LAS VEGAS— The music industry hands out its top honors on Sunday with acts from teen sensation Olivia Rodrigo to awards darling Billie Eilish and rapper Lil Nas X competing at a star-studded Grammys ceremony in Las Vegas.
Grammy watchers say it is tough to predict who will take the biggest prizes other than best new artist, which is widely expected to go to 19-year-old Rodrigo. Her song “drivers license” went viral in early 2021.
Rodrigo also is nominated for album, song and record of the year. If she wins all of those categories, she would become just the third person in Grammys history to sweep the four main awards.
The last artist to accomplish that feat was Eilish at the 2020 Grammys, when she was 18. Now 20, Eilish is in the running again for album of the year with “Happier Than Ever.”
Competitors for the album trophy include Rodrigo’s “Sour,” Kanye West’s “Donda,” Jon Batiste’s “We Are,” and Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s “Love for Sale.”
Justin Bieber’s “Justice” also is in the mix, along with Doja Cat’s “Planet Her,” H.E.R.’s “Back of My Mind,” Lil Nas X’s “Montero” and Taylor Swift’s “Evermore.”
Batiste leads all nominees with 11 nods ranging from classical composition and American roots to his music video “Freedom” and album “We Are,” which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.
This year’s Grammys were pushed to April from January because of a COVID-19 surge at the beginning of the year. The date swap forced a change in venue from Los Angeles to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Last year, the pandemic forced a scaled-down outdoor ceremony without the traditional audience of thousands.
This Sunday, K-pop band BTS is among the acts scheduled to perform on the Grammys stage. The group, which has yet to win a Grammy, enters the night with a single nod for top-selling single “Butter.”
Other scheduled performers include Eilish, Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Bieber. Silk Sonic, the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak, are set to open the show, which will be broadcast live on CBS television and the Paramount+ streaming service. Comedian Trevor Noah returns as host.
The eligibility period for the Grammys ran from September 2020 to September 2021, ending before Adele released her acclaimed album “30.”
—Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by David Gregorio