The recording academy has presented the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Performance since 1991. Exactly half of those trophies (12 out of 24) have gone to music legend Tony Bennett, including last year when he prevailed with Lady Gaga for their collaboration “Cheek to Cheek.” Is he unstoppable again with Bill Charlap for “The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern“?
Bennett’s track record in this category is even more impressive when you consider that he has lost only twice when nominated, both times to younger crooner Michael Buble, who isn’t in the running this year.
No one comes close to Bennett’s success in this category, but he’s not the only Grammy darling in contention. Nominated in this race for the first-time is 11-time Grammy-champ Bob Dylan for “Shadows in the Night,” on which he covers standards recorded by Frank Sinatra. In December, the Grammys held a tribute concert in honor of Sinatra’s 100th birthday, so Dylan’s album may especially resonate with voters this year.
Barry Manilow has only won one Grammy in his career (Best Male Pop Vocal for his iconic “Copacabana,” 1978), and this is his fifth bid for Best Traditional Pop Album, including a nomination last year for “Night Songs.” Two of his four previous losses were to Bennett. He was also bested by Natalie Cole in 2008 and Buble in 2010. This year he contends with “My Dream Duets,” on which he sings with legendary deceased artists like Whitney Houston, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland and more.
The 34-year-old Josh Groban is the youngest crooner in this contest. He was previously nominated in this category for his Christmas album “Noel” in 2008, but he has yet to win a Grammy in any category. He’s nominated this year for “Stages,” which consists of songs from Broadway musicals.
Rounding out the category is Seth MacFarlane for “No One Ever Tells You.” MacFarlane is best known as a comic actor and animator, but this is actually his second nomination in this category and his fourth Grammy nom overall. His last Best Traditional Pop Album nomination was in 2011 for “Music is Better Than Words.” He has yet to win.
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“Shadows in the Night” artwork credit: Columbia Records
“The Silver Lining” artwork credit: RPM/Columbia Records