Taylor Swift coud make Grammy history if she wins Album of the Year for her blockbuster pop crossover album “1989.” She claimed this top award in 2009 for “Fearless” when she was just 20, the youngest artist ever to do so. If she prevails again, she’ll be the first woman to win twice as a main album artist. (Other women, including Norah Jones and Alison Krauss, have multiple wins in the category as featured artists.)
Swift will have to face off against one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year: Kendrick Lamar‘s “To Pimp a Butterfly,” the follow-up to his equally acclaimed “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,” which was nominated for Album of the Year in 2013. Despite seven nominations that year, Lamar didn’t win any, losing four of those races to hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Will the recording academy make it up to him by giving him the top prize?
Swift may also be up against another version of “1989.” Rocker Ryan Adams recorded covers of her entire album, though he doesn’t have her strong track record for Album of the Year. Would they pick his version over hers? Or might his album even give hers a boost?
Elsewhere in the general field, Hozier and Meghan Trainor have the inside track in this year’s Best New Artist contest. Both were nominated in the general field last year for their songs “Take Me to Church” and “All About That Bass” respectively. However, as they didn’t release their debut albums until the current eligibility period (Oct 1, 2014 to Sept. 30 of this year), both singer-songwriters contend for the new artist award this year.
The awards for Record and Song of the Year could be a rematch between several of last year’s nominees. Swift, who had “Shake it Off” last year, is back with number-one hits “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood.” Trainor followed up “All About That Bass” with “Lips Are Movin’” and “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” And Sia could be back with “Elastic Heart” after her bids last year for “Chandelier.”
They’ll face off against more of the year’s biggest hits, including “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Mars has three previous Record of the Year nominations, while Ronson won as a producer of Amy Winehouse‘s “Rehab” in 2007.
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Photo: Taylor Swift. Credit: REX
Photo: Bruno Mars. Credit: MediaPunch/REX
Photo: Kendrick Lamar. Credit: Richard Isaac/REX