Grammys 2020 predictions: Who will win the night's biggest awards and who should

Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY

Music’s biggest night is just around the corner, with Alicia Keys returning to host the 62nd annual Grammy Awards Sunday on CBS (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

The historically staid awards show has been rife with behind-the-scenes drama this past week, after new Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan was shockingly ousted on misconduct allegations just 10 days before the ceremony, only to fire back Tuesday with a sexual harassment and discrimination complaint of her own. How (or whether) that will play out during this weekend’s telecast remains to be seen, but until then, here’s who we are predicting will take the Grammys’ major prizes. 

Grammys 2020 album of the year

  • "I, I" — Bon Iver
  • "Norman F***ing Rockwell!" — Lana Del Rey
  • "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" — Billie Eilish
  • "Thank U, Next" — Ariana Grande 
  • "I Used to Know Her" — H.E.R.
  • "7" — Lil Nas X
  • "Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)" — Lizzo
  • "Father of the Bride" — Vampire Weekend

Who will win: "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" Billie Eilish

Who should win: "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" Billie Eilish

A case could be made for just about every nominee here, particularly pop star Grande, making her most successful and personal album yet, and alt-rock crossovers Del Rey and Vampire Weekend, both of whom broke through with critics' favorites. But we're guessing voters will wish to anoint 18-year-old sensation Eilish, whose "When We All Fall Asleep?" is not only one of 2019's biggest albums with nearly 2.5 billion streams and counting, but also one of the most self-assured debuts in recent memory, captivating famous fans from all corners of the music world including Taylor Swift, Elton John, Justin Bieber and Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl.  

Grammys 2020 record of the year

  • "Hey, Ma" — Bon Iver
  • "Bad Guy" — Billie Eilish
  • "7 Rings" — Ariana Grande
  • "Hard Place" — H.E.R.
  • "Talk" — Khalid
  • "Old Town Road" — Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
  • "Truth Hurts" — Lizzo  
  • "Sunflower" — Post Malone and Swae Lee

Who will win: "Old Town Road," Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus

Who should win: "Bad Guy," Billie Eilish

For an award honoring song production, the ideal winner is the idiosyncratic "Bad Guy": a woozy, bass-thumping banger co-produced by Eilish's older brother, Finneas O'Connell, who has already been recruited by pop heavyweights Selena Gomez, Halsey and Camila Cabello hoping to capture lightning in a bottle on their latest albums. But how much fun would it be to see Lil Nas X take the stage, after his totally charming speech at last August's MTV Video Music Awards? And with its playful blend of country and hip hop, we could certainly do worse than "Old Town Road." 

Grammys 2020 song of the year

  • "Always Remember Us This Way" — Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna, songwriters (Lady Gaga)
  • "Bad Guy" — Billie Eilish O'Connell and Finneas O'Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
  • "Bring My Flowers Now" — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth and Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
  • "Hard Place" — Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris. H.E.R. and Rodney Jerkins, songwriters (H.E.R.)
  • "Lover" — Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
  • "Norman F***ing Rockwell" — Jack Antonoff and Lana Del Rey, songwriters (Lana Del Rey)
  • "Someone You Loved" — Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pete Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn and Sam Roman, songwriters (Lewis Capaldi)
  • "Truth Hurts" — Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson and Jesse Saint John, songwriters (Lizzo)

Who will win: "Truth Hurts," Lizzo

Who should win: "Norman F***cking Rockwell," Lana Del Rey

This is the trickiest category to predict of the Big Four. With her Grammy-leading eight nominations, the Recording Academy is going to want to honor Lizzo somewhere, and this seems like the perfect place, with her meme-spawning, empowering No. 1 hit "Truth Hurts." But given recent allegations Lizzo plagiarized one of the tune's most quotable lines (which she has since denied), could the trophy instead go to Swift, whose "Lover" is a timeless love song with the unique distinction of being solo-written? If voters aren't feeling audacious enough to hand Del Rey's cheeky "Norman" the win, we'd gladly watch Swift walk away with the prize, especially after her puzzling album-of-the-year snub

Grammys 2020 best new artist

  • Black Pumas
  • Billie Eilish
  • Lil Nas X
  • Lizzo
  • Maggie Rogers
  • Rosalía 
  • Tank and the Bangas
  • Yola

Who will win: Billie Eilish

Who should win: Billie Eilish

Best new artist is typically the Grammy category most prone to surprises. (Hello, Esperanza Spalding and Bon Iver!) And if voters are looking to spread the wealth, we could totally see Spanish flamenco artist Rosalía – hot off five Latin Grammy wins, including album ("El Mal Querer") and record of the year ("Aute Cuture") – swoop in for a victory here. But Eilish has been everywhere lately, popping up on just about every major magazine cover and late-night talk show, showing off her musical bonafides and winning personality. Only four artists have ever won album of the year and best new artist in the same year – the last being Norah Jones in 2003 – but we bet Eilish will make it five. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Grammys 2020 predictions: Who will win big awards and who should