Grammys 2018: Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich on Which Races to Watch

Grammy's - Jay-Z, Lorde, Ed Sheeran
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images, Andrew Chin/Getty Images, Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Grammy's - Jay-Z, Lorde, Ed Sheeran

Still rocking at 60!

“The Grammys are music’s biggest night,” executive producer Ken Ehrlich says. “People come to us to see things they know they won’t see anywhere else.” And with the current crop of nominations reflecting an increased R&B and hip-hop presence, he adds, “This year’s show is probably going to be our most contemporary one yet.”

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The 2018 lineup is one for the ages.

Scroll down to see how Ehrlich handicaps a few of the buzziest races:

Album of the Year

Awaken, My Love!, Childish Gambino
4:44, JAY-Z
DAMN., Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama, Lorde
24K Magic, Bruno Mars

“Lorde is a Grammy favorite, but she’s a dark horse because her album didn’t achieve in sales what the others did,” Ehrlich says of the sole female nominee . And while offerings from JAY-Z, Childish Gambino (aka actor Donald Glover) and Kendrick Lamar were all hits, Bruno Mars shouldn’t be counted out. “His hooks are so catchy—people love him!” Ehrlich says.

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Love So Soft,” Kelly Clarkson
“Praying,” Kesha
“Million Reasons,” Lady Gaga
“What About Us,” P!nk
“Shape of You,” Ed Sheeran

Sheeran may have the edge here since his album Divide was snubbed in other categories. But Kesha’s story and comeback after legal battles against her allegedly abusive former producer, Dr. Luke, are resonant in the wake of #MeToo.

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The music awards show airs Sunday, February 12 on CBS.

Song of the Year

“Despacito Remix,” Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
“4:44,” JAY-Z
“Issues,” Julia Michaels
“1-800-273-8255,” Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid
“That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars

Logic’s suicide-awareness anthem is the frontrunner. Still, summer smash “Despacito” would be the category’s first Spanish-language winner. Says Ehrlich, “When a song goes beyond demographic borders, it’s a big deal.”

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards, Sunday, Jan. 28, 7:30/8:30c, CBS