In 2018, I correctly predicted that Ed Sheeran will overcome the snubs he received in the general field and end up prevailing in Best Pop Solo Performance. Not to get cocky, but let me take another stab at this category for 2019.
For reference, you can find the article from the previous year here: https://bit.ly/2DJ4IiB
This 2019, all five songs up for the award are not contending for Song of the Year or Record of the Year. The snub is sad considering both categories expanded the number of nominees to eight. Yet, the five pop solo records listed are nowhere to be found. “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes contends in the general field for Song of the Year but weirdly missed out on a genre nomination.
“Colors” by Beck
“Havana (Live)” by Camila Cabello
“God is a Woman” by Ariana Grande
“Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’)” by Lady Gaga
“Better Now” by Post Malone
(5) “Colors” by Beck
Beck is no stranger to upsets. He pulled off one of the biggest in Grammy history when he beat Beyonce for Album of the Year. However, I feel shockers aren’t a norm in the pop genre. After all, the bias against awarding lightweights or hip-hop artists only happen in the top awards. And consider me a snob or a mainstream bitch, but I’ve never heard of this record prior to its nomination.
(4) “Better Now” by Post Malone
While I love Post Malone’s “Better Now”, I feel the record’s identity is too blurry for the song to pull off a victory in Best Pop Solo performance. The sound is not 100% hip-hop. But the popularity and his whiteness shouldn’t equate to pop. Testament to how he’s perceived is an Album of the Year nomination that has no equivalent genre album nod. This is a case of the nomination being the reward itself.
(3) “Havana (Live)” by Camila Cabello
The most popular record among the nominations generally goes on to win the pop awards. And if I look at the list, Camila Cabello gets that honor in 2019. However, I feel she is considered lightweight to overcome either Lady Gaga’s acclaim or Ariana Grande’s peak. If Harry Styles couldn’t win, I have little hope in Camila Cabello. Not to mention, she submitted a live version of a record that was snubbed in the previous year.
(2) “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’)” by Lady Gaga
The problem Lady Gaga faces isn’t artistic credibility. She’s critically acclaimed. Given the success of A Star is Born, she regained her darling status within the music industry. If she had gone with any other record, she may have this award in the bag. However, “Joanne” received lukewarm reception, despite the song being performed in the 2018 Grammy Awards. If she wins the award, credit everything to her name and not the song.
(1) “God is a Woman” by Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande hasn’t won a Grammy while two of her rivals in the category have (Lady Gaga and Beck). However, I feel she has the narrative and the hype to finally pull off a victory. She may have had an easier time if she was going with “No Tears Left to Cry”. But “God is a Woman” should do the trick. The success may not be as pronounced. But the record has reached #1 in pop radio.
WILL WIN: “God is a Woman” by Ariana Grande
SHOULD WIN: “God is a Woman” by Ariana Grande