What's at Stake for Beyoncé, Billie Eilish & More at 2020 Grammys

ISSUE 22 2019 - DO NOT REUSE!!!
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Billie Eilish, Ken Ehrlich, Jonas Brothers and Beyoncé 

Many people stand to gain or lose ground when the 62nd annual Grammy Awards are broadcast on Jan. 26. But the stakes are particularly high for these four players -- a teen phenom, an icon who is already one of the most decorated artists in Grammy history, a trio of brothers that came back bigger than ever this year, and the producer who has steered the Grammy telecast since 1980.

Billie Eilish

Who: Alt-pop wunderkind who scored No. 1s on both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 this year.

Hurdle: The Grammys don’t usually take teen artists seriously, and her experimental-leaning tunes -- co-written with brother Finneas O’Connell -- may be too cutting-edge for older voters to get.

Upshot: As a rare breakout with both critical acclaim and commercial success, she’s likely to be rewarded. And if she wins album of the year, she’ll be the youngest artist to ever do so.

 

Beyoncé

Who: One of the most decorated artists in Grammy history, with 23 wins and 66 nominations.

Hurdle: While Homecoming: The Live Album, which captured her triumphant 2018 Coachella sets, received rapturous acclaim, no live album has been nominated for album of the year in 25 years.

Upshot: Only one of Bey’s wins has been in a Big Four category -- and after her 2017 losses inspired the #GrammysSoWhite hashtag, voters may be eager to restore their cred.

 

Jonas Brothers

Who: The reunited trio of brothers scored their first No. 1 single on the Hot 100 this year with “Sucker.”

Hurdle: Grammy voters tend to undervalue highly commercial pop music. Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” were both passed over for record and song of the year noms.

Upshot: With new album Happiness Begins, the JoBros display an artistic growth even The Recording Academy would have a hard time ignoring.

 

Ken Ehrlich

Who: The TV veteran has produced or executive-produced the Grammys since 1980.

Hurdle: Last year Ariana Grande said he “stifled” her creativity and was the reason she did not attend or perform at the show.

Upshot: It’s Ehrlich’s last Grammys before Ben Winston, The Late Late Show With James Corden executive producer, takes over for the 2021 ceremony, so he’ll want to end on a high note -- perhaps by making it up to Grande with a splashy performance from her.

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 21 issue of Billboard.

2020 Grammy Awards


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