Tag Archives: Grammys

GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for The Big Four

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day.

As you may remember, I did my predictions for who was going to be nominated for the Big Four way back in October. As it turns out, I wasn’t 100% right, not that I was expecting to be. (For the record, I wasn’t 100% wrong either.) So, for the final GRAMMY Week post, let’s deal with the actual nominations and see who I think will be taking home the night’s top prizes at the big show!

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

1. RECORD OF THE YEAR

“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Radioactive”, Imagine Dragons
Alex Da Kid, producer; Manny Marroquin & Josh Mosser, engineers/mixers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer

“Royals”, Lorde
Joel Little, producer; Joel Little, engineer/mixer; Stuart Hawkes, mastering engineer

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Mark Ronson & The Smeezingtons, producers; Alalal, Josh Blair, Wayne Gordon, Ari Levine, Manny Marroquin & Mark Ronson, engineers/mixers; David Kutch, mastering engineer

“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
Pharrell, producer; Andrew Coleman & Tony Maserati, engineers/mixers; Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer

PREDICTION: I think the general consensus is that “Blurred Lines” has the best shot of winning this category. It was the biggest song of last year and gave Robin Thicke his biggest hit ever on the charts. However, I’m more inclined to think that “Get Lucky” is going to take this category and give Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers a big thrill. It was a slick and catchy summer hit and makes the French duo and American producer/singer my big winners of the night.

2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR

The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles, Mark Endert & John O’Mahony, producers; Jeremy Darby, Mark Endert & John O’Mahony, engineers/mixers; Greg Calbi, mastering engineer

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon, Todd Edwards, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams & Pharrell Williams, featured artists; Thomas Bangalter, Julian Casablancas, Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, DJ Falcon & Todd Edwards, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta, Guillaume Le Braz & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityKendrick Lamar
Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Drake, Jay Rock, Jay Z, MC Eiht & Anna Wise, featured artists; DJ Dahi, Hit-Boy, Skhye Hutch, Just Blaze, Like, Terrace Martin, Dawaun Parker, Pharrell, Rahki, Scoop DeVille, Sounwave, Jack Splash, Tabu, Tha Bizness, THC & T-Minus, producers; Derek Ali, Dee Brown, Andrew Coleman, Dr. Dre, James Hunt, Mauricio ‘Veto”” Iragorri, Mike Larson, Jared Scott, Jack Splash & Andrew Wright, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi & Brian ‘Big Bass”” Gardner, mastering engineers

The HeistMacklemore & Ryan Lewis
Ab-Soul, Ben Bridwell, Ray Dalton, Eighty4 Fly, Hollis, Mary Lambert, Baffalo Madonna, Evan Roman, Schoolboy Q, Allen Stone, The Teaching & Wanz, featured artists; Ryan Lewis, producer; Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis, Amos Miller, Reed Ruddy & Pete Stewart, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne & Brian Gardner, mastering engineers

Red, Taylor Swift
Gary Lightbody & Ed Sheeran, featured artists; Jeff Bhasker, Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Butch Walker & Dan Wilson, producers; Joe Baldridge, Sam Bell, Matt Bishop, Chad Carlson, Nathan Chapman, Serban Ghenea, John Hanes, Sam Holland, Michael Ilbert, Tyler Johnson, Jacknife Lee, Steve Marcantonio, Manny Marroquin, Justin Niebank, John Rausch, Eric Robinson, Pawel Sek, Jake Sinclair, Mark “”Spike”” Stent & Andy Thompson, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne & Hank Williams, mastering engineers

PREDICTION: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s name has been tossed around a bit for the win here, but I’m not sure if the whole effort appeals to the committee. (I do think Best New Artist is theirs, however.) The most successful both on the Billboard 200 and on my own personal chart is Taylor Swift‘s Red, which I’m pegging as the winner. She may have won four years ago for Fearless, but she’s certainly grown since then, and scored major pop and country hits from this album.

3. SONG OF THE YEAR

“Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink featuring Nate Ruess
Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters

“Roar”, Katy Perry
Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters

“Royals”, Lorde
Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Same Love”, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters

PREDICTION: Much like the huge Gotye and Kimbra duet of last year’s ceremony, “Somebody That I Used To Know”, Pink and Nate Ruess seems like a strong enough team to pull off double duty at this year’s show with Song of the Year, as well as Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Just Give Me A Reason”. Bruno Mars and Lorde will certainly stand their ground against the beautiful ballad, but “Reason” is such a timeless record that it will sway a lot of voters to get on its side.

