At this Sunday’s Grammys, we are predicting that newcomer Sam Smith will win both of his nominations in the pop field. And we expect a music legend, Tony Bennett, to add to his already-crowded mantle.
Below, our forecasts for each of the the four pop categories, ranked in order of the racetrack odds. (Click on each category title to read an in-depth look at that race):
The entertainment business is usually a man’s world, but there’s at least one corner of the industry that women have ruled: the Grammy for Best Solo Pop Vocal. Created in 2011 to combine the previous Male Pop Vocal and Female Pop Vocal categories, the award has gone to a woman every year. Men have represented only six of the 20 total nominees since the award was established. Could newcomer Sam Smith be the first man to prevail?
BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – 5/6
“A Sky Full of Stars,” Coldplay – 10/3
“Dark Horse,” Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – 6/1
“Bang Bang, Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj – 20/1
“Say Something,” A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera – 25/1
Best Pop Duo/Group 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 an artist collaboration every year, including “Somebody That I Used to Know” and “Get Lucky,” which both also won Record of the Year. Only one of this year’s Pop Duo/Group contenders is nominated in that top category: “Fancy,” the summer smash hit by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX. Does that make it the presumptive favorite?
BEST POP ALBUM
“In the Lonely Hour,” Sam Smith – 2/11
“X,” Ed Sheeran – 14/1
“Prism,” Katy Perry – 50/1
“Ghost Stories,” Coldplay – 50/1
“My Everything,” Ariana Grande – 100/1
“Bangerz,” Miley Cyrus – 100/1
This year, there are two Album of the Year nominees in the running for Best Pop Album: “X” by Ed Sheeran and “In the Lonely Hour” by Sam Smith. History indicates a likely win for one of those two, but sporadic upsets over the years mean neither should be overconfident. For instance, in 2012, Kelly Clarkson won for “Stronger” despite going up against Album of the Year-nominated “Some Nights” by Fun..
BEST TRADITIONAL POP ALBUM
“Cheek to Cheek,” Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga – 2/5
“Partners,” Barbra Streisand – 10/3
“Nostalgia,” Annie Lennox – 50/1
“Night Songs,” Barry Manilow – 100/1
“Sending You a Little Christmas,” Johnny Mathis – 100/1
The recording academy has presented the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Performance since 1991, and almost half of those trophies (11 out of 23) have gone to music legend Tony Bennett. This year he’s back with Lady Gaga by his side for their collaboration “Cheek to Cheek.” Are they unstoppable, or can overdue Barbra Streisand finally win this race for “Partners“?
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