Grammys 2017: Are we underestimating Rihanna (‘Anti’) for Album of the Year?

On the eve of the Grammy nominations announcement, our exclusive Grammy odds place Rihanna and her album “Anti” in the eighth spot (with 16/1 odds) for Album of the Year, behind Grammy favorites Adele (“25”), Beyonce (“Lemonade”), Radiohead (“A Moon Shaped Pool”), Drake (“Views”), Ariana Grande (“A Dangerous Woman”), Sia (“This is Acting”) and Bon Iver (“22, A Million”). Are we underestimating her? Sure, there’s some fierce competition in this category, but there are some good arguments for a potential Rihanna surprise.

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“Anti” is Rihanna’s eighth studio album but only her second to hit number-one on the Billboard 200 albums chart (her last effort, “Unapologetic,” was her first). It spawned the number-one mega-hit “Work” (featuring Drake), which itself is sitting within the top five in our odds for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

The Grammys love Rihanna, giving her an impressive 24 nominations to date including a whopping eight wins across various fields and genres. She won her first Grammy back in 2007 for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (“Umbrella” with Jay-Z), plus wins in 2009 (Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Run This Town” with Jay-Z and Kanye West), 2010 (Best Dance Recording for “Only Girl (In the World)”), 2011 (Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “All of the Lights” with Kanye West, Kid Cudi and Fergie), 2012 (Best Short Form Music Video for “We Found Love” with Calvin Harris), 2013 (Best Urban Contemporary Album for “Unapologetic”) and 2014 (Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “The Monster” with Eminem).

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More importantly, Rihanna has surprised us in this category before. Remember, her hit album “Loud” scored a surprise Album of the Year bid in a really competitive field in 2011. Coincidentally Adele ended up winning that year for “21,” and this year the British pop superstar is once again likely to be Rihanna’s main competition for her latest album “25.”

And while 2016 has been a banner year for Beyonce, with her hit album “Lemonade” setting the charts on fire, Rihanna recently upset Queen B at the American Music Awards — twice! — by winning Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album (for “Anti”), not to mention Favorite Soul/R&B Song for “Work,” which Beyonce was not even nominated for.

So look out for Rihanna to crash the party Tuesday and score another nom for Album of the Year. If that happens, watch out Adele and Beyonce.

Make your Grammy predictions now; change them till Dec. 6

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts as often as you like before nominations are announced on Dec. 6.  Just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the Grammy race in our music forum.

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