HER with three nominations each in the category.
Harry Styles, Harry’s house: It would be Styles’ first nomination in a Big Four category. Harry’s house won Album of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28. It’s probably not the album of the year award Styles was most hoping for, but it’s something.
Kendrick Lamar, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers: It would be Lamar’s fourth studio album to be nominated, which would allow him to tie Kanye West as the rapper with the most nods in that category (as a lead artist). Unlike West, Lamar’s nominations are for four consecutive studio albums. He was nominated for good kid, maAd city (2013), Pimp a butterfly (2015) and DAMN. (2017). Lamar is in the running to become the first artist of any genre to be nominated with four consecutive studio albums since Billy Joel (1979-83).
bad bunny, A Verano Sin Ti: This would be Bad Bunny’s first nomination in a Big Four category. Moreover, it would be the first album in Spanish to be nominated in this category. Latin crossover pioneer José Feliciano was nominated in 1968 for Feliciano!but this album consisted of tracks in English.
These five albums seem a little less certain of being nominated, but should round out the category.
Sonic silk, An evening with Silk Sonic: This would be Bruno Mars’ third nomination in this category; Anderson .Paak is the first. Mars was nominated in this category for his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2011), and won for his third album, 24K magic (2017). An Evening with Silk Sonic won a BET Award for Album of the Year on June 26. “Leave the Door Open,” the album’s lead single, won four awards at the 64th annual Grammy Awards in April, including record and song of the year.
Lizzo, Special: This would be Lizzo’s second nomination in this category. She was nominated for the deluxe edition of Because I love you three years ago. Lizzo won her first Primetime Emmy Award for Lizzo watch out for big grrrls on September 12, which raised his profile at an opportune time.
Taylor Swift, Red (Taylor’s version): It would be Swift’s sixth nomination in this category, which would tie Barbra Streisand for the most nominations by a female artist. Swift has racked up those nominations since 2009. Streisand received her nominations over a span of 24 years (1963-86). Swift was nominated in this category for the original studio edit of Red. It would be the first time an artist was nominated for both the original recording and a re-recording of an album. Red (Taylor’s version) also contains 14 tracks that were not on the standard edition of Red when he was appointed in 2013.
Various, Encanto soundtrack: It would be the first animated film soundtrack to be nominated in this category since The beauty and the Beast 30 years ago. In the years since, only four soundtracks have been nominated in this category. All four have been attributed to a major player in the recording world – Whitney Houston (The bodyguard1993), Babyface (wait to expire1995), T Bone Burnett (O brother, where are you?2001) and Kendrick Lamar (Black Panther, 2018). Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and co-produced all of the songs on Encantois of similar stature. Of them songs from the album were performed on the March 27 Oscars telecast – including “We’re Not Talking About Bruno”, which wasn’t even nominated.
hot red peppers, Unlimited love: This would be the group’s second nomination in this category. They were in the running 16 years ago for Stadium Arcadium. The Peppers would become the fifth rock band to receive two albums of the year since 2000, following U2, Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Coldplay. The Peppers received the Global Icon Award at the VMAs on August 28. Will it make a difference here? Damn, it can’t hurt.
These next twelve albums are in danger of failing to be nominated. They are the best candidates to step up a gear if one of the presumed favorites falters:
Brandi Carlile, In these silent days: This would be Carlile’s second nod in this category. She was nominated four years ago for By the way, I forgive you. “Right on Time,” the album’s first single, was nominated for record and song of the year last year.
Miranda Lambert, Palomino: It would be Lambert’s first nomination in a Big Four category. palomino would be the first country album to receive an album of the year nod since Kacey Musgraves golden hour four years ago (who went on to win the award). palomino is nominated for Album of the Year at the upcoming CMA Awards on November 9.
Coming, I never loved you: This would be Future’s first nomination in a Big Four category as a lead artist. He was nominated for Album of the Year as Featured Artist on Drake’s Views (2016).
Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Raise the roof: These artists won the 2008 award in this category for their first collaboration, raise sand. Their long-awaited second collaboration didn’t sell as well. That said, Krauss is a 27-time Grammy winner. (Among female artists, only Beyoncé has earned more.) Her trophies include a second album of the year winner, O brother, where are you?.
Ed Sheeran =: It would be Sheeran’s second nomination in this category. He was appointed eight years ago for X. =’s debut single “Bad Habits” was nominated for Song of the Year last year.
The weekend, Dawn FM: This would be The Weeknd’s second nomination in this category. He was appointed seven years ago for The beauty behind the madness.
Post Malone, Twelve karat toothache: It would be Posty’s third album of the year nomination. He was nominated for Beer bongs and Bentleys (2018) and The Hollywood Bleed (2020).
Duck, Honestly it doesn’t matter: It would be Drake’s third album of the year (as lead artist). He was nominated for Views (2016) and Scorpio (2018).
summer walker, Still on it: It would be Walker’s first nomination in any category.
Steve Lacy, Gemini evenings: It would be Lacy’s first nomination in a Big Four category. It received two nominations for Best Urban Contemporary Album.
Elton John, Lockdown sessions: This would be Elton’s fourth nomination in this category. He was nominated for Elton John (1970), Caribou (1974) and Captain Fantastic and the Cowboy from Brown Dirt (1975). Elton, 75, would be one of the oldest nominees in this category (as a lead artist). Tony Bennett, who was 95 when he was nominated for a collaboration with Lady Gaga last year, holds the hard-to-beat record.
BlackPink, born pink: The all-girl quartet is vying to become the first K-pop group to receive a nomination in a Big Four category. BTS has been nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in each of the past two years (for “Dynamite” and “Butter”), but they struggled to crack the Big Four categories. Step aside, boys, let the girls try their luck.