The Grammys are upon us once again for the 53rd time this year. The awards will be handed out this Sunday on Feb. 13, so we’ve decided once again to take our chances at predicting who will come out as winners, looking at categories from the main four of the general field to select races in multiple genres.
Here are the 2011 Grammy Winners.
Record of the Year
B.o.B f. Bruno Mars: “Nothin’ On You”
Eminem f. Rihanna: “Love The Way You Lie”
Cee Lo Green: “Fuck You”
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys: “Empire State of Mind”
Lady Antebellum: “Need You Now”
Will win: In a category notoriously known for splitting votes among pop, hip hop and R&B nominees, Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” seems to be in the best position to walk away with this award. The three hip hop collaborations will cancel each other despite Eminem’s momentum and the NARAS may not be ready to give ROTY to a song as daringly titled as Cee Lo’s.
Should win: “Empire State of Mind” is the oldest song here and it can still unite at a party, speaking greatly of its shelf life beyond this year and possibly many others.
Overlooked: Robyn: “Dancing On My Own”; Lady Gaga: “Bad Romance”
Album of the Year
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
Lady Antebellum: Need You Now
Lady Gaga: The Fame Monster
Katy Perry: Teenage Dream
Will win: After being previously nominated in this category twice before, including a baffling loss to Steely Dan in 2001, Eminem should finally walk away with the top award of the evening. In addition to being the biggest seller of the year, Recovery showcased Eminem’s maturity and reclaimed his status as a pop music icon. If anyone will play spoiler, it would be Lady Antebellum, but they only have one crossover hit to their name. Gaga and Perry will split the pop votes, but even then an EP winning here is unlikely and the nod for Teenage Dream is just as much of a head-scratcher now as it was when the nominees came out, although it does boast the biggest hits out of anyone else here. Arcade Fire made an album worthy of being included here, but it did not create half the impact of its fellow nominees.
Should win: Rewarding The Suburbs would be the rare case of giving AOTY to a young band that is at their peak and still making relevant music.
Overlooked: Janelle Monáe: The ArchAndroid
Song Of The Year
Eminem f. Rihanna: “Love The Way You Lie” (Alexander Grant, Skylar Grey & Marshall Mathers, songwriters)
Cee Lo Green: “Fuck You” (Brody Brown, Cee Lo Green, Ari Levine, Philip Lawrence & Bruno Mars, songwriters)
Lady Antebellum: “Need You Now” (Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters)
Miranda Lambert: “The House That Built Me” (Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin, songwriters)
Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs: “Beg Steal Or Borrow” (Ray LaMontagne, songwriter)
Will win: In a traditionally conservative and safe category, this is Lady Antbellum’s best chance to score a Grammy in the general field. The win for Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” last year proved that the NARAS could actually award an uptempo song here, but that record was such an unstoppable force that it could have won in any category it was nominated for. Although this is being touted as Eminem’s year, “Love The Way You Lie” was not the tidal wave that Beyonce’s song was.
Should win: A win for the Cee Lo song would continue to shake the stigma that this category is strictly for serious content and would also prove that finely crafted fun songs are just as worthy of recognition.
Overlooked: Sade: “Soldier of Love”
Best New Artist
Florence + The Machine
Mumford & Sons
Will win: Drake would already be a shoo-in for Best New Artist based on sales and crossover appeal alone, but Thank Me Later proved to be more daring and emotionally diverse than anyone expected.
Should win: Although Florence + The Machine probably has the best album of the bunch and Spalding is the most talented, Drake seems most likely to be able to replicate the success he had in 2010 in future years.
Overlooked: Sleigh Bells, Best Coast
Best Dance Recording
La Roux: “In For The Kill”
Lady Gaga: “Dance In The Dark”
Rihanna: “Only Girl (In The World)”
Robyn: “Dancing On My Own”
Will win: Despite being one of the most forward-thinking and trendy categories (Hot Chip, Justice and LCD Soundsystem have all been nominated in the past), this award is usually given to the biggest hit, which in this case would make Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In The World)” the winner since it’s the most recent and it also went to #1 on the Hot 100.
Should win: It’s time for America as a whole to recognize that Robyn is making some of the best dance music around.
Overlooked: Duck Sauce: “Barbara Streisand” Kelis: “Acapella,” LCD Soundsystem: “I Can Change”
Best Electronic/Dance Album
BT: These Hopeful Machines
The Chemical Brothers: Further
Goldfrapp: Head First
Groove Armada: Black Light
La Roux: La Roux
Will win: The Chemical Brothers are two-time winners in this category despite releasing albums that didn’t match up to their prime. Since Further received some of their best reviews in a while, they should see a Grammy here. La Roux, who recently had their profile increased due to the success of “Bulletproof,” has an outside shot at playing spoiler, but they don’t have the widespread name recognition that the veteran Chemical Brothers do.
Should win: La Roux dealt with a rare, successful combination of heartache and liveliness and also managed a crossover hit in the process.
