2019 Grammy Awards Complete Preview

Make sure to join Saving Country Music for the Grammy Awards LIVE blog during the presentation.

THE 60th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

When: 7:00 PM Central, 8:00 PM Eastern, 5:00 PM Pacific on CBS.

Where: The Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Host: Alicia Keys

Premiere Ceremony (where 70+ Awards are handed out): Streaming at Grammy.com. Starts at 2:30 PM Central, 3:30 PM Eastern, 12:30 PM Pacific

EARLY WINNERS

  • Best Americana Album – Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You
  • Best American Roots Performance – Brandi Carlile – “The Joke”
  • Best American Roots Song – “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile (Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth, songwriters)
  • Best Bluegrass Album – The Travelin’ McCourys – The Travelin’ McCourys
  • Best Folk Album – The Punch Brothers – All Ashore
  • Best Traditional Blues Album – Buddy Guy – The Blues Is Alive and Well
  • Best Contemporary Blues Album – Fantastic Negrito – Please Don’t Be Dead
  • Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – Willie Nelson – My Way (Frank Sinatra Tribute)
  • Best Country Solo Performance – Kacey Musgraves – “Butterflies”
  • Best Country Song – Kacey Musgraves – “Space Cowboy” (Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves, songwriters)
  • Best Country Do/Group Performance – Dan + Shay – “Tequila”

THINGS TO WATCH FOR

It could be a big year for country and roots with so many country and Americana artists nominated in the all-genre categories, specifically Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price, Luke Combs, and Maren Morris. This is not your average Grammy year for country rooting interests.

Dolly Parton will be the guest of honor at the 2019 Grammy Awards, being paid tribute by both the Recording Academy, and in a performance by Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, and Katy Perry. Dolly Parton will participate in the performance as well. Parton was also the 2019 MusiCares honoree. It’s a rare treat to see a country icon paid prime tribute on the Grammy awards.

Brandi Carlile very well could be the story of the 2019 Grammy Awards. Up for six total awards including the all-genre Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year, this could be the moment she’s been working towards for nearly two decades. A big evening for an Americana artist is not unprecedented. Ten years ago, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant won five Grammy Awards for their album Raising Sand, including Album of the Year. A big night for Brandi Carlile could be a big night for Americana and independent country.

Kacey Musgraves also has the opportunity for a big night, up for the all-genre Album of the Year, along with Best Country Album (which she’ll likely win), Best Country Song for “Space Cowboy,” and Best Country Solo Performance for “Butterflies.” Like Brandi Carlile, Musgraves could win early during the premier ceremony, and late during the televised portion. A good 2019 Grammy Awards could also give a big boost to Kacey’s new radio single, “Rainbow.”

Margo Price is probably a long shot for Best New Artist in such a crowded field this year, unless vote parsing puts her in a dark horse position. But she is already a winner with the all-genre nomination. So is Luke Combs, who is also a likely outlier with all the attention being paid to diversity this year, and with so much other attention to country artists in all-genre categories.

Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line, and “Meant To Be” better not win for Best Country Duo or Group Performance, especially after the petulant tirade Bebe Rexha pulled earlier in the week.

Maren Morris is heavily nominated, but mostly for her pop song “The Middle” with Zedd, and the dubious nomination of a Elton John cover song “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” for Best Country Solo Performance. If she wins big, it will be for her role as a pop star, not a country performer. However her nomination for the song “Dear Hate” with Vince Gill for Best Country Song is a worthy nomination, and would make for a good winner.

Politics will possibly be the biggest player in most of the eventual winners, just like it was for many of the nominees of the 2019 Grammy Awards. The Grammys are looking to diffuse criticism for not being inclusive enough, and will look to do everything they can to appear open-minded and diverse. However that doesn’t mean the eventual winners won’t be worthy, if the Recording Academy chooses the best in the categories regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation, as opposed to using these things explicitly to choose the winners. There are a lot of worthy nominees in this year’s Grammy Awards, politics aside.

THE COUNTRY PERFORMANCES

Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, and Katy Perry will perform a tribute to Dolly Parton, with Dolly also participating. “Here You Come Again” will be one of the songs performed.

Brandi Carlile will perform, likely her song “The Joke,” which is nominated for Best American Roots Song, Best American Roots Performance, and the all-genre Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Kacey Musgraves is rumored to be performing “Rainbow,” which she has also sent to country radio as her first proper single from Golden Hour.

Dan + Shay will be performing, likely their song “Tequila,” which is nominated for Best Country Song. They will perform on piano and acoustic guitar.

