The 411: Grammys 101

This Sunday, February 10 are the 61st Grammy Awards. We’re all big fans of music in general—especially Michael—so this is an awards show we really look forward to. But not everyone understands how the Grammys are awarded. In a nutshell, the Grammys are given each year by the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for artistic and technical achievement in the record industry. Eligible Recording Academy voters make their picks in four General Field (think Album of the Year and 15 additional award categories like Composing/Arranging, Producer of the Year, and Spoken Word. And because not all of us can be as in-the-know as our pal, music impresario Adam Blackstone, we put together a cheat sheet to the nominees in some of the year’s top categories—we have it on good authority that these artists really are the ones to watch.

Album of the Year: The surprise nomination of folk-rock singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile for By the Way, I Forgive You could be a lock for this category. However the musically and culturally resonant Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe and Black Panther: The Album would make the winner the first hip-hop album to take home this award in 15 years (Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was the last).

Song of the Year: Childish Gambino’s (a.k.a. Donald Glover) chilling “This is America” just might be the year’s defining anthem, but many critics think the hands-down favorite for this category is Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s soulful song “Shallow” from the movie A Star is Born.

Record of the Year: Cardi B received five Grammy nominations this year (she was famously caught off guard when she heard the news and, as Sara and I shared on GMA Day, she’d like a do-over), including for her recording “I Like It,” with Bad Bunny and J Balvin. (Grammy F.Y.I.: Record of the Year is different from Song of the Year because it also recognizes the overall performance and contributions of others on the track, including producers and engineers.) That song and the performer are a powerhouse combination, but the favorite in this category is “Rockstar” by hip-hop artist Post Malone featuring 21 Savage.

Best New Artist: Our sources tell us the frontrunners in this category include H.E.R. (“Having Everything Revealed”), who was literally a mystery at the beginning of her career and is now, as most know, the California native otherwise known as Gabi Wilson; and British pop powerhouse Dua Lipa. It seems to be a draw at this point as to who will actually win.

To view a full list of all of the 2019 Grammy nominees, click here. And don’t forget to tune in to the Grammys on Sunday, February 10 on CBS.