4. BEST NEW ARTIST

James Blake (Day In The Life)
Kendrick Lamar (Day In The Life)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (DITL video not available) (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Kacey Musgraves (Day In The Life)
Ed Sheeran (Day In The Life)

PREDICTION: This year’s pack, as many people have stated, is out of whack; what can you do? Of the five, the easiest choice for me is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who have four solid hits now and will likely produce a big second album. Ed Sheeran will too, but he would’ve made sense as a winner last year. Kacey Musgraves and Kendrick Lamar likely don’t stand a chance; however, James Blake could always be the Esperanza Spalding of this year. You never know!
_____

Watch to see how I did with my picks on Sunday night when the GRAMMY Awards air! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Dance/Pop Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Let’s go for the Dance and Pop fields, shall we?

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

5. Best Pop Solo Performance

Brave”, Sara Bareilles
“Royals”, Lorde (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“When I Was Your Man”, Bruno Mars
“Roar”, Katy Perry
“Mirrors”, Justin Timberlake

PREDICTION: Difficult decision right here. “Brave” and “Roar” will probably cancel each other out (if only Bareilles and Perry would do a medley on GRAMMY night!) A safer choice would be Bruno Mars‘s “When I Was Your Man”; it’s a classic ballad.

6. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Get Lucky”, Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink featuring Nate Ruess
“Stay”, Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko
“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
“Suit & Tie”, Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z

PREDICTION: This is tough too. Looks like we’re going to have another year where the winner of this category also wins one of the Big Four, whether it’s “Blurred Lines”, “Get Lucky” or “Just Give Me A Reason”. I’m going with the Pink and Nate Ruess duet.

7. Best Pop Instrumental Album

Steppin’ Out, Herb Alpert (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The Beat, Boney James
Handpicked, Earl Klugh
Summer Horns, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair & Richard Elliot
Hacienda, Jeff Lorber Fusion

PREDICTION: Again, this isn’t my best area of expertise, but I know a lot of these names from the occasional look at the Jazz survey. A version of “Puttin’ On The Ritz” from Alpert’s album just got serviced to AC radio; it could be a sign that this this one is his.

8. Best Pop Vocal Album

ParadiseLana Del Rey
Pure HeroineLorde
Unorthodox JukeboxBruno Mars (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke
The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience, Justin Timberlake

PREDICTION: Believe it or not, this is the only category in which Justin Timberlake‘s album is nominated for. Is that some major shade on the Academy’s part? Yet, the biggest album of last year has to win something, right? It would only seem fair to me.

9. Best Dance Recording

“Need U (100%)”Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK
Adam Dyment & Tommy Forrest, producers and mixers

“Sweet Nothing”, Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
Harris, producer and mixer

“Atmosphere”, Kaskade
Finn Bjarnson & Ryan Raddon, producers; Raddon, mixer

“This Is What It Feels Like”, Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie
Armin Van Buuren & Benno De Goeij, producers and mixers

“Clarity”, Zedd featuring Foxes
Zedd, producer and mixer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: With no Skrillex in the mix (and no Al Wasser, thank God), this category is probably going to go back to one of the bigger hits of the bunch, most likely “Clarity” or “Sweet Nothing”. Of the two, I prefer the Calvin Harris and Florence Welch song.

10. Best Dance/Electronica Album

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
SettleDisclosure
18 MonthsCalvin Harris
AtmosphereKaskade
A Color Map Of The SunPretty Lights

PREDICTION: There was no bigger Dance album in 2013 than Random Access Memories. Daft Punk didn’t just get lucky; they knocked it out of the park. The critical acclaim of Disclosure will keep it in the running, but the French duo will likely take it.

11. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Viva DuetsTony Bennett and Various Artists
To Be Loved, Michael Bublé (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
The StandardsGloria Estefan
Cee Lo’s Magic MomentCee Lo Green
NowDionne Warwick

PREDICTION: This category is usually a two horse race between Bennett and Bublé, and because the Canadian crooner didn’t win last year for his Christmas album, I think Michael Bublé is overdue for yet another win here. “It’s A Beautiful Day” indeed.

67. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Annie UpPistol Annies
Chuck Ainlay, engineer; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

The Blue RoomMadeleine Peyroux
Helik Hadar & Leslie Ann Jones, engineers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer

The Devil Put Dinosaurs HereAlice In Chains
Paul Figueroa & Randy Staub, engineers; Ted Jensen, mastering engineer

…Like ClockworkQueens Of The Stone Age
Joe Barresi & Mark Rankin, engineers; Gavin Lurssen, mastering engineer

The MooringsAndrew Duhon
Trina Shoemaker, engineer; Eric Conn, mastering engineer

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert, Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I don’t know a ton about this category, but the winners in past years have been a real mix of commercial releases and some lesser-known works. Though I’m placing Daft Punk for the win here, it could essentially be any one of these six.

68. Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I love Rob Cavallo and would be thrilled to see him win this category, but 2013 was clearly the year of Pharrell Williams, both as a producer and singer, and he’s very much deserving of this honor. Tell Dr. Luke to go back to medical school.

69. Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

“Days Turn Into Nights”, Delerium featuring Michael Logen
Andy Caldwell, remixer

“If I Lose Myself”, OneRepublic
Alesso, remixer

“Locked Out Of Heaven”, Bruno Mars
Ned Shepard & Sultan, remixers

“One Love/People Get Ready”, Bob Marley and The Wailers
Rupert Parkes (Photek), remixer

“Summertime Sadness”, Lana Del Rey
Cedric Gervais, remixer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Long after Lana Del Rey had been written off in the U.S., Interscope’s push of the Cedric Gervais remix of “Summertime Sadness” launched her at radio, selling over 2 million copies with all versions combined. Not so sad anymore, huh?
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I take a second swing at predicting the Big Four! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for R&B/Rap Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we continue with the fields for R&B and Rap music.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

17. Best R&B Performance

“Love And War”, Tamar Braxton
“Best Of Me”, Anthony Hamilton
“Nakamarra”, Hiatus Kaiyote featuring Q-Tip
“How Many Drinks?”, Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Something”, Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Many of the winners in this category are generally successful on the R&B survey, and with a former top 5 hit on the Urban airwaves as well as a #2 album, singer Tamar Braxton stands out with her single “Love And War”. It is one smooth track.

18. Best Traditional R&B Performance

“Please Come Home”, Gary Clark, Jr. (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Get It Right”, Fantasia
“Quiet Fire”, Maysa
“Hey Laura”, Gregory Porter
“Yesterday”, Ryan Shaw

PREDICTION: A few of these acts really don’t have a lot of coverage out on social media. Fantasia, a prior nominee in this category, has a good shot, but if he isn’t a winner in Best Rock Song, I think Gary Clark, Jr. may take this one with “Please Come Home”.

19. Best R&B Song

“Best Of Me”
Performed by: Anthony Hamilton
Written by: Hamilton & Jairus Mozee

“Love And War”
Performed by: Tamar Braxton
Written by: Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick

“Only One”
Performed by: PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder
Written by: Morton

“Pusher Love Girl”
Performed by: Justin Timberlake
Written by: James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Without Me”
Performed by: Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliott
Written by: Barrino, Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart

PREDICTION: Even though he was shut out of the Big Four, a huge shock to many, Justin Timberlake‘s “Pusher Love Girl” was a fan favorite from his album. Hard to believe it didn’t even get an Urban AC servicing. I think it will pull off the trick here.

20. Best Urban Contemporary Album

Love And War, Tamar Braxton
Side Effects Of You, Fantasia
One: In The Chamber, Salaam Remi
Unapologetic, Rihanna (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
New York: A Love Story, Mack Wilds

PREDICTION: This category is probably going to end up being won by a female; I was initially going to pick Rihanna for the win, but I think this is Tamar Braxton‘s year to shine at The GRAMMY’s. Otherwise, this may be some bull you know what.com.

21. Best R&B Album

R&B Divas, Faith Evans
Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Love In The Future, John Legend
BetterChrisette Michele
Three Kings, TGT

PREDICTION: Both Keys and Legend are prior winners here, so the choice is ultimately between them. However, this is the only award that John Legend is up for and he’s singing “All Of Me” on the show, so be prepared for him to walk away with this one.

22. Best Rap Performance

“Started From The Bottom”Drake
“Berzerk”, Eminem
“Tom Ford”Jay Z
“Swimming Pools (Drank)”Kendrick Lamar
“Thrift Shop”Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Heavy hitters are a-plenty here, a few of whom could win in bigger categories. However, given the rock field and all the older acts there, the Billy Squier sample and Rick Rubin production on “Berzerk” by Eminem could help secure a win.

23. Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

“Power Trip”J. Cole featuring Miguel
“Part II (On The Run)”Jay Z featuring Beyoncé
“Holy Grail”, Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Now Or Never”Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige
“Remember You”Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd

PREDICTION: I’m convinced that one of the Jay Z collaborations is going to win here — question is, which one? “Holy Grail” was the hit, but “Part II (On The Run)” packs some marriage power and a potential performance. However, I’m going with “Grail”.

24. Best Rap Song

“F***in’ Problems”
Performed by: A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
Written by: Tauheed Epps, Graham, Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib

“Holy Grail”
Performed by: Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
Written by: Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Timberlake & Ernest Wilson (sample: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Nirvana – Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic)

“New Slaves”
Performed by: Kanye West
Written by: Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Sham Joseph, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Travis Scott, Che Smith, West & Cydel Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters)

“Started From The Bottom”
Performed by: Drake
Written by: W. Coleman, Graham & Noah Shebib

“Thrift Shop”
Performed by: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
Written by: Haggerty & Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: Since 2010, either Jay Z or Kanye West have won this particular award, both separately and together. Once again, they’re competing against each other. Yet, this category usually goes to a hit song, so “Holy Grail” is your best best for the win.

