Best Pop Duo/Group Performance isn’t a new category at the Grammys, but starting in 2011 it was combined with Best Pop Collaboration, and since then it has gone to a collaboration — two or more artists who perform a one-off number — every year: “Body and Soul” (Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse, 2011), “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Gotye and Kimbra, 2012), “Get Lucky” (Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, and Nile Rodgers, 2013) and “Say Something” (Christina Aguilera and A Great Big World, 2014). True to form, three of this year’s five nominees are collaborations. Is one of them bound to win?
“Somebody That I Used to Know” and “Get Lucky” both also won Record of the Year, and only one of this year’s Pop Duo/Group contenders is nominated in that top category: “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. That should give the duo an edge, but keep in mind that “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX was nominated in both categories last year, and lost both, so it might not be an insurmountable advantage.
“Uptown Funk” is up against another song that contends in the general field: “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth. Featured in the film “Furious 7,” it’s also up for Song of the Year and Best Visual Media Song. It could even be an Oscar-nominee by the time the Grammys roll around in February.
“Bad Blood” doesn’t compete for Record or Song of the Year, but the artists who recorded it do, and then some. Taylor Swift has seven nominations, including Album of the Year (“1989“) and Record and Song of the Year (“Blank Space“). Featured artist Kendrick Lamar has a whopping 11 total bids, including Album (“To Pimp a Butterfly“) and Song (“Alright“). But the only other nomination for this song is Best Music Video. Can the abundant support for the artists overcome the relatively limited support for this particular song?
Maroon 5 are nominated for “Sugar,” and though collaborations have won this award every year since the categories were combined, we shouldn’t underestimate them here. They have been nominated for this award eight times total, including victories for “This Love” (2005) and “Makes Me Wonder” (2007).
Rounding out the category is “Ship to Wreck” by Florence and the Machine. This is their second nomination in this race, following “Shake it Out” in 2012, but they have yet to win a Grammy in any category. However, they have four chances this year, including Best Pop Album for “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.”
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Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth photo credit: Matt Baron/REX
Adam Levine photo credit: REX