2017 Grammy Predictions

It’s Grammy time again! This Sunday, music’s biggest names will once again gather to commemorate the past year of music and battle it out for top honors. With Beyoncé (of course) leading the pack with an outstanding 9 nominations spanning several genres and categories, it’s to be seen if this will be her year, or if her formidable competitors are ready to play spoiler. Let’s make some predictions, (selective) category by category.


RECORD OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • “Hello” Adele
  • “Formation” Beyoncé
  • “7 Years” Lukas Graham
  • “Work” Rihanna featuring Drake
  • “Stressed Out” Twenty One Pilots

formationWho Should Win?

“Formation”  – While the race is as tight as it gets, Beyoncé’s timely anthem is the only major standout. Of course, no matter who it was up against, “Formation,” widely considered the song of 2016, deserves this award.

formationWho Will Win?

“Formation” – Bey should more or less have this one in the bag. As an overall production, it’s undeniably leaps and bounds ahead of the competition, and voters are (hopefully) likely to notice.

stressedoutThe Dark Horse?

“Stressed Out” – The dark horse is really four-way tie on this one. Sure, Adele, the uber-mega-super-Grammy darling, could easily pull this out, but it’s likely they’re going to highlight her elsewhere this year. Beyoncé’s most formidable foe is, realistically, this Twenty One Pilots crossover hit that could muster enough votes from those who were desperate to find a “happy medium.”


ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • 25 Adele
  • Lemonade Beyoncé
  • Purpose Justin Bieber
  • Views Drake
  • A Sailor’s Guide To Earth Sturgill Simpson

lemonadeWho Should Win?

Lemonade – This album was a cultural phenomenon. Excessive amounts of commercial and critical adoration aside, Lemonade is likely the pinnacle for one of the most important artists in the history of modern music. There are pitchforks and torches (and maybe Kanye) on standby should the Grammys pass this one over.

lemonadeWho Will Win?

Lemonade – Luckily, it’s almost a lock… at least as much of a lock as it can be when you consider just how, for lack of an appropriate word, batshit the Grammys can be. This is likely to be Beyoncé’s year.

viewsThe Dark Horse?

Views – You’d think the easy runner up would be 25, but I feel confident that Adele is going to see most of her success outside of the major categories. Drake’s Views wasn’t a critical darling, but it was massively successful, and that carries some weight.

 


SONG OF THE YEAR

Nominees

  • “Formation” (Beyoncé) Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles, and Michael L. Williams II
  • “Hello” (Adele) Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin
  • “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” (Mike Posner) Mike Posner
  • “Love Yourself” (Justin Bieber) Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin, and Ed Sheeran
  • “7 Years” (Lukas Graham) Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard, and Morten Ristrop

helloWho Should Win?

“Hello” – Of all the well-written songs (reminder: this is a songwriter’s award) they could have nominated, this list is more than confusing. I know, I know, I know… Beyoncé should be sweeping the awards this year, but when it comes to the songwriting aspect between the two, “Hello” does have a bit of an edge; “Formation”is a production masterwork.

Who Will Winhello?

“Hello” – Maybe not a lock, but Adele’s hit is certainly the next most logical victor. If there’s one of the major awards she’s got a shot at, it’s Song of the Year. It’s almost a guarantee they’re going to sit Beyoncé out for one of the major awards.

7yearsThe Dark Horse?

“7 Years” – It pains me to say it, but the Grammys do tend to take middle of the road fodder that found commercial attention and pretend it’s gold. “7 Years” could easily be the “Sailing” (Christopher Cross) of the 21st Century.


BEST NEW ARTIST

Nominees

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Chance The Rapper
  • Maren Morris
  • Anderson .Paak

coloringbookWho Should Win?

Chance The Rapper – Is he actually “new?” No way, but here he is. He’s easily the standout of the lot, and without a major label deal, or even any music actually available for purchase, this would be quite revolutionary. Anderson .Paak deserves a mention, too.

coloringbookWho Will Win?

