The Six Acts Most Likely to Break Records in Next Year's Grammy Nominations

When the nominations for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards were announced last November, Beyoncé became just the second artist in Grammy history, following Pharrell Williams, to receive two record of the year nods in the same year. And Post Malone became the first artist since Steve Winwood in the ’80s to receive a record of the year nod three years running.

Who’s likely to make history when the 64th annual Grammy nominations are revealed later in 2021? From Olivia Rodrigo to BTS, here’s a closer look at the potential record-setters.

Mars could land his sixth record of the year nomination for “Leave the Door Open,” his homage to ’70s soul that he recorded with Anderson .Paak as Silk Sonic. Mars would become just the third artist in Grammy history to land six or more record of the year nods. Frank Sinatra and Beyoncé are the other two artists to achieve the feat, with seven nods each.

His Grammy History: Mars won three of the Big Four awards four years ago. His album 24K Magic earned the top prize, the title track took record of the year, and “That’s What I Like” was named song of the year. The record of the year win was Mars’ second in that category. He first snagged it at the 2016 ceremony as a featured artist on Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!” Mars is an 11-time Grammy winner.

Swift could land her sixth song of the year nod with “Willow.” That would tie her with Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie as the songwriters with the most nods in the category’s history; they have each won the award once, while Swift has yet to triumph in the category. She could also land her fifth album of the year nod, putting her one behind Barbra Streisand as the female artist with the most nominations in this category as a lead artist. Both evermore and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) are eligible.

Her Grammy History: At the 2010 Grammy ceremony, Swift became the youngest artist to win album of the year — a distinction that the artist held for a decade. At the 2016 event, Swift became the first woman to win that category for a second time as a lead artist. At this year’s ceremony, she became the first woman to take home the title a third time. Like Mars, Swift has 11 Grammys.

Eilish, who won record of the year at the last two Grammys with “bad guy” and “everything i wanted,” respectively, could be back in contention with “Therefore I Am” or “Your Power.” Only once in Grammy history has an artist won record of the year two years running and then been nominated again the next year. After winning for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” Roberta Flack lost to Olivia Newton-John at the 1975 ceremony.

Her Grammy History: Two years ago, Eilish became the second artist to sweep the Big Four in one year. The first was Christopher Cross at the 1981 awards. Eilish also set new records as the youngest winner in history for album and record of the year. At the ceremony in March, she became the third act in Grammy history (following Flack and U2) to win back-to-back awards for record of the year. Eilish is a seven-time Grammy winner.

H.E.R. could land her third album of the year nomination for her debut studio album, Back of My Mind. She was previously nominated for a pair of compilation albums, H.E.R. and I Used To Know Her. H.E.R., 24, would become the youngest artist to receive three album of the year nods since Streisand, who was just 23 when she earned her third nod for 1965’s My Name Is Barbra.

Her Grammy History: H.E.R. won two Grammys in March, which upped her career total to four. She has been nominated in all of the Big Four categories before, collecting two nominations each for both album and song of the year, winning the latter in March with “I Can’t Breathe.”

BTS could become the first K-pop act to land a record of the year nod. The septet’s “Butter” spent its first seven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pop groups with younger audiences rarely rate such acknowledgment, but the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and *N SYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” were nominated in 1999 and 2000, respectively.

Its Grammy History: Last year, BTS became the first K-pop act to be nominated in any category when “Dynamite” received a nod for best pop duo/group performance.

Rodrigo, 18, is vying to become the second-youngest artist in Grammy history to receive nominations in each of the Big Four categories in one year. Eilish was just 17 when she was nominated in the four categories two years ago — and claimed the statuettes for all of them.

Her Grammy History: “All I Want,” which Rodrigo wrote for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, was entered for best song written for visual media last year but wasn’t nominated. She’ll likely make up for that in 2021.

This article originally appeared in the July 17, 2021, issue of Billboard.