Last week, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the upcoming 2012 Grammy Awards on both a lavish concert special (that was slightly better than last year’s event) and their official website. Many of this year’s nominees are new artists, and some of the categories have been changed, but one thing hasn’t changed: people are already making predictions. Here’s a look at some early guesses on who will win in the biggest categories on February 12th, 2012.
Album of the Year
Adele’s 21 vs. Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops And Hooligans, Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, and Rihanna’s Loud
Adele is one of those rare artists that both critics and music fans adore. You don’t have to be psychic to foresee her leaving the ceremony with an armful of trophies, which will include this nod to the most-lauded album of the year.
Record of the Year
Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” vs. Bon Iver’s “Holocene”, Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave”, Katy Perry’s “Firework”, and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”
“Rolling in the Deep” was THE song of 2011. You heard it in commercials, on multiple radio stations every five minutes, and repeatedly covered on TV talent shows.
Song of the Year
Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” vs. Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave”, Bon Iver’s “Holocene”, Kanye West feat. Rihanna, Kid Cudi, and Fergie’s “All of the Lights”, and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”
Being that this is a songwriter’s award, the voters love to see it go to a song performed by its main songwriter. Not to mention, it would be a shame to see it not go to Adele’s modern classic.
Best Pop Solo Performance
Lady Gaga’s “You and I” vs. Adele’s “Someone Like You”, Katy Perry’s “Firework”, Pink’s “F***in’ Perfect”, and Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”
A combination of the former “Best Male Pop Vocal” and “Best Female Pop Vocal” categories, look for the best track off of Gaga’s latest album to take the prize. (Especially after this performance aired on the 2011 Grammy Nominations Concert special.)
Niki Minaj vs. the Band Perry, Bon Iver, Skrillex, and J. Cole
This year’s Grammy’s will be another “ladies’ night”, with Minaj being another big winner. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if the voters chose the up-and-coming country group instead.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse’s “Body & Soul” vs. Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”, Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera’s “Moves Like Jagger”, the Black Keys’ “Dearest”, and Coldplay’s “Paradise”
A few years ago, Amy Winehouse brought a lot of excitement to the awards, which helped introduce her talent to a nationwide audience. Though her promising career was put to an end by her tragic death, voters still have the chance to honor her one more time, with this duet with a Grammy favorite.
Best R&B Album
Kelly Price’s Kelly vs. Ledisi’s Pieces of Me, R Kelly’s Love Letter, Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E, and El DeBarge’s Second Chance
The academy’s new rules made controversial changes in the R&B categories, merging “traditional” R&B with the more well-known acts. So look for one of those lesser-known, critically acclaimed artists to be honored instead.
Best Rap Album
Niki Minaj’s Pink Friday vs. Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne, Kanye West’s My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy, Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter IV, and Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers
Niki Minaj was one of last year’s biggest success stories. Voters love to see a woman take charge in a typically male-dominated field, and given that this album was the introduction to her career, they will easily choose to honor it.
Best Country Album
Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night vs. Taylor Swift’s Speak Now, George Strait’s Here for a Good Time, Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue, Eric Church’s Chief, and Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party
Lady Antebellum are the country darlings of the awards, and since they haven’t had a “Need You Now”-sized hit recently, this is their category.
Best Country Song
Taylor Swift’s “Mean” vs. Thompson Square’s “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”, Vince Gill’s “Threaten Me With Heaven”, Dave Barnes’ “God Gave Me You”, Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter’s “You and Tequila”, and Trace Adkins’ “Just Fishin’”
Due to lack of other nominations, the Academy seems to be feeling a little Swift fatigue, but chances are that they will like this self-written ode to critics.
Best Rock Album
Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ I’m With You, Kings of Leon’s Come Around Sundown, Wilco’s The Whole Love, and Jeff Beck’s Rock N Roll Party Honoring Les Paul
The Foos are Grammy favorites, but haven’t had the chance to be honored in several years. Look for their first #1 album to also please the voters.
Best Rock Performance
Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave” vs. Foo Fighters’ “Walk”, Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower”, the Decemberists “Down by the Water”, and Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall
Mumford & Sons are obviously loved by the academy, as proved with their many nominations this year. While they won’t take home any of the big categories, they will certainly pick something up.
Best Alternative Music Album
Bon Iver’s Bon Iver vs. Foster the People’s Torches, Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, Death Cab for Cutie’s Codes and Keys, and My Morning Jacket’s Circuital
A favorite of many “best of the year” lists, this award clearly belongs to Bon Iver’s sophomore breakthrough.
Best Dance Recording
Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand” vs. Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend”, Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Spirits”, Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech’s “Raise Your Weapon”, Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World”, and David Guetta & Avicii’s “Sunshine”
Call me crazy, but isn’t it likely that the vast majority of the Academy’s older voters will vote for “Barbra Streisand” based on its name (and lyrics) alone?