Chance The Rapper – It’s pretty likely he’ll be walking away with this one, seeing as he’s arguably the biggest name up there and has the most output for voters to go off of.

closerThe Dark Horse?

The Chainsmokers – History has shown that any one of the nominees could walk away with this award. If Chance doesn’t get his due, it’s painful to admit, but it’s likely to be in favor of The Chainsmokers simply because they are just so incredibly big right now. (This award is a curse, though, right?)

 


BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Hello” Adele
  • “Hold Up” Beyoncé
  • “Love Yourself” Justin Bieber
  • “Piece By Piece” (Idol Version)” Kelly Clarkson
  • “Dangerous Woman” Ariana Grande

helloWho Should Win?

“Hello” – Adele’s mega-hit deserves some Grammy love, and of all the awards it’s up for, this is the most fitting.

helloWho Will Win?

“Hello” – This one seems relatively straight-forward. Beyoncé seems likely to capture the major categories, so Adele is likely going to see most of her success in the Pop realm.

loveyourselfThe Dark Horse?

“Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber seems to have found his way into the Grammys’s good graces. Whether or not he’ll walk with any awards or not is still to be seen, but he’s definitely in the race for this one.

 


BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Closer” The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
  • “7 Years” Lukas Graham
  • “Work” Rihanna featuring Drake
  • “Cheap Thrills” Sia featuring Sean Paul
  • “Stressed Out” Twenty One Pilots

workWho Should Win?

“Work” – This is a tough category to weed through, in all honesty. Rihanna’s mega-hit feels like it’s in a different class than the rest. Although, “Stressed Out” and “Cheap Thrills” would make cool “alternative” picks.

7yearsWho Will Win?

“7 Years” – I could be completely wrong on this one, but this song is clearly being acknowledged for a reason.

stressedoutThe Dark Horse?

“Stressed Out” – It’s hard to say exactly how/if Twenty One Pilots are going to fit in this year, even despite their handful of nominations. It’s not impossible for the duo to walk out with this one. An honorable mention has to go to “Closer,” though.


BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

Nominees

  • 25 Adele
  • Purpose Justin Bieber
  • Dangerous Woman Ariana Grande
  • Confident Demi Lovato
  • This Is Acting Sia

25Who Should Win?

25 – This isn’t really a stacked category, to be fair. This album clearly sits above the rest in quality, acclaim, and success.

25Who Will Win?

25 – This should be an easy victory for Adele, assuming she doesn’t pull the rug out from Beyoncé for Album Of The Year.

purposeThe Dark Horse?

Purpose – Again, it’s still to be seen if Justin Bieber is actually a strong Grammy candidate. It would be an upset, but if anyone’s going to overtake Adele here, it’s him.


BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Joe” (Live from Austin City Limits) Alabama Shakes
  • “Don’t Hurt Yourself” Beyoncé featuring Jack White
  • “Blackstar” David Bowie
  • “The Sound Of Silence” (Live on Conan)” Disturbed
  • “Heathens” Twenty One Pilots

blackstarWho Should Win?

“Blackstar” – …and not because of Bowie’s passing. This track is legitimately one of the best things he’s done in the last 30 years.

blackstarWho Will Win?

“Blackstar” – While the track does hold its own, the sympathy vote should push it over the edge. Not to mention, the rest of the nominees are amongst the most widespread and head-scratching in Grammy history.

heathensThe Dark Horse?

“Heathens” – Filing this under rock is a little suspect, but seeing as its competitors are two live tracks (one’s a cover) and Beyoncé, if Bowie doesn’t win, this will.

 


BEST ROCK ALBUM

Nominees

  • California Blink-182
  • Tell Me I’m Pretty Cage The Elephant
  • Magma Gojira
  • Death Of A Bachelor Panic! At The Disco
  • Weezer Weezer

magmaWho Should Win?

Magma – These nominees are insane. Was this really what rock was like last year?! It would just be so, so cool to see Gojira walk away with this.

californiaWho Will Win?