OTHER GRAMMY PERFORMERS

• Andra Day • Arturo Sandoval • Camila Cabello • Cardi B • Chloe x Halle • Diana Ross • Dua Lipa • Fantasia • H.E.R. • Janelle Monae • J Balvin • Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson • Maren Morris • Miley Cyrus • Post Malone with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers • Ricky Martin • Shawn Mendes • St. Vincent • Travis Scott • Yolanda Adams • Young Thug

THE PRESENTERS

• Alessia Cara • Anna Kendrick • Bob Newhart • BTS • Cedric The Entertainer • Charlie Wilson • Eve • Jada Pinkett Smith • John Mayer • Julian Edelman • Kane Brown • Kelsea Ballerini • Luke Combs • Meghan Trainor • Nina Dobrev • Smokey Robinson • Swizz Beatz • Wilmer Valderrama

COUNTRY / AMERICANA / ROOTS / ALL GENRE NOMINEES

Country & Roots Awards

Best Country Solo Performance
“Wouldn’t It Be Great,” Loretta Lynn
“Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” Maren Morris
“Butterflies,” Kacey Musgraves
“Millionaire,” Chris Stapleton
“Parallel Line,” Keith Urban

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Shoot Me Straight,” Brothers Osborne
“Tequila,” Dan + Shay
“When Someone Stops Loving You,” Little Big Town
“Dear Hate,” Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill
“Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line

Best Country Song
“Break Up in the End,” Cole Swindell (Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill and Jon Nite, songwriters)
“Dear Hate,” Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill (Tom Douglas, David Hodges and Maren Morris, songwriters)
“I Lived It,” Blake Shelton (Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley and Ben Hayslip, songwriters)
“Space Cowboy,” Kacey Musgraves (Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves, songwriters)
“Tequila,” Dan + Shay (Nicolle Gaylon, Jordan Reynolds and Dan Smyers, songwriters)
“When Someone Stops Loving You,” Little Big Town (Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill and Lori McKenna, songwriters)

Best Country Album
Unapologetically, Kelsea Ballerini
Port Saint Joe, Brothers Osborne
Girl Going Nowhere, Ashley McBryde
Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
From A Room: Volume 2, Chris Stapleton

Best Americana Album
By the Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile
Things Have Changed, Bettye LaVette
The Tree of Forgiveness, John Prine
The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone, Lee Ann Womack
One Drop of Truth, The Wood Brothers

 Best American Roots Performance
“Kick Rocks,” Sean Ardoin
“Saint James Infirmary Blues,” Jon Batiste
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“All on My Mind,” Anderson East
“Last Man Standing,” Willie Nelson

Best American Roots Song (Award to Songwriters)
“All the Trouble,” Lee Ann Womack (Waylon Payne, Lee Ann Womack, and Adam Wright, songwriters)
“Build a Bridge,” Mavis Staples (Jeff Tweedy, songwriter)
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile (Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth, songwriters)
“Knockin’ on Your Screen Door,” John Prine (Pat McLaughlin and John Prine, songwriters)
“Summer’s End,” John Prine (Pat McLaughlin and John Prine, songwriters)

Best Folk Album
Whistle Down The Wind, Joan Baez
Black Cowboys, Dom Flemons
Rifles and Rosary Beads, Mary Gauthier
Weed Garden, Iron & Wine
All Ashore, Punch Brothers

Best Bluegrass Album
Portraits in Fiddles, Mike Barnett
Sister Sadie II, Sister Sadie
Rivers and Roads, Special Consensus
The Travelin’ McCourys, The Travelin’ McCourys
North of Despair, Wood & Wire


All Genre Awards

Album of the Year
“Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B
“By the Way, I Forgive You,” Brandi Carlile
“Scorpion,” Drake
“H.E.R.,” H.E.R.
“Beerbongs & Bentleys,” Post Malone
“Dirty Computer,” Janelle Monae
“Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves
“Black Panther: The Album,” Featuring Kendrick Lamar

Record of the Year
“I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“This is America,” Childish Gambino
“God’s Plan,” Drake
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“All The Stars,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA
“Rockstar,” Post Malone feat. 21 Savage
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey

Song of the Year
“All The Stars,” Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Spears, Al Shuckburgh, Anthony Tiffith and Solana Rowe
“Boo’d Up,” Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai, and Dijon McFarlane
“God’s Plan,” Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron Latour, Matthew Samuels and Noah Shebib.
“In My Blood,” Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes and Geoffrey Warburton
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth
“The Middle,” Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha and Anton Zaslavski
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt
“This Is America,” Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson

Best New Artist
Chloe X Halle
Luke Combs
Greta Van Fleet
H.E.R.
Dua Lipa
Margo Price
Bebe Rexha
Jorja Smith