GRAMMYs 2022 roundup: Song Of The Year

As of this year, the Academy has increased the number of nominees in overall Grammy categories to 10, leading to a stacked and diverse list. (Images via
As of this year, the Academy has increased the number of nominees in overall Grammy categories to 10, leading to a stacked and diverse list. (Images via

As part of the SKPop GRAMMYs roundup of 2022, we look at the category of Song Of The Year.

The Grammy category for Song Of The Year distinguishes itself from the Record Of The Year Grammy category by focusing on the 'song' i.e. the composition, and the lyricism involved in making an individual track.

The award goes to the songwriter(s), as opposed to Record Of The Year, which goes to the performer and the production team. The two often overlap and are even awarded to the same track. Thirty-two of the winning songs in this category have also won the award for Record of the Year.

This year, the Academy has increased the number of nominees in overall Grammy categories to 10, leading to a stacked and diverse list.

Nominees for this year's GRAMMY Awards for Song Of The Year

1) Fred Gibson, Johnny McDaid & Ed Sheeran for "Bad Habits" performed by Ed Sheeran


For his first solo release from an album in over four years, Ed had an acoustic song planned, but the pandemic made him want to adopt a more upbeat fashion.

Eventually, Ed kept it pretty safe, with a style reminiscent of The Weeknd's Blinding Lights, which had set every record ablaze just a year prior. The synths and near-falsetto delivery are very much a product of their time, and the melancholy yet hedonistic lyrics lack a certain edge.

2) "A Beautiful Noise" performed by Alicia Keys & Brandi Carlile


2020 marked the 100-year anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. To honor the cause, and to urge the American populace to vote in the Presidential elections, A Beautiful Noise was conceived.

The song was written by an all-female team of songwriters in an attempt to build a tapestry of diverse views and voices. The eminent list includes:

  • Ruby Amanfu
  • Brandi Carlile
  • Brandy Clark
  • Alicia Keys
  • Hillary Lindsey
  • Lori McKenna
  • Linda Perry
  • Hailey Whitters

It was passed between all eight writers to ensure equal participation. The stripped-down, soulful piano ballad is a straight shooter, and Alicia and Brandi's towering vocals can do no wrong.

3) Daniel Nigro & Olivia Rodrigo for "Drivers License" performed by Olivia Rodrigo


The dreamy yet powerful bedroom pop track, which catapulted Olivia Rodrigo into superstardom, is a natural shoo-in for this category. However, it's a little sad that it got all the attention despite so many better tracks on Rodrigo's debut album Sour.

Driver's License has its share of heartfelt moments, and perhaps the only reason it has lost some of its sheen is because of how overplayed it was. It announced Olivia to the world, and her cathartic, emotion-driven delivery alone makes it worth the spot.

4) Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. & Tiara Thomas for "Fight for You" performed by H.E.R.


Judas and the Black Messiah is a powerful retelling of the story of Fred Hampton, the head of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. The story of Fred being betrayed is a timely one in these fraught times.

Fight For You is co-written by Grammy-winning R&B starlet H.E.R, who was told by Shaka King that he needed a contemporary song with echoes of 1968. H.E.R said about the song:

"There's not much that separates that time and that story from what's going on right now with the Black Lives Matter movement in the Black community."

Thus, the funk-soul tune talks about the themes of racism, brutality and equality, which are still just as relevant as they were.

5) Billie Eilish O'Connell & Finneas O'Connell for "Happier Than Ever" performed by Billie Eilish


This year, Billie Eilish released Happier Than Ever, a sprawling, genre-spanning follow-up to When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019), which swept the Grammys.

The downtempo and mature tone of the album is perfectly set in the title track. It is haunting Hollywood melancholia at its finest.

The song is a microcosm of Billie's transition, where the whispery balladic delivery of the first part blossoms to an uptempo anthem fit for a rock god. The switch feels natural and intriguing at once.

6) "Kiss Me More" performed by Doja Cat featuring SZA


Both Doja Cat and SZA have had a great year as solo artists, with Doja's Planet Her (2021) earning universal acclaim (and an Album Of The Year Grammy nod) and SZA landing spots on a string of impressive singles.

This collaboration is arguably the zenith of both their powers. Doja's quotable verse and SZA's memorable bridge vocals could each make a hit song on their own. The duo brings oodles of oomph to one of the most recognizably viral tunes of the year.

The eminent list of songwriters includes:

  • Rogét Chahayed
  • Amala Zandile Dlamini
  • Lukasz Gottwald
  • Carter Lang
  • Gerard A. Powell II
  • Solána Rowe
  • David Sprecher

7) Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II & Bruno Mars for "Leave the Door Open" performed by Silk Sonic


The supergroup Silk Sonic takes the best aspects out of R&B icon Bruno Mars while rapper/drum god Anderson. Paak's style manages to craft more than the sum of its parts. The duo don't sound like their individual selves.

They sound like Silk Sonic. In everything they put out, the duo seem to have tons of fun, and their mutual respect for each other's craft shines through.

On Leave The Door Open, the song that started the global dominance of these two groovy hooligans, an addictive onslaught of harmonies and undeniable percussion rhythm is backed with lyrics to woo anybody.

8) Denzel Baptiste, David Biral, Omer Fedi, Montero Hill & Roy Lenzo for "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" performed by Lil Nas X


MONTERO was a resounding announcement from Lil Nas that he wasn't just a one-hit-wonder; he was here to stay. The overtly sensuous themes in the song's lyrics, and a masterful compilation of biblical imagery with a rebellious, edgy twist in the campy music video, riled conservatives to no end.

It is an undeniably intricate audio-visual concept littered with Easter eggs. The final shot of Lil Nas gyrating over a dispassionate Satan is an image no one quickly forgets. This platinum-certified track could take the Grammy home. In fact, an Olivia / Lil Nas X Grammy sweep doesn't seem too far-fetched.

9) "Peaches" performed by Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon


Justin Bieber stacked his latest record, Justice (2021), with almost two dozen tracks and just as many guest features. The overall album feels meandering, but Peaches is a surefire highlight.

While Bieber was miffed about his album being considered 'pop' instead of R&B, his chorus is as pop as pop gets. Feature players Daniel Ceaser and Giveon, who have created quite a few ripples via their solo projects, deliver the sensual bluesy energy to this track. It is a perfect blend of catchy and cozy.

Songwriters featured include:

  • Louis Bell
  • Justin Bieber
  • Giveon Dezmann Evans
  • Bernard Harvey
  • Felisha "Fury" King
  • Matthew Sean Leon
  • Luis Manuel Martinez Jr.
  • Aaron Simmonds
  • Ashton Simmonds
  • Andrew Wotman
  • Keavan Yazdani

10) Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth for "Right on Time" performed by Brandi Carlile


Pop stalwart Brandi Carlile returned with her seventh studio album In These Silent Days (2021), garnering critical acclaim for adding another feather to the hat of her expansive career.

Carlile's shivering vocal delivery of the uplifting lyrics on Right On Time, which in her own words, talks about the love and loss of the year gone by, is gorgeous. It is a soothing song to help listeners re-emerge into a changing world.

Who do you think will take the Song Of The Year GRAMMY home?

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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