Testing Our GRAMMY Predictions for Best New Artist and More

We put our GRAMMY predictions—and music data—to the test, comparing our picks with the Recording Academy's picks at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards.

Testing Our GRAMMY Predictions for Best New Artist and More
Sarah Kloboves
Sarah Kloboves
February 6, 20236 min read
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Whether it's snubs, shocks, or snafus, the Recording Academy's GRAMMY Awards ceremony always has its fair share of headline-making moments. This year, a handful of wild cards entered the mix, diversifying the industry’s usual roster of power players. From newcomer British Rock band Wet Leg to seasoned Swedish Pop veterans ABBA, the GRAMMYs continue to reflect some of the biggest names in mainstream music. Here, we see how closely aligned Chartmetric data are with the Recording Academy's awards decisions in three key categories: Best New Artist, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year.

Best New Artist

Change in Chartmetric Artist Score from January 2022 to January 2023 for GRAMMY nominees in this category:

  • Anitta: -55,880
  • Maneskin: +9,786
  • Latto: +3021
  • Muni Long: -71,578
  • Wet Leg: -4,398
  • Omar Apollo: +20,144
  • Molly: -644
  • Tobe Nwigwe: +3,357
  • Samara Joy: +4,090
Chartmetric Prediction: Omar Apollo
Best New Artist GRAMMY Award Winner: Samara Joy

The word "new" here can feel a bit misleading, especially since seven of the 10 nominations for 2023 have been active for more than five years. As such, it might be better to think of these artists as having had their "breakout" moments in 2022.

Using our Artist comparison tool, Brazilian Latin Pop artist Anitta appears to be the clear consideration for first place. Thanks to a viral TikTok challenge for her track “Envolver,” she quickly became the first Latin woman to reach No. 1 on Spotify’s global chart in March, peaking with a Chartmetric Artist Score of 342.4K. However, over the course of the year, Anitta actually saw her artist score fall 55.8K points. Muni Long, Wet Leg, and Molly Tuttle also saw decreases in their overall Chartmetric Artist Score throughout 2022. Omar Apollo, on the other hand, saw his score increase from 11.5K to 31.6K over the course of the year, making him the top growing nominee across all platforms.

Our less established underdogs certainly make their case in terms of percentage growth, as Jazz artists Samara Joy and duo DOMi & JD Beck both maintained growth rates of 1.2K+ percent for several weeks. Breakout Nigerian American rapper Tobe Nwigwe also fell closely behind, peaking at 410 percent growth late in the summer.

While the race was certainly close, all of the data pointed toward Omar Apollo being crowned Best New Artist. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter presents the most well-rounded sum of stats while also finding the largest growth in Chartmetric Artist Score.

Record of the Year

Change in Chartmetric Track Score from release date until February 2023 for GRAMMY nominees in this category:

  • ABBA - "Don’t Shut Me Down": -229 (-68.98%)
  • Adele - "Easy On Me": +316 (17.45%)
  • Beyoncé - "Break My Soul": +87 (6.63%)
  • Mary J. Blige - "Good Morning Gorgeous: +35 (61.40%)
  • Brandi Carlile Ft. Lucious - "You and Me on the Rock": +16 (228.57%)
  • Doja Cat - "Woman": +1.2K (470.20%)
  • Steve Lacy - "Bad Habit": +1.9K (490.00%)
  • Kendrick Lamar - "The Heart Part 5": +185 (198.92%)
  • Lizzo - "About Damn Time": +2.2K (1110.45%)
  • Harry Styles - "As It Was": +3.8K (694.68%)
Chartmetric Prediction: Harry Styles - "As It Was" 
Record of the Year GRAMMY Award Winner: Lizzo - "About Damn Time"

If you turned your radio on at all this year, you probably heard Harry Style's hit track "As It Was." Debuting March 31, 2022, the song acted as the lead single for Styles' summer album, gaining 821.8M Spotify streams in just three months' time. On July 23, 2022, the track's mainstream success pushed Harry to become the No. 1 spun artist on the radio around the world. He would remain there until Dec. 2 (an approximate 132-day run). As a result, the data all pointed to the British Pop icon taking home gold.

Many of the nominees for Record of the Year were bolstered by radio success, such as Lizzo's "About Damn Time" and Steve Lacy's "Bad Habit." However, these tracks also saw success through TikTok, which is arguably more important for reaching younger generations. Lacy's track, for instance, jumped 266.2K percent in Chartmetric Track Score just three months after the track went viral, while "About Damn Time" became 2022's fourth most used song on TikTok, according to Forbes.

Unfortunately, non-Pop nominees "The Heart Part 5," "You and Me on the Rock," and "Good Morning Gorgeous" saw significantly smaller growth in Chartmetric Track Score compared to fellow nominees. A boost from TikTok or radio seems necessary to bump up tracks that might otherwise stray from the mainstream. Regardless, there's no questioning the talent that helped secured all of these tracks their nominations in the first place.

Album of the Year

February 2023 Spotify Popularity (0-100) for GRAMMY nominees in this category:

  • ABBA - Voyage: 52
  • Adele - 30: 82
  • Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti: 100
  • Beyoncé - RENAISSANCE: 87
  • Mary J. Blige - Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe): 42
  • Brandi Carlile - In These Silent Days: 60
  • Coldplay - Music of the Spheres: 77
  • Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers: 48
  • Lizzo - Special: 69
  • Harry Styles - Harry’s House: 92
Chartmetric Prediction: Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti
Album of the Year GRAMMY Award Winner: Harry Styles - Harry’s House

One of the biggest debates at the 2023 GRAMMYs surrounded two queens vying for the same crown: Beyoncé and Adele. In 2017, Adele infamously swept Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and even Album of the Year, which she would later decline to accept.

"I can't possibly accept this award. I'm very humbled and very grateful and gracious, but the artist of my life is Beyoncé. The Lemonade album was so monumental."

With fans gearing up to see whether or not history will repeat itself, the data certainly tell an interesting story about how both 30 and RENAISSANCE performed throughout 2022. Following its release, Adele's 30 reached a near-perfect Spotify Popularity score of 98 and tapered down until falling into the 80s in June. RENAISSANCE, meanwhile, debuted at a lower score of 87, but it's maintained a higher, more consistent rate post-release.

While much of this year's GRAMMY gossip has revolved around Beyoncé and Adele, Latin music dark horse Bad Bunny is giving many of these veterans a run for their money. Following its release on May 6, 2022, Bad Bunny's album Un Verano Sin Ti immediately shot up to a Spotify Popularity of 100, maintaining that perfect score for 273 days.

Much of Un Verano Sin Ti's success is due to the recent globalization of Latin music within English-speaking countries. On streaming platforms and radio, much of Bad Bunny's audience can be found within the United States, showing that genres like Reggaeton and Latin Hip-Hop are becoming a part of the mainstream scene in the Western World.

Radio spins for Bad Bunny in the last 90 days.

As the music industry continues to diversify, we are excited for all of this year's GRAMMY Award nominees and winners to continue making music and history—no matter what the data say.