via Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images for ARIA

Today, the 2018 Grammy nominations were revealed and they’re...actually pretty surprising? The Record Academy certainly appears to be interested in reflecting popular music culture in its modern expression. The noms are much, much more diverse than they have been in the past, which is cool (save for the rock, alternative and metal categories, or in the phrase of “urban contemporary” in the year 2017, but those are conversations for another time.)

Because this year is so dang exciting (sorry, Sheerios and other fans of music made by white guys) we decided to predict the winners from this year and honestly, you can trust us.

Album of the Year

Childish Gambino — “Awaken, My Love!”
Jay-Z — 4:44
Kendrick Lamar — DAMN.
Lorde — Melodrama
Bruno Mars — 24K Magic

Senior Staff Writer, David Turner: I’d throw out that either Jay-Z or Lorde are going to win it. Voters would probably enjoy giving an award to one of rap’s oldest faces or going the arty route with Lorde and rewarding her for taking so long between albums while remaining relevant.

Managing Editor, Maria Sherman: It’s Lorde’s only nomination, which leads me to think they might give it to her.

Senior Staff Writer, Frida Garza: I feel like we should aim to be disappointed and in that case I would agree. Lorde wins.

WINNER: Lorde — Melodrama


Record of the Year

Childish Gambino — “Redbone”
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee —“Despacito” (Feat. Justin Bieber)
Jay-Z — “The Story Of O.J.”
Kendrick Lamar —“Humble”
Bruno Mars —“24K Magic”

Frida Garza: “Despacito” is far and away the best song here.

Staff Writer, Shawn Cooke: Record tends to reward virtuosity and all that, so maybe “Humble” or even “Redbone”?

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Frida Garza: I want to assume “Despacito” will win big at the Grammys, like it did at the Latin Grammys. It’s more likely that “Humble” will win, considering that Record of the Year recognizes the performance of the artists on the song and Kendrick is crazy freaking good on that.

Shawn Cooke: Kendrick has to get one of the big three!

WINNER: Kendrick Lammer — “Humble”


Song of the Year

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee —“Despacito” (Feat. Justin Bieber)
Jay-Z — “4:44″
Julia Michaels —“Issues”
Logic —“1-800-273-8255″ (Feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid)
Bruno Mars —“That’s What I Like”

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Frida Garza: I want to root for Julia Michaels here and her excellent breakout hit.

Shawn Cooke: I think “Despacito” gets it here, based on sheer ubiquity.

Frida Garza: Sheer ubiquity shouldn’t determine the winner but you’re right, it’s a shoo-in.

WINNER: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee —“Despacito” (Feat. Justin Bieber)


Best New Artist

Alessia Cara
Khalid
Lil Uzi Vert
Julia Michaels
SZA

Shawn Cooke: SZA or Khalid.

Frida Garza: Julia’s the underdog here! I think Khalid is the obvious child based on just how extraordinarily well he’s done for an artist putting out his debut album, but I could also see SZA winning. This is another category with no white men!

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David Turner: I’d love for Lil Uzi Vert to win but it’ll prob be Alessia Cara or Khalid, the youngest talents with the biggest hits.

Frida Garza: All of them are deserving but I think it’s going to go to Khalid. He’s been hugely visible in a way that the rest haven’t, except for maybe Alessia, but her album came out in 2015 and this year was mostly featured on songs.

WINNER: Khalid


Best Pop Solo Performance

Kelly Clarkson — “Love So Soft”
Kesha — “Praying”
Lady Gaga — “Million Reasons”
P!nk — “What About Us”
Ed Sheeran — “Shape of You”

Frida Garza: Justice for Ed Sheeran!

Shawn Cooke: It probably will go to Ed, but this would be the spot to give Kesha some love and justice. “Performance” screams big vocals, and “Praying” has that over all of these.

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David Turner: I’ll say it feels like this should be an Ed Sheeran lock, but any other choice would provide to be a much more engaging storyline and emotional moment.

Shawn Cooke: This also seems like the best place to cover their tracks for not nominating Eddy in each of the three major categories, which seemed like a foregone conclusion before the noms were announced.

WINNER: Ed Sheeran — “Shape of You”


Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

The Chainsmokers & Coldplay — “Something Just Like This”
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber — “Despacito”
Imagine Dragons — “Thunder”
Portugal. The Man — “Feel It Still”
Zedd & Alessia Cara — “Stay”

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David Turner: “Stay” is by far my favorite song here, but “Despacito” should win.

Shawn Cooke: I think this one comes down to whether or not “Despacito” gets one of the major categories. The Grammys have been known to split and give down-ballot awards to snubs here. So without Song of the Year and Record of the Year, “Despacito” takes this easily.

WINNER: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber — “Despacito”


Best Pop Vocal Album

Coldplay — Kaleidoscope EP
Lana Del Rey — Lust For Life
Imagine Dragons — Evolve
Kesha — Rainbow
Lady Gaga — Joanne
Ed Sheeran — ÷ (Divide)

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David Turner: Lana Del Rey should win a Grammy one day, but it’s doubtful it’ll be here.

Shawn Cooke: This one will probably go to Ed—Imagine Dragons just aren’t pop enough. Gaga’s probably the only other one with a reasonable chance, even though the kings of music Coldplay released two perfect songs in the year of 2017. And two bleh songs.

Maria Sherman: I want to say Rainbow but my vote is for Sheeran, too. Even if it feels like he was “snubbed” in these nominations, I think he’s going to take some stuff home, including this.

