[REVIEW] 2017 Grammy Predictions x R&B


A lot of wins within the R&B categories depend on whether Beyonce’ wins AOTY and if Rihanna’s “Work” wins ROTY. Any shifts between those two categories will have direct impact on the predictions (and winners) of nearly every other Grammy category.

Best R&B Performance (Category 17)
BJ The Chicago Kid – Turnin’ Me Up
Ro James – Permission
Musiq Soulchild – I Do
Rihanna – Needed Me
Solange’ – Cranes In The Sky

Who Should Win: Rihanna – Needed Me

Who Will Win: Solange’ – Cranes In The Sky

R&B is always a mixed bag when it comes to predictions, but Solange’ will likely win this category for two reasons – 1) the critics unanimously agree that this is the best song of the year, and 2) it’s a shoe-in since the album was unjustly left out of the 2017 nominations.

Best Traditional R&B Performance (Category 18)
William Bell – The Three Of Me
BJ The Chicago Kid – Woman’s World
Fantasia – Sleeping With The One I Love
Lalah Hathaway – Angel
Jill Scott – Can’t Wait

Who Should Win: BJ The Chicago Kid – Woman’s World

Who Will Win: Fantasia – Sleeping With The One I Love

Out of all the nominees here, this category is tailor-made for Lalah Hathaway. Thankfully for the other artists, “Angel” just isn’t enough to trump the likes of Fantasia’s “Love” or BJ’s “World” – two sings that brought R&B A/C radio to new heights this year.

Best R&B Song (Category 19)
PartyNextDoor (feat. Drake) – Come See Me
Songwriters: J. Brathwaite, Aubrey Graham, and Noah Shebib
Bryson Tiller – Exchange
Songwriters: Michael Hernandez and Bryson Tiller
Rihanna – Kiss It Better
Songwriters: Jeff Bhasker, Robyn Fenty, John-Nathan Glass, and Natalia Noemi
Maxwell – Lake By The Ocean
Songwriters: Hod David and Musze
Tory Lanez – Luv
Songwriters: Magnus August Høiberg, Benjamin Levin, and Daystar Peterson

Who Should Win: Bryson Tiller – Exchange

Who Will Win: Rihanna – Kiss It Better

Bryson Tiller is the most deserving of a Grammy in 2017, but these categories will see a clean sweep from Rihanna since she likely won’t be winning any of the Big Four Grammys. Sonically, “Exchange” is better than “Kiss”, but Rihanna’s slow-burning ballad features some of her most undeniable songwriting to date.

Best Urban Contemporary Album (Category 20)
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Gallant – Ology
KING – We Are King
Anderson .Paak – Malibu
Rihanna – Anti

Who Should Win: Gallant – Ology

Who Will Win: Rihanna – Anti

Since ‘Anti’ wasn’t nominated for AOTY, Rihanna is definitely winning this category – one which is usually seen as a win for non-mainstream artists. Gallant’s ‘Ology’ is the most deserving of the five nominees, but simply being nominated in this category is good enough for most striving artists.

Best R&B Album (Category 21)
BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind
Lalah Hathaway – Lalah Hathaway Live
Terrace Martin – Velvet Portraits
Mint Condition – Healing Season
Mya – Smoove Jones

Who Should Win: Mya – Smoove Jones

Who Will Win: BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind

The nominees in this category really surprised me mainly because I never envisioned comeback albums by the likes of Mint Condition and Mya receiving Grammy nominations. Despite convincing efforts by all five nominees, BJ’s first studio effort shifted R&B forward and deserves recognition.

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