2016 Grammy Predictions

On the eve of the 2016 Grammys, let’s zoom in on some of the year’s biggest categories for a little critical analysis. Being nominated for any award is considered a huge  honor, but the winners not only cement themselves in the history books (both good and bad,) but set themselves up for a sustained career. Every year, the Grammys feature the usual run through of obvious choices, massive upsets, and controversial decisions. It’s safe to assume this year will be no different. Here are my predictions:


RECORD OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • “Really Love” D’Angelo & The Vanguard
  • “Uptown Funk” Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
  • “Thinking Out Loud” Ed Sheeran
  • “Blank Space” Taylor Swift
  • “Can’t Feel My Face” The Weeknd

UFCFMFWho Should Win?

“Can’t Feel My Face” / “Uptown Funk” – This one’s a tossup. Two highly acclaimed, wildly popular tracks, both with well-executed updates on classic sounds. It’s splitting hairs to big between them.

UFWho Will Win?

“Uptown Funk” – Mark and Bruno probably have the edge here simply because the track is just a little more universal.

BSThe Darkhorse?

“Blank Space” – You can never count T. Swift out ever… but she’s in a particularly prime position to play spoiler this year.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • “Sound & Color” Alabama Shakes
  • “To Pimp A Butterfly” Kendrick Lamar
  • “Traveller” Chris Stapleton
  • “1989” Taylor Swift
  • “Beauty Behind The Madness” The Weeknd

TPABWho Should Win?

“To Pimp A Butterfly” – No explanation required.

TPAB1989Who Will Win?

“To Pimp A Butterfly” / “1989” – Kendrick is probably going to walk away with the award, but, again, you can’t underestimate Taylor Swift’s beguiling hold over the academy.

BBTMThe Darkhorse?

“Beauty Behind The Madness” – If there’s one album that’s going to pull the rug out from under the frontrunners, it’s The Weeknd. As long as Kendrick doesn’t walk home empty handed (again,) it’d be ok.


SONG OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • “Alight” (Kendrick Lamar) Kendrick Duckworth, Kawan Prather, Mark Anthony Spears, Pharrell Williams
  • “Blank Space” (Taylor Swift) Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift
  • “Girl Crush” (Little Big Town) Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose
  • “See You Again” (Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth) Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charlies Puth, Cameron Thomaz
  • “Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran) Ed Sheeran, Amy Wadge

TPABWho Should Win?

“Alright” – Not only would the song be deserving of the award regardless of its competition, but particularly amongst this group.

BSWho Will Win?

“Blank Space” – If there’s one category she’s got on lock, it’s this one.

SYATOLThe Darkhorse?

“See You Again” / “Thinking Out Loud” – These two formidable competitors could just as easily take home the Grammy; this mediocre category is wide open.


BEST NEW ARTIST

Nominees

  • Courtney Barnett
  • James Bay
  • Sam Hunt
  • Tori Kelly
  • Meghan Trainor

SIJTATWho Should Win?

Courtney Barnett – Hands down, Courtney sits miles above the rest here. Sadly, she doesn’t have a chance in hell.

TitleWho Will Win?

Meghan Trainor – With several nods last year, it’s clear she on the Grammys’ radar making her the clear frontrunner.

CATCThe Darkhorse?

James Bay – It would be shocking, but this category tends to be! He’d deserve it, too.


BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Heartbeat Song” Kelly Clarkson
  • “Love Me Like You Do” Ellie Goulding
  • “Thinking Out Loud” Ed Sheeran
  • “Blank Space” Taylor Swift
  • “Can’t Feel My Face” The Weeknd

CFMFWho Should Win?

“Can’t Feel My Face” – If The Weeknd doesn’t walk away with Record Of The Year, this would be his clear compensation. If he does win ROTY, he still deserves this one.

BSWho Will Win?

“Blank Space” – The pop categories are where T.Swift will undeniably shine this year. She’ll sweep them.

TOLThe Darkhorse?

“Thinking Out Loud” – Where exactly Mr. Sheeran fits in this year (if anywhere) is still a mystery. This seems most logical.


BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

Nominees

  • “Piece By Piece” Kelly Clarkson
  • “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” Florence + The Machine
  • “Uptown Special” Mark Ronson
  • “1989” Taylor Swift
  • “Before This World” James Taylor

HBHBHBWho Should Win?

“How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” – Florence should have this one in the bag, but…

1989Who Will Win?

“1989” – …Taylor Swift is also nominated.

HBHBHBThe Darkhorse?

“How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” – This is no doubt going to Taylor, but if there was a darkhorse, it’s Florence + The Machine.


BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM

Nominees

  • “Our Love” Caribou
  • “Born In The Echoes” The Chemical Brothers
  • “Caracal” Disclosure
  • “In Colour” Jamie xx
  • “Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü” Skrillex and Diplo

ICWho Should Win?

“In Colour” – This category is super tight, but Jamie xx’s masterpiece is the most deserving of the lot.

JUWho Will Win?

“Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü” – There’s no doubt the Grammys is going to make a bid for the most commercially viable option here.

CaracalThe Darkhorse?

“Caracal” – Disclosure could be the upset here, and, honestly, it’d be ok.


BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Don’t Wanna Fight” Alabama Shakes
  • “What Kind Of Man” Florence + The Machine
  • “Something From Nothing” Foo Fighters
  • “Ex’s and Oh’s” Elle King
  • “Moaning Lisa Smile” Wolf Alice

SACCSWho Should Win?

“Don’t Wanna Fight” / “What Kind Of Man” / “Moaning Lisa Smile” – So many great nominees here, it’s like splitting hairs! Alabama Shakes, Florence, and newcomers Wolf Alice all truly deserve this one equally.

WKOMWho Will Win?