25. Best Rap Album

Nothing Was The Same, Drake
Magna Carta… Holy GrailJay Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityKendrick Lamar
The HeistMacklemore & Ryan Lewis (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
YeezusKanye West

PREDICTION: Best Rap Album hasn’t gone to a newcomer in some time, and it generally goes to an act with a large first-week, which should pit Drake vs. Jay Z. The Canadian rapper won last year for Take Care; I’m guessing that a repeat is in the cards.
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Dance and Pop categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Alternative/Rock/Country Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we continue with the fields for Alternative, Rock and Country.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

12. Best Rock Performance

“Always Alright”, Alabama Shakes
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, David Bowie
“Radioactive”, Imagine Dragons (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Kashmir (Live)”, Led Zeppelin
“My God Is The Sun”Queens Of The Stone Age
“I’m Shakin'”Jack White

PREDICTION: It’s hard to deny the overwhelming success of “Radioactive” during the past year, but it’s only up for two categories, one being Record Of The Year, which is out of the question. (To me, at least.) This is the safer bet for the Las Vegas band.

13. Best Metal Performance

“T.N.T.”Anthrax
“God Is Dead?”, Black Sabbath (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“The Enemy Inside”Dream Theater
“In Due Time”Killswitch Engage
“Room 24”Volbeat featuring King Diamond

PREDICTION: While metal isn’t a genre of choice when it comes to my listening habits, I do know a little bit about the acts in this category. With their first studio album in 18 years, I’m hoping the reformed trio of Black Sabbath is rewarded with this.

14. Best Rock Song

“Ain’t Messin ‘Round”
Performed and Written by: Gary Clark Jr.

“Cut Me Some Slack”
Performed and Written by: Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Doom And Gloom”
Performed by: Rolling Stones
Written by: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

“God Is Dead?”
Performed and Written by: Black Sabbath (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi & Ozzy Osbourne)

“Panic Station”
Performed by: Muse
Written by: Matthew Bellamy

PREDICTION: There are classic acts galore in this category, along with a few newcomers. Gary Clark, Jr. would be a good choice for the win, but I think Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear have this. Just keepin’ it Reel.

15. Best Rock Album

13Black Sabbath
The Next DayDavid Bowie
Mechanical BullKings Of Leon
Celebration Day, Led Zeppelin (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
…Like Clockwork, Queens Of The Stone Age
Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young with Crazy Horse

PREDICTION: I’ll say this category is probably going to be a fight between Bowie and Zeppelin – both albums did well. Though they have several entries in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame, wouldn’t it be cool to see Led Zeppelin win their first regular award?

16. Best Alternative Music Album

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Neko Case
Trouble Will Find Me, The National
Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails
Lonerism, Tame Impala
Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: There’s quite a few buzzworthy acts in this category, but people seemed rather surprised that Vampire Weekend was shut out of the Big Four. This is their only chance to win an award as a band this year, so I think it will easily go to them.

26. Best Country Solo Performance

“I Drive Your Truck”, Lee Brice
“I Want Crazy”, Hunter Hayes
“Mama’s Broken Heart”Miranda Lambert
“Wagon Wheel”Darius Rucker (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Mine Would Be You”Blake Shelton

PREDICTION: It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s year for this category, and while all five did particularly well on the Country chart, Hayes will probably take this honor. He’s the youngest in the pack and “Crazy” managed some minor crossover airplay in 2013.

27. Best Country Duo/Group Performance

“From This Valley”The Civil Wars (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
“Don’t Rush”Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill
“Your Side Of The Bed”Little Big Town
“Highway Don’t Care”, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
“You Can’t Make Old Friends”Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton

PREDICTION: It would be fantastic to see The Civil Wars win this one. That being said, if Taylor Swift is going to be at the show and performing, I’ll give her this one. (cue Swift’s shocked face) “Highway” was a #1 Country hit for the three performers.

28. Best Country Song

“Begin Again”
Performed and Written by: Taylor Swift

“I Drive Your Truck”
Performed by: Lee Brice
Written by: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary

“Mama’s Broken Heart”
Performed by: Miranda Lambert
Written by: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves

“Merry Go ‘Round”
Performed by: Kacey Musgraves
Written by: Shane McAnally, Musgraves & Josh Osborne (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“Mine Would Be You”
Performed by: Blake Shelton
Written by: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Deric Ruttan

PREDICTION: This category is a little more balanced than the Performance award. I could conceivably see the lyric-driven “I Drive Your Truck” winning, but Kacey Musgraves is up twice here and I think she’ll be able to win for the song she performed.