Overlooked: Kelis: Flesh Tone; LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening; Lindstrøm and Christabelle: Real Life Is No Cool
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
Arcade Fire: “Ready To Start”
Jeff Beck & Joss Stone: “I Put A Spell On You”
The Black Keys: “Tighten Up”
Kings Of Leon: “Radioactive”
Will win: In what would be seen as an upset, The Black Keys should take this award over Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire. “Tighten Up” stayed in heavy rotation at rock stations across the country and its presence has remained ubiquitous due to licensing for commercials and television shows. Kings of Leon have won this category the past two years and no one has ever done it three times in a row. Not even U2, who has won in consecutive years three separate times, has accomplished this feat. Arcade Fire would also seem like a favorite due to their Album of the Year nod, but this category tends to favor bigger hits.
Should win: “Ready To Start” is one the main tracks most closely associated with one of the most well-received albums of 2010.
Overlooked: Titus Andronicus: “A More Perfect Union”
Best Alternative Music Album
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
Band Of Horses: Infinite Arms
The Black Keys: Brothers
Broken Bells: Broken Bells
Vampire Weekend: Contra
Will win: If the past is any indication, a coinciding Album of the Year nomination is almost as good as win here (Radiohead, The White Stripes, Gnarls Barkley and so on), which means that this is Arcade Fire’s award to lose.
Should win: The Suburbs feels most respresentative of 2010 than anything else here.
Overlooked: Beach House: Teen Dream; Sleigh Bells: Treats
Best Urban/Alternative Performance
Bilal: “Little One”
Cee Lo Green: “Fuck You”
Carolyn Malachi: “Orion”
Janelle Monáe & Big Boi: “Tightrope”
Eric Roberson: “Still”
Will win: If Cee Lo loses here, it would be one of the night’s biggest upsets.
Should win: “Tightrope” will likely still sound fresh five years from now.
Overlooked: Aloe Blacc: “I Need A Dollar”; MdCL presents Sy Smith: “Truth”; Andreya Trianna: “A Town Called Obsolete”
Best Contemporary R&B Album
Chris Brown: Graffiti
R. Kelly: Untitled
Ryan Leslie: Transition
Janelle Monáe: The ArchAndroid
Usher: Raymond V Raymond
Will win: Logic says that Usher should win since he has the name recognition and the hits under his belt, but my gut is telling me that Janelle Monáe could pull off an upset due to all the critical acclaim and hype surrounding her.
Should win: The ArchAndroid is the most inventive and refreshing album of the nominees here.
Overlooked: The-Dream: Love King
Best Rap Solo Performance
Eminem: “Not Afraid”
Ludacris: “How Low”
T.I.: “I’m Back”
Kanye West: “Power”
Will win: Eminem figures to sweep all the other rap categories with ease, but he will get the biggest scare here. While “Not Afraid” did reach #1 on the charts and is still the favorite to win here, “Love The Way You Lie” might have taken some of its momentum.
Should win: The epic production on “Power” makes it the most distinct song here and Kanye’s personality matches up to it.
Overlooked: Gucci Mane: “Lemonade”
Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
Big Boi, Bosko, Cutty & Mouche: “Shutterbugg”
Drake, T.I. & Swizz Beatz: “Fancy”
Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz: “On To The Next One”
Ludacris & Nicki Minaj: “My Chick Bad”
Young Jeezy & Plies: “Lose My Mind”
Will win: This is another one of those categories which goes for the bigger name, which should lead to a win for Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz.
Should win: “Shutterbugg” is the class of the group, but no one really views it as a collaboration, which is why the win should go to Ludacris and Nicki Minaj for both turning in star performances.
Overlooked: Rick Ross f. Styles P: “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)”; Cali Swag District: “Teach Me How To Dougie”
Best Rap Album
B.o.B: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray
Drake: Thank Me Later
Jay-Z: The Blueprint 3
The Roots: How I Got Over
Will win: While there are some worthy albums here, Eminem’s good fortune for the night will definitely continue to shine upon him in this category.
Should win: Thank Me Later was one of the most impressive and consistent hip hop debuts of the last five years and is deserving of the win. The Blueprint 3 and How I Got Over were certainly enjoyable, but can’t match up to their artist’s previous work.
Overlooked: Curren$y: Pilot Talk; Rick Ross: Teflon Don
Producer Of The Year
The Smeezingtons (Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine)
Will win: With two songs in Record of the Year (“Nothin’ On You” and “Fuck You”), The Smeezingtons should be a lock here.
Should win: Dr. Luke has been creating some of pop’s most memorable moments for the last half-decade and even made Ke$ha tolerable at times.
Overlooked: James Blake, Boi-1da, Ski Beatz
Best Short Form Music Video
Johnny Cash: “Ain’t No Grave / The Johnny Cash Project”
Eminem & Rihanna: “Love The Way You Lie”
Gorillaz, Mos Def & Bobby Womack: “Stylo”
Cee Lo Green: “F*** You”
Lady Gaga: “Bad Romance”
Will win: This is one of the toughest categories of the night to pick since there’s a former winner in Johnny Cash and three major hits, but “Love The Way You Lie” was one of the most talked about and controversial videos of the year, which makes it the one that the most voters have probably seen.
Should win: “Bad Romance” displayed the type of pop star extravagance that used to be commonplace in the 80s and 90s when major label music videos were still taken seriously.
Overlooked: Erykah Badu: “Window Seat”