Who’s going to be nominated for the 2024 Grammy Awards?

Ahead of the 66th Grammy Awards, Roisin O’Connor takes a look at the artists and albums we’re likely to see when the nominations are announced this week

Thursday 09 November 2023 14:00 GMT

The year is 1999. At the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Lauryn Hill has just become the first woman to take home five Grammy awards in a single night, while her debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, is the first hip-hop album to win Album of the Year. In the same evening Celine Dion collects Record of the Year for “My Heart Will Go On”, Madonna opens the show and wins three awards, while more go to Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette and the Dixie Chicks (now known as The Chicks). This is the Grammy’s Year of Women.

Twenty-five years later, at the 2024 Grammys, we could be in for another one. Female acts have largely dominated the conversation in the past 12 months, from Swift’s record-breaking run of live shows, album releases and a concert film, to Beyoncé’s glittering, celebratory Renaissance tour. Rihanna headlined the Super Bowl in February, during which she sent heads spinning with the most dramatic pregnancy reveal in living memory, while Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish were among the highlights on the soundtrack of another cultural landmark: the Barbie Movie.

The 2023 Grammys were something of a damp squib. Fans had been hoping for a dramatic rematch between pop titans Adele and Beyoncé, after the former notoriously took home Best Album in an awards sweep back in 2017. Instead, there was palpable shock as singer Harry Styles was announced as the winner with his third album, Harry’s House, with members of the audience heard shouting Beyoncé’s name.

There are plenty of deserving artists who could take home a trophy next year, so let’s take a look at who could be nominated this week in three of the biggest categories: Best New Artist, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year.

Best New Artist

Noah Kahan

Currently blowing up thanks to his folky single “Stick Season” (Olivia Rodrigo is a fan), 26-year-old Vermont native Noah Kahan has already graduated to arena shows in both the US and the UK. His third album, also titled Stick Season, made it to No 3 on the Billboard 200 after he released an expanded edition in June, and is likely to get a spot in the Best Americana or Best Folk Album categories.

Ice Spice

Ice Spice (Getty Images for MTV)

Dubbed the new princess of hip-hop, the Bronx rapper born Isis Naija Gaston already has four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including her PinkPantheress collaboration “Boys a Liar, Pt 2”, and a remix of Taylor Swift’s hit single, “Karma”. Like..? her 2023 EP, demonstrated her drill influences and taste for a good hook. Her delivery is a husky murmur; she has the kind of easy nonchalance only Gen-Z girls can get away with.


RAYE would deserve a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist (Getty Images)

After a rocky start to her career, London-born pop singer RAYE managed to quit a major label deal and is now on the up and up. She was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize with her Top 10, independently released debut album, My 21st Century Blues. It nodded to her dance music past, but mostly capitalised on her powerful soul voice. “The Thrill is Gone.” was a masterful, Amy Winehouse-indebted number, while “Ice Cream Man” was a devastating, stark song about sexual misconduct in the music industry. It was a huge opening statement, a fresh start. Will the Grammys take notice?


This Icelandic artist has been attracting the right kind of attention with her artfully understated songs about jealousy and unrequited love. There’s a timeless quality to songs such as “Valentine”, with its nods to the American Songbook and the crooning voices of Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. There are bossa nova influences, too, in her 2023 single “From the Start” and last year’s “Falling Behind”. She’s something different.

Gracie Abrams

Gracie Abrams (Press image)

Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo are both fans of 24-year-old Gracie Abrams – she supported Rodrigo during her Sour tour and returned as a special guest for Swift’s Eras shows in North America. Young fans are falling for her heart-on-sleeve songwriting and soft, lilting voice.

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Reneé Rapp

Reneé Rapp (Label supplied)

Until recently, Reneé Rapp was better known as queen bee Regina George in the musical adaptation of hit 2004 comedy Mean Girls, or as the lead in Mindy Kaling’s HBO show, The Sex Lives of College Girls. But Rapp has admitted that the theatre and TV industries don’t help her anxiety all that much – in the meantime she’s been busy forging a very credible career as a pop artist, with the release of her debut album Snow Angel. “For the first time ever now, I see myself as an artist and I’m really proud of that,” she told The Independent in a recent interview. “It’s the only thing I’ve wanted in my entire life.”

Jelly Roll

The country-rap artist born Jason Bradley DeFord turns 39 in December – should he be nominated on Friday, he’d be the oldest entrant since then-40-year-old Andrea Bocelli was up for the prize in 1999. He had a triumphant night at the CMT Music Awards in April, where he performed rousing single “Need a Favor” and scooped three trophies. The last country winner was Zac Brown Band in 2010 – could Jelly Roll be the new, tattooed face of Nashville?