California – This is actually Blink 182’s first Grammy nomination, believe it or not. I’d be inclined to think they’d actually get the award itself.

magmaThe Dark Horse?

Magma – Why not? Their odds are as good as anyone else’s here, but this would gather a few more headlines.

 


BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM

Nominees

  • 22, A Million Bon Iver
  • Blackstar David Bowie
  • The Hope Six Demolition Project PJ Harvey
  • Post Pop Depression Iggy Pop
  • A Moon Shaped Pool Radiohead

amoonshapedpoolWho Should Win?

All of them, honestly – This is easily the tightest race of the night, as random as that is. Choosing between highly acclaimed, highly important records from these 5 huge acts is like splitting hairs.

amoonshapedpoolWho Will Win?

A Moon Shaped Pool – First off, if Bowie walks away with some Rock awards, he’s likely to be sitting this one out. While PJ Harvey and Iggy Pop’s albums without question deserve the award, it’s likely to be a toss up between Bon Iver and Radiohead. The tie breaker really comes down to longevity.

22amillionThe Dark Horse?

22, A Million – If A Moon Shaped Pool doesn’t win, this will. In reality, PJ Harvey is the proper dark horse, but you just can’t count Bon Iver out.

 


BEST R&B PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “Turnin’ Me Up” BJ The Chicago Kid
  • “Permission” Ro James
  • “I Do” Musiq Souldchild
  • “Needed Me” Rihanna
  • “Cranes In The Sky” Solange

aseatWho Should Win?

“Cranes In The Sky” – This year, this category is far more interesting than the Best R&B Song category (awarded to songwriters,) largely due to Solange’s lone-nomination. To be fair, she released A Seat At The Table on the last day of eligibility, but she should have been R&B’s clean-sweep this year.

aseatWho Will Win?

“Cranes In The Sky” – While the rest of her project missed out on the Grammy boat, her subsequent acclaim and popularity should have been enough to entice voters.

neededmeThe Dark Horse?

“Needed Me” – Once again, the Grammys have had a hard time finding Rihanna a place to fit. It’s possible they’re going to give her some focus here.


BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM

Nominees

  • Lemonade Beyoncé
  • Ology Gallant
  • We Are King KING
  • Malibu Anderson .Paak
  • Anti Rihanna

Wlemonadeho Should Win?

Lemonade – Again, this category is far more interesting than Best R&B Album. They’re likely to spread the wealth, and they definitely should, but if you really get down to the nitty-gritty of it, you can’t deny that Lemonade is the best of the lot.

antiWho Will Win?

Anti – Rihanna deserves a proper recognition for her acclaimed album, but she seems jaggedly nominated throughout. I feel like this victory could kind of her consolation prize.

malibumThe Dark Horse?

Malibu – Anderson .Paak is a long-shot for Best New Artist, so this could be where he sees some much-deserved Grammy success.


BEST RAP PERFORMANCE

Nominees

  • “No Problem” Chance The Rapper featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz
  • “Panda” Desiigner
  • “Pop Style” Drake featuring The Throne
  • “All The Way Up” Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infared
  • “THat Part” ScHoolboy Q featuring Kanye West

coloringbookWho Should Win?

“No Problem” – Chance’s track really sticks out from the pack. It was one of the year’s most glorious highlights, and certainly deserves this recognition.

coloringbookWho Will Win?

“No Problem” – It’s really looking like this could be Chance’s year, and with so much competition, this could be his big award.

popstyleThe Dark Horse?

Pop Style” – For sheer star-power alone, this could realistically be the victor.

