ALBUM OF THE YEAR: “Blunderbuss,” Jack White
Most people are not predicting Jack White to win, but I think they are making a huge mistake. White has crossed music genres (e.g., Loretta Lynn’s “Van Lear Rose) and has worked with many artists who have all praised his abilities. This album is the best of his career thus far. I think on awards night we may hear a gasp from the audience when the envelope is opened and White’s name is called out.
RECORD OF THE YEAR: “Stronger (What Doesnt Kill You),” Kelly Clarkson
People may think this choice sounds totally crazy, but Miss Clarkson has a lot of cross genre support within the music business. She managed to nab a CMA nomination last year for Female Vocalist of the Year even though she only had one solo country song released. If Fun. and Gotye split the vote, you’d better keep an eye out for Clarkson to creep in for the win.
BEST NEW ARTIST: Hunter Hayes
It seems to be the battle of fun. vs. Frank Ocean in this category. However, while they are busy fighting over this award, a 21-year-old country novice may just sneak past them and claim it. Hayes’s label has done a promotional blitz for him that would make most artists envious. It paid off with three nominations. Country artists respect him and fans adore him. Watch out for this young star; it’s always those shy, quiet ones that surprise us.
BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM: “Biophilia,” Bjork
Most are predicting either Fiona Apple or Gotye to win this category. However, this marks Bjork’s 13th Grammy bid and she has yet to win. She partly recorded her album using an iPad and marketed it as the first “app album.”
BEST SPOKEN WORD ALBUM: “Society's Child,” Janis Ian
While first lady Michelle Obama is expected to win, people are neglecting the fact that Janis Ian is a well-respected music veteran. She has won two Grammys, including Best Pop Vocal Performance in 1975 for “At Seventeen.” And the song "Society's Child" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. While this bid is for Ian reading her autobiography, she also sings some songs on the recording and that could push her to the win.