PinkPantheress (Press image)

Another strong British hopeful, former film student PinkPantheress won the BBC’s Sound of 2022 poll and made it to No 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 with help from rapper Ice Spice. She began uploading clips of songs to TikTok around December 2020, finding fans in Grimes, Charli XCX and Lizzo thanks to her excellent sampling, garage influences and hypnotic voice.

Song of the Year


Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff

Swift is gunning for a record seventh nomination for Song of the Year, which would send her sailing past Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie as the most nominated artist in the category, Billboard notes. This would also mark the first time a Swift-Antonoff song has been nominated for Song of the Year. It’s one of her best, with wintry reverb on the vocals, synth-pop instrumentation and lyrics that address her deepest, darkest insecurities with startling candour. “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby/ And I’m a monster on the hill,” she laments.


Miley Cyrus in the ‘Flowers’ music video (YouTube)

Songwriters: Miley Cyrus, Gregory “Aldae” Hein, Michael Pollack

Cyrus’s runaway hit single from her latest album, Endless Summer Vacation, was a response of-sorts to Bruno Mar’s 2013 heartbreak anthem, “When I Was Your Man”. Mars regretted not holding his lover’s hand or buying her flowers... Cyrus declared her independence by informing an ex that she can buy her own flowers, and take herself dancing. Winning over fans with a catchy bass hook and sweeping strings on the chorus, “Flowers” spent 13 weeks on top of the Billboard Global 200 chart, and is one of Cyrus’s most successful songs to date. Even Gloria Gaynor, queen of the survivor’s song, gave it her seal of approval.

‘Kill Bill’

Songwriters: SZA, Carter Lang, Rob Bisel

R&B innovator SZA has two previous nominations in the Best Song category, for “All the Stars”, her Black Panther anthem with Kendrick Lamar, and “Kiss Me More”. On “Kill Bill”, her voice is honey poured over velvet, enveloped by woozy synths and a guitar hook that recalls Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang”. At the song’s core are the completely unfiltered, frequently violent emotions in the lyrics, along with SZA’s cool, calm delivery. Be very afraid.

‘I’m Just Ken’

Ryan Gosling as Ken (Atlantic Records)

Songwriters: Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt

Before you mock me, “I’m Just Ken” happens to be one of the best songs from the Barbie soundtrack and has plenty of big names involved to lend it some Grammys gravitas. It was written and produced by Mark Ronson with Andrew Wyatt, both favourites of the Recording Academy, in the style of an Eighties power ballad. Ronson was inspired to write the early incarnation of the track after sympathising with Ryan Gosling’s character, Ken. Will it be, erm, Kenough to sway voters?

‘Paint the Town Red’

Songwriters: Amala Zandile Dlamini (Doja Cat)

“Walk on by...” and don’t stop walking. Rapper Doja Cat’s spectacular “Paint the Town Red” is built around a sample of Dionne Warwick’s 1964 song, going big on the horn punctuation while adding a stuttery little trap beat. Lyrically, the track is less about having a fun night on the town than a warning about the litter of bodies Doja will leave in her wake, should anyone dare to mess with her. This would mark her fourth consecutive nomination for Best Song, making her the first artist since Frank Sinatra to achieve the feat. She was previously nominated for her singles “Say So” (2020), “Kiss Me More” ft SZA (2021), and “Woman” (2022).


Lana Del Rey could be a Best Song contender (BBC)

Songwriters: Lana Del Rey, Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew

Del Rey and Antonoff’s 2023 opens in romantic fashion: soft piano keys, the rough strum of an acoustic guitar. The romance ends there. Full of Lana-isms (the American ideology, cult movie references, seedy hotels, heavy sighs and the self-destructive nature of her sexuality), “A&W” is an alt-folk ballad laced through with trippy, psychedelic moments. She leaves us with a riff on “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop”, the 1959 song by Anthony and the Imperials. It’s a seven-minute opus, and one of the most fascinating and unusual songs in the Del Rey canon.


Songwriters: Olivia Rodrigo, Dan Nigro

A single from her recent second album, GUTS, was a little too close to her early songs “Driver’s License” and “Traitor”, but still managed to shoot to the No 1 spot in the charts. From solemn keys, it builds and builds into a breathless riposte to someone who manipulated her (some fans were convinced it was about Taylor Swift). “I used to think I was smart/ But you made me look so naive/ The way you sold me for parts/ You sunk your teeth into me,” she howls. Fangs bared.

