Will Bieber fever finally spread to the Grammys?

Since his debut, Justin Bieber has won two MTV Video Music Awards and four American Music Awards. The only major music award he has yet to win is a Grammy.

In 2010, the Grammys showed early signs of Bieber fever. The sixteen-year-old was nominated for Best New Artist along with Drake, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford and Sons. They all lost to relative unknown bassist/vocalist/composer Esperanza Spalding. She was the first Best New Artist winner from the Jazz Field and had only garnered one nomination that year.

Bieber also received a bid for Best Pop Vocal Album for “My World 2.0” However, he and three of his competition — Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream,” John Mayer’s “Battle Studies” and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” — all lost to Lady Gaga’s “The Fame Monster.”

Since then, Bieber has become one of the dominant figures on social media.

• 45.5 million “Likes” on Facebook
• 25.2 million “Followers” on Twitter
• 2.9 billion “Views” on YouTube
• Over 100 million “Certified Views” on Vevo.

His latest album, “Believe” was one of the most anticipated of the year. Last month, it debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart and sold 374,000 copies in its first week (the highest first week sales of the year). It has has remained at number three for the past three weeks. 

If “Believe” meets industry expectations and becomes the top-selling album of 2012, this will help its chances of being nominated for the top prize at the Grammys. For the past four years, the best-selling disc has been nominated for Album of the Year: Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” (2008), Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” (2009), Eminem’s “Recovery”(2010) and Adele’s “21” (2011).

Bieber has appeared twice on the cover of Rolling Stone. This is noteworthy to Grammy voters. In his effort to transition from teen pop to legitimate artist, parallels can be drawn with Justin Timberlake

This year, Bieber could contend in the same categories as Timberlake did in 2003 for his first solo album “Justified.” Timberlake won Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. And he was nominated for Album of the Year.

Timberlake had gained momentum by winning three 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.  Bieber is on track for accomplishing the same accolades in this important run-up to the Grammys.

The only roadblock to his Grammy success could be last year’s merger of Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance into Best Pop Solo Performance, a much more competitive category. 

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