Can Beyonce and Jay-Z possibly lose this year’s Grammy race for Best R&B Performance? They’re nominated for their collaboration “Drunk in Love” from Beyonce’s self-titled fifth album, and between them they’ve won an astounding 36 Grammys.
But this is their first nomination for R&B Performance, a category that was re-established in 2011. Before that, the recording academy split R&B into races for female, male, duo/group, and urban/alternative performances. During those years, Beyonce won Female R&B Performance twice and R&B Duo/Group four times, including a pair of prizes as a member of Destiny’s Child.
It doesn’t hurt that Beyonce is the only contender in this race who is also nominated in the general field (she’s up for Album of the Year), which indicates strong academy support.
Usher won this category in 2012 for “Climax,” and before that he won Male R&B Performance three times and R&B Duo/Group once. He’s nominated twice this year, for his own song “Good Kisser” and for “New Flame,” his collaboration with Chris Brown and Rick Ross.
Brown’s nomination is his first in this category. He previously earned one bid for Male R&B Performance and one for R&B Duo/Group.
Jennifer Hudson is also a first-time nominee in this race. She contends for “It’s Your World,” featuring R. Kelly. Hudson earned one previous nod for Female R&B Performance and one for R&B Duo/Group, while Kelly earned six Male R&B Performance nominations (including a win for “I Believe I Can Fly”) and two R&B Duo/Group nods.
Ledisi is nominated for “Like This,” which is her third nomination in four years in this category, but she has yet to win it. In fact, along with Rick Ross, she’s the only artist in this race who has yet to win a Grammy in any category. Can she defeat her Goliath competitors?
Who do you think will win? Use our drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions, or click here to make your picks in other top Grammy categories.