Below, our forecasts in five R&B and rap categories, ranked in order of their racetrack odds. (Click on each category title to read an in-depth look at that race):
BEST R&B PERFORMANCE
“Drunk in Love,” Beyonce feat. Jay-Z – 1/10
“Good Kisser,” Usher – 33/1
“It’s Your World,” Jennifer Hudson feat. R. Kelly – 50/1
“New Flame,” Chris Brown feat. Usher and Rick Ross – 100/1
“Like This,” Ledisi – 100/1
Can Beyonce and Jay-Z possibly lose this year’s Grammy race for Best R&B Performance? They’re nominated for their collaboration “Drunk in Love” from Beyonce’s self-titled fifth album, and between them they’ve won an astounding 36 Grammys.
But this is their first nomination for R&B Performance, a category that was re-established in 2011. Before that, the recording academy split R&B into races for female, male, duo/group, and urban/alternative performances.
BEST R&B ALBUM
“Love, Marriage, and Divorce” – Tony Braxton and Babyface – 1/5
“Black Radio 2,” Robert Glasper Experiment – 12/1
“Lift Your Spirit,” Aloe Blacc – 16/1
“Give the People What They Want,” Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – 50/1
“Islander,” Bernhoft – 100/1
Toni Braxton and Babyface are both multiple Grammy winners – she has six trophies, and he has nine, mostly for their work during the heights of their careers in the 1990s – but perhaps surprisingly, neither has won Best R&B Album. They teamed up last year for “Love, Marriage, and Divorce,” which is the second nomination in the category for both of them. Can they win it for the first time?
Nominees for Album of the Year usually have the advantage in their respective genre categories, but this year’s lineup for Best Urban Contemporary Album boasts two contenders from that top race: Beyonce for her self-titled fifth solo album, and Pharrell Williams for “GIRL.” Will one of them win?
This is the first nomination for both artists in this category, but that’s because the category has only existed since 2012. Before that, Beyonce was undefeated as a solo artist in the now defunct Contemporary R&B Album race, winning all three of her bids.
Eminem is nominated for “Rap God,” and the title is apt. He’s a 13-time Grammy winner, and all but one of those victories were in rap categories. That includes three wins for Best Rap Solo Performance, one for Male Rap Solo Performance, and two for Rap Duo/Group. Is he too much of a Grammy-darling for Kendrick Lamar to overtake?
BEST RAP ALBUM
“The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” Eminem – 2/9
“The New Classic,” Iggy Azalea – 12/1
“Because the Internet,” Childish Gambino – 25/1
“Nobody’s Smiling,” Common – 25/1
“Blacc Hollywood,” Wiz Khalifa – 100/1
“Oxymoron,” Schoolboy Q – 10/1
For Eminem, it would extend his record for the most victories in the category. He has already won five times, and he’s only ever lost once when nominated: in 2005, he competed for “Encore,” but the award went to Kanye West‘s “Late Registration.”
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