To say the iHeartRadio Music Awards have outstripped in mainstream relevance would probably be pushing things a bit. However, it would be fair to say that the show has gotten huge, and that it’s perhaps geared more toward a modern, mainstream musical audience – which seems all the more significant given the Grammys’ waning ratings. With clearly defined categories, artists, songs, and records that garnered significant radio play over the past year, and a fun, significant, yet lighthearted vibe, the show is just about everything people want. So, while it’s still not quite as prestigious as the Grammys, it’s not to be ignored either.
This year, the iHeartRadio Music Awards will take place in Los Angeles on March 14th. Nominees were only recently announced, which means the prediction game is just starting to heat up. Naturally you’ll find discussions and debates at music criticism sites all across the internet, and if you really want to get into things, you can check early betting markets as well. It’s always a bit hit or miss where to find reliable odds, particularly in the U.S. (where gambling is still largely prohibited). However some of Canada’s top sites in the casino and gambling space will have odds listings, which even if you aren’t betting can help you to get an idea of some of the favorites, if you’re after that type of analysis.
In the meantime though, we’re taking our own look at some of the major categories for which awards will be given out come mid-March.
Song Of The Year
This category is basically filled with a who’s-who of popular music from the last year, as it should be. “Better Now” by Post Malone, “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 (ft. Cardi B), “God’s Plan” by Drake, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, and “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey are the nominees, and it’s difficult to project a winner. “God’s Plan” may be getting some love at the Grammys, by the sound of things, which could build some momentum. On the other hand, this particular show is a little bit more about popularity, and “Perfect” was reportedly the most downloaded song of the year – and really, for our money, the one it seemed like we couldn’t stop hearing even if we tried. That said, a bet on a Sheeran win, in this case, would not be unwise.
Female Artist Of The Year
Here the nominees are Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Dra Lipa, and Halsey, which really makes for a fascinating category. These are not the most recognizable names we’ve ever seen in this category for, say, people who don’t regularly listen to new music. However, if you paid attention to music in 2018, it’s also clearly a list of people who are going to make a mark on the pop music scene for years to come. Aside from Ariana Grande, it’s almost like a list of artists who are still in the midst of prolonged breakouts, which makes it exciting to see who earns top recognition at the ceremony. Ultimately though, it seems like no female artist truly dominated the past year quite like Cardi B did.
Male Artist Of The Year
This is a category with a lot of overlap with Song Of The Year in this case, given that Drake, Ed Sheeran, and Post Malone were all nominated. They’re joined by Kendrick Lamar and Shawn Mendes, rounding out a fairly comprehensive five-artist snapshot of the popular music scene of late. It’s awfully hard to bet against Drake or Sheeran, but what will be interesting is seeing if Kendrick Lamar’s fully body of work on the Black Panther and Creed II soundtracks are taken into account. If that’s the case, he could sneak in and win this award, though it still looks and feels like Drake and Sheeran are the front-runners.
Best Duo/Group Of The Year
5 Seconds Of Summer, Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Panic! At The Disco, and twenty one pilots comprise this category, which is always fun because it tends to recognize some of the popular work that doesn’t quite top the charts the way solo work tends to these days. Anyone could win this, but it almost seems like there’s some Maroon 5 momentum. The versatile, dynamic group just keeps churning out hits, somewhat against the odds given what’s happened to other groups that were popular when Maroon 5 broke out, and there’s at least a chance that a great performance at the 2019 Super Bowl LIII halftime show could boost the group’s case.
Most of the rest of the show is divided into specific genres, but the above categories represent some of the overarching awards, nominees, and potential winners. It ought to be a very fun occasion, as usual, to celebrate what was ultimately a fun and at times surprising year in music.