29. Best Country Album

Night Train, Jason Aldean
Two Lanes Of Freedom, Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park, Kacey Musgraves (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Based On A True Story, Blake Shelton
Red, Taylor Swift

PREDICTION: Aldean, McGraw and Shelton have never won this category despite being nominated before, and don’t get me started about Red being classified as “Country album.” So, under careful consideration, Kacey Musgraves shall be the winner here.
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Rap and R&B categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WEEK: Adam Picks The Winners for Packaging/Visual Media Fields

Gram bam, thank you, ma'am.

Gram bam, thank you, ma’am.

It’s finally here… the week before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, airing on Sunday, January 26 at 8PM Eastern on CBS. This week on POP! Goes The Charts, we’ll be taking a look at nearly half the categories on the list and laying out who I think will taking home a prize or two or five (maybe!) on the big day. Today, we start out with the fields for Packaging and Visual Media.

(For a full list of nominations, check it out on GRAMMY.com along with more interactive features. You can also order the 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album, from Atlantic Records.)

56. Best Musical Theater Album

Kinky Boots (***ACTUAL WINNER***)
Matilda: The Musical
Motown: The Musical

PREDICTION: Much like the Tony Awards back in June, I think Best Musical winner Kinky Boots will be the winner in this category. This would mark singer and songwriter Cyndi Lauper‘s first GRAMMY win since claiming Best New Artist way back in 1985.

57. Best Companion Soundtrack for Visual Media

Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino, compilation producer

The Great Gatsby (Deluxe Edition)
Baz Luhrman, compilation producer

Les Misérables (Deluxe Edition)
Cameron Mackintosh, Lee McCutcheon & Stephan Metcalfe, compilation producers

Muscle Shoals
Stephan Badger & Greg Camalier, compilation producers

Sound City: Real To Reel
Butch Vig, compilation producer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: I was going back and forth between Luhrman and Vig for this Award, as both soundtracks have the star power to win, but I’ll give the edge to The Great Gatsby on this one. As a stand-alone work, it’s quite inspired and did well commercially.

58. Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Argo
Alexandre Desplat, composer

The Great Gatsby
Craig Armstrong, composer

Life Of Pi
Mychael Danna, composer

Lincoln
John Williams, composer

Skyfall
Thomas Newman, composer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Zero Dark Thirty
Alexandre Desplat, composer

PREDICTION: Five out of the six nominations (minus Danna) are by previous winners in the category; that is some serious competition. However, I’m giving it to Lincoln. The movie was fantastic and Williams did an exceptional job setting the mood for it.

59. Best Song Written for Visual Media

“Atlas” (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Performed and Written by: Coldplay (Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin)

“Silver Lining (Crazy ‘Bout You)” (Silver Linings Playbook)
Performed by: Jessie J
Written by: Diane Warren

“Skyfall” (Skyfall)
Performed by: Adele
Written by: Adkins & Paul Epworth (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“We Both Know” (Safe Haven)
Performed and Written by: Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw

“Young And Beautiful” (The Great Gatsby)
Performed by: Lana Del Rey
Written by: Del Rey & Rick Nowels

“You’ve Got Time” (Orange Is The New Black)
Performed and Written by: Regina Spektor

PREDICTION: This is a pretty hard category – two of the selections in here went to #1 on my personal chart. As much as I want “Atlas” to take the prize, I am going with “Skyfall”. The GRAMMY’s wouldn’t be complete without an Adele win, would they?

63. Best Recording Package

Geneseo, Automatic Music Can Be Fun
Mike Brown, Zac DeCamp, Brian Grunert & Annie Stoll, art directors

Reckless Kelly, Long Night Moon
Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors  (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Jay Z, Magna Carta… Holy Grail
Brian Roettinger, art director

Metallica, Through The Never (Music From The Motion Picture)
Bruce Duckworth, Sarah Moffat, Brian Steele & David Turner

David Bowie, The Next Day
Jonathan Barnbrook, art director

PREDICTION: All five sets have pretty unique artwork even though I don’t know two of the acts in the category. I do believe David Bowie has the best chance of a win here. I liked the campaign based around it; it’s a simple piece, yet it’s also mysterious.

64. Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

Rolling Stones, The Brussels Affair
Charles Dooher & Scott Sandler, art directors

Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do (Limited Edition Box Set)
Mayer Hawthorne, art director

Mumford & Sons, The Road To Red Rocks (Special Edition)
Ross Stirling, art director

Various Artists, The Smith Tapes
Masaki Koike, art director

Wings, Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition)
Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

PREDICTION: There’s some major GRAMMY darlings in here, and of course, my dream win would be for Hawthorne. Yet, I’ll be realistic here and say Wings Over the other four. Hey, I even got the “Maybe I’m Amazed” 12″ for Record Store Day last year.

