2015 Grammy Predictions

The 2015 Grammys are this weekend, and naturally it’s a who’s who of pop culture in 2015. While Eminem may not give a damn about a Grammy, it’s a huge honor (and record sale booster) if you’re lucky enough to win one. In some ways, predicting the Grammys is kind of a tough call, because it’s not always about picking the best song from the nominees, but rather predicting what the voters will do. Remember, they’re voting on “artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position”, whatever that means. I’m going to give this year’s award show a shot, because, well, why not? Play along with me and see how well I do*:

*Note: Only 10-13 awards will make the broadcast this year, amidst a slew of performances. I’ve taken a guess at 15 awards. It’s very possible that some of these won’t make the show on CBS.

Record of the Year


Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX – “Fancy”

Sia – “Chandelier”

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Taylor Swift – “Shake It Off”

Meghan Trainor – “All About That Bass”

Prediction: Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Right away, I see a song that isn’t necessarily the most popular choice getting the win. While the song is huge right now, it isn’t the over-the-top pop song behemoths that “Fancy”, “All About That Bass” or “Shake It Off” were. Generally, it seems as though the Grammy voters don’t like to honor those smash hits simply because, well, they were bubblegum pop smash hits without any “substance”. Sia’s “Chandelier” is also really well done, but I think Sam Smith gets to walk away with a trophy, partially for being neither the most-nor-least well known song on the list. Bigger question: Does Tom Petty get a trophy as well, much less a shout-out from Smith?

Album Of The Year


Beck – “Morning Phase”

Beyoncé – “Beyoncé”

Ed Sheeran – “X”

Sam Smith – “In The Lonely Hour”

Pharrell Williams – “Girl”

Prediction: Beyoncé – “Beyoncé”

Nobody will be denying Queen Bey of her Grammy for Album of the Year. Beck’s “Morning Phase” is the toughest contender in my eyes, and the other three albums don’t feel as complete as the top two. You don’t get to be on top of the world without collecting some hardware along the way, either. All signs are pointing to ‘Yoncé.

Song Of The Year


Meghan Trainor – “All About That Bass”

Sia – “Chandelier”

Taylor Swift – “Shake It Off”

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Hozier – “Take Me To Church”

Prediction: Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

In virtually a copy of the Record of the Year category, which still kind of confuses me, I think it’s a repeat call. Sam Smith will likely take this one home as well, but don’t discount Hozier from stealing one away from him. See my above comments about not validating pop hits, etc.

Best New Artist


Iggy Azalea


Brandy Clark


Sam Smith

Prediction: Bastille

In another category that is hard to decipher, especially in the age of the internet when earlier works are easily accessible, and when the Grammy “year” runs from October 1, 2013 to September 31, 2014 (???), I’m giving it to an an artist that has become a radio mainstay. The snobby Grammy voters will view Iggy Azalea as a cartoon character of sorts, and both Brandy Clark and Haim will be looked at as unproven or too new. We can’t give everything to Sam Smith, so I think Bastille takes it. Not to make it sound undeserving, they have had several tracks in heavy radio play from October 2013-September 2014. Which makes them deserving of a 2015 Grammy, obviously.

Best Pop Solo Performance


John Legend – “All Of Me”

Sia – “Chandelier”

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”

Taylor Swift – “Shake It Off”

Pharrell Williams -“Happy”

Prediction: John Legend – “All Of Me”

Because of the weird way that the Grammy “year” falls, this song is eligible for a 2015 Grammy. I think that performance-wise, which is what we’re supposed to be judging in this instance, John Legend trumps all. He won’t get denied of a trophy for a great song.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance


Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”

Coldplay – “A Sky Full of Stars”

A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera – “Say Something”

Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

Katy Perry ft. Juicy J -“Dark Horse”

Prediction: Coldplay – “A Sky Full of Stars”

In a collaboration heavy category this year, I think Coldplay sneaks away with an award. Remember, we’re predicting what the voters will do. Coldplay just has this universal appeal about them, for whatever reason.

