GRAMMY WATCH: Adam Predicts The Big Four at the 57th Annual Grammys

A Gram slam.

A Gram slam.

When good ol’ September 30 comes around again, we all know that it marks the completion of the eligibility period for the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards. So, being that it’s the day after, it’s the perfect time to make some new predictions and take a look what’s been happening this year in music. Though the big show doesn’t air until February 8 and a usual nominations special doesn’t air until December (I think it’s been renewed), here are some of my early favorites, and let me know what you think below!

Here’s what I’m thinking could be in this year’s Big Four awards…

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Barbra Streisand, Partners (Columbia)
Beyoncé, Beyoncé (Columbia)
Coldplay, Ghost Stories (Parlophone/Atlantic)
Ed Sheeran, X (Atlantic)
Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour (Capitol)

Given Streisand’s recent strong sales for her effort and that shining achievement of having #1 albums in six decades, I think the upper demo will get in on this one for a nod. (It would be her first nomination since The Broadway Album in 1987 and seventh overall.) The surprise release Beyoncé put out last December and the multi-Platinum success of the album should carry it to a nod, as well as some key nods in the R&B and Rap fields. Of course, Coldplay are GRAMMY darlings at this point, so it’ll likely be between them and U2 for who gets nominated. I’ll give the edge to the Brits; they have the biggest opening of 2014 so far and their biggest hit since “Viva La Vida” on the charts. The debut of Sheeran’s second album was also notable – he’s been nominated two years in a row in the Big Four, so he shouldn’t miss it. Lastly, there’s Sam Smith, another given. Obviously, this was a huge breakout year for him and he’ll be rewarded well.

Other contenders:
Eric Church, The Outsiders (EMI Nashville)
Jack White, Lazaretto (Third Man/Columbia)
Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence (Interscope)
Smokey Robinson, Smokey & Friends (Verve)
U2, Songs Of Innocence (Interscope)

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Coldplay, “A Sky Full Of Stars” (Parlophone/Atlantic)
Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy” (Def Jam)
Katy Perry featuring Juicy J, “Dark Horse” (Capitol)
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me” (Capitol)
Sia, “Chandelier” (RCA)

SONG OF THE YEAR
Eminem featuring Rihanna, “The Monster” (Aftermath/Interscope)
Idina Menzel, “Let It Go” (Walt Disney)
Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy” (Def Jam)
Lorde, “Team” (Lava/Republic)
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me” (Capitol)

There’s usually some overlap in these two categories, so don’t be surprised if some of my predictions swap places. For now, Coldplay and Sam Smith seem like no-brainers since both have albums that are early favorites for AOTY. There is certainly no denying that impact of “Fancy” and what it achieved on the charts this summer, so it may be that it ends up in both fields for Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX, but it could also leave voters wondering about possibilities of Ariana Grande’s “Problem”, which features Azalea, and Charli XCX’s own “Boom Clap” for nods as well. I guess we’ll wait and see. Katy Perry’s collaboration with Juicy J and Sia’s solo track both stick out from a production standpoint and could make it in somewhere. Eminem and Rihanna were nominated for “Love The Way You Lie” several years ago, and since   “The Monster” was just as big, they’ll make it in. Finally, there’s the endless talk of “Let It Go” and Frozen. Singer Idina Menzel should at least catch a nomination, while the soundtrack won’t be as lucky (the panel’s pretty inconsistent over the years.) The only Disney affiliated song to win the prize was “A Whole New World” (from Aladdin) in 1994.

Other contenders:
A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera, “Say Something” (Epic)
Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea, “Problem” (Republic)
Beyoncé featuring Jay Z, “Drunk In Love” (Columbia)
Hozier, “Take Me To Church” (Columbia)
KONGOS, “Come With Me Now” (Epic)
MAGIC!, “Rude” (RCA)
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass” (Epic)
Nico & Vinz, “Am I Wrong” (Warner Bros.)
Paramore, “Ain’t It Fun” (Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic)
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off” (Big Machine/Republic)

BEST NEW ARTIST
Charli XCX
Iggy Azalea
Jhene Aiko
KONGOS
Sam Smith

Three of the nominations are straight-forward in this category: Charli XCX, Iggy Azalea and Sam Smith were all strong on the charts this year and are all worthy contenders for the Award. The other two slots require a little more thinking. I’m going for Aiko because “The Worst” hit #1 at Urban radio and both her EP, Sail Out, and full-length album, Souled Out, had top ten debuts on the Billboard 200 within this period. KONGOS also makes for a solid rock entry here, only because “Come With Me Now” is going to have a hard time competing in the ROTY/SOTY categories. That being said, I think they’ll be around for a while on the Alternative scene and that should get them a second look over.

Other contenders:
A Great Big World
American Authors
Bastille
Cole Swindell
Vance Joy

Other notes:
Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys should see some major love in the Alternative/Rock categories. A.M. from the Monkeys isn’t eligible due to a release last September, but “Do I Wanna Know?” should get a nod or two, as well as “Fever” from the Keys.
– Really hoping to see “Hideaway” by Kiesza and “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne in the category of Best Dance Recording. Both were hugely successful in Europe and also crossed over here. (We’ll likely see some of the usual suspects as well: Avicii, Calvin Harris, Skrillex, etc.)
– The R&B field will be packed with Beyoncé a plenty, though male stars Trey Songz and Usher could get in on the action. “She Came To Give It To You” from the latter singer, featuring Nicki Minaj, would be a great candidate.
– I really want Barbra Streisand‘s Partners and Kelly Clarkson‘s Wrapped In Red locked in an epic battle for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga‘s Cheek To Cheek should pop up there too.

That’s it for now… once again, let me know you think below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, GRAMMY Awards, Playlists

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