The Grammy Awards claim to be music’s biggest night, an exciting spectacle of live performance and major upsets honoring the best in the biz. With 84 categories, it’s easy to get lost in the fanfare of an awards ceremony that is as self-congratulating -- members of The Academy, i.e., people who have won a Grammy previously or qualify as an industry professional -- as it is exhaustive, recognizing everything from Record of the Year to Best Album Notes.
This year’s ceremony, which airs on Sunday on CBS live from Los Angeles, promises some historic moments, including in memoriam tributes to Prince and George Michael, Katy Perry’s first performance of “Chained To The Rhythm,” her new song featuring Skip Marley, and a genre-scrambling union of Lady Gaga performing with Metallica.
For those who want to play catch up on a year of music or want a guide map of what to expect when it comes to the winners and losers, Vanyaland presents its prediction of the winners in 10 of the Grammys’ biggest categories.
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Album of the Year
25 by Adele Lemonade by Beyoncé Purpose by Justin Bieber Views by Drake A Sailor’s Guide To Earth by Sturgill Simpson
Who Will Win: Views should have been called Glances, because it didn’t hold the public’s interest beyond the major promotional period. Besides, Drake is not an albums artist. Off the top of your head, name one song on Views that’s not a single. You can’t. The same goes for Lemonade. For those not active members of the Beygency, Lemonade might as well consist of “Formation,” “Hold Up,” “Sorry,” and a long-form HBO special that everyone claims to have watched but no one will admit to fast-forwarding. This is where The Academy will award Adele, whose 25 was branded “the album that will save music.” The jury’s still out on that, but it did sell more copies worlwide than The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem in 2000, before streaming and file-sharing really changed the course of the industry.
The Dark Horse: Justin Bieber may be the redemption story of the Grammys, with Purpose possibly taking this one. That album made a Belieber out of all of us, and it was the first time that Bieber made music’s reigning male pop star — the other Justin, Timberlake — take note. Still, depending how the categories in which Beyoncé is nominated play out, Lemonade could sneak through and take this one.