Grammys 2018 Preview: What are the chances Rapsody, Sylvan Esso or Iron & Wine could win?

Rapsody, pictured in 2017, is nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.
Rapsody, pictured in 2017, is nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song. ssharpe@newsobserver.com

The 60th annual Grammy Awards are Sunday, and North Carolina will be represented in a variety of categories.

Many will be given out in advance of the broadcast, hosted by James Corden in New York City. It airs at 7:30 p.m. on CBS.

But some, like Rapsody, may see some screen time for her category of Best Rap Album. (At press time, it wasn’t known what categories will be televised.)

In the mean time, we size up North Carolina’s Grammy nominees and their prospects.

Sylvan Esso (Durham)

Nominated for: Best Dance/Electronic Album alongside Bonobo, Kraftwerk, Mura Masa and ODESZA.

Prospects: You can almost never go wrong predicting the act with the highest mainstream profile, and right now that would be ODESZA. But historical legacy counts, too, which points toward Kraftwerk. One of those two will probably win.

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Rapsody (Raleigh)

Nominated for:

▪ Best Rap Album (“Laila’s Wisdom”) alongside Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Migos and Tyler, The Creator.

▪ Best Rap Song (“Sassy”) alongside Cardi B, Danger Mouse featuring Run the Jewels and Big Boi, Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z.

Prospects: Given the field Rapsody (born Marlanna Evans in Snow Hill) is up against, she is the longest of longshots in both categories, which look to be tossups between Jay-Z (whose label she is on) and Lamar (with whom she has collaborated). Consider these nominations to be a major acknowledgment of her future potential. Her day will come.

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Iron & Wine (Chapel Hill)

Nominated for: Best Americana album alongside Gregg Allman, Brent Cobb, Jason Isbell and The Mavericks.

Prospects: This is the first nomination for Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam, a worthy accomplishment. But the Grammy will most likely go to either Isbell, whose last two albums have both cracked the Top 10; or the late Allman, who died last year and is a posthumous nominee.

Chapel Hill resident Sam Beam is Iron & Wine, who is nominated for his first Grammy Award for Best Americana album. Photo courtesy of Iron & Wine

Anthony Hamilton (Charlotte)

Nominated for: Best Traditional R&B Performance alongside The Baylor Project, Childish Gambino, Ledisi, Mali Music.

Anthony Hamilton of Charlotte is nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance. RCA Records

Prospects: It’s hard to imagine that Childish Gambino (also known by his real name, Donald Glover), who is in the midst of a breakout stretch, won’t win this one.

Christopher Jacobson (Durham)

Nominated for: Best Choral Performance in a field that includes PRISM Quartet, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Nigel Short.

Prospects: This first Grammy nomination for the Duke Chapel organist is for his contribution to the South Dakota Chorale’s “Tyberg: Masses.” Former Duke Chapel assistant conductor Brian Schmidt, now an associate professor at Baylor University, conducted. “Tyberg: Masses” is also up for best-engineered classical album and best surround-sound album. And it’s part of Blanton Alspaugh’s nomination for classical producer of the year.

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi