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56th Annual Grammy Award Predictions: Who Will Take One Home

Brent Faulkner Brent Faulkner
January 25th, 2014 8:00am EST
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56th Annual Grammy Award Predictions

Grammy predictions for Record of the year, Album of the year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards Broadcast takes place on Sunday, January 26th. Previously, following the announcements of the nominations, I made predictions in regards to who I thought would walk out with statues. After sitting on it a while, it is time to make one last set of predictions before Sunday’s broadcast. Here goes nothing! Picks are in bold.

First things first, let’s look at the BIG FOUR predictions

1) Record of the Year

“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers

“Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons

“Royals,” Lorde

“Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars

“Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

The Record of the Year category is one of the most stacked categories, no questions asked. Honestly, any of these five songs are worthy of being THE ‘record of the year.’ Many times in the past, a rock or rock-oriented record has been victorious here. That would bode well for the monster Imagine Dragons record “Radioactive” (I’m singing it in my head right now!). However, this being the sole big-time song nomination for “Get Lucky,” I’ll go with Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, and Nile Rodgers FTW. “Get Lucky” was a tremendous crossover hit, regardless of missing the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

2) Album of the Year

The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk

Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Kendrick Lamar

The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Red, Taylor Swift

Ultimately, four of these nominations make sense as legitimately deserving recognition as album of the year. While Sara Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest was a solid album, doesn’t this seem like this should’ve been Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars’ nomination to represent the pop category? Again, if I were picking, I’d choose Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, which I consider one of the best rap albums in some time. However, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ‘did work’ too, and likely the two cancel each other out. Thinking like the voters though, probably The Heist might outscore Good Kid M.A.A.D. City whether it should or not.

Because I’m not feeling the power of The Blessed Unrest, that leaves Red and Random Access Memories. Red was a great album, BUT, Taylor Swift has already been awarded the Grammy’s most prestigious award, and I’m not sure that a few short years later (incredibly quick) she’ll be awarded again. That would leave Random Access Memories as the victor. It’s a fantastic album and would definitely make a statement for electronic music, which is incredibly popular currently.

3) Song of the Year

“Just Give Me A Reason” (Pink featuring Nate Ruess)

“Locked Out of Heaven” (Bruno Mars)

“Roar” (Katy Perry)

“Royals” (Lorde)

“Same Love” (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert)

This is another fantastic category – sigh. Again, all five songs are deserving of recognition and any of the five could be victorious. Personally, P!nk seems to be incredibly underrated when it comes to Grammy-love, and my gut tells me that “Just Give Me A Reason” will be underrated here. “Locked Out Of Heaven” is a superb song by Bruno Mars, but it’s up against some big-time juggernauts that materialized later in 2013. That leaves “Roar,” “Royals” and “Same Love”. Of the three, “Same Love” is arguably the most legit song, singing about socially relevant subject matter. That said is “Same Love” too big of a leap for voters particularly being a hip-hop song? That leaves the youthful Lorde and the multiple times nominated Katy Perry. “Roar” is Perry’s most serious and mature song to date, and perhaps if “Royals” weren’t so unique, she’d leave victorious. With “Royals” possibly losing Record of the Year, Lorde comes up victorious by the slightest edge in Song of the Year.

Lamar,_Kendrick

4) Best New Artist

James Blake

Kendrick Lamar

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Kacey Musgraves

Ed Sheeran

The Best New Artist category is another strong one by all means. What makes this category incredibly unique is the fact that none of the artists in this category are nominated for record or song of the year; two are nominated for album of the year though. It’s nice to see an artist like James Blake receive a nomination here; particularly considering the British DJ/producer/singer is still a relative unknown in the U.S. That said, don’t place bets that Blake will be victorious, particularly if Ed Sheeran has anything to do with it. My gut tells me Sheeran is a dark horse, as the fight for this award seems to be between hip-hop heavyweights/album of the year nominees Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. As for Kacey Musgraves, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the rebellious country artist. Again, like James Blake, I doubt Musgraves comes out on the winning end. I’ll vote with my heart and give Kendrick Lamar the win, but I could definitely see Macklemore & Ryan Lewis accepting the statue as well.

