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56th Annual Grammy Awards – Pundit Predictions

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  • Gucci
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    #396927

    Should vs. Will: Predicting The 56th Annual Grammy Awards

    The nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy’s are out, and the web seems generally hopeful, while somewhat skeptical, that musical justice will be served.

    By Dan McMahon on December 16, 2013

    For as long as I can remember, the Grammy Awards, presented by The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, has been a huge disappointment to any music fan I’ve encountered attempting to make post-mortem sense of it all. Every year, the list of nominees that is released two months before the event seems to include at least one seemingly worthy candidate per category. Once the statues are handed out though, angry dissenters inevitably take to the internet, feeling cheated that the nation’s true musical taste was misrepresented by The Academy.

    Aside from the simple fact that opinions among the typical Grammy audience differ immensely, there are plenty of reasons why the awards tend to leave a particularly bad taste in our mouths. A brief look at the official explanation the voting process clearly indicates that records submitted for approval, nominated, and eventually chosen as winners are selected strictly by members of the industry elite. This presents a number of problems: 1) Many voting members have a vested financial interest in who wins. 2) These are people who want to sell you music, which certainly doesn’t require any real appreciation for it. 3) These are also the same people responsible for the ongoing destruction of the music industry as we know it.

    Nevertheless, the nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy’s are out, and the web seems generally hopeful, while somewhat skeptical musical justice will be served. I’m pretty sure it won’t for the aforementioned reasons. Although it’s too late to assemble my personal nominees, I thought it might be cathartic (and revealing in retrospect) to preemptively name winners in the four major categories based on purely ARTISTIC MERIT along with predictions for who will actually win and why.

    Record of the Year – Nominees

    “Get Lucky”

    Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams

    “Radioactive”

    Imagine Dragons

    “Royals”

    Lorde

    “Locked Out Of Heaven”

    Bruno Mars

    “Blurred Lines”

    Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell

    SHOULD WIN: “Get Lucky”

    This song was only rivaled by “Blurred Lines” as the quintessential dance track of the summer, just without all the icky misogynist innuendo. It also served as the dawn of Daft Punk’s simultaneous comeback and complete reinvention. Simple instrumentation performed live over Pharrell’seffortlessly catchy falsetto made for a perfectly crafted pop smash. This should be a no-brainer, but…

    WILL WIN: “Royals”

    When I first heard the 16-year-old Kiwi songstress’s “Royals”, I swear on everything holy I thought, ‘Oh she’s kind of like this year’s female Gotye.’ This is before I double checked who took home record of the year last year. Don’t get me wrong. I dig much of Lorde’s debut, Pure Heroine, and think “Royals” is a charmingly offbeat chart topper. Since its release, however, the track’s near-constant airplay seems to be wearing on her audience. It feels like the story of Gotye and “Somebody that I Used to Know,” all over again. While I don’t mourn his downfall punctuated by last year’s Grammy results, I may shed a tear for the loss of Lorde that could be brought about by premature award nods.

    Album of the Year – Nominees

    The Blessed Unrest

    Sara Bareilles

    Random Access Memories

    Daft Punk

    Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

    Kendrick Lamar

    The Heist

    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

    Red

    Taylor Swift

    SHOULD WIN: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

    Kendrick Lamar continued to establish himself as one of the most important new voices in hip-hop this year with a follow-up to 2011’s, Section 80Good Kid exemplifies how a next-level MC can rise from independent obscurity to major league notoriety in a single album cycle, landing a record deal with Dr.Dre’s Aftermath and enlisting a slew of big name featured artists. The resulting LP maintained the socially conscious ultra-real flow of Lamar’s earlier work, but also boasted radio-ready singles like, “The Recipe” and “Poetic Justice”, with an appearance from Drake. Like any great album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City stays true to its genre but also challenges it, replacing Lamar’s socially conscious, expert lyricism with the flash and gaudiness of this year’s lesser rap releases.

    WILL WIN: The Blessed Unrest

    This album has all the red flags of the classic Grammy wildcard WTF winner. Bareilles’ July release has a pleasant enough easy-to-swallow collection of the laid back pop tunes she’s is known for, but how something so…..meh…could be deemed the best of 2013 is a bit of a head scratcher…unless we consider less obvious explanations. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but sometimes I think major labels do quite a bit to ‘save’ albums that may be losing money because of a big budget and poor sales. While The Blessed Unrest did briefly peak at #2 on Billboard’s album charts, its ‘hit’ single, “Brave”, has failed to break #26 on the Hot 100 since its release last May. Do I think the Sony Music Group (parent to Bareilles’ Epic Records) has enough registered Grammy voters to win her Album of the Year and the boost in sales that comes with it? Yes. Yes I do.

     

    Song of the Year – Nominees

    “Just Give Me A Reason”

    Pink Featuring Nate Reuss

    “Locked Out of Heaven”

    Bruno Mars

    “Roar”

    Katy Perry

    “Same Love”

    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Mary Lambert

    SHOULD WIN: “Locked out of Heaven”

    The Song of the Year Grammy is meant to recognize the quality of the winner’s composition, rather than the Record of the Year, which is shared between the people who contributed to the overall product of a track such as engineering, mixing, and so forth. With that in mind, talent-machine Bruno Mars’ “Locked out of Heaven” may be a perfect testament to what a pop song should be. It’s a concise, heart-wrenching ode to longing and love that doesn’t have to be performed by a world-class vocalist like Mars to maintain its quality. Its subject-matter is as universally appealing as its melodic peaks and valleys. Even those normally too pretentious for the top 40 can’t deny it.

    WILL WIN: “Same Love”

    Okay. I like the sentiment and agree with the message. The song is alright. Let’s face facts, though. This song will win because of what has politically transpired this year, and let’s be honest, Macklemore isn’t the most appropriate mouthpiece for this issue being…heterosexual and all. Oh well.

    AUTHOR’S NOTE: Kanye West’s Yeezus and “New Slaves” were foolishly left out of the three categories above. And Miley? Don’t get me started. Shame on you, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 

    Best New Artist – Nominees

    James Blake

    Kendrick Lamar

    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

    Kasey Musgraves

    Ed Sheeran

    SHOULD WIN: James Blake

    Although 25-year-old James Blake is not exactly “new” to music (with two LPs and 5 EPs already under his belt since 2009), neither are most past Best New Artist winners by the time they take home the statue. Blake’s greatest claim to the award may be his ability to meld styles, combining ambient R&B vocals with electronic arrangements inspired by original European dubstep, a far cry from North America’s take on the genre made famous by acts like Skrillex & Deadmau5. Blake’s two full-length records to date are packed with deep, dark insights into a young soul. Most importantly, where many young artists today are cast as superficial and self-promoting, Blake’s music is subtle, understated, and dignified.

    WILL WIN: Ed Sheeran

    Much like my prediction for Album of the Year, Ed Sheeran’s nomination itself is perplexing, which is often an indicator of a likely Grammy Winner. Let’s review. He has released a single album…in 2011. Apparently Elton John and Jamie Foxx liked an early EP of his. He did spend some of this year writing songs for One Direction and appearing on Grammy winner, Taylor Swift’s, insufferably promoted Red. We’ll all scream, “WHY?!” when it happens, but this guy has got it in the bag.

    That rounds out the big four, which typically sets the tone for the rest of the show. We’ll see how this plays out in February. May the best blog win.

