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Grammy predictions: Ed Sheeran’s ‘Subtract’ enters top 10 in our Album of the Year odds

Gold Derby 3/24/2023 Daniel Montgomery
© Provided by Gold Derby

Ed Sheeran announced on March 1 that he’d be releasing a new album, “Subtract,” on May 5, and just three weeks after that announcement (and more than a month before its release), the album has already climbed into the top 10 in our Grammy odds for Album of the Year based on the combined predictions of Gold Derby users. Check out or latest odds here, and make or update your own predictions here in our predictions center as the season progresses.

Sheeran is already a four-time Grammy winner, including a Song of the Year victory for his love ballad “Thinking Out Loud.” He also has three past noms for Album of the Year. The first was in 2014 as a featured artist on Taylor Swift‘s “Red”; they lost to “Random Access Memories” by Daft Punk. The second time was in 2015 for an album of his own, “Multiply”; “Morning Phase” by Beck ended up taking the prize. Finally he contended in 2016 as a featured artist on The Weeknd‘s “Beauty Behind the Madness,” which lost to Swift’s “1989.”

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Every Sheeran album since then has been a Grammy nominee, though none of them since “Multiply” have secured an Album of the Year nom. “Divide” won Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance (“Shape of You”). “No. 6 Collaborations Project” was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. And “Equals” earned a nom for Song of the Year (“Bad Habits”).

But Sheeran may have a secret weapon on “Subtract.” The new album is produced by Aaron Dessner of the band The National. Dessner was the co-writer and producer who helped Taylor Swift adopt a more contemplative folk-rock sound for her surprise albums “Folklore” and “Evermore” (both released in 2020). Both albums received Grammy noms for Album of the Year, with “Folklore” winning the prize. That was Swift’s third Album of the Year title, making her the first woman ever to claim that many trophies in the category.

Will Dessner work magic for Sheeran like he did for Swift? And will it result in Sheeran’s comeback to the Album of the Year race after eight years away?

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