- Other Notable Categories -

Best Pop Solo Performance:

“Brave,” Sara Bareilles

“Royals,” Lorde

“When I Was Your Man,” Bruno Mars

“Roar,” Katy Perry

“Mirrors,” Justin Timberlake

This category is notable because often, a couple of the record/song of the year nominees are found in this category. Here, “Royals” (ROTY and SOTY) and “Roar” (SOTY) are the ‘culprits’. Logically, don’t bet against those two, no matter how good Sara B., Justin, or Bruno was sounding! My money is on “Royals”.

Best Pop Duo / Group Performance

“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams

“Just Give Me A Reason,” Pink featuring Nate Ruess

“Stay,” Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko

“Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

“Suit & Tie,” Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z

The pop categories in general play a huge role in the biggest awards given out at the Grammys. There are three huge performances here that simply can’t be ignored: “Get Lucky” (ROTY), “Just Give Me A Reason” (SOTY), and “Blurred Lines” (ROTY). My gut tells me that Pharrell Williams is going to win one these, likely with Daft Punk.

Best Pop Vocal Album:

Paradise, Lana Del Rey

Pure Heroine, Lorde

Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno Mars

Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke

The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience, Justin Timberlake

Sticking with a previous pick, Justin Timberlake has to be honored, right? If not him, doesn’t Bruno Mars have to win something?

Best Rock Performance

“Always Alright,” Alabama Shakes (Silver Linings Playbook Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

“The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” David Bowie (The Next Day)

“Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons (Night Visions)

“Kashmir,” Led Zeppelin (Celebration Day)

“My God Is The Sun,” Queens of the Stone Age (…Like Clockwork)

“I’m Shakin’,” Jack White

If one big gun were to lose in a smaller category, it would be Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”. However, can the voters really snub such a gargantuan rock record (also nominated for ROTY), even with veterans on the list? I don’t think so.

Best Rock Album

13, Black Sabbath

The Next Day, David Bowie

Mechanical Bull, Kings of Leon

Celebration Day, Led Zeppelin

…Like Clockwork, Queens of the Stone Age

Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young With Crazy Horse

Rock didn’t receive a representative album of the year nomination this year, so this category perhaps is a bit more ‘wide open’. Three albums stand out in my eyes: 13, The Next Day, and …Like Clockwork. David Bowie’s comeback might’ve been the big narrative, had Black Sabbath not legitimately reunited (meaning Ozzy Osbourne on vocals). Any of the five could win here, but I’ll put my money on Black Sabbath.

Best R&B Album

R&B Divas, Faith Evans

Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys

Love in the Future, John Legend

Better, Chrisette Michele

Three Kings, TGT

I love you Alicia Keys, but I’ll give the edge to John Legend here.

Best Rap Performance

“Started From the Bottom,” Drake

“Bezerk,” Eminem

“Tom Ford,” Jay-Z (Magna Carta…Holy Grail)

“Swimming Pools (Drank),” Kendrick Lamar (Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City)

“Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Even though Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are nominated for AOTY, this category feels more wide open given the superb choices. I still think “Thrift Shop” may be too big to ignore, but “Started From The Bottom” definitely was notable. Kendrick’s “Drank” is no slouch either.

Best Rap / Sung Collaboration:

“Power Trip,” J. Cole featuring Miguel (Born Sinner)

“Part II (On The Run),” Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé (Magna Carta…Holy Grail)

“Holy Grail,” Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake (Magna Carta…Holy Grail)

“Now or Never,” Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige (Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City)

“Remember You,” Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd (O.N.I.F.C.)

Another category I am torn on, sigh. “Power Trip” stands out as does “Holy Grail.” That said, the more and more I hear “Now or Never,” it is incredibly difficult to deny. Mary J. Blige is a Grammy darling too…

Best Rap Album:

Nothing Was the Same, Drake

Magna Carta…Holy Grail, Jay-Z

Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, Kendrick Lamar

The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Yeezus, Kanye West

Here’s the thing. Kanye West has never lost when he’s been nominated for Best Rap Album as a solo artist (The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). However, if Kendrick Lamar wins no other award, and if he’s competing head-to-head with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis all evening, I give him the edge here. Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is the best album in this category.

Best Country Album:

Night Train, Jason Aldean

Two Lanes of Freedom, Tim McGraw

Same Trailer Different Park, Kacey Musgraves

Based On A True Story, Blake Shelton

Red, Taylor Swift

The Grammy darling goes home with the award this time around (Swift lost to Lady Antebellum in this category previously for Speak Now).

Photo Credits: PR Photos


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