Many people still don’t understand the difference, but no, Song of the Year is not the same as Record of the Year. The former is given to the best written song, whatever that means, while the second goes to the best total production. Only songwriters win Song of the Year at the Grammys, while mixers, engineers, artists and producers take home Record of the Year.
What constitutes one of the most beautifully written tracks in any given period is, of course, up for interpretation. There is usually some overlap with Record of the Year, though they don’t often feature all the same nominees.
Billie Eilish – “Happier Than Ever” or “Therefore I Am”
Chris Stapleton – “Starting Over”
Giveon – “Heartbreak Anniversary”
H.E.R. – “Fight For You” or “Damage”
The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber – “Stay”
Olivia Rodrigo – “Drivers License”
Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
Taylor Swift – “Willow”
Hits by artists like The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift will probably compete for both Record and Song of the Year, while a handful of the tracks that will likely be up for the former might not feel to voters like the usual Song of the Year winner. Instead, artists like Chris Stapleton, Giveon and recent winners Billie Eilish and H.E.R. may have a shot instead. Which track Eilish chose to submit for consideration is yet to be seen, but more than one cut from her recent album Happier Than Ever would make great nominees. It’s also not clear which H.E.R. single will compete, though voters love her, so whichever one she selects stands a good shot.
Ariana Grande – “Positions”
BTS – “Butter”
Brandi Carlile – “Right on Time”
Doja Cat – “Kiss Me More (ft. SZA)”
Ed Sheeran – “Visiting Hours”
Justin Bieber – “Peaches” (ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon)
SZA – “Good Days”
Sometimes when voting for Song of the Year, Grammy voters opt for tracks that are a bit more mature-sounding, while in other years, they stick with some of the biggest hits, as the argument can be made that their success shows how wonderfully written they are. If the members of the Recording Academy decide to focus more on massive smashes, artists like Ariana Grande, BTS, Doja Cat, SZA and Justin Bieber might end up nominees. Also, beautiful and sweet tunes by Ed Sheeran and Brandi Carlile may also compete, even if they didn’t make the same type of commercial impact as the other titles mentioned just above.
The full list of nominees for the 2022 Grammy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, November 23.
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