     

    http://elementcollective.com/2013/12/should-vs-will-predicting-the-56th-annual-grammy-awards/

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    Gucci
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    #396929

     56th annual Grammy predictions

    By ryan byrd

    culture, current events, music, music you should know, popular culture, recommendations, reviews
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    next month, the recording academy will convene to hand out their annual awards for the best music of the year. between now and that night, we’ll have plenty of time to make predictions, talk about snubs and anticipate the year’s biggest night in music.

    undoubtedly, the grammys receive plenty of well-deserved criticism. for many, the album of the year award going to herbie hancock several years ago was the final straw. for me, it was, inexplicably, taylor swift taking home the top prize. those, along with some other head-scratchers were signs that the academy was becoming more and more irrelevant to discerning music fans.

    nevertheless, the grammys still manage to get it at least close to right the majority of the time, particularly a couple years ago when arcade fire’s the suburbs was the surprise winner of the best album award. (much to the chagrin of some, um, less-informed fans…)

    this year’s list of nominees was announced a few days ago and, all in all, it’s a mixed bag of the aforementioned scenarios. no doubt, there’s still some fluff and head-scratchers, but it continues to shift toward signs of new attitudes and voting values by the members.

    we’ll see if this new trend translates into victories next month. in the meantime, i thought i’d make some predictions, offering my thoughts on surprises and snubs when applicable.

    ——————————————

    Album of the Year
    The Blessed Unrest: Sara Bareilles
    Random Access Memories: Daft Punk
    Good Kid, M.A.A.D City: Kendrick Lamar
    The Heist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Red: Taylor Swift

    snub: kanye’s yeezus might be the biggest snub this year.

    surprises: rap albums don’t find their way into this category very often. i couldn’t get into kendrick lamar’s album, but i’m glad (and surprised) to see it there. also didn’t expect the heist for those reasons.

    really??: taylor swift…

    who i want to win: macklemore & ryan lewis (not as much for the quality of the album, but i’d love to see truly indie guys win.)

    who i think will win: there’s no clear forerunner this year, so i’m going with macklemore & ryan lewis.

    ——————————————

    Record of the Year
    Get Lucky: Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
    Radioactive: Imagine Dragons
    Royals: Lorde
    Locked Out Of Heaven: Bruno Mars
    Blurred Lines: Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell

    snub: justin timberlake’s mirrors and kanye’s new slaves

    surprises: i shouldn’t be surprised, but i didn’t expect blurred lines. tip toes too far on the top 40 side.

    who i want to win: lorde’s royals

    who i think will win: imagine dragons’ radioactive

    ——————————————

    Best New Artist
    James Blake
    Kendrick Lamar
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Kacey Musgraves
    Ed Sheeran

    who i want to win: kendrick lamar

    who i think will win: macklemore & ryan lewis (i’ll probably regret not picking ed sheeran)

    ——————————————

    Song of the Year (a songwriter’s award)
    Just Give Me A Reason (performed by Pink)
    Locked Out Of Heaven (performed by Bruno Mars)
    Roar (performed by Katy Perry)
    Royals (performed by Lorde)
    Same Love (performed by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

    snub: kanye’s new slaves.

    who i want to win: royals or same love

    who i think will win: same love

    ——————————————

    Best Pop Solo Performance
    Brave: Sara Bareilles
    Royals: Lorde
    When I Was Your Man: Bruno Mars
    Roar: Katy Perry
    Mirrors: Justin Timberlake

    who i want to win: justin timberlake

    who i think will win: justin timberlake

    ——————————————

    Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
    Get Lucky: Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
    Just Give Me A Reason: Pink Featuring Nate Ruess
    Stay: Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko
    Blurred Lines: Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell
    Suit & Tie: Justin Timberlake & Jay Z

    who i want to win: justin & jay z

    who i think will win: rhianna & mikky ekko

    ——————————————

    Best Pop Vocal Album
    Paradise: Lana Del Rey
    Pure Heroine: Lorde
    Unorthodox Jukebox: Bruno Mars
    Blurred Lines: Robin Thicke
    The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience: Justin Timberlake

    who i want to win: justin timberlake

    who i think will win: bruno mars

    ——————————————

    Best Rock Performance
    Always Alright: Alabama Shakes
    The Stars (Are Out Tonight): David Bowie
    Radioactive: Imagine Dragons
    Kashmir: Led Zeppelin
    My God Is The Sun: Queens Of The Stone Age
    I’m Shakin’: Jack White

    who i want to win: queens of the stone age

    who i think will win: david bowie (the grammys love the geriatrics… )

    ——————————————

    Best Alternative Music Album
    The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You: Neko Case
    Trouble Will Find Me: The National
    Hesitation Marks: Nine Inch Nails
    Lonerism: Tame Impala
    Modern Vampires Of The City: Vampire Weekend

    who i want to win: vampire weekend

    who i think will win: vampire weekend

    ——————————————

    Best Rap Album
    Nothing Was The Same: Drake
    Magna Carta…Holy Grail: Jay Z
    Good Kid, M.A.A.D City: Kendrick Lamar
    The Heist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Yeezus: Kanye West

    who i want to win: kanye (really anyone but drake)

    who i think will win: kendrick lamar

    ——————————————

    Best Rap Performance
    Started From The Bottom: Drake
    Berzerk: Eminem
    Tom Ford: Jay Z
    Swimming Pools (Drank): Kendrick Lamar
    Thrift Shop: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz

    snub: at least something from yeezus

    who i want to win: jay z

    who i think will win: drake

     

    http://www.beingryanbyrd.com/2013/12/09/consulting-the-crystal-ball-56th-annual-grammy-predictions/

     

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    Gucci
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    #396930

    56th GRAMMY nominations, predictions

     

    The music industry had a huge celebration on Dec. 6 when the nominations for the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards were announced. The nominations were announced via a broadcasted concert in Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre with electric performances from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Katy Perry, and Lorde. The one-hour GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live! was hosted by rapper LL Cool J who is also the host for this year’s actual award ceremony, scheduled to be aired on Jan. 26, 2014.

    This year’s nominees represent a wide variety of music and talent. The biggest award, Album of the Year, contains nominees from four different genres of music.  Legendary rapper Jay Z topped the night with the most nominations, garnering nine nods from his most recent studio album “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” Below are the nominees for the 56th GRAMMY Awards in the General Field category along with projected winners and potential upsets in each category.

    1. Best New Artist

    James Blake

    Kendrick Lamar

    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

    Kacey Musgraves

    Ed Sheeran

    Projected Winner- After the incredible year they have had, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have practically been crowned the winners of this category. All the nominees in this category are incredibly talented, but it will be difficult to dethrone these current kings.

    Potential Upset- Ed Sheeran could possibly sweep in and steal this title. Although he did not win the “Song of the Year” category last year, his debut album “+” contains some GRAMMY material.

     

    2. Record of the Year (for the overall contributors on the song)

    Get Lucky, Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams

    Radioactive, Imagine Dragons

    Royals, Lorde

    Locked out of Heaven, Bruno Mars

    Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams

    Projected Winner- Though the song is packed full of offensive, degrading and misogynist verses, overall, “Blurred Lines” could win this award.  The producer Pharrell Williams mastered this complex track into one smooth song and the Academy cannot dismiss the fact that this song dominated the Hot 100 chart all summer long.

