Will Kelly Clarkson win Best Pop Solo Performance at the 2018 Grammys for “Love So Soft”? She’s a Grammy darling in pop categories, having won all three of her awards in this genre field: Female Pop Vocal for “Since U Been Gone” (2006) and Best Pop Album for “Breakaway” (2006) and “Stronger” (2013). Ever since she won the first season of “American Idol” she’s been famous for her powerhouse vocals, which have led to six nominations for pop performances — and on top of that another three nominations for country performances. But it has been 12 years since her “Since U Been Gone” victory. Is she due for another?
“Love So Soft” is the lead single from her eighth studio album, “Meaning of Life.” The album was released too late to be eligible in this Grammy cycle, but the single debuted before the September 30 cutoff so it qualified. Under normal circumstances she would probably be disadvantaged by the fact that this is her only nomination, but none of the other songs in this race have any other nominations either, so the playing field is more or less level in that sense.
A bigger disadvantage may be the fact that this wasn’t one of the bigger hits in this category, peaking at number-47 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Success sells at the Grammys, and five of the last six winners in this category topped the Billboard chart. The one exception was “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, which wasn’t far off, topping out at number-two.
Sheeran is a formidable opponent this year as well. He’s nominated for “Shape of You,” which was surprisingly absent from the Record of the Year and Song of the Year races; it spent 12 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100, making it by far the biggest hit in this contest. The only other top-10 hit nominated is “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga, which ascended to the number-four spot. This is only Gaga’s second nomination in this category since male and female vocal performances were combined in 2012, but she did win Female Pop Vocal in 2011 for “Bad Romance.”
Pink has two previous Grammy wins in the discontinued Pop Collaboration category and one for Best Female Rock Vocal. This year she’s up for “What About Us” from her seventh album “Beautiful Trauma.” Rounding out the category is Kesha, who received her first career nominations in this category for “Praying” and for Best Pop Album for “Rainbow.”
Who do you think is the frontrunner?
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