The Beyhive will certainly find this to be a controversial pick, but hear us out. Adele’s highly anticipated 25 not only blew the lid off album sales—it sold a total of more than 8.03 million copies—but it also caused the Internet to nearly break once the songstress’ tickets went on sale. Beyoncé’s Lemonade, on the other hand, sold only 1.05 million copies. If you’re wondering how the numbers could be so vastly different, then you have to remember that Lemonadestreamed exclusively on Tidal, leaving many of her fans (who happen to be Spotify or Apple Music subscribers) in the lurch and angry.
Queen Bey’s visual album made its way onto retailers such as iTunes and Amazon a few days later, but perhaps the initial Tidal release hurt her cause.
Best New Artist: Chance the Rapper
This newcomer made history thanks to Billboard 200’s new rating system despite never having sold a single copy of his streaming-only album Coloring Books. The new metrics allow streams to count toward album sales, so Coloring Books‘ 57.3 million streams on Apple Music translated into 38,000 copies sold. According to Billboard, Chance the Rapper’s work is the first streaming-only album in charts history. That alone should give him the prize, but that’s not always how it works.
He’s squaring off against Kelsea Ballerini, The Chainsmokers, Anderson .Paak and Maren Morris. In terms of Vevo views, Chance’s only real competition is The Chainsmokers, who have 2.89 billion views, while Chance has 2.95 million. Unfortunately, the “Closer” DJs have found themselves embroiled in controversy on a couple of occasions, which certainly won’t help their cause.
Record of the Year: Beyoncé, “Formation”
Before diving into this prediction, let’s clarify the difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year. While each category recognizes a single, the recipients are different. Record of the Year honors the overall performance and production value i.e. how it’s recorded, while Song of the Year honors the singer/songwriter. When put into that perspective, we have to give it to Beyoncé’s “Formation.”
There’s no denying the quality of Adele’s “Hello.” The ballad gave fans everything they could’ve ever wanted and more with Adele’s powerhouse vocals to boot, but the recording work behind “Formation” gives it a unique twist that the Recording Academy might admire just a touch more. Also in the category is Justin Bieber‘s “Love Yourself”, Lukas Graham‘s “7 Years”, Rihanna‘s “Work” and Twenty One Pilots‘ “Stressed Out.”
This is one tough category, as the British songstress faces off against The Biebs’ “Love Yourself”, Graham’s “7 Years”, Mike Posner‘s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” and Bey’s “Formation,” but with 1.9 billion views on Vevo, we have to give it to “Hello.” Admittedly, Posner’s nomination still comes as a huge surprise and Bieber’s acoustic “Love Yourself” does have potential given its 1.06 billion views, but at the end of the day it seems like everyone was belting “Hello” at the top of their lungs. Adele’s first single in a couple of years hijacked the airwaves for months with its emotional lyrics and gorgeous vocals.