    Possible Upsets- Further proof of Williams’ genius, “Get Lucky” is also a frontrunner for this award.  This song also received some quality airplay over the summer.

     

    3. Song of the Year (for the songwriters and artist(s))

    Just Give Me A Reason, P!nk featuring Nate Ruess

    Locked Out Of Heaven, Bruno Mars

    Roar, Katy Perry

    Royals, Lorde

    Same Love, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert

    Projected Winner- Though this award appears to be a toss up, “Same Love” will most likely grab this title in January. On top of overall performance, the song is written incredibly well. It touches on a current controversy without using stereotypes or clichés.

    Possible Upsets- As displayed in her performance at the nominations concert, Lorde is a fan favorite artists that is also adored by the Academy. “Royals” is not as well written as “Same Love,” but the track is definitely GRAMMY worthy.

     

    4. Album of the Year

    The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles

    Random Access Memories, Daft Punk

    Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,  Kendrick Lamar

    The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

    Red, Taylor Swift

    Projected Winner- Once again, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are in a great position to win this award. “The Heist” erupted out of nowhere after its release, sending the duo from the Seattle music scene to headlining shows at the Staples Center. The magnitude of this album is immense and hardly any of the other nominated albums have a chance at stealing the title from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

    Possible Upset- Though not as popular as Taylor Swift’s “Red,” the album dropped this year by pop songstress Sara Bareilles could be handed this title from the Academy. “The Blessed Unrest” has been critically acclaimed since its release and the leading single “Brave” is an anthem that cannot be dismissed.

     

    http://www.bulldogbulletinonline.com/ae/2013/12/18/56th-grammy-nominations-predictions/#sthash.4NLnJoNo.dpuf

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    Gucci
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    #396931

    Highbrow Hip Hop’s Grammy Predictions: Rap Categories 2014

     

    Update: We’ve updated this post with the official nominees and our updated Grammy predictions for the rap categories

    Every year the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences hosts the Grammy Awards to celebrate the best of the best in music from the past year. The awards ceremony will be taking place on January 26th, 2014 at the Staples Center in LA, and the nominees will be officially announced on December 6th. Any music released between October 1st 2012 and September 30th 2013 can be nominated for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, and with 2013 being one of the best years for hip hop music in recent history, speculation about the 2014 Grammy Awards is already heavy.

    Highbrow Hip Hop is breaking down the Grammy Award’s Rap categories to give our predictions for who will be nominated, who will win and who SHOULD win the trophies in January. There are a bunch of different categories at the Grammy Awards, but obviously we’re only interested in the important ones: Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album. There are a ton of eligible songs and albums that came out in the past year, but only the very best will be nominated at the Grammys.

    Here are our Grammy Predictions for the Rap categories in 2014:

    Best Rap Album:

    Nominees:

    Kanye West – Yeezus
    Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
    Drake – Nothing Was The Same
    Jay Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist

    Who will win: Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, as it should. GKMC was a groundbreaking hip hop classic and has launched Kendrick Lamar right to the forefront of the hip hop industry. Side note, I’m just going to put it out there: if The Heist wins, I’m boycotting the Grammys forever.

    Best Rap Performance:

    This award is essentially the “best rap song” of the year, but it doesn’t rely on the songwriting/lyrics in the way that the Best Rap Song category does.

    Nominees:

    Drake – Started From The Bottom
    Eminem – Berzerk
    Jay Z -Tom Ford
    Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop

    Who will win:  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop will win. Again, I think Kendrick should win for Swimming Pools (Drank); it stands out among the list of nominees as the most unique-sounding rap song, and it hasn’t lost its replay value in the 1+ year that it has been out.

    Best Rap Song:

    Nominees:

    A$AP Rocky feat. 2 Chainz, Drake & Kendrick Lamar – Fuckin’ Problem
    Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake – Holy Grail
    Kanye West – New Slaves
    Drake – Started From The Bottom
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thriftshop

    Who will win: This one is a tight race. I think New Slaves is the best-written song of all the nominees, and the Best Rap Song category IS dedicated to songwriting. I think Kanye’s biggest competition in this category would be Jay Z’s Holy Grail, or, regrettably, Thriftshop. I’ll put my money on New Slaves.

    Best Rap-Sung Collaboration:

    Nominees:

    J. Cole feat. Miguel – Power Trip
    Jay Z feat. Beyoncé – Part II (On The Run)
    Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake – Holy Grail
    Kendrick Lamar feat. Mary J Blige – Now or Never
    Wiz Khalifa feat. The Weekend – Remember You

    Who will win: This one is pretty clear-cut: Jay Z and Justin Timberlake will win for Holy Grail. It was one of the biggest songs on the radio this year, and the Grammy voters LOVE both Hov and Justin (though Justin was actually snubbed this year for the most part). Personally, I think J. Cole’s Power Trip with Miguel is a better rap/sung collaboration, so that’s who I think SHOULD win, but I’ve got to be realistic.

    Other than the Rap Categories, I think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will beat out Kendrick Lamar in the Best New Artist category, I don’t think either of them will win Album Of The Year (but you better believe my fingers are crossed for good kid, m.A.A.d city!).

     

    http://highbrowhiphop.com/grammy-predictions-rap-2014/

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    Gucci
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    #396932

    Grammy Predictions: The Big Four Categories

    Lorde’s “Royals,” which logged nine weeks at #1 last fall, is the frontrunner to win Grammys for both Record and Song of the Year. Lorde, 17, would become the youngest winner ever in both of these categories.

     

    The last three newcomers to take home both Record and Song of the Year (Christopher Cross, Norah Jones and Amy Winehouse) also won as Best New Artist. But Lorde, inexplicably, wasn’t nominated for that award. With Lorde out of contention, Best New Artist will probably go to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The Seattle-based duo would become the third hip-hop act to win in that category, following Arrested Development and Lauryn Hill. 

    Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” and Taylor Swift’s “Red” are locked in a tight race for Album of the Year. “Random Access Memories” has a slight edge. It would be the second dance music album to win. The first was Bee Gees’ “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, which won for 1978.

    Here’s a closer look at the Big Four categories.

     

    Record of the Year

     

    Lorde’s “Royals” and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” are the leading candidates. “Royals” has the classy, adult-alternative sound of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep,” which took the award two years ago. “Radioactive” has the broad pop-rock appeal of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” which won four years ago.

    A third nominee, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell, was the year’s #1 best-seller. Pharrell Williams is also featured on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” This marks the first time that an artist has been credited on two nominees in this category in the same year. (The Recording Academy also gave Nile Rodgers a featured credit on “Get Lucky,” even though he didn’t have one on the single.)

    Bruno Mars’s “Locked Out Of Heaven,” which echoes the Police’s pop-reggae sound, is the fifth nominee.

     

    Album of the Year

     

    Here are two reasons that Daft Punk may have an edge here: The duo is this year’s only act to receive nominations for both Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Also, “Random Access Memories” is the only Album of the Year finalist that was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

    Swift won four years ago for “Fearless.” If she wins again this year, she’ll become the youngest artist to win two Album of the Year awards. She’ll be 24 and one month old on Grammy night (Jan. 26). Stevie Wonder was 24 and nine months old in March 1975 when he won his second Album of the Year award for “Fulfillingness’ First Finale.”

    Two other finalists, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “The Heist” and Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” will probably split the hip-hop vote.

    The fifth nominee, Sara Bareilles’s “The Blessed Unrest,” was lucky just to be nominated.