 


BEST RAP SONG

Nominees

  • “All The Way Up” (Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infared) Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie and Marcello Valenzano
  • “Famous” (Kanye West featuring Rihanna) Chancellor Bennett, Ross Birchard, Ernest Brown, Andrew Dawson, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Kejuan Muchita, Patrick Reynolds, Kanye West, Cydel Young, and Malike  Yusef
  • “Hotline Bling” (Drake) Aubrey Graham and Paul Jefferies
  • “No Problem” (Chance The Rapper featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz) Chancellor Bennett, Dwayne Carter, Rachel Cato, Peter Cottontale, Tauheed Epps, Jonathan Hoard, Cam O’bi, Ivan Rosenberg, Conor Syzmanski, Lakeithsha Williams, and Jamie Woods
  • “Ultralight Beam” (Kanye West featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin, and The-Dream) Chancellor Bennett, Kasseem Dean, Mike Dean, Kirk Franklin, Noah Goldstein, Samuel Griesmer, Terius Nash, Jerome Potter, Kelly Price, Nico “Donna Trumpet” Segal, Derek Watkins, Kanye West, Cydel Young, and Malik Yusef

pabloWho Should Win?

“Ultralight Beam” – This is another particularly stacked category with a few deserving winners. Of them all, Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam,” one of the most critically acclaimed songs of the year, sits above the rest.

hotlineblingWho Will Win?

“Hotline Bling” – So many possible winners… in more ways than one. Not only are most of the songs strong contenders, but look at the sheer number of songwriters. You’d think Kanye’s got the best shot, but it’s actually Chance The Rapper who has 3 out of 5 odds of walking away with a Grammy. Alas, with two (listed) songwriters, it’s probably why Drake has that much better of a shot of winning. Not to mention, it was such an enormous hit and Drake is probably going to see most of his success in the genre-specific categories.

Tpablohe Dark Horse?

“Ultralight Beam” – If the Academy is going to actually get it right, they’ve got to get it really right (…right?)

 


BEST RAP ALBUM

Nominees

  • Coloring Book Chance The Rapper
  • and the Anonymous Nobody… De La Soul
  • Major Key DJ Khaled
  • Views Drake
  • Blank Face LP ScHoolboy Q
  • The Life Of Pablo Kanye West

pabloWho Should Win?

The Life Of Pablo – It is a downright sin that Pablo was snubbed for Album of the Year. At bare minimum, it deserves this award.

pabloWho Will Win?

The Life Of Pablo – The Grammys haven’t always had a…realistic…relationship with hip hop (we’re all still looking at you, Macklemore,) but you have to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re not this detached from reality.

viewsThe Dark Horse?

Views – It’s going to go either way with Drake. They’re either going to make him their hip hop darling, or he’s going to struggle to find footing at all.


BEST COUNTRY SONG

Nominees

  • “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Keith Urban) Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Linsey, and Steven Lee Olsen
  • “Die A Happy Man” (Thomas Rhett) Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett, and Joe Spargur
  • “Humble and Kind” (Tim McGraw) Lori McKenna
  • “My Church” (Maren Morris) busbee and Maren Morris
  • “Vice” (Miranda Lambert) Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne

mychurchWho Should Win?

“My Church” – It’s not often that country songs of this caliber are able to muster up such crossover praise. If the major categories weren’t so crammed, the track could have seen much bigger nominations.

mychurchWho Will Win?

“My Church” – Maren Morris likely won’t win Best New Artist, but she should see some action in her home category. This should be a lock for her.

dieahappymanThe Dark Horse?

“Die A Happy Man” – Because of its pop-crossover appeal, Thomas Rhett could be the surprise victor here.


BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Nominees

  • Big Day In A Small Town Brandy Clark
  • Full Circle Loretta Lynn
  • Hero Maren Morris
  • A Sailor’s Guide To Earth Sturgill Simpson
  • Ripcord Keith Urban

asailorsWho Should Win?

A Sailor’s Guide To Earth – There’s no doubt about this one. Sturgill’s humble and authentic masterwork more than earns this award.

asailorsWho Will Win?

A Sailor’s Guide To Earth – While there have been plenty of major upsets to reference, it still remains unlikely that an Album Of The Year victory is in the cards. It almost automatically secures him this win.

heroThe Dark Horse?

Hero – Should Sturgill Simpson goes home empty handed (or with the Album Of The Year award,) it’ll likely fall into Maren Morris’ lap.

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