‘Need a Favor’

Songwriters: Jelly Roll, Rob Ragosta, Joe Ragosta, Austin Nivarel

The lead single from country-rap artist Jelly Roll’s album Whitsitt Chapel explores themes of faith and fickleness in religion. It’s got plenty of country-rock grit, with flourishes of fiddle and Jelly Roll singing in his rough, Tenneesee drawl. The chorus is an easy one to sing along to: “I only talk to God when I need a favour/ I only pray when I ain’t got a prayer.”

‘What Was I Made For?’

Billie Eilish (PA Wire)

Songwriters: Billie Eilish O’Connell, Finneas O’Connell

Billie Eilish’s forlorn, searching contribution to the Barbie soundtrack might not have performed to the pop star’s usual standards (it peaked at No 14 in the US), but it’s proved a hit on TikTok. Eilish is also a firm favourite with the Recording Academy, having previously won Song of the Year for her 2019 hit, “Bad Guy”. Used in a tear-jerking scene in Barbie, “What Was I Made For” makes the most of Eilish’s whispering falsetto, delivered over muffled piano chords. It carries plenty of emotional heft, but will Grammy voters be moved enough for a nomination?

Album of the Year

Taylor Swift – Midnights

Taylor Swift (Beth Garrabrant)

Swift’s 10th studio album, Midnights, could earn her a record-breaking fourth Grammy for Album of the Year. This would make her the only artist in history to do so (she’s currently tied with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon as a three-time Album of the Year winner. She previously took home the trophy in 2009 for Fearless, in 2015 for 1989, and in 2020 for her surprise album, Folklore. Midnights showed Swift returning to a shimmering, dark pop sound, from the heavy synth beats of “Lavender Haze” to the winking tone of “Karma”.


SZA’s long-awaited second album is one of the few released in 2022 that’s managed to linger in conversation since. An eclectic work, it incorporated everything from Eighties-style balladry to stadium rock, all stitched together with SZA’s frequently abstract songwriting. Forget the SOS, SZA sounds confident enough to do the rescuing herself.

Various Artists – Barbie The Album

Dua Lipa (Getty Images)

The Grammys love a hit soundtrack (see Black Panther, The Bodyguard, Saturday Night Fever…) and the Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt-produced collection for the Barbie Movie is chock full of hits. You’ve got the disco glam of Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night” (bonus points for the hand claps), Charli XCX’s sultry “Speed Drive” and Dominic Fike’s louche, sun-soaked “Hey Blondie”. This Barbie’s a winner.

Noah Kahan – Stick Season

Noah Kahan’s breakthrough third album surprised industry experts after a deluxe reissue vaulted from No 100 to No 3 in the US. Billboard put it down to a constant audience craving for new blood: Kahan’s indie alt-folk was a refreshing change from the pop, rap and country that’s been dominating the US charts for the past year.

Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd

Lana Del Rey’s ninth album is also her most personal, drawing on her childhood upbringing and paying tribute to family members. With the exception of the eclectic “A&W”, this is an album full of subtleties. “Margaret” is a gorgeous dedication to her producer Jack Antonoff’s wife, actor Margaret Qualley (Antonoff also sings on the track). “Fishtail” reveals Del Rey in full siren mode; her isolated vocals ripple and distort, as though she’s singing from under water.

Foo Fighters – But Here We Are

The US rock band’s farewell tribute to late drummer Taylor Hawkins was surprisingly tender, given frontman Dave Grohl’s propensity for going full-throttle at any given opportunity. He’s fragile on “The Glass”, singing: “I had a person I loved, and just like that/ I was left to live without him.” He’s joined by his daughter, Violet, who sings ghostly harmonies while he pledges to “take care of everything from now on”. It’s without a doubt one of the best Foos albums in years.

Olivia Rodrigo – Guts

(Getty Images for MTV)

“GUTS sees Rodrigo smash her way out of the confines of small screen life and arrive kicking and screaming into her real life,” critic Helen Brown wrote of the pop artist’s second album. “No more red lights or stop signs in her way.” While single “Vampire” has been taking up a lot of attention, not least thanks to rumours it addresses a Taylor Swift feud, better songs include the riotous “All-American Bitch” and the tongue-in-cheek, emo pop-influenced “Bad Idea Right?”

Morgan Wallen – One Thing At a Time

Controversy hasn’t stopped Morgan Wallen from smashing just about every chart record for a country music artist over the past few years. One Thing at a Time would be the first country album to be nominated for Album of the Year since Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, but he’s definitely in with a shot. That said, the Recording Academy voters might be unwilling to risk an upset by acknowledging Wallen, who’s arguably still best known to the mainstream public for the N-word slur he was caught making in 2021. They might also note that, if anything else, One Thing At a Time is a middle-of-the road album that makes no attempt to shift out of country music cliches.

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