     

    Song of the Year

     

    Lorde co-wrote “Royals” with Joel Little. Their strongest rival is the break-up ballad “Just Give Me A Reason,” which P!nk and Nate Ruess co-wrote with Jeff Bhasker.

    Many voters will be drawn to “Same Love,” a poignant call for gay marriage equality. It was written by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert.

    Also nominated: Bruno Mars’s “Locked Out Of Heaven” (which he co-wrote with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine) and Katy Perry’s inspirational “Roar” (which she co-wrote with Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee and Henry Walter).

     

    Best New Artist

     

    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, which is nominated in two other Big Four categories, has an edge here. Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran are or were nominated in one other Big Four category. (Sheeran was nominated for Song of the Year last year for “The A Team.”)

    The other finalists, Kacey Musgraves and James Blake, aren’t nominated in any other Big Four categories.

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    Gucci
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    #396933

    Grammy Predictions: The Pop & Dance Categories

    Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience—The Complete Experience” was inexplicably passed over for an Album of the Year nomination, but Timberlake will probably take home a nice consolation prize—Best Pop Vocal Album. It would be Timberlake’s second victory in the category. He previously won with his 2003 solo debut album, “Justified.” A second win would put him in a tie with Kelly Clarkson for the most wins since the category was introduced in 1994. The other nominees are Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox,” Lana Del Rey’s “Paradise,” Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” 

     

     

    Timberlake is nominated in two other categories in the pop field, but probably won’t win either one. “Mirrors” is nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance, but will probably lose to Lorde’s “Royals.” It’s the front-runner to win for both Record and Song of the Year.

     

    Bruno Mars’s plaintive “When I Was Your Man” is also a strong contender. The other nominees are Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” and Katy Perry’s “Roar.”

     

    “Suit & Tie,” a snazzy Timberlake/Jay Z collaboration, is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, but will probably lose to “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess. The other three nominees are also collaborations: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers and “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko.

     

     

    Herb Alpert’s “Steppin’ Out” is the front-runner to win for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Alpert has been a Grammy favorite since 1965, when the zesty Tijuana Brass hit “A Taste Of Honey” took Record of the Year. The other nominees are Boney James’ “The Beat,” Earl Klugh’s “Handpicked,” Jeff Lorber Fusion’s “Hacienda” and “Summer Horns” by Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot.

     

     

    As the front-runner to win for Album of the Year, Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” is a lock to win for Best Dance/Electronica Album. It will be the duo’s second win in the category, tying The Chemical Brothers and Skrillex for the most wins since the category was added in 2004. The other nominees are Disclosure’s “Settle,” Calvin Harris’ “18 Months,” Kaskade’s “Atmosphere” and Pretty Lights’ “A Color Map Of The Sun.”

     

     

    Daft Punk’s smash “Get Lucky” was slotted in the pop field, which clears the way for “Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch to win for Best Dance Recording. The other nominees are Kaskade’s “Atmosphere” and three collaborations: “Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes, “Need U (100%)” by Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK and “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie.

     

     

    Tony Bennett and Michael Buble are locked in a tight race for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. They are the two most frequent winners since the category was introduced in 1991. Bennett has won 11 times; Buble, three times. Buble beat Bennett four years ago when his live album beat a Bennett Christmas album. This time around, Buble is competing with “To Be Loved,” a chart-topping studio album; Bennett with “Viva Duets,” his third collection of duets (this time featuring Latin music stars). It will be close, but I’ll put my money on Buble.

     

    Gloria Estefan, who is among the Latin music stars featured on Bennett’s album, is competing with an album of her own, “The Standards.” The other nominees are Cee Lo Green’s “Cee Lo’s Magic Moment” and Dionne Warwick’s “Now.”

    http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/music-news/grammy-predictions-pop-dance-categories-193843625.html

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    #396934

    Grammy Predictions: The R&B Categories

     

    Tamar Braxton, the younger sister of Toni Braxton, is nominated for three Grammys in the R&B field this year. She’s the front-runner in two of those categories: Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for her hit “Love And War.” Toni Braxton took home two Grammys in both 1994 and 1997, and has won six in all.

     

    Tamar Braxton co-wrote “Love And War” with Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels and Makeba Riddick. The other nominees for Best R&B Song are Anthony Hamilton’s “Best Of Me” (which he co-wrote with Jairus Mozee), PJ Morton’s “Only One,” Justin Timberlake’s “Pusher Love Girl” (which he co-wrote with James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon & Timothy Mosley) and Fantasia’s “Without Me” (which she co-wrote with Missy Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart). 

    “How Many Drinks?” by Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar is Braxton’s strongest competition for Best R&B Performance. The track is from Miguel’s “Kaleidoscope Dream,” which was nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album last year. Lamar is nominated for seven Grammys this year, including Album of the Year. Miguel and Lamar were both big winners at the BET Awards in June. Miguel was named Best Male R&B Artist; Lamar won as Best Male Hip-Hop Artist.

    The other nominees for Best R&B Performance are Anthony Hamilton’s “Best Of Me,” “Nakamarra” by Hiatus Kaiyote featuring Q-Tip and a cover of Lalah Hathaway’s “Something” by Snarky Puppy with a guest turn by Hathaway.

     

    Braxton’s “Love And War” album is nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album, but the award will probably go to Rihanna’s “Unapologetic.” The album was Rihanna’s first to reach #1 on The Billboard 200. Rihanna was crowned Best Female R&B Artist at the BET Awards.

     

    The other nominees are Fantasia’s “Side Effects Of You,” Salaam Remi’s “One: In The Chamber” and Mack Wilds’s “New York: A Love Story.”

     

    Alicia Keys is likely to become the first artist to take home a Grammy for Best R&B Album three times. Keys is nominated for “Girl On Fire,” which entered The Billboard 200 at #1 and spawned a big hit in the title track. Keys took the award for her first two albums, “Songs In A Minor” and “The Diary Of Alicia Keys.”

     

    Or, though it’s less likely, John Legend could be headed for his third win in the category. Legend is nominated for “Love In The Future.” He previously won for “Get Lifted” and “Wake Up!,” his 2010 collaboration with The Roots.

    The other nominees in the category are Faith Evans’ “R&B Divas,” Chrisette Michele’s “Better” and TGT’s “Three Kings.” (That all-star trio consists of Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank).

    (For the record, Beyonce won in a related category, Best Contemporary R&B Album, three times. That category has since been discontinued.)

     

    Gary Clark Jr.’s “Please Come Home” is the front-runner for Best Traditional R&B Performance. It’s from Clark’s first major-label studio album, “Blak And Blu,” which touches on a wide variety of traditionally black genres. The other nominees are Fantasia’s “Get It Right,” Maysa’s “Quiet Fire,” Gregory Porter’s “Hey Laura” and Ryan Shaw’s cover of the Beatles’ “Yesterday.”

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    #396935

    Grammy Predictions: The Rap Categories

    Jay Z, who has already won 17 Grammys, is likely to win two more in the rap field this year for “Holy Grail,” his smash collaboration with Justin Timberlake. That would edge him closer to Kanye West, who has won 21 Grammys, the most by any rap artist.

     

    “Holy Grail” is the front-runner to win both Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song. The smash contains elements of Nirvana’s 1991 grunge classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which is an unlikely song to find in a hip-hop hit. Grammy voters are attracted to that kind of genre blending.

    This year’s other Rap/Sung Collaboration nominees are “Power Trip” by J. Cole featuring Miguel, “Part II (On The Run)” by Jay Z featuring Beyonce, “Now Or Never” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige and “Remember You” by Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd. 

    Jay Z and Timberlake co-wrote “Holy Grail” with Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Ernest Wilson. The other Rap Song nominees are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop,” A$AP Rocky’s “F***in’ Problems” (which he co-wrote with Drake, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar & Noah Shebib), Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” (which he co-wrote with W. Coleman and Shebib) and Kanye West’s “New Slaves” (which he co-wrote with 12 collaborators, which may well constitute a Grammy record).

     

    “New Slaves” and “Started From The Bottom” also contain elements of old songs. Per Grammy rules, the writers of the old songs aren’t nominated.

     

     

    Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” and “The Monster,” his smash collabo with Rihanna, were released too late for this year’s eligibility, but Eminem is nominated for Best Rap Performance for “Berzerk.” The hit has a slight edge over “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz. This would be Eminem’s 14th Grammy. He’s third among rappers with the most Grammys, behind West and Jay Z.

     

    The other nominees in this very tight race are Drake’s “Started From The Bottom,” Jay Z’s “Tom Ford” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools (Drank).”

    Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “The Heist” are the leading candidates for Best Rap Album. Both albums are nominated for Album of the Year. Both acts are nominated for Best New Artist.

     

    All voters are eligible to vote in the “Big Four” categories, which gives Macklemore an edge over Lamar for Best New Artist. But only dedicated rap fans vote in the Rap Field. That may work to Lamar’s advantage here. Some rap fans see Macklemore as more of a pop act.

    Three past winners for Best Rap Album round out the category this year: Kanye West, a four-time category champ; Jay Z, who won the award for 1998; and Drake, who won last year. They are nominated this year for “Yeezus,” “Magna Carta…Holy Grail” and “Nothing Was The Same,” respectively.

    If “Yeezus” pulls an upset and wins for Best Rap Album, West will tie Eminem for the most wins in the history of the category (five). West’s album placed second on Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 best albums of 2013.

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    #396936

    The GRAMMY Awards are just a few days away — taking place this Sunday night (Jan. 26) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles — which means it’s time to at long last finalize our predictions for the top prizes. At Billboard.com, we obsess over guessing which artists will win the four major categories as much as all music fans. So after several days of jovial (and sometimes not-so-jovial) debate, we have collectively come up with a list of not only who we think will win the big four awards — album of the year, best new artist, song of the year, and record of the year — but who we think is most deserving of the honor. As always, this was no easy task. Check out our GRAMMY picks below (text by Jason Lipshutz):

    Record of the Year
    Will Win: “Get Lucky” – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers Should Win: “Get Lucky” – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
    <a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/7717744/”>Shakira, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce: Whose New Single Is Best?</a>Daft Punk’s comeback is one of the feel-good music stories of 2013: a pair of electronica geniuses striding back into view at the crest of the EDM wave, releasing an album that’s as daring as it is reverent to its dusty inspirations. But the return of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo would not have resonated nearly as well without “Get Lucky,” a song that’s seemingly impossible to dislike after one or one hundred listens. The record of the year competition is particularly stiff this year, with Lorde’s snapping beats up against Imagine Dragons’ apocalyptic howl, and with Bruno Mars and Robin Thicke trying to out-suave each other. Yet no song this year had a fuller sound than “Get Lucky,” with Nile Rodgers’ careening guitar licks, Pharrell Williams’ seductive poses and Daft Punk’s robo-breakdown coalescing into a lovable jam. “Get Lucky” is a bulletproof record, and we think the GRAMMYs honor that precision. 
    RECORD OF THE YEAR: BILLBOARD’S GRAMMY PREVIEW
    Album of the Year
    Will Win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “The Heist” Should Win: Kendrick Lamar, “good kid, m.A.A.d city”
    The GRAMMY Awards have always hesitated at giving the top album prize to a rap album — ask Kanye West or Eminem, who are a combined 0-for-6 in this category. “The Heist” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is the perfect submission to win the first hip-hop album of the year since Outkast’s “Speakerboxx/The Love Below” — another album full of year-defining hits by a pair of personalities who are outlandish, thoughtful and largely inoffensive — exactly a decade ago. Although “The Heist” (like Taylor Swift’s “Red,” Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” and Sara Bareilles’ “The Blessed Unrest”) is an album with enumerable highlights, Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” as a complete work, is a watershed release for the genre. From the chest-thumping braggadocio of “Backseat Freestyle” to the harrowing realism of “m.A.A.d city” to the vacant sorrow of “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst,” Lamar’s proper debut presents new revelations with each listen, and established its creator as hip-hop’s next great hope. Even the Möbius-strip concept of the album’s track sequencing is fantastic! King Kendrick deserves to be crowned here.
    ALBUM OF THE YEAR: BILLBOARD’S GRAMMY PREVIEW
    Song of the Year
    Will Win: “Royals” – Lorde Should Win: “Same Love” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert
    The songwriting award can go in wildly different directions this year: voters could recognize the effortlessness of P!nk’s he-said-she-said quarrel, reward the swagger of Mars’ and Katy Perry’s pop jams, tout the consciousness of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ gay rights anthem, or nod toward the perceptiveness of Lorde’s rejection of riches. With nominations in song of the year and record of the year, “Royals” is the type of stunningly unique hit single that inarguably works because of its songwriting — and what sharp writing that song possesses thanks to a 16-year-old singer and her producer, Joel Little. “Same Love” pulls off something even trickier, though: it’s a pro-gay rap song from a rookie MC, fresh-faced producer and an mostly-unknown vocalist, all of whom chisel a rallying cry down into a series of personal moments and reflections. It’s a capital-I Important song that manages to say something simply without ever becoming saccharine. “Royals” is a great song, but “Same Love” deserves this award.
    SONG OF THE YEAR: BILLBOARD’S GRAMMY PREVIEW
    Best New Artist
    Will Win: Ed Sheeran Should Win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

    For those who are writing off left-field nominees like Kacey Musgraves and James Blake in the best new artist category: never forget that Esperanza Spalding trumped Justin Bieber in 2011, and that Bon Iver topped Nicki Minaj one year later. This is a category where commercial success is hardly a golden ticket, so those considering Macklemore & Ryan Lewis as a lock should shake off that notion. Instead, look for Ed Sheeran to be tiptoeing to the stage on GRAMMY night: having already snagged a song of the year nomination for “The A Team” last year, the U.K. folk artist has the type of distinctive style and wide-eyed promise that GRAMMY voters love to herald in this category. Still… what more do Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have to do to win this award? The rapper-producer pair reached an unthinkable creative and commercial apex on their first attempt, scoring ubiquitous hits and starting necessary conversations on their own terms. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis defined the past year in music as a new artist, and that should certainly be rewarded come GRAMMY night.

    http://www.billboard.com/articles/events/grammys-2014/5877862/grammys-predictions-who-will-should-win-the-2014-awards

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    #396937

    2014 Grammys Predictions: Who Will Win?

    Justin Timberlake, Lorde, Kanye West

    The 56th Annual Grammy Awards (Sunday, 8/7c, CBS) features an impressive number of A-listers competing for music’s top honors, but they might need to watch out. There’s a fierce group of new contenders nipping at their heels. So can Kendrick Lamar beat Kanye West? Will Lorde continue her “Royals” reign? Check out our predictions below and tell us your picks for the big prizes.

    See the 2014 Grammy nominees

    Record of the Year
    Will win:
     “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams
    Daft Punk had an incredible comeback this year, riding the EDM trend right to the top but also adding their own retro flair.
    Watch out for: “Royals,” Lorde
    Though the song has been criticized for its alleged racist undertones, “Royals” is generally applauded as a clever critique of consumption. It’s possible voters will want to pat Lorde — and themselves — on the back for being above such things as good teeth, Grey Goose and trippin’ in the bathroom.

    Album of the Year
    Will win:
     The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    The Grammys are typically hesitant to give Album of the Year to a rap album (only Lauryn Hill‘s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and OutKast‘s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below have won), which makes Kendrick Lamar’s deserved win unlikely. But The Heist has enough cross-genre appeal and cultural cache to make it.
    Watch out for:
     The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles
    Many were surprised when Bareilles was even nominated, but the singer’s underrated record could result in a major upset. Plus: She could also pull votes away from Taylor Swift’s Red, who would be only the fourth female artist to win the award twice following Hill, Norah Jones and Alison Krauss.

    Song of the Year
    Will win: 
    “Royals,” Lorde
    While the 17-year-old has killer vocals, what really made “Royals” such a hit is its smart lyrics — and this category rewards the songwriters. Should Lorde, who co-wrote the tune, win any of her four nominations, she would be the third youngest Grammy winner ever after 14-year-old champs LeAnn Rimes and Luis Miguel.
    Watch out for:
     “Same Love,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Social message songs have a mixed record at the Grammys, but there’s a chance this pro-equality song can make it to the top.

    Look back at the best and worst performances from the 2013 Grammys

    Best New Artist
    Will win:
     Kacey Musgraves
    The Grammys have a history of rewarding solo female artists in this category (half of its 48 awards have gone to the single ladies). And since Lorde was oddly snubbed, country star Musgraves might surprise everyone by taking home the honor.
    Watch out for:
     Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    The duo has major mainstream appeal and ruled both the radio and Grammy nominations — they have seven nods — this year. But overexposure could hurt them.

    Best Pop Vocal Album
    Will win:
     Pure Heroine, Lorde
    Lorde’s debut has earned her favorable comparisons to Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, which won this honor in 2012. It’s likely the Kiwi import will follow in the Brit’s footsteps.
    Watch out for:
     The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake
    Timberlake’s comeback was a major letdown for most, but the performer still has enough good will going for him to possibly earn a win. He would join Kelly Clarkson as the category’s only two-time victors.

    Best Pop Solo Performance
    Will win:
     “Mirrors,” Justin Timberlake
    “Mirrors” is the best thing to come out of Timberlake’s never-ending 20/20 Experience and it’s hard to imagine JT, a six-time winner and seven-time nominee this year, going home empty-handed.
    Watch out for:
     “Royals,” Lorde
    “Royals” turned a New Zealand unknown into a bonafide pop star, and there seems to be no stopping this song.

    Best Rap Album
    Will win:
     Yeezus, Kanye West
    The fact that Yeezus wasn’t nominated for Album of the Year is a travesty. Hopefully, Kanye can settle for a Best Rap Album win. He would tie Eminem with a record-setting five wins in the category.
    Watch out for:
     Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Kendrick Lamar
    The high-profile names he’s up against may prove insurmountable, but Lamar’s been building fairly strong buzz of his own.

    Best Rap Performance
    Will win:
     “Swimming Pools (Drank),” Kendrick Lamar
    With seven nominations this year, Lamar is not to be ignored. He also boasts strong support from the hip-hop community, which has earned 40 Grammy nominations (and 13 wins) over the past two years.
    Watch out for: “Started from the Bottom,” Drake
    Drake has had a solid year and it’s possible the Grammys will throw him a bone in this category.  After months of countless pop culture references to this catchy anthem, the ubiquitous nature of the record could also work in his favor.

    Best Country Album
    Will win:
     Same Trailer, Different Park, Kacey Musgraves
    Musgraves is giving T. Swift a run for her money when it comes to being country’s young darling, especially since Swift has been abandoning her roots as of late in favor of more pop-influenced tracks.
    Watch out for: Red, Taylor Swift
    History teaches us to never count Swift out at an awards show. Prepare for Surprise Face No. 35738.

    Best Rock Album
    Will win:
     The Next Day, David Bowie
    The Grammys has its pick of the godfathers of rock in this category between Bowie, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young, so the Kings of Leon or Queens of the Stone Age could sneak through if the vote splits. But we’ll tip to Bowie, who has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence this year, even appearing on Arcade Fire‘s album. 
    Watch out for: Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young with Crazy Horse
    The Grammys have warmed up to Young in recent years, giving the singer his first solo award in 2010. And it might be lucky No. 7 for the rocker too: Young holds the record for the most losses (six) without a win in this category.

    The Grammy Awards airs Sunday at 8/7c on CBS. Who do you think will win?

    http://www.tvguide.com/News/Grammys-Predictions-2014-1076495.aspx

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    #396938

    RECORD OF THE YEAR

    Nominees: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers; “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons; “Royals,” Lorde; “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars; “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams.

    Who Will Win: Lorde. By a bare, microscopic hair over “Get Lucky.” “Royals” — still on the radio all day, every day — has proven itself longer-legged even than the mighty “Get Lucky,” while “Blurred Lines” and “Locked Out of Heaven” got old fast. Imagine Dragons don’t stand a hope in hell.

    Who Should Win: Daft Punk. I’ve never seen such a broad cross-section of friends and peers reduced to jelly by a tune upon arrival.

    The Dark Horse: “Locked Out of Heaven.” It’s a Police ripoff, but the Grammys have shown a weakness for Bruno Mars in the past.

    ALBUM OF THE YEAR

    Nominees:The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles; Random Access Memories, Daft Punk; Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, Kendrick Lamar; The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Red, Taylor Swift.

    Who Will Win: Taylor Swift. She’s scooped up a bunch of Grammy trophies in the past and is the “safe” choice. Kendrick and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will divide the hip-hop vote and the Daft Punk album is kinda dull on the whole, “Get Lucky” and its production values notwithstanding.

    Who Should Win: Kendrick Lamar. Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is the most assured and fully realized hip-hop debut to come along in years. Lamar has a voice and something to say.

    The Dark Horse: Daft Punk. But I don’t think it likely. You know how Americans are with the French.

    <a class=”noscript” href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/7742503/”>View on Poll Daddy</a>

    SONG OF THE YEAR

    Nominees: “Just Give Me a Reason,” Pink featuring Nate Ruess(songwriters: Jeff Bhasker, Pink and Nate Ruess); “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars (songwriters: Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine and Bruno Mars); “Roar,” Katy Perry (songwriters: Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry and Henry Walter); “Royals,” Lorde (songwriters: Joel Little and Ella Yelich O’Connor); “Same Love,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (songwriters: Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert and Ryan Lewis).

    Who Will Win: “Royals.” My gut tells me Lorde’s going to get a lot of love this year, and this is a quality tune — reasonably original and au courant but brimming with Grammy-friendly popular appeal.

    Who Should Win: Lorde. It’s the freshest and coolest tune in this field.

    The Dark Horse: “Roar.” It’s huge and the mainstream music industry needs pop stars like Perry to justify its continued existence.

    BEST NEW ARTIST

    Nominees: James Blake; Kendrick Lamar; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Kacey Musgraves; Ed Sheeran.

    Who Will Win: Kacey Musgraves. Blake and Sheeran are too British, Kendrick and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will once again split the hip-hop vote, and the Grammys love — read: loooooove — a sassy heartland sweetie. Look out, Taylor Swift.

    Who Should Win: Kendrick Lamar. An original, intelligent voice with a strong historical hip-hop foundation and the support of Dr. Dre.

    The Dark Horse: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. They’re up for seven awards and they’re totally likeable.

    BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

    Nominees:Paradise, Lana Del Rey; Pure Heroine, Lorde; Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno Mars; Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke; The 20/20 Experience — The Complete Experience, Justin Timberlake.

    Who Will Win: This is gonna boil down to a Mars vs. Timberlake battle, methinks, but Timbo should prevail on the strength of sheer audacity — two albums and 140 minutes’ worth of epic R&B jams — and the fact that he’s the biggest-selling artist of 2014.

    Who Should Win: Timberlake. There’s a lot of fat to trim on the two 20/20 discs but he’s had a monster comeback year.

    The Dark Horse: Lorde. The album’s a bit same-y on the whole, but it’s brought a welcome whiff of the 21st-century electro-pop zeitgeist to the charts.

    BEST ROCK ALBUM

    Nominees:13, Black Sabbath; The Next Day, David Bowie; Mechanical Bull, Kings of Leon; Celebration Day, Led Zeppelin; …Like Clockwork, Queens of the Stone Age; Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

    Who Will Win: I have faith, since Queens of the Stone Age have now actually been invited to close the Grammy broadcast, that …Like Clockwork — the legitimate “Best Rock Album” of 2013 — will prevail in this category. Careerist Kings of Leon crashed through the gates of “dreadful” a couple of albums ago, while oldster nominees Black Sabbath, David Bowie and Neil Young are tuned-in enough that they’d likely surrender this one to Queens if asked. Fingers crossed.

    Who Should Win: Queens of the Stone Age. No one else unites the rock tribes — be they “classic,” “modern,” “indie,” “prog” or “stoner” — the way QOTSA does, and …Like Clockwork does it at least as well, maybe better, than 2002’s landmark Songs for the Deaf.

    The Dark Horse: David Bowie. The Grammys gave Bowie a lifetime-achievement award in 2006, but it’s never too late to compensate for mostly ignoring him for the past half-century.

    BEST RAP ALBUM

    Nominees:Nothing Was the Same, Drake; Magna Carta … Holy Grail, Jay Z; Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, Kendrick Lamar; The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Yeezus, Kanye West.

    Who Will Win: Kendrick Lamar. For all the ego and accomplishment represented on this list, the kid from Compton is probably the one artist to whom all the other nominees would — at least privately — concede victory.

    Who Should Win: Kendrick Lamar. Drake’s navel-gazing is still intriguing, Macklemore & Lewis are rogue hitmakers and Yeezus is a textbook “statement.” Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is a proper album album, though, and a commercial and critical hit.

    The Dark Horse: Kanye. Yeezus is just barely a hip-hop record but it might have frightened enough of the jury into submission.

    BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

    Nominees:The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, Neko Case; Trouble Will Find Me, the National; Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails; Lonerism, Tame Impala; Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend.

    Who Will Win: The National. Unlike the alienatingly prissy Vampire Weekend, they’ve become really, really good at planting themselves in the same (sort of) unintentionally populist middle ground between “arty” and “anthemic” as the Arcade Fire, and sold a boatload of records doing it. The long-lived band’s first Grammy nomination will likely be the one to open the door.

    Who Should Win: Neko Case. The Worse Things Get… is the most naked and real and devastating thing she’s ever done. Pure talent, long beyond hype.

    The Dark Horse: Nine Inch Nails. Resurrected, refurbished with new members and remade in contemporary electronic-music colours after a short hiatus, Trent Reznor’s influential industrial-pop outfit was the epitome of late-career quality control on Hesitation Marks.

    http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2014/01/24/grammy_predictions_2014_who_will_win_who_should_win.html

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    #396939

    2014 Grammy Awards: Predictions and Proclamations
                                

    On Sunday night, the 56th Annual Grammy Awards will air on CBS. Yesterday we listed what we think the most compelling stories to come out of this year’s ceremony will be, and today we’re back with all of our predictions and proclamations.

    Check out our picks for who will win, who should win and who got snubbed below, and join us again on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST as we live-blog the broadcast.

    Record of the Year
    “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
    “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons
    “Royals,” Lorde
    “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars
    “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke featuring TI and Pharrell

    Who Will Win: Daft Punk
    Who Should Win: Daft Punk
    Who Got Snubbed: “Q.U.E.E.N.,” Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu

    Robin Thicke’s mega-hit might have out-partied “Get Lucky” in sheer saturation, but there’s no denying that Pharrell’s appearance with the chrome-domes is, without a doubt, the summer jam that reigns supreme in quality. Daft Punk and Pharrell’s not-so-subtle mission statement is slicked over by Nile Rodgers‘ virtuosic take on glossy rhythm guitars, forming an alliance we’d never imagine—but we’re perfectly happy listening to the outcome.—Tyler Kane

    Album of the Year
    The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles
    Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
    good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Kendrick Lamar
    The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Red, Taylor Swift

    Who Will Win: Taylor Swift
    Who Should Win: Daft Punk
    Who Got Snubbed: Muchacho, Phosphorescent

    Grammy voters love Taylor Swift—so much so that she already has 19 nominations and seven wins. That makes her the one to beat in this category, but here’s hoping Daft Punk can pull off a surprise victory for Random Access Memories and make history as the first dance album to be awarded Album of the Year since the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in 1979.

    Song of the Year
    “Just Give Me A Reason,” Pink featuring Nate Ruess (Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters)
    “Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars (Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters)
    “Roar,” Katy Perry (Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters)
    “Royals,” Lorde (Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters)
    “Same Love,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert (Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters)

    Who Will Win: Lorde
    Who Should Win: Lorde
    Who Got Snubbed: “Q.U.E.E.N.,” Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu

    If we’re going to let outside factors affect discussion of “Royals,” can it be how the first woman to top the alternative chart in 17 years hasn’t even been alive that long, and it’s already outlasted Alanis’ “You Oughta Know,” which okay, was funnier. But the racism charges ignore the fact that while half her targets are rap signifiers (“Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece”), the other half are not (“trashin’ the hotel room” at least dates back to Van Halen, and there’s no star of any race that owns “islands, tigers on a gold leash”). Being teenage and a woman who speaks her mind, Lorde’s gonna be up to her curls in sexist double standards for years to come. Let’s remember this out-of-nowhere triumph from before she had a target on her back herself, a finger-snapping, simple singalong for people who simply haven’t seen a diamond in the flesh, and plenty who have.—Dan Weiss

    Best New Artist
    James Blake
    Kendrick Lamar
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Kacey Musgraves
    Ed Sheeran

    Who Will Win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Who Should Win: Kacey Musgraves
    Who Got Snubbed: Lorde

    This one’s always a weird category, perhaps the most indicative of how out-of-touch the Grammys can be (can Sheeran, who performed on the Grammys last year really be considered “new” to the Academy?), but Musgraves is absolutely deserving, and Blake and Lamar—while not really new artists—are both worthy of recognition as well.

    Best Pop Vocal Album
    Paradise, Lana Del Ray
    Pure Heroine, Lorde
    Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno Mars
    Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke
    The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake

    Who Will Win: Justin Timberlake
    Who Should Win: Lorde
    Who Got Snubbed: The Electric Lady, Janelle Monae

    Call her pop, call her R&B, call her “urban contemporary” (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean), call her whatever you want, but nominate Janelle Monae for something. The fact that The Electric Lady—Monae’s best work to date—isn’t up for a single award is near-criminal.

    Best Rock Album
    13, Black Sabbath
    The Next Day, David Bowie
    Mechanical Bull, Kings of Leon
    Celebration Day, Led Zeppelin
    …Like Clockwork, Queens of the Stone Age
    Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young with Crazy Horse

    Who Will Win: David Bowie
    Who Should Win: Queens of the Stone Age
    Who Got Snubbed: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic, Foxygen

    Aging Grammy voters will likely choose to honor Bowie’s latest work, but there’s a chance that The Next Day will split the old-person vote with Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young, leaving an opportunity for Queens of the Stone Age to walk away with this one.

    Best Alternative Music Album
    The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Neko Case
    Trouble Will Find Me, The National
    Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails
    Lonerism, Tame Impala
    Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend

    Who Will Win: Nine Inch Nails
    Who Should Win: Vampire Weekend
    Who Got Snubbed: Muchacho, Phosphorescent

    It’s been five years, three albums, an SNL appearance, countless festival performances and one lawsuit from an unwitting album-cover model since Vampire Weekend dropped its self-titled debut. Bucking several generations’ worth of received indie-rock wisdom, frontman Ezra Koenig had the temerity to borrow from Paul Simon circa Graceland instead of David Byrne circa Fear of Music, and the band soundtracked his songs with arrangements that were simultaneously inventive and fussy. On Modern Vampires of the City, Koenig not only appreciates Paul Simon’s naturalistic melodies, but understands that concrete details make the song. The songs benefit from the muscular backbone of bassist Chris Baio and drummer Chris Tomson, but this is Rostam Batmanglij’s album. The eccentric flourishes on a distressed pipe organ or a rambunctious piano give these songs their buoyancy and identity, making Vampire Weekend the weirdest and certainly the most idiosyncratic band to top the Billboard charts.—Stephen M. Deusner

    Best Rap Album
    Nothing Was the Same, Drake
    Magna Carta…Holy Grail, Jay Z
    good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Kendrick Lamar
    The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    Yeezus, Kanye West

    Who Will Win: Jay Z
    Who Should Win: Kanye West
    Who Got Snubbed: Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels

    Yeezus is the best of the bunch, but it’ll likely get overlooked by Grammy voters in favor of a safer choice: the less-controversial Magna Carta…Holy Grail. But we’re just trying to imagine what Kanye will do if he loses this category to Macklemore.

    http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2014/01/2014-grammy-awards-predictions-and-proclamations.html

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    Gucci
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    #396940

    Grammy Predictions: The Rock & Alternative Categories

    Black Sabbath has won just one Grammy in its long career, but that is sure to change this year. The metal pioneers are nominated for three Grammys in the rock field this year. The band’s “God Is Dead?” is a cinch to win in the category of Best Metal Performance. The band won in this category for 1999’s “Iron Man.” Band member Ozzy Osbourne also won on his own with 1993’s “I Don’t Want To Change The World.”

     

    The other nominees in the category are Anthrax’s “T.N.T.,” Dream Theater’s “The Enemy Inside,” Killswitch Engage’s “In Due Time” and “Room 24” by Volbeat featuring King Diamond. 

    “God Is Dead?” may just bring band members Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi & Ozzy Osbourne a second award for Best Rock Song. They’ll be facing The Rolling Stones’ “Doom And Gloom” (written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), Muse’s “Panic Station” (written by the band’s Matthew Bellamy), Dave Grohl’s “Cut Me Some Slack” (which he co-wrote with Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear) and Gary Clark Jr.’s “Ain’t Messin’ ‘Round.”

    Black Sabbath’s album “13” is nominated for Best Rock Album, but the glut of veteran acts in the category may work against the band. Four of the finalists have been recording since 1970 or earlier, which may well split the votes of older Grammy voters. This could work to the advantage of the two newer acts in the running, Queens of the Stone Age and Kings of Leon. Queens of the Stone Age’s “…Like Clockwork” looks like the winner. The album entered The Billboard 200 at #1. Also, it is nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, a sign that it is on the Grammy radar.

     

    The other nominees are Kings Of Leon’s “Mechanical Bull,” David Bowie’s “The Next Day,” Led Zeppelin’s “Celebration Day” and “Psychedelic Pill” by Neil Young with Crazy Horse.

    As a Record of the Year finalist, Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” is the front-runner to win for Best Rock Performance. But Imagine Dragons can’t pick up additional awards in the rock field. The band’s smash “Radioactive” inexplicably wasn’t entered for Best Rock Song. Its hit album “Night Visions” wasn’t eligible for Best Rock Album: It was released and entered in the previous eligibility year.

     

    The other nominees for Best Rock Performance include a live recording of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 classic “Kashmir” (drawn from its live album, “Celebration Day”) and Jack White’s “I’m Shakin'” (taken from his solo debut album, “Blunderbuss,” which was a finalist for Best Rock Album last year). Also nominated: Alabama Shakes’s “Always Alright” (from the “Silver Linings Playbook” soundtrack), David Bowie’s “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” and Queens Of The Stone Age’s “My God Is The Sun.”

    Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires Of The City” is the front-runner to win for Best Alternative Music Album. The album entered The Billboard 200 at #1. It finished #1 on Rolling Stone’s list of the year’s 50 best albums.

     

    The other nominees are Nine Inch Nails’ “Hesitation Marks,” Neko Case’s “The Worse Things Get…,” The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me” and Tame Impala’s “Lonerism.”

    http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/music-news/grammy-predictions-rock-alternative-categories-213723834.html

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    Anonymous
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    #396941

    Thanks to Gucci for posting these. And the winner is…Paul Grein, for
    being the only pundit to finish above .500 (though Paste deserves
    mention for also going 3-1 in the GF). I think I feel happy that the
    pundit with the douchiest article went 0-4. 🙂

    Just goes to show,
    don’t always trust the “experts”; your own predictions are at least as
    good! Congratulations to everyone on this forum who posted predictions.
    Whether your favorites won or not, I’m glad to see a space where there
    is such interest.

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    KaRol
    Participant
    Joined:
    Oct 1st, 2011
    Topics:
    Posts:
    #396942

    Thanks to Gucci for posting these. And the winner is…Paul Grein, for
    being the only pundit to finish above .500 (though Paste deserves
    mention for also going 3-1 in the GF). I think I feel happy that the
    pundit with the douchiest article went 0-4. 🙂

    Just goes to show,
    don’t always trust the “experts”; your own predictions are at least as
    good! Congratulations to everyone on this forum who posted predictions.
    Whether your favorites won or not, I’m glad to see a space where there
    is such interest.

    thank you so much NUCat for your contribution this year! i simply ran out of words, your kind offering of help was priceless. hope to see you here next year too. in the meantime, lets celebrate the music we have. xo

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