2016 Grammy Awards Predictions


Courtesy of eonline.com

The 58th annual Grammy Awards will air at 7 p.m. CST Monday, Feb. 15, on CBS.

Parker Reed

2015 was an excellent year in music, so naturally 2016’s 58th annual Grammy Awards (Feb. 15) will be a night of surprises no matter who wins.

The 58th annual Grammy Awards will air at 7 p.m. CST Monday, Feb. 15, on CBS. 

The following are predictions of who will win their respective award on Grammy night:

Album of the Year

Nominations: “Sound & Color” by Alabama Shakes, “To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar, “Traveller” by Chris Stapleton, “1989” by Taylor Swift and “Beauty Behind the Madness” by The Weeknd

This year’s “Album of the Year” race is diverse (with rock, rap, country, pop and R&B all being represented) and a close race which will ultimately come down to Alabama Shakes, Lamar and Swift.

“Sound & Color” is definitely the underdog, but three of the past five awards in this category have gone to alternative acts (Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and Beck) and Brittany Howard’s vocals are a revelation in modern soul and could propel Alabama Shake’s sophomore record to a victory.

“To Pimp a Butterfly” was one of the most commercially and critically successful albums of 2015, giving it the mainstream appeal the Grammys tend to gravitate toward. It’s musically daring social commentary make it the most striking, and perhaps deserving, nominee.

Swift’s “1989” was a near-perfect pop music phenomenon spawning six singles, three of which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold 1.2 million copies in its first week. If Swift takes home the prize she will become only the fifth artist in history to win the award more than once (following her 2010 win for “Fearless), joining Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and U2.

Prediction: Taylor Swift, “1989”

Record of the Year

Nominations: “Really Love” by D’Angelo and the Vanguard, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson (Feat. Bruno Mars), “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift and “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd

While it’s great to see such an excellent artist like D’Angelo nominated, the real favorites seem to be either Sheeran’s delicate ode to a lover and Ronson’s infectious funk influenced boogie. While both tracks feature excellent production, “Uptown Funk” features a relentless groove that is hard to compete with.

Prediction: Mark Ronson (Feat. Bruