In the past 30 years, only four brand new artists -- Christopher Cross, Lauryn Hill, Alanis Morissette and Norah Jones -- have won Grammy’s top prize. However, all of these artists had monumental critical and/or commercial success with their career-defining debut albums.
Since new artists rarely win here, Fun. and Frank Oceanwill likely sit this one out. Their albums just didn’t make enough impact.
Jack White is a respected veteran, a multiple Grammy winner and a past nominee here. However, he was snubbed in some key rock categories and his mention here was a bit surprising. He doesn’t have the support to win this year.
This race is a tossup between Mumford & Sons and The Black Keys. Mumford has one of the best selling albums of the year; it is still in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200. They’ve racked up multiple nominations the past few years and will likely win a Grammy next month. However, they were snubbed in Record and Song of the Year and missed out on some additional nods in the rock field.
I think The Black Keys will win. They were an underground group for a decade until they finally broke out with their “Brothers” album in 2010. They beat out some stiff competition in 2010 and won Grammys for Best Rock Duo/Group and Alternative Album. They even defeated eventual Album of the Year winners Arcade Fire (“The Suburbs”) in the latter category.
The Black Keys now have the buzz, multiple nominations, sales, acclaim and veteran status to win this category.