WINNER: Ed Sheeran — ÷ (Divide)


Best Rap Performance

“Bounce Back” — Big Sean
“Bodak Yellow” — Cardi B
“4:44” — Jay-Z
“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Bad And Boujee” — Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert

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Shawn Cooke: “Humble” is the favorite, probably, but if there’s enough split between “4:44” and “Humble,” it could open things up for someone else (just not Big Sean.)

Frida Garza: If Cardi B doesn’t win I’m gonna die.

David Turner: I’ll say that it looks like a close race between Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar, but the actual chart success of Kendrick should give him a little bit of a leg-up in this competition.

WINNER: “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar


Best Rap Song

Cardi B — “Bodak Yellow” (Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Shaftizm, Jordan Thorpe, Washpoppin & J White, songwriters)
Danger Mouse Feat. Run the Jewels and Big Boi —“Chase Me” (Judah Bauer, Brian Burton, Hector Delgado, Jaime Meline, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, Russell Simins & Jon Spencer, songwriters)
Kendrick Lamar — “HUMBLE.” (Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters)
Rapsody —“Sassy” (Gabouer & M. Evans, songwriters)
Jay-Z — “The Story Of O.J.” (Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters)

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Shawn Cooke: I’m going with “The Story of O.J.” here, since the subject matter is a little more politically relevant than “Humble.” And they’ll probably want to split the rap categories between Kendrick and Jay.

WINNER: Jay-Z — “The Story Of O.J.” (Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters)


Best Rap Album

Jay-Z — 4:44
Kendrick Lamar — DAMN.
Migos — Culture
Rapsody — Laila’s Wisdom
Tyler, The Creator — Flower Boy

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Shawn Cooke: I’m voting Kendrick but feels like a toss-up. I do wonder if being a Tidal exclusive handicaps Grammy odds. The Best Rap Album usually goes to the biggest, if not the best, of the year, so by that rule, DAMN. wins.

WINNER: Kendrick Lamar — DAMN.


Best Dance/Electronic Album

Bonobo — Migration
Kraftwerk — 3-D The Catalogue
Mura Masa — Mura Masa
Odesza — A Moment Apart
Sylvan Esso — What Now

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Maria Sherman: My money is on Kraftwerk. I tend to think legacy acts do best in the Dance/Electronic album category unless there’s an obvious contemporary hit maker. Would be wonderful to see Sylvan Esso take it home, however.

WINNER: Kraftwerk — 3-D The Catalogue


Best Rock Album

Mastodon — Emperor Of Sand
Metallica — Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Nothing More — The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Queens of the Stone Age — Villains
The War on Drugs — A Deeper Understanding

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David Turner: Didn’t people like the Metallica album? I wouldn’t be shocked if they were able to get the win.

Shawn Cooke: Metallica’s never won an album-length Grammy, the time is now.

WINNER: Metallica — Hardwired…To Self-Destruct


Best Alternative Music Album

Arcade Fire — Everything Now
Gorillaz — Humanz — Gorillaz
LCD Soundsystem — American Dream
Father John Misty — Pure Comedy
The National — Sleep Well Beast

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David Turner: Man, I wanna say that Father John Misty is going to win, but the National literally had a No. 1 song on the adult alternative radio chart with this album. Maybe Grammy voters care about that. I’ll still lean to Father John Misty.

Shawn Cooke: I think I’m with that. He had the most attention-getting press tour, and the SNL performance seemed like the biggest deal out of the lot.

WINNER: Father John Misty — Pure Comedy


Best R&B Album

Daniel Caesar — Freudian
Ledisi — Let Love Rule
Bruno Mars — 24K Magic
PJ Morton — Gumbo
Musiq Soulchild — Feel The Real

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David Turner: Bruno Mars is definitely going to win. He’s the most famous, but it’s cool Daniel Caesar was nominated.

Frida Garza: Seeing Daniel Caesar on this list is kind of like seeing Gallant get nominated for in the Urban Contemporary category last year. He didn’t win. This is definitely going to Bruno, especially if he gets snubbed in other categories.

WINNER: Bruno Mars — 24K Magic


Best Urban Contemporary Album

6LACK — Free 6LACK
Childish Gambino — “Awaken, My Love!”
Khalid — American Teen
SZA — Ctrl
The Weeknd — Starboy

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Frida Garza: Hopefully it’s SZA, but it’ll probably go to The Weeknd. This category is so ambiguous, though. If Khalid gets Best New Artist, I hope this goes to SZA.

Shawn Cooke: This was the only thing Bey won last year, right? So maybe SZA wins if she’s snubbed elsewhere.

Frida Garza: I don’t like this category because it is sort of a catchall for whatever doesn’t fit in rap or R&B. It’s unfair to even compare these very distinct albums to each other. Still, I feel like there’s a good chance that SZA could get recognized here for Ctrl.

WINNER: SZA — Ctrl


Best Country Album

Kenny Chesney — Cosmic Hallelujah
Lady Antebellum — Heart Break
Little Big Town — The Breaker
Thomas Rhett — Life Changes
Chris Stapleton — From A Room: Volume 1

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Maria Sherman: It’s hella weird that Miranda Lambert’s The Weight Of These Wings isn’t on here, but I’ll digress into this: Without the queen included, I’d love to see a new talent take it home (please, Grammy Awards gods and goddesses, give it to Thomas Rhett!) However, my money is on Kenny Chesney. Cosmic Hallelujah was an unstoppable force this year.

WINNER: Kenny Chesney — Cosmic Hallelujah