Best Traditional Pop Album


Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – “Cheek to Cheek”

Annie Lennox -“Nostalgia”

Barry Manilow – “Night Songs”

Johnny Mathis – “Sending You a Little Christmas”

Barbra Streisand with Various Artists – “Partners”

Prediction: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – “Cheek to Cheek”

First off… what is a “traditional” pop album? I have no idea what that actually means. Annie Lennox is a close contender here, but I think Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga take it.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Coldplay – “Ghost Stories”

Miley Cyrus – “Bangerz”

Ariana Grande – “My Everything”

Katy Perry – “Prism”

Ed Sheeran – “x”

Sam Smith – “In the Lonely Hour”

Prediction: Katy Perry – “Prism”

Honestly, I think this award probably should go to Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith, but I think the voters surprise everyone here, and give Katy Perry the award. I’m going with a gut feeling on this one, because if I just said Sam Smith all the time, that would be a pretty boring article. Also, an album named “Bangerz” is not winning anything from the stereotypically snobby Grammy voters.

Best Urban Contemporary Album


Jhene Aiko – “Sail Out”

Beyoncé – “Beyoncé”

Chris Brown – “X”

Mali Music – “Mali Is…”

Pharrell Williams – “Girl”

Prediction: Beyoncé – “Beyoncé”

Two words. Queen Bey. Nobody else had a more talked about album this year.

Best Rap Performance


Childish Gambino – “3005″

Drake – “0 to 100/The Catch Up”

Eminem – “Rap God”

Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Lecrae – “All I Need Is You”

Prediction: Kendrick Lamar – “I”

I think Kendrick gets it here, because nobody matched his performance on this or any other track recently. There’s an energy to that song that overpowers my second choice, Childish Gambino.

Best Rock Song


Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”

Beck – “Blue Moon”

Black Keys – “Fever”

Ryan Adams – “Gimme Something Good”

Jack White – “Lazaretto”

Prediction: Black Keys – “Fever”

This one is a toughly contested call, as well. Paramore, at least “Ain’t It Fun”, is too pop for a rock Grammy. Beck will continue to be snubbed. Ryan Adams doesn’t really fit the mold, and that leaves two artists who don’t really like each other. It’s a coin flip, but The Black Keys have something about them that just seems more commercially accessible than Jack White, although many including myself would argue that Lazaretto is a better song. On that alone, the Black Keys steal one here.

Best Rock Album


Ryan Adams – “Ryan Adams”

Beck – “Morning Phase”

The Black Keys – “Turn Blue”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “Hypnotic Eye”

U2 – “Songs of Innocence”

Prediction: Beck – “Morning Phase”

I think that Beck has to take something home tonight, for a well crafted album. Fittingly, it will be between him, The Black Keys, and U2 in a tight race for best Rock album. Nobody may have actually wanted the U2 album on their phones, but it doesn’t mean people won’t vote for it. Beck narrowly edges it out, though.

Best R&B Song


Beyoncé – “Drunk In Love”

Usher – “Good Kisser”

Chris Brown Featuring Usher & Rick Ross – “New Flame”

Luke James Featuring Rick Ross – “Options (Wolfjames Version)”

Jhené Aiko – “The Worst”

Prediciton: Beyoncé – “Drunk In Love”

I’m really pulling for Jhené Aiko on this one, but I don’t think that she has a chance against Chris Brown, Usher, and Beyoncé in the same category. Also, we live in a world where Rick Ross is nominated twice for Best R&B song. Let that sink in for a minute. Nevertheless, chalk another one up for the Illumina- … Beyoncé.

Best Rap Song


Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”

Kanye West – “Bound 2”

Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz”

Drake – “0 To 100 / The Catch Up”

Prediction: Kendrick Lamar – “I”
Deservingly so, Kendrick Lamar made an anthem with “I”. He should get some recognition for the song, although it will be fun to watch some top label execs hear snippets of “Anaconda” during the broadcast when they announce Nicki as a nominee. Kanye West will get denied, and we’ll get a Twitter rant. World keeps on spinnin’.

Best Rap Album

Iggy Azalea – “The New Classic”

Childish Gambino – “Because The Internet”

Common – “Nobody’s Smiling”

Eminem – “The Marshall Mathers LP2”

Schoolboy Q – “Oxymoron”

Wiz Khalifa – “Blacc Hollywood”

Prediction: Childish Gambino – “Because The Internet”

I’m going out on a limb with this one, but hopefully the best album of this bunch actually wins Best Rap Album. As much as I liked “Oxymoron”, “Because The Internet” was a complete project that had you saying “woah” from start to finish. I don’t think anything else on this list replicates that.

Here’s hoping I did well on these picks. Then again, it’s the surprise underdogs and the snubs that we talk about anyway, so let’s hope for those too. Happy Grammys!

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