81. Best Music Video

“Safe And Sound”, Capital Cities
Grady Hall, video director; Buddy Enright, Javier Jimenez, Danny Lockwood & Daniel Weisman, video producers

“Picasso Baby” (A Performance Art Film), Jay Z
Mark Romanek, video director; Shawn Carter & Aristides McGarry, video producers

“Can’t Hold Us”, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
Jon Jon Augustavo, Jason Koenig & Ryan Lewis, video directors; Tricia Davis, Honna Kimmerer & Jenny Koenig, video producers

“Suit & Tie”, Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z
David Fincher, video director; Timory King, video producer (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

“I’m Shakin'”, Jack White
Dori Oskowitz, video director; Saul Levitz & Candice OvaKnine, video producer

PREDICTION: Of the five entries here, only one music video helped me to like the song better, and that would be “Safe And Sound” by Capital Cities. With a clip featuring dancers from multiple eras, the nostalgia should prove to be positive with the committee.

82. Best Music Film

Coldplay, Live 2012
Paul Dugdale, video director; Jim Parsons, video producer

Green Day, ¡Cuatro!
Tim Wheeler, video director; Tim Lynch, video producer

Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite, I’m In, I’m Out And I’m Gone: The Making Of Get Up!
Danny Clinch, video director; Ben Harper, video producer

Paul McCartney, Live Kisses
Jonas Åkerlund, video director; Violaine Etienne, Aron Levine & Scott Rodger, video producers (***ACTUAL WINNER***)

Mumford & Sons, The Road To Red Rocks
Nicolas Jack Davies & Frederick Scott, video directors; Dan Bowen, video producer

PREDICTION: I only own one of these (Coldplay), but I think Mumford & Sons will take it. I saw the special when it aired on HBO; besides being a fan of them, it’s a high quality film and edited together well. Their past GRAMMY history also helps the cause.
_____

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m thinking for the Alternative, Rock and Country categories! Until then, follow the blog below and find us on social media by click the “Get Social!” tab.

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GRAMMY WATCH: Adam Predicts The Big Four

Don't stop the music.

Don’t stop the music.

September 30 marks the end of the eligibility for the upcoming 2014 GRAMMY Awards, so, being that it’s the day after, I think it’s time to make some predictions for the big show, yes? Though it isn’t until January 26 of next year and a special nominations special doesn’t air until December 6, here are some of my early favorites, and let me know what you think below! For now, it’s just the Big Four — and maybe a few extra thoughts when it’s all over. Let’s get to those magic predictions:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox
Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience
Taylor Swift, Red
The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars

All five of these albums went to #1 and the majority of them have been certified (or are at the point where they can be.) It’s definitely going to be another pop heavy year overall. Mars’s late 2012 release has given us smashes like “Locked Out Of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man”, plus with his upcoming Super Bowl appearance, he may just lead the nominations. Luck was on Daft Punk‘s side this year as “Get Lucky” took a ride up to #2 on the Hot 100, while their album delivered the band’s best sales frame by far. Timberlake, an early winner for this category, had the biggest opening of the year with the first half of this collection and will once again debut at the top with the second half. Why RCA chose to submit both albums as one entry instead of two, we shall never know. Both Swift and The Civil Wars are GRAMMY favorites having been nominated separately and together and should likely gain a vote or two.

Other contenders:
Drake, Nothing Was The Same – The rapper’s album was just issued last week and the numbers on it are looking huge. His connection was multiple format audiences will obviously help him; I’d think this would be the rap release to get a nomination if there is one.
Janelle Monáe, The Electric Lady – Expect to see this one on a lot of year-end lists. The futuristic neo soul singer has a lot of people buzzing about her latest release, but with low radio airplay and only decent sales, this will get cut along the way.
Jay Z, Magna Carta… Holy Grail – He’s an industry heavyweight and his most recent album was one of the most hyped of the year. With a hit single in “Holy Grail”, his name is out there once again, but reception’s been mixed and others are favored.
Kanye West, Yeezus – It’s raw, it’s minimalist and ultimately, it won over both fans and critics when it was released this summer. That being said, I don’t think those on the GRAMMY panel will “get it.” Expect a tantrum or two from West if it’s looked over.
Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires Of The City – Some people seem to think that this could pull off a nomination because of high critical scores. This era gave them their biggest hit yet on the Alternative survey, “Diane Young”, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to get this in.

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars, “When I Was Your Man”
Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams, “Get Lucky”
Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
Katy Perry, “Roar”
Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I., “Blurred Lines”
The Civil Wars, “The One That Got Away”

Both Record and Song Of The Year are going to be tough this year, but 2013 has been a spectacular and diverse year for music. Since ROTY listed six nominations last year, I’ll be predicting the same this year. Summer smashes “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” will no doubt be in there, which is huge for producer, writer and singer Pharrell Williams. Many people seem to think that both Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake are a lock for ROTY; I’m putting “Man” here over “Locked Out Of Heaven” and “Mirrors” over “Suit & Tie”, but it could go either way. “Roar”, like Taylor Swift‘s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” last year, will be the last-minute nomination of the bunch. Finally, there’s The Civil Wars; based on the buzz this song registered on my blog well as the prior GRAMMY love for the duo, I think they hold a strong chance of being here.