“What Kind Of Man” – Because Florence + The Machine don’t have a prayer in the pop categories, this is their opportunity for an award.

EAOThe Darkhorse?

“Ex’s and Oh’s” – Elle King’s breakout hit could just as easily play upset and walk away with this one.


BEST ROCK ALBUM

Nominees

  • “Chaos and the Clam” James Bay
  • “Kintsugi” Death Cab For Cutie
  • “Mister Asylum” Highly Suspect
  • “Drones” Muse
  • “.5: The Gray Chapter” Slipknot

CATCWho Should Win?

“Chaos and the Calm” – James Bay’s critically acclaimed debut is definitely the best pick of the lot here.

DronesWho Will Win?

“Drones” – Muse will probably still be the victor here.

CATCThe Darkhorse?

“Chaos and the Calm”– If he doesn’t walk away with Best New Artist, he’s got an actual shot at this one.


BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

Nominees

  • “Sound & Color”Alabama Shakes
  • “Vulnicura” Björk
  • “The Waterfall” My Morning Jacket
  • “Currents” Tame Impala
  • “Star Wars” Wilco

CurrentsWho Should Win?

“Currents” – Tame Impala’s record is a masterpiece, and even with stiff competition sits above the rest.

CurrentsWho Will Win?

“Currents” – It’s a shame that Alabama Shakes are unlikely victors in the other categories, because this should have been their no-brainer. However, “Currents” is the clear winner here.

SACThe Darkhorse?

“Sound & Color” – They’ve still got a chance, though. It’d be somewhat of an upset, but they could pull it off.


BEST R&B SONG

Nominees

  • “Coffee” (Miguel) Brook Davis, Miguel Pimentel
  • “Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)” (The Weeknd) Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville, Abel Tesfaye
  • “Let It Burn” (Jazmine Sullivan) Kenny B. Edmonds, Jazmine Sullivan, Dwane M. Weir II
  • “Really Love” (D’Angelo & The Vanguard) D’Angelo, Kendra Foster
  • “Shame” (Tyrese) Warryn Campbell, Tyrese Gibson, DJ Rogers Jr

BMWho Should Win?

“Really Love” – Ideally, D’Angelo is going to dominate the R&B categories this year.

EIWho Will Win?

“Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)” – Due to stiff competition, The Weeknd might not have any other place to score some wins this year.

CoffeeThe Darkhorse?

“Coffee” – Who knows? Miguel’s fantastic single could realistically be the favorite here.


BEST R&B ALBUM

Nominees

  • “Coming Home” Leon Bridges
  • “Black Messiah” D’Angelo & The Vanguard
  • “Cheers To The Fall” Andra Day
  • “Reality Show” Jazmine Sullivan
  • “Forever Charlie” Charlie Wilson

BMWho Should Win?

“Black Messiah” It should have seen a nod for Album Of The Year, but this will do.

BMWho Will Win?

“Black Messiah” – This is clearly where D’Angelo is going to get his recognition.

CHThe Darkhorse?

“Coming Home” – Leon Bridge’s phenomenal debut shouldn’t go unnoticed.


BEST RAP PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Apparently” J. Cole
  • “Back To Back” Drake
  • “Trap Queen” Fetty Wap
  • “Alright” Kendrick Lamar
  • “Truffle Butter” Nicki Minaj featuring Drake and Lil Wayne
  • “All Day” Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, and Paul McCartney

TPABWho Should Win?

“Alright” – Kendrick Lamar deserves to win every award he’s up for this year. The Grammys owe him this category, too.

TPABWho Will Win?

“Alright” – I think it’s safe to say that he’s the front-runner in the rap categories this year.

2FHDThe Darkhorse?

“Apparently” – If Kendrick sweeps the main categories and the Academy feels like spreading the wealth (as they tend to,) J. Cole is second in command.


BEST RAP ALBUM

Nominees

  • “2014 Forest Hills Drive” J. Cole
  • “Compton” Dr. Dre
  • “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” Drake
  • “To Pimp A Butterfly” Kendrick Lamar
  • “The Pinkprint” Nicki Minaj

TPABWho Should Win?

“To Pimp A Butterfly” – …duh.

TPABWho Will Win?

“To Pimp A Butterfly” – …duh.

2FHDThe Darkhorse?

“2014 Forest Hills Drive” – If Kendrick shockingly does’t get this one, J. Cole will.


BEST COUNTRY SONG

Nominees

  • “Chances Are” (LeAnn Womack) Hayes Carll
  • “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” (Tim McGraw) Barry Dean, Luke Laird, Jonathan Singleton
  • “Girl Crush” (Little Big Town) Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose
  • “Hold My Hand” (Brandy Clark) Brandy Clark, Mark Stephen Jones
  • “Traveller” (Chris Stapleton) Chris Stapleton

TravellerWho Should Win?

“Traveller” – Chris Stapleton’s cool factor outside of the “Country World” certainly sets him apart.

GCWho Will Win?

“Girl Crush” – Little Big Town are seemingly the Grammys’ go-to this year.

TravellerThe Darkhorse?

“Traveller” – Stapleton is still a viable option, but he doesn’t have the edge over “Girl Crush” in this category.


BEST COUNRTY ALBUM

Nominees

  • “Montevallo” Sam Hunt
  • “Pain Killer” Little Big Town
  • “The Blade” Ashley Monroe
  • “Pageant Material” Kacey Musgraves
  • “Traveller” Chris Stapleton

TravellerWho Should Win?

“Traveller” – It’s clear this is the award Chris Stapleton deserves to win over any…

TravellerWho Will Win?

“Traveller” – …and he’s got the best shot here.

PMThe Darkhorse?

“Pageant Material” – Kacey Musgraves has already positioned herself as a Grammy darling, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if that continued.

 

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