Where Every Top 10 Hit of 2019 Is Competing in the Grammy Nomination Process

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AG
Ariana Grande performs at Lollapalooza at Grant Park on Aug. 4, 2019 in Chicago. 

A lot rides on these decisions. Pick the right entry and you can wind up with Grammy gold. Choose wrong and you can miss out.

Ariana Grande's team had a problem everyone would love to have: deciding which of their artist's many hits to enter in the nominations process for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. (You can enter them all, if you like, but there's no point in competing against yourself.) They chose "7 Rings," which is entered for best pop solo performance, and "Boyfriend" (a collab with Social House), which is entered for best pop duo/group performance.

They chose not to enter "Thank U, Next" and "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored," which would have competed with "7 Rings" in the pop solo category. Yet another Grande hit from this year, "Breathin," wasn't eligible because Sweetener, the album on which it was featured, won a Grammy last year for best pop vocal album.

A lot rides on these decisions. Pick the right entry and you can wind up with Grammy gold. Choose wrong and you can miss out. Grande's team had an especially tough job choosing between two long-running No. 1 hits on the Hot 100: "7 Rings," which brought Rodgers & Hammerstein into the streaming era, and the shimmering and highly personal "Thank U, Next."

What about other artists? Here's an alphabetical list of every other artist who had a top 10 hit in 2019, and which performance categories they are slotted in. Keep in mind that an entry is not a nomination. But if these records are nominated on Nov. 20 -- and many of them will be -- these are the performance categories in which they'll be nominated. (Most are also entered for record and song of the year. I specify which ones are.)

Bad Bunny: "MIA" (a collab with Drake) is entered for best pop duo/group performance.

Blueface: "Thotiana" is entered for best rap performance. Also entered for record and song.

Chris Brown: "No Guidance" (featuring Drake) is entered for best R&B performance. Also entered for record and song.

BTS: "Boy with Luv" (featuring Halsey) is entered for best pop duo/group performance. Also entered for record and song.

Lewis Capaldi: "Someone You Loved" is entered for best pop solo performance. Also entered for record and song.

Cardi B: "Please Me" (a collab with Bruno Mars) is entered for best rap/sung performance. Also entered for record and song.

J. Cole: "Middle Child" is entered for best rap performance. Also entered for record and song.

Da Baby: "Suge" is entered for best rap performance. Also entered for record and song.

Drake: "Money in the Grave" (featuring Rick Ross) was not entered. Drake's compilation album, Care Package, was also not entered. But Drake is entered for hit collabs with Bad Bunny, Chris Brown and Meek Mill.

Billie Eilish: "Bad Guy" is entered for best pop solo performance. Also entered for record and song.

Halsey: "Without Me" is entered for best pop solo performance. Also entered for record and song.

Jonas Brothers: "Sucker" is entered for best pop duo/group performance. Also entered for record and song.

Khalid: "Better" is entered for best pop solo performance. "Talk" is entered for best R&B performance. Khalid's team placed its bet on "Talk," entering it, and not "Better,"  for record and song.

Kodak Black: "ZEZE" (featuring Travis Scott & Offset) is entered for best rap performance. Also entered for record and song.

Lil Baby: "Drip Too Hard" (a collab with Gunna) is entered for best rap/sung performance. Also entered for record and song.

Lil Nas X: "Old Town Road" (featuring Billy Ray Cyrus) is entered for best pop duo/group performance. "Panini" is entered for best rap/sung performance. Lil Nas X's team bet on "Old Town Road," entering it, and not "Panini,"  for record and song.

Lil Tecca: "Ran$om" is entered for best rap/sung performance. Also entered for record and song.

Lil Wayne: "Uproar" (featuring Swizz Beatz) is entered for best rap performance. (He won in the category three years ago with "No Problem.") Also entered for record and song. "Let It Fly" (featuring Travis Scott) was not entered. Note: Swizz Beatz didn't have a featured credit on "Uproar" when it appeared on the Billboard Hot 100. This is how the Grammys show the credit.

Lizzo: "Truth Hurts" is entered for best pop solo performance. The track was first released in September 2017, but because it wasn't entered previously, the Grammys decided to make it eligible. Also entered for record and song.

Logic: "Homicide" (featuring Eminem) is entered for best rap performance. Also entered for record and song.

Marshmello: "Happier" (a collab with Bastille) was entered last year, but a "Stripped" version is entered this year for best pop duo/group performance. Also entered for record, but it wasn't eligible for song.

Ava Max: "Sweet but Psycho" wasn't entered. The single was released in August 2018, in the previous eligibility year, though as Lizzo's example shows, that's not always a deal-breaker.

Post Malone: "Sunflower (Spider Man: Into the Spider Verse)" (a collab with Swae Lee) is entered for best pop duo/group performance. "Wow." is entered for best rap/sung performance. "Goodbyes" (featuring Young Thug) and "Circles" were not entered. Post's team bet on "Sunflower," entering it, and not these other hits,  for record and song."Take What You Want" (featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott) was released after the end of the eligibility year on Aug. 31. It will be eligible next year.

Meek Mill: "Going Bad" (featuring Drake) is entered for best rap performance. Also entered for record and song.

Shawn Mendes. "If I Can't Have You" is entered for best pop solo performance. "Señorita" (a collab with Camila Cabello) is entered for best pop duo/group performance. Mendes' team bet on "Señorita" entering it, and not "If I Can't Have You,"  for record and song.

Panic! at the Disco: "High Hopes" was entered last year, but a "live" version is entered this year for best pop duo/group performance. (It's interesting that Panic!'s team thought they'd have a better chance of landing a nom with a live version of "High Hopes" than with the hit studio version of the group's follow-up hit, "Hey Look Ma, I Made It.") Also entered for record, but it wasn't  eligible for song.

Ed Sheeran: "I Don't Care" (a collab with Justin Bieber) is entered for best pop duo/group performance. But it's not entered for record or song. Sheeran's team bet instead on "Beautiful People" (featuring Khalid), which is entered in both of those categories.

Sam Smith: "Dancing With a Stranger" (a collab with Normani) is entered for best pop duo/group performance. Smith hasn't received a Grammy nom since he swept four awards five years ago. Will this silky smash put him back in the running? Also entered for record and song.

Taylor Swift: "ME!" (featuring Brendon Urie) is entered for best pop duo/group performance. "You Need to Calm Down" is entered for best pop solo performance. "Lover" was not entered in a performance category, though it is entered for song of the year. "You Need to Calm Down" is entered for record of the year.

Sheck Wes: "Mo Bamba" wasn't entered. (Note: The single was released in June 2017.)

Note: I didn't list most singles that were released in the previous eligibility year, even if they made the top 10 in 2019.


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