Grammy for Best Pop Album: Will Kelly Clarkson upset Taylor Swift to win for the third time?

kelly clarkson taylor swift grammy best pop vocal album

Because the Album of the Year Grammy honors the best achievements across all genres, it stands to reason that a contender in that race would always win its respective genre category, But that's not always the case. Will this year's Best Pop Vocal Album race end in another surprise?

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Usually, if at least one pop album is nominated for Album of the Year, it wins Best Pop Vocal Album. Consider past victors of this category like Justin Timberlake ("Justified," 2003), John Mayer ("Continuum," 2006), Amy Winehouse ("Back to Black," 2007), the Black Eyed Peas ("The E.N.D," 2009), Lady Gaga ("The Fame Monster," 2010) and Sam Smith ("In the Lonely Hour," 2014). All were nominated for Album of the Year. Other artists in recent years have won both awards, like Norah Jones ("Come Away with Me," 2002), Ray Charles ("Genius Loves Company," 2004) and Adele ("21," 2011).

But there have been significant anomalies. In 2013, for instance, the only pop album nominated for Album of the Year was Sara Bareilles's "The Blessed Unrest," which wasn't even nominated for Best Pop Album. That opened the door for Bruno Mars to prevail for "Unorthodox Jukebox."

In 2012, Kelly Clarkson won for "Stronger" despite going up against Album of the Year-nominated "Some Nights" by Fun. Clarkson pulled off the same upset victory back in 2005, when her "Breakaway" won Pop Album against Album of the Year contender "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." by Gwen Stefani.

So the rest of this year's field should watch out because Clarkson is back with a nomination for her seventh studio album, "Piece By Piece." Can the powerhouse vocalist pull off another upset against an Album of the Year contender?

This year there is just one Album of the Year nominee in the running for Best Pop Album: "1989" by Taylor Swift. History points to a likely win for her, but sporadic upsets over the years — from Clarkson in particular — mean she shouldn't be overconfident.

This is Swift's first nomination in this category because it's her first strictly pop album. She previously earned three nominations for Best Country Album: "Fearless" (2009), "Speak Now" (2011) and "Red" (2013). She won that award for "Fearless," which also prevailed as Album of the Year.

Besides Clarkson, there are two other past winners for Best Pop Album in contention. Veteran James Taylor is nominated for "Before This World," his 17th studio album. But despite a long an illustrious career, Taylor has only won this award once before, for "Hourglass" in 1997.

The other past winner is Mark Ronson, who now contends for "Uptown Special," but his last victory in this race wasn't as an artist. Instead, he won as a producer of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" in 2007.

Florence and the Machine round out the category with "How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful." They're the only nominee who have never won a Grammy, though they were nominated in this category for "Ceremonials" in 2012. This year they're up for four awards overall, which makes them the second most nominated artist in this category behind Swift, who has seven.

Grammy advantage for chart-topping Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars ('Uptown Funk')?

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Kelly Clarkson photo credit: Steve Meddle/ITV/REX

Taylor Swift photo credit: REX

7 thoughts on “Grammy for Best Pop Album: Will Kelly Clarkson upset Taylor Swift to win for the third time?

  1. Taylor Swift has had some very good vocals lately. Her Wildest dreams and Out of the Woods performances at the grammy museum are betting then anything Kelly has screamed out lately. Plus, there is another category. Hopefully, by Kelly being pregnant she’ll stay home and won’t still Taylor’s award. Her album flopped pretty hard, harder then any of her albums so Kelly, I doubt she will win now.

  2. Kelly’s first two wins in this category were understandable. The first was for a huge selling album. The second she had the song she “Stronger” and had performed for the President and the first lady did stan for the song “Stronger”. WIth her current album, she has no hits, no white house support, and practically non existent sales she will not win this time makes no sense.

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