In the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category‘s twenty-two-year history, 11 wins went to Tony Bennett. Other artists have won only when Bennett was not nominated with one exception — in 2009 Bennett’s album “A Swingin’ Christmas” lost to Michael Buble‘s concert disc “Michael Buble vs Madison Square Garden.” Most people assume Bennett finally lost because no holiday album has ever won this category. After all, Bennett had defeated Buble twice previously in this race.
While Buble has won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album two other times — “Call Me Irresponsible” (2007) and “Crazy Love” (2010) — Bennett was not a nominee either of those years. Last year, his album “Christmas” lost to Paul McCartney‘s “Kisses On The Bottom.” Like Bennett, Buble succumbed to the holiday album jinx.
This year marks the first time Bennett and Buble have squared off since Buble stopped Bennett’s undefeated streak in 2009.
Buble’s “To Be Loved” has four original songs including “It’s A Beautiful Day” and ten covers. Buble’s winning discs in 2007 and 2010 also received corresponding nominations for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Everything” and “Haven’t Met You Yet” respectively. No songs from “To Be Loved” have been recognized in other Grammy fields. However, with the backing of two Experts, three Editors and three-quarters of Users which translates into leading odds of 2/5.
Bennett is Grammy royalty. He has a total of 16 Grammys including wins for Record of the Year for “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” in 1962 and Album of the Year for “MTV Unplugged” in 1994. And he was feted with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
Bennett returns to this race with his third “Duets” disc titled “Viva Duets,” which recycles previously recorded songs from his two previous “Duets” albums with a Latin artist. So, instead of listening to “For Once In My Life” with Stevie Wonder, you can now listen to the same song with Marc Anthony. When Bennett won for each of his first “Duets” albums, he also claimed corresponding wins for Best Pop Collaboration (with Wonder in 2006 and Amy Winehouse in 2011). But “Viva Duets” did not crossover to the Pop Field or receive any other nominations. With the support of one Editor and one quarter of Users, he has odds of 10/3 to make it an even dozen wins in this category.
A pair of five-time Grammy champs are in third and fourth place — Cee Lo Green has odds of 33/1 for “Cee Lo Magic Moments while Dionne Warwick is at 50/1 for “Now” — and three-time Grammy winner Gloria Estefan rounds out the race at 100/1 for “The Standards.”
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