When the nominations for the 57th annual Grammy awards were announced several months ago, the most shocking thing was exactly how unsurprising it all was. The vast majority of the honorees were the most critically acclaimed artists of the year, nominated for the songs and albums that landed on most “Best of 2014” lists. Despite the predictability of it all, one can expect this year’s telecast to focus on a fresher crop of superstars, with newcomers like Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor, and Iggy Azalea stealing the spotlight away from established household names like Usher and Taylor Swift.
The following are some educated guesses as to what will happen in a dozen major categories. As always, though, we’ll have to wait until Sunday 8 February to see how right (or wrong) we are.