Last year’s Grammys spread the wealth in the general field, with Daft Punk claiming Record (“Get Lucky”) and Album of the Year (“Random Access Memories”), while Lorde took Song of the Year (“Royals”), and hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis claimed Best New Artist. Will this year’s race be as wide-open, or will someone sweep as decisively as Adele in 2011?
The biggest story of the eligibility period, which ends Sept. 30, is Beyonce, who surprised fans by releasing her self-titled fifth album without any advance promotion. The “visual album” included 14 songs and 17 videos and won her critical acclaim (85 on MetaCritic) and three MTV Video Music Awards.
Beyonce is one of the most awarded artists in Grammy history. However, while her staggering 17 trophies land her in the third spot among women — only Alison Krauss (27) and Aretha Franklin (18) have more — she has never won Album of the Year.
Beyonce will have to overcome a slew of young stars who had major career breakthroughs in 2014, including Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, and Sam Smith. But will those hit-makers appeal to Grammy voters, whose tastes tend to skew older?
Perhaps voters will favor relative veterans like Eminem and Beck, who have both earned multiple Album of the Year bids but never won. Neither have legends Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, both of whom have new records up for consideration.
Who do you think will prevail at this year’s Grammys? Start below by making your prediction for Album of the Year using our easy drag-and-drop menu.