Every year, I make predictions for the Grammy nominations - (1) because of my own little fascination with the way Grammy submitting/nominating/voting works, (2) because they can either be crazy, super predictable or totally off the wall, and (3) because I'm quite the nerd. Anywho, I've thrown in random categories in the past, but this year, I've stuck to what I know best - the general categories, the pop categories, and the country categories.
I've included my five predicted nominees, plus three alternates. Why? Because I can. Nominees are being announced in the general categories tomorrow night, live, on CBS. The other nominees will be posted online soon after. I will check my predix tomorrow night, and update the two of you who read this on how I did.
Here we go....
Album of the Year
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Eminem - Recovery
Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster
Miranda Lambert - Revolution
Sade – Soldier of Love
Alt: Live at the Troubadour (James Taylor/Carole King), The Blueprint 3 (Jay Z), Need You Now (Lady Antebellum)
Here's what we know: Every year, an industry vet gets in. I have James Taylor/Carole King possibly filling that vet slot, but it might be time to consider Sade a vet in order for them to snatch that spot. I'm going out on a pretty big limb with Miranda Lambert. That was the adored country album of the year, but Lady Antebellum could just as easily get the country spot. You can probably go to the bank on Eminem and Lady Gaga. Arcade Fire? Why not. The Blueprint 3 worries me. In case you're wondering, Taylor Swift and Kanye West are not eligible this year. Next year, both will definitely be here.
Record of the Year
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
California Gurls – Katy Perry
Empire State of Mind – Jay Z/Alicia Keys
Love the Way You Lie – Eminem/Rihanna
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Alt: Dog Days Are Over (Florence and the Machine), Soldier of Love (Sade), Fuck You (Cee-Lo Green)
Five years ago, I would have never predicted "California Gurls." But ever since they nominated "Dilemma" by Nelly & Kelly Rowland, they have totally skewed Billboard-friendly tracks, except for that whole Alison Krauss/Robert Plant, "Please Read the Letter," oddity.
Song of the Year
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine
The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Soldier of Love – Sade
Alt: Empire State of Mind (Jay Z/Alicia Keys), Nothin’ On You (B.O.B./Bruno Mars), Love the Way You Lie (Eminem/Rihanna)
I'm wrong somewhere in this category. Song and Record usually matches up on 4 of the 5 nominees. I only have 2 matching up. I'm wrong somewhere, but I just don't know. I'm guessing Florence & the Machine or Sade might replace "California Gurls" in Record, thus making it more even.
Best New Artist
Florence and the Machine
Mumford and Sons
Alt: Susan Boyle, Kid Cudi, B.O.B.
Trust me, there are not many worthy contenders here. But, this is oddly the hardest category. Beyond these, what about Neon Trees? "Animal" is huge right now. What about Adam Lambert? What about Orianthi? She has very strong support from Michael Jackson's This Is It. The Avett Bros. as a crazy spoiler? And where's the annual country act? Easton Corbin? Steel Magnolia? Screw it.
Pop Female Vocal
Sara Bareilles – King of Anything
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
Ke$ha – Tok Tok
Carole King – So Far Away
Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
Alt: Christina Aguilera (You Lost Me), Beyonce (Halo Live), Pink (Glitter in the Air), Sheryl Crow (Summer Day)
Sara Bareilles is weakest here. They only reason I listed Beyonce is because this is what she submitted (a live track? weak), and the Grammys will nominate her for anything.
Pop Male Vocal
Michael Buble - I Haven't Met You Yet
Michael Jackson - This Is It
James Taylor - Carolina In My Mind
Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are
John Mayer - Half of My Heart
Alt: Seal (Secret), Jason Mraz (Beautiful Mess), Rob Thomas (Someday)
You could easily replace Michael Jackson with Seal.
Pop Vocal Duo or Group
Glee Cast – Don’t Stop Believin’
Maroon 5 – Misery
Paramore – The Only Exception
Sade – Babyfather
Train – Hey Soul Sister (Live)
Alt: Bon Jovi (What Do You Got), Plain White Ts (Rhythm of Love), One Republic (Secrets)
Glee submitted. This category is always weak. They could easily get in.
Pop Vocal Collaboration
I Saw Her Standing There - Paul McCartney & Billy Joel
OMG- Usher & will.i.am
California Gurls- Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg
You've Gotta Friend- Carole King & James Taylor
Alt: B.o.B, Hailey Williams & Eminem (Airplanes II), Justin Timberlake, Matt Morris, & Charlie Sexton (Hallelujah), Michael Buble & Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings (Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)).
This is always an interesting category, because it's usually a good mix between commercial hits and songs by veterans. "Billionaire" is also eligible here, along with a track by Santana, Yo Yo Ma and India.Arie? One thing we know? The Grammy blue ribbon panels LOVE Santana and India.Arie.
Country Female Vocal
Alison Krauss – Lay My Burden Down
Miranda Lambert – The House That Built Me
Martina McBride – Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong
Taylor Swift – Mine
Carrie Underwood – Temporary Home
Alt: Reba (I Keep On Loving You), Leann Rimes (Swingin)
Reba never gets nominated in this category. She's out. Leann's been nominated every year for the past four or five years. I'm scared to leave her off.
Country Male Vocal
Trace Adkins - This Ain’t No Love Song
Tim McGraw - Southern Voice
Brad Paisley - American Saturday Night
George Strait - The Breath You Take
Keith Urban - Til Summer Comes Around
Alt: Dierks Bentley (Draw Me a Map), Josh Turner (All Over Me), Billy Currington (Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer)
Eh, why not?
Country Vocal Duo or Group
The Band Perry – If I Die Young
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now
Little Big Town – Little White Church
Sugarland – Stuck Like Glue
Zac Brown Band – Free
Alt: Rascal Flatts (Unstoppable), Court Yard Hounds (Ain’t No Son), The SteelDrivers (Where Rainbows Never Die)
This category always has the, "Who the hell are they?" nominee, and I've listened to country music all my life. So, I know I'm wrong on at least one of these. Again, I'm scared to leave Court Yard Hounds off the list, because every single time Dixie Chicks has been nominated in this category, they've won. For those that don't know, Court Yard Hounds is Dixie Chicks minus Natalie Maines. Because of that, Court Yard Hounds could easily get in.
So that's that. I did very well last year, getting 3 or 4 in every category I predicted, except 2, and getting a perfect 5 in 3 different categories. We'll see how this exercise in futility works out.
EDIT: I'm sure I will edit this right up until nominations are announced. Again, because I can.
Photos: Sade, Miranda Lambert - Sony Music; Grammy statuette - Grammy.com; Eminem - Universal Music