'This Is America'
If there’s a record that truly captured the state of the world in 2018, it’s “This Is America”. Donald Glover gave life to the viral track during his appearance on “Saturday Night Live” back in May, and went on to break the Internet with its loaded lyrics and thought-provoking visuals. It shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on streams alone, generating a larger cultural conversation unlike any other single that’s dropped this year. Childish Gambino took home a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance during the 2017 ceremony, but if the voting committee is looking to reward musicianship that broke boundaries and pushed the craft forward, they’ll nominate the triple threat for one of the biggest awards of the night.
“In My Feelings” inspired a dance craze and “Nice For What” gave new life to a Lauryn Hill classic, so we’ll see if Drake’s decision to select “God’s Plan” as his Record Of The Year Grammy submission pays off. He can’t really go wrong; after all, it did smash streaming records on its way to hitting number one in 14 different countries.
'I Like It'
Much like last year’s mega-hit “Despacito”, Cardi B’s “I Like It” brought the heat with its Latin flair. The top female in hip hop partnered with Puerto Rican trap star Bad Bunny and Columbian reggaeton sensation J Balvin on the sizzling track – arguably the song of the summer. Bringing a modern edge to a nostalgic Pete Rodriguez sample from the '60s, the single remains one of the best off of Cardi’s debut Invasion Of Privacy.
'Girls Like You'
In the era of streaming, there’s something to be said for a bona fide radio hit. Maroon 5 and Cardi B’s collaboration “Girls Like You” dominated airplay this year, giving it staying power at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks. While it isn’t the most impressive offering on our list, it is quite catchy.
If you didn’t get down to “The Middle” in 2018, you were doing it wrong. A shining example of genre-blending, the crossover jam of the year married the sultry vocals of country star Maren Morris with the up-tempo dance beats of EDM heavyweights Zedd and Grey. Despite its interesting back story, we’re happy the track finally landed in Maren’s lap.
'Meant To Be'
Speaking of crossovers, Bebe Rexha’s sleeper hit “Meant To Be” with Florida Georgia Line could also find itself nominated for Record Of The Year. Another radio-friendly track, the song tore it up on the country charts and made Bebe the belle of the ball at various country music events.
The lead single from the 'A Star Is Born' soundtrack is a definite contender – and film’s only eligible material due the Grammys strict cutoff restrictions. Lady Gaga and powerhouse producer Mark Ronson helped pen the soaring pop-rock ballad, and impactful vocal performances from Gaga and co-star Bradley Cooper can only bolster its chances.
Ed Sheeran’s re-recording of Divide’s gorgeous ballad “Perfect” got a whole lot sweeter when Beyoncé took a verse. The Grammys have historically appreciated Sheeran’s epic love songs; “Thinking Out Loud” won Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance during the 2016 ceremony, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the duet got a nod – especially since he was shut-out of the general field last year.