Other contenders:
Drake featuring Majid Jordan, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” – With a smooth 80’s feel and a simple lyric, the song’s hot and a hit. I think this will only be shut out due to the similar throwback feel of entries like Thicke’s, which was also much bigger commercially.
Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive” – 2013 was a breakout year for this Las Vegas band and their dubstep meets rock production took over the charts a few months ago. Unfortunately, the burn factor with this one will ultimately cost it some votes in the long run.
Kanye West, “New Slaves” – With Yeezus probably missing a chance at AOTY, this would be West’s next best option. The industrial sounding song will too probably not make the category, but it’s worth a shot. He’ll pick up a few nods in the Rap sub-categories.
Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble” – Swift has a better shot in the AOTY category. I’m not sure the Academy voters will respond positively to this song, despite the fact that it was a significant hit, given the harder electronic elements of it. Cue the goats!

SONG OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars, “When I Was Your Man”
Lorde, “Royals”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert, “Same Love”
Passenger, “Let Her Go”
Pink featuring Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me A Reason”

As it was last year, Song Of The Year should be vastly different from ROTY, and since this is a songwriter’s award, let’s get into the lyrical love. Mars may be the only repeat in this category; his tender love song “Man” resonated with more than a few people this year. Lorde‘s anthem about the lifestyles of the rich and famous may have a minimal production, but stands out lyrically as biting and powerful. “Love” from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert carries a heavy tone, but is also a game changer when it comes to same-sex marriage support. Passenger‘s “Go” may be the dark horse in this race, but with a similar label strategy to Ed Sheeran‘s “The A Team”, this will continue to be a slow burner into next year. Last year, the duet between Pink and Ruess has such a classic feel that I would be shocked if “Reason” is snubbed in any of the major categories.

Other contenders:
Emeli Sandé, “Next To Me” – Though this was only a moderate success on the charts, Sandé is long overdue for some form of nomination after the song initially went to radio last year. Perhaps a nod in the BNA category below will serve her better.
Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko, “Stay” – This big ballad from the singer’s Unapologetic album was a nice change of pace at the time. The multi-format smash will likely be on the minds of the voters; it’s going to be a very close one.
Sara Bareilles, “Brave” – You may think it sounds like Katy Perry‘s “Roar”, and once the GRAMMY nominations actually come out, “Roar” will likely take all the glory. Still, “Brave” has a great lyric and Bareilles is certainly worthy of the Award.
The Band Perry, “Better Dig Two” – It’s another morbid musical number from these guys, but it was huge on the Country airwaves. It’s one of the best from the genre this year, but it may fall short of the nominations due to the competition.
The Civil Wars, “The One That Got Away” – I pegged this as a nominee for ROTY, but this still has a promising chance in this category to a lesser extent. I’m hoping for an excellent performance from the duo on the live telecast.

BEST NEW ARTIST
Emeli Sandé
Imagine Dragons
Kendrick Lamar
Lorde
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This category should be largely predictable, save for maybe an entry or two. Sandé, who was expected to be on last year’s ballot, should make it on this year after the success of “Next To Me”, current single “My Kind Of Love”, and her “Beneath Your Beautiful” duet with Labrinth. Las Vegas quartet Imagine Dragons are an easy sell with their crossover-friendly hits like “It’s Time” and “Radioactive”. Lamar’s debut album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, recently went Platinum and he’s also all over the Urban airwaves in addition to his feature on Robin Thicke‘s “Give It 2 U”. New Zealand’s Lorde is also expected to place in the category thanks to the immense, yet sudden success of her “Royals” single, a recent #1 on the Alternative chart. Finally, there’s Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, likely the favorite to win, with three big hit singles in a row including the novelty hit “Thrift Shop” and the socially conscious “Same Love”.

Other contenders:
Ariana Grande – Young diva Grande has some major chops and a major fan base. 2013 marked her first top ten single, “The Way”, and her first #1 album, Yours Truly. However, with so many R&B acts in the bunch, she may not find a “way” into the five finalists.
Florida Georgia Line – The Southern duo has accumulated three big #1 singles on Country radio and scored one of the biggest Country crossovers of the year with the Nelly assisted “Cruise”, but will they skew too young for the panel? Perhaps.
Kacey Musgraves – Musgraves debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 with her first major label release; however, she’s been recording over ten years and issuing albums independently since 2002. The committee may see that as a reason to leave her out of this one.
Passenger – See Musgraves. He faces a similar problem in that he’s released several albums independently since 2009, as well as one with the band form of Passenger in 2007. Hey, Ed Sheeran and Gotye didn’t make it into BNA last year either.
Phillip Phillips  The American Idol winner from 2012 could be a strong candidate with a Platinum album and two memorable singles, yet it seems that most of his initial hype is gone. “Home” would have been a better choice for last year’s Awards.

