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The 2012 Grammy nominations will be officially announced tonight. Keeping in mind that the eligibility period is from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011, here are my predictions for the four major awards:
Adele can plan on hearing her name announced a few times.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
- Adele 21. This is as close to a shoo-in for a nomination (and win) as it gets this year. It was the dominant seller of the year and is exactly the critically-acclaimed mainstream kind of stuff the Grammy voters love. Other mainstream pop which hold possibilities include Bruno Mars’ Doo Wops & Hooligans, Beyonce’s 4, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, and Rihanna’s Loud.
- Tony Bennett Duets II. Of course, they also love old-timers. This is the most likely shot (although he already won for his Unplugged album), although I’m surprised I haven’t seen more predictions touting Elton John & Leon Russell’s The Union or Glen Campbell’s Ghost on the Canvas. There’s also Grammy favorite Paul Simon with So Beautiful or So What.
- Taylor Swift Speak Now. Her last album, Fearless, took home the Album of the Year two years ago, but she’s likely to get a nod here to satisfy the country slot. Alison Krauss’ Paper Airplane, Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party, or Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night are also possibilities.
- Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The Grammys like to nominate him for the big prize; they just don’t give it to him. The other most likely rap contender would be Nicki Minaj with Pink Friday.
- Bon Iver Bon Iver. This one fits the “who the hell is that?” cache which Grammy likes. It is a critically acclaimed album by a respected indie artist. Other albums which fall into the indie, rock, or alternative arena and could take this slot include Radiohead The King of Limbs, Foo Fighters Wasting Light, PJ Harvey Let England Shake, or Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues.
RECORD OF THE YEAR: (goes to the performers)
- Adele “Rolling in the Deep”
- Tony Bennett with Amy Winehouse “Body and Soul”
- Bruno Mars “Grenade”
- Katy Perry “Firework”
- Foster the People “Pumped Up Kicks”
Can sentiment for old-timer Tony Bennett (former Album of the Year winner) and died-too-young star Amy Winehouse (former Record/Song of the Year winner) – derail Adele’s hopes for winning the big three awards?
Once again, Adele is a shoo-in for a nomination here and probably the win. However, Tony Bennett’s recording with Amy Winehouse not only has old-timer clout, but a Grammy favorite who died this year. Mars and Perry make this category heavy on pop, leaving Foster the People to represent the more rock or indie crowd (even if it was a #3 pop hit). There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly edgy which keeps coming up, but here are some other songs that deserve mention: Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, Kanye West “All of the Lights”, Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera “Moves Like Jagger”, Taylor Swift “Back to December”, LMFAO “Party Rock Anthem”, Coldplay “Paradise”, Nicki Minaj “Super Bass”, and Foo Fighters “Walk”.
SONG OF THE YEAR: (goes to the songwriters)
- “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele and Paul Epworth
- “Grenade” – Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Andrew Wyatt (performed by Bruno Mars)
- “Firework” – Katy Perry, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm, Ester Dean (performed by Katy Perry)
- “The Cave” – Mark Mumford (performed by Mumford & Sons)
- “I Was Here” – Diane Warren (performed by Beyonce)
Could Bruno Mars land three nominations in the big categories?
This category generally comes pretty close to duplicating the Record of the Year nominations. However, I’m inserting Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave” in the mix because it will be a nod to the folkie sound which has taken off in the last couple years – and which they have a lot to do with. Then I’m giving the fifth slot to “I Was Here”. Diane Warren is one of the most celebrated songwriters around and Beyonce adds big-name clout. For other possibilities, see the other Record of the Year runner-ups.
BEST NEW ARTIST:
- Nicki Minaj
- Bon Iver
- The Band Perry
- Foster the People
Could little known indie-folk rock singer/songwriter Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) best rapper Nicki Minaj, who seemingly is everywhere, in the Best New Artist category?
Finally a category Adele can’t win (since she already took home this prize a couple years ago). The consensus here seems to be for Nicki Minaj, but there’s also a lot of love out there in the prediction world for Bon Iver. I find that odd since his debut album was released independently in 2007, but the Grammys have strange rules about what constitutes a “new” artist, so he might well get a nod and even a win on the back of his sophomore album. The Band Perry fill in the country-pop crossover group slot for Lady Antebellum. Foster the People again fit the alternative/rock slot here, but voters may be scared of them being a one-hit wonder and not take them too seriously. LMFAO fits the bill here for a huge pop group, but their “Party Rock Anthem” isn’t likely to get them much critical clout. Other names which have come up as possibilities here include rapper Wiz Khalifa, Latin-pop group Il Volo, rapper Tyler the Creator, Ellie Goulding, and Jessie J. Thompson Square and The Civil Wars have also been mentioned, but they would be in direct competition with The Band Perry. I just don’t see more than one slot here going to a country act.
Do Foster the People have legitimate shots at winning any of the big awards or are they just potential slot-fillers?
It’s just a waiting game now to see how many kinks the actual Grammy nominations throw into my picks.
Resources and Related Links:
- Examiner.com (Best New Artist)
- Examiner.com (Record of the Year)
- Reuters.com (Album of the Year)