Many awards-watchers were surprised that Justin Bieber earned general-field nominations at the 2017 Grammys: Album of the Year (“Purpose”) and Song of the Year (“Love Yourself”). Few expect him to win the top prize for his album, but what about the song? “Love Yourself” is a kiss-off breakup song like recent winners “Single Ladies” by Beyonce (2010) and “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele (2012), and it was a huge hit, topping Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 singles chart. Plus, Bieber has another advantage: the song was co-written by Ed Sheeran.
Sheeran won Song of the Year just last year for his love ballad “Thinking Out Loud.” Before that his songwriting earned him the first Grammy nomination of his career: Song of the Year for his breakthrough single “The A Team” (2013). Altogether Sheeran has accumulated 11 nominations and two wins, including bids in all four general field categories. He has already been nominated three times for Album of the Year: once for his own album, “X” (2015), and twice as a featured artist on Taylor Swift‘s “Red” (2014) and The Weeknd‘s “Beauty Behind the Madness” (2016).
Suffice it to say the Grammys like Sheeran, so with Bieber making a push for greater artistic cred after spending the early years of his career as a teen-idol and tabloid-target, getting an assist from Sheeran might give him a much needed boost, though it still might be difficult for Bieber to overtake the overwhelming Song of the Year frontrunner, “Hello” by Adele.
Our forum posters are discussing whether Bieber is a potential dark horse; we underestimated him when predicting the nominations, so perhaps we’re underestimating him now as well. Read some of their comments below, and join the discussion.
Final2: “I don’t know what I’d do if Justin Bieber won SOTY while acts Kanye West, Sia and Taylor Swift still sit with much stronger catalogs. That being said, Ed Sheeran is great, but would they really want to give it to him back to back?”
PoweR: “No, I don’t think Ed Sheeran winning last year makes him some sort of Grammy favorite. ‘Love Yourself’ was a huge hit, but it’s not going to win against songs also nominated for Record of the Year.”
Xtina: “‘Love Yourself’ has no chance of winning this category over the brilliant ‘Hello.'”
MusicFan08: “The last six songs that won SOTY were also ROTY nominees. So while I do think ‘Love Yourself’ has an outside shot, this is really a ‘Formation’ vs. ‘Hello’ showdown, with Adele having the edge.”
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