On Friday, the nominations for the Grammys will be announced with a morning announcement for all but one category, Album of the Year, which will be revealed Friday night in a primetime holiday special A Very Grammy Christmas on CBS, featuring performances by Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, and more.
In going with my now-annual tradition, I will make guesses on who will be nominated in each of the “Big 4” categories, Record, Song, Album and Best New Artist. Last year I did just okay. This year I think it will be more challenging because there hasn’t been a lot of buzz to work from, and I’m under the impression the Grammys are moving more toward a mainstream image, which means the ‘Grammy darling’ is becoming a thing of the past. We could very well see Ariana Grande in there more often than needed.
Album of the Year
This category has a lot of contenders but beyond Sam Smith and Beyoncé, the remaining three spots are anyone’s game. Ed Sheeran has been thrown around a bit for the main categories, meanwhile Pharrell’s performance slot leads me to believe he’s a contender as well. That would leave an outsider. Miranda Lambert could be the token country nominee but of course the soundtrack to Frozen was a monster that’s difficult to ignore. Jack White, The Black Keys and Coldplay are worth a mention too. Then you have Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s Cheek To Cheek. Tony was the last artist to win Album of the Year for a traditional jazz album while Gaga has been nominated here 3 times in the last 5 years. Since Artpop will unlikely to it, this one might.
My Predictions: Beyoncé (Beyoncé); Ed Sheeran (X); Pharrell Williams (G I R L); Sam Smith (In The Lonely Hour); Soundtrack (Frozen)
Record of the Year
A lot of focus for this category this year has been what won’t be nominated due to eligibility but would have been sure bets otherwise: Happy by Pharrell and All Of Me by John Legend, although both were submitted as live recordings.
Beyond that, the nominees for this one seem almost straight-forward. Sam Smith, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea, and Idina Menzel. The remaining spot could go to Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainer‘s name has been mentioned often, Lorde‘s Mockingjay Part 1 recording, Coldplay, and Kongos. The Monster by Eminem and Rihanna is also eligible but that feels so old now.
My Predictions: Ariana Grande/Iggy Azalea (Problem); Beyoncé/Jay-Z (Drunk In Love); Idina Menzel (Let It Go); Meghan Trainer (All About That Bass); Sam Smith (Stay With Me)
Song Of The Year
The lines between Song and Record of the year seem to have been blurred more and more recently. The difference between them is that this category is a songwriter’s award while the other is awarded to the artist for the actual recording.
I’m going to repeat the contenders for Record of the Year and add in Coldplay, Sia and Say Something A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera as possibilities. My face won’t be red if we see Jack White or the Black Keys in here either.
My Predictions: A Sky Full Of Stars (Coldplay), Chandelier (Sia), Don’t (Ed Sheeran), Let It Go (Idina Menzel), Stay With Me (Sam Smith)
Best New Artist
Sam Smith and Iggy Azalea pretty much have this on a lock but who else? Aloe Blacc seems like someone the Grammys previously would have liked. The Kongos have been mentioned for some of the Big-4 categories so they seem a sure bet. What about Jhene Aiko, Charli XCX, Tove Lo, Bastille or HAIM? Or even 5 Seconds of Summer and whoever Pentatonix is?
My Predictions: Aloe Blacc, Bastille; Iggy Azalea; Kongos; Sam Smith
I’ll check back after Friday to see how close (or far off) I was.