Song of the Year is different from Record of the Year, even though many viewers don’t understand how they differ, and despite the fact that there are often many tracks up for both trophies.
Song of the Year is given to the songwriters, not necessarily the musicians that made a cut famous, though usually they are one and the same.
In 2023, the trophy will almost surely go to a vocalist who also wrote their smash, and it might be the year Taylor Swift finally earns the honor after five chances.
With the eligibility period now more than halfway through, let’s look at five early predictions for Song of the Year at the 2023 Grammy Awards.
Adele – “Easy on Me”
“Easy on Me” is a very, well, easy selection for Grammy voters, and it could easily claim the honor.
They have shown time and time again that they adore Adele, and the music industry considers her, above all else, a top-tier songwriter. Will “Easy on Me” win? It might not be smart to bet against it.
Beyoncé – “Be Alive”
“Be Alive” is the relatively rare Beyoncé song that made almost no commercial impact. That was somewhat surprising, given how incredibly famous she is, but she also did nearly nothing to promote the tune.
“Be Alive” was not pushed as a proper Bey single, but was rather written and composed specifically for the Will Smith film King Richard. It earned the Queen her first Oscar nomination, and while she didn’t win, her performance is already noted as one of the most impressive in Academy Awards history.
That showing may lead to a Grammy nod in one of the big four categories, perhaps Song of the Year.
Brandi Carlile – “Broken Horses”
Brandi Carlile is a Grammy favorite, and she’s been nominated for Song of the Year four times, including against herself at the 2022 ceremony.
She isn’t a hitmaker — far from it, actually — but there are few people in the industry today who regularly produce records that critics and Grammy voters single out as incredible pieces of work. If she is nominated for “Broken Horses,” which is a little-known tune, there’s an extremely low chance she’ll win, but a fifth nod could be in her future.
Harry Styles – “As It Was”
The middle of the venn diagram of titles that appear in both the Record and Song of the Year is usually large, as voters often equate a well-written song with a fantastic record (and they’re not wrong to do so).
Harry Styles’ “As It Was” debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and introduced his third full-length Harry’s House brilliantly, and it seems like everyone who heard it had nothing but thunderous applause. There is surely a spot being saved in both of the top categories for “As It Was.”
Taylor Swift – “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”
Now, this is a bit of a wild card prediction, as it’s not entirely clear if it’s even eligible. Taylor Swift released “All Too Well” a decade ago, but it was never marketed as a single. Fans have been in love with it ever since, but it didn’t make a huge commercial impact (at least when compared to her other tunes).
Swift re-released “All Too Well” as part of her album Red (Taylor’s Version), the second of her re-recorded full-lengths, but it came in two forms. The second doubled the length of the original cut and renamed it (for legal reasons). The fact that “All Too Well” was never originally nominated, and that it is now largely a new song, including new lyrics and music, may mean it could be nominated.
The Recording Academy’s Song of the Year rules state that any submitted track “must have been released on a recording for the first time, or achieved prominence for the first time, during the current eligibility year.” Whether that leads to another nod in this category for Swift is unclear, but it would be quite the move on her part.
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