World conditions make this year’s Grammy voter choices in the visual-media categories somewhat harder to predict, in part because so many of us have been staying home watching television.
So while some score nominees are likely to come from late-2019 releases — including Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Oscar-winning “Joker,” along with fellow Oscar nominees John Williams’ “StarWars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Thomas Newman’s “1917,” Randy Newman’s “Marriage Story” and Alexandre Desplat’s “Little Women” — final choices could easily include streaming content which, while eligible, has rarely made the nominations list.
Terence Blanchard’s score for Netflix’s “Da 5 Bloods” is a strong candidate, as are recent Emmy winners like Labrinth’s “Euphoria,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ “Watchmen,” both on HBO, and Ludwig Göransson’s “The Mandalorian” on Disney Plus.
A bit harder to predict: the choices for compilation soundtrack, the category that includes song scores. High on the list is the album for Disney’s “Frozen 2,” one of last year’s top-grossing films, whose album is still topping the soundtrack charts 10 months later.
The rest of the category is wide open, and could include the Justin Timberlake-led “Trolls World Tour”; the jazzy songs for Netflix’s “The Eddy”; the Rodney Jerkins-produced “The High Note”; and albums from Fox’s “Empire,” and Hulu’s “High Fidelity” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” Renée Zellweger’s Oscar-winning performance as “Judy” could be a Grammy contender, too, if voters want to reward her vocal impression of Garland.
Similarly, the song category will likely draw from the late-2019 release schedule, notably the Oscar-nominated “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen 2” and “Stand Up” from “Harriet,” sung by Idina Menzel and Cynthia Erivo, respectively.
More intriguing are what Grammy voters might choose from this year’s offerings, starting with the most popular, Billie Eilish’s theme from the still-unreleased James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” which shot into the top 20 upon its release in February. The Eilish song, which got a boost from the new video that dropped last week and a “Tonight Show” performance on Monday, is on the Grammy ballot even though the film has been delayed until spring 2021.
Three songs from widely viewed documentaries also loom large: Taylor Swift’s “Only the Young” from Netflix’s Swift doc “Miss Americana”; Janelle Monáe’s “Turntables” from Amazon’s voter-suppression doc “All In: The Fight for Democracy”; and Mary J. Blige’s “See What You’ve Done” from the prison-sterilization doc “Belly of the Beast.”
Never count out Diane Warren, whose last Grammy win was 24 years ago. She has “Free,” sung by Charlie Puth in the Disney Plus film “The One and Only Ivan.”
And “Rocket to the Moon,” Cathy Ang’s song from Netflix’s animated “Over the Moon,” is also eligible.