As for some of the genre-specific categories, look out for a few more Pink and Taylor Swift nods in the Pop categories, as well as fun. and Maroon 5. Avicii, Martin Garrix and Zedd could compete together for the Best Dance Recording, while the Country categories should be dominated by Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry. Oh, and in the Jazz categories, my friend Kurt Trowbridge would say that Etienne Charles‘s chances of being nominated for Creole Soul are “killin’ breh.” I just hope he doesn’t have to kill anyone to get his nods. That would just be bad.

Once again, let me know you think below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.

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So, How’d I Do? The GRAMMYs Prediction Post, Revisited (Actual Nominees Included)

Thinking bout some GRAMMY wins.

Still swimming good.

A few days ago, I wrote a little post where I made my predictions for the “Big Four” categories at this year’s GRAMMY Awards, a few days before the GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!, which just aired tonight. Well, one Freshly Pressed award, several hundred views and five dozen likes later, it’s time to see how I did! (P.S. I’m very happy to be recognized by WordPress and all of you who reacted to the post, so many thanks!)

The guide shall go like this:
Successful Nominee Prediction or Close Call
Not Picked
Prediction To Win The Category

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Fun. – Some Nights
Frank Ocean – Channel ORANGE
Jack White – Blunderbuss
Mumford & Sons – Babel
The Black Keys – El Camino

I got a fair amount of this category right, successfully predicting Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons and The Black Keys, as well as Fun. as a close call. Jack White was the only one I didn’t consider, but I never actually heard his album. It was pretty critically acclaimed though, so it deserves to be there. Of my original predictions, Bob Dylan and Coldplay are nowhere to be seen. Don’t know what went wrong there since the two of them are GRAMMY darlings. Ah, well. Coldplay‘s album garnered a Best Rock Album nod and has a Best Rock Performance nod for single “Charlie Brown”. I’ll keep Babel as the winner for this Award.

RECORD OF THE YEAR
fun. featuring Janelle Monae – We Are Young
Frank Ocean – Thinking Bout You
Gotye featuring Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know
Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
The Black Keys – Lonely Boy

Little bit of a curveball there with six nominees in the category instead of five. I successfully predicted two nominees (fun. and Frank Ocean) and had two as close calls (Frank Ocean and The Black Keys.) I’m happy for Kelly Clarkson as I really liked “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”, just didn’t expect it in the Record Of The Year category. Taylor Swift‘s entry in the category is very surprising though. I, personally, don’t think it’s worthy of being in there compared to the rest of the entries. It’s a throwaway tune, even if it did really well. Then again, it isn’t going to win, so no need to worry there. Adele, Drake featuring Rihanna, and Mumford & Sons weren’t nominated as I predicted they would be. I thought Mumford would for sure be in there; that’s a shock. I’m still thinking “Somebody That I Used To Know” will carry the win for the category. It’s simply too big of a single to be ignored.

SONG OF THE YEAR
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
Ed Sheeran – The A-Team
fun. featuring Janelle Monae – We Are Young

Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Miguel – Adorn

Eeek! I predicted one correctly (Carly Rae Jepsen) and one close call (Kelly Clarkson). That Ed Sheeran nomination came out of nowhere, but I would love it if that one won. Miguel is totally not going to win this category; I’m not even sure how that one made it in there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a likable song, but I thought it would only be a threat to the R&B categories. fun. and Janelle Monae are no surprise, but I think that they’ll get blocked out by “Stronger” in this category. Kelly needs to take home at least one award, right? The four of my original predictions that didn’t make it in are Bruce Springsteen, Frank Ocean (who I predicted to win), Katy Perry and Mumford & Sons.

BEST NEW ARTIST
Alabama Shakes
Frank Ocean
Fun.
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers

This one I pretty much predicted correctly, getting three right (Frank Ocean, Fun. and Hunter Hayes) and one as a close call (Alabama Shakes.) “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers is still gaining at CHR radio, so I thought it would be too new for them to be considered as Best New Artist, but well done to them. Gotye and One Direction from my original predictions didn’t make it in. The former is a few albums into his career, so I guess the panel took that into consideration, and I’m not too fussed about the latter not getting in. I’m sticking with my prediction of Fun. to win the category, but Frank Ocean will put up a fight for it.

Well, this is why I’m not a psychic for a living, but I certainly did alright. Thanks for checking back and congrats to everyone who was nominated this year!

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