The 64th Grammys: Snubs, Surprises, and Predictions


Bea Lunardini, Editor

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards will take place on Monday, January 30, 2022, but the controversies surrounding the snubs, surprises, and predictions for the awards have been brewing since the release of the nominees. Here are some of the most important things to know before you watch the Grammys. 


The Snub: 

Canadian rapper Drake’s album, “Certified Lover Boy”, was teased for several months before its September third release, when it beat Spotify’s streaming record for an album in the first 24 hours with 153.44 million plays. Avid music statisticians and Drake fans alike will recall that the record was previously held by none other than Drake himself, for his 2018 album “Scorpion”. For the 2022 Grammys, Drake was one of five nominees in the Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance categories, for his album “Certified Lover Boy” and song “Way 2 Sexy”, respectively, but announced that he was withdrawing his music from consideration. 



Many feel that Drake’s decision to withdraw his music from deliberation stems from his long, controversial history with the Recording Academy, the group behind the Grammy awards. The artist first spoke out publicly against the awards at the 61st Annual Grammys on February 10, 2019, where his hit “God’s Plan” won Best Rap Song. He used his acceptance speech to encourage those looking to pursue music, and issued a subtle blow to the Academy and its track record with hip hop, rap, and R&B music, and artists of color. “My point is you’ve already won if you have people singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown.” Drake said. “You don’t need this right here [a Grammy]. I promise you, you already won.” The broadcast immediately cut to commercial before Drake could finish his speech. 



Drake has withdrawn his music from contention for a Grammy, staying true to his assertion that the Grammys “may no longer matter to the artists that exist now”, as he first said in November of 2020. Drake’s highly public snub of the Grammys this year is the final nail in the coffin of his relationship with the Academy, and may lead more artists to move away from awards ceremonies in general. 


The Surprise: 

The surprise star of the 2022 Grammys is Jon Batiste. Batiste is a jack-of-all-trades, releasing music on his own, with his band “Stay Human”, and producing music for other artists, all for nearly 20 years now. Recently, he consulted on and wrote music for the hit Disney movie “Soul”, released to critical acclaim in 2020. Batiste has garnered 14 Grammy nominations as of 2021, and has had a widely successful career. 



Jon Batiste’s career is clearly remarkable, and many envy the longevity of his success. Few people expected his domination at the 64th Grammys, though. Batiste is the leading Grammy nominee, with 11 nods. The sheer quantity of nominations garnered by Batiste becomes even more shocking when put in the context of his fellow musicians. His closest competitors, powerful and impactful musicians like Doja Cat, Justin Bieber, and H.E.R., have eight nominations each. 



Batiste is predicted to take home several awards on January 31, but the greatest effect will be felt after the awards themselves. Jon Batiste has been an incredible musician for over 20 years now, but the Grammys will bring attention to his abilities like never before. His versatility and talent will be recognized on a global stage, and critics speculate that he will still reach the level of fame held by his fellow nominees. 



Album of the Year: 

Will win: Donda–Kanye West 

West’s “Donda” rocked the music world when it was released in late August of this year. The album blurs the lines of a traditional rap album, running the gamut from hip hop, to rap, to gospel music, all while honoring West’s late mother Donda West, the eponym of the album. 


Should win: Planet Her–Doja Cat 

Planet Her is only Doja Cat’s third album, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the expertly written lyrics, incredible production, and relatable themes of love and heartbreak featured throughout the album. The album is an eclectic, but well-crafted mix of songs that highlight all of Doja Cat’s strengths as a musician, and is my favorite album of the year. 


Record of the Year: 

Will win: Happier Than Ever–Billie Eilish 

“Happier Than Ever” was released as the sixth track on Eilish’s album by the same name to critical acclaim. Eilish has established a reputation as an incredibly versatile and impressive singer, and the emotional ballad that is “Happier Than Ever” is just another example of her musical prowess.


Should win: Happier Than Ever–Billie Eilish 


Song of the Year: 

Will win: drivers license–Olivia Rodrigo 

Rodrigo’s “drivers license” is the minimalistic, dreamy lead single off of her debut album, “Sour”. The song blew up in the music industry and in the public alike, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has received its fair share of criticism, with some calling the lyrics childish and overly simplistic, but that hasn’t stopped the song from winning four awards in less than a year. 


Should win: Leave The Door Open–Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic

Silk Sonic is the brainchild of super-duo Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, artists that have produced incredible music alone, and somehow manage to be even more powerful together. The Silk Sonic album, “An Evening with Silk Sonic”, missed the cutoff to be considered for the Grammys, but the single “Leave The Door Open” was released earlier in the year, and secured four nominations. The song is a tribute to Philadelphia soul and R&B, rounded out by smooth instrumentals and the complementary voices of .Paak and Mars. 


Best New Artist: 

Will win: Olivia Rodrigo 

This category doesn’t really need an explanation. Olivia Rodrigo has had an incomparable effect on the music industry this past year. Whether people love her or think she’s overrated, they still know her name, and can probably recall two or three of her songs off the top of their head. 

Should win: Olivia Rodrigo 


Best Music Video: 

Will win: Peaches–Justin Bieber 

The “Peaches” video is, to be perfectly honest, not the best on the list. The song is catchy, with a great beat and stunning supporting vocals from Daniel Caesar and Giveon, and far outshines the video. 

Should win: Happier Than Ever–Billie Eilish


Best Rap Album: 

Will win: Donda–Kanye West


Should win: Call Me If You Get Lost–Tyler, the Creator

The title of ‘album’ doesn’t do Tyler, the Creator’s sixth studio album “Call Me If You Get Lost” justice. The album, like all of Tyler’s previous releases, is more appropriately described as an immersive musical experience. It completely shatters the idea of what music should be, while still achieving a depth and complexity of musical theory that is truly unique to Tyler, the Creator. 


Best R&B Song: 

Will win: Leave The Door Open–Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic


Should win: Good Days–SZA 

SZA has set herself apart as a powerful, poetic songwriter revolutionizing the R&B genre with experimental sounds. The song is melodic and carefree, striking a chord with listeners around the world. The song peaked at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100, only SZA’s third top ten song. 


Best Musica Urbana: 

Will win: El Último Tour Del Mundo–Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny is Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2021, with over 9.1 billion streams. For comparison, the estimated current population of the Earth is 7.753 billion. Bad Bunny has dominated the music industry for almost four years now, refusing to be confined by the box of “non-English music”. The album is his most creatively ambitious yet, with the artist aiming to provide something new for his fans. Generally, albums that are completely different from an artist’s established style are difficult for longtime fans to adapt to, but Bad Bunny’s “El Último Tour Del Mundo” has been received with open arms. 

Should win: El Último Tour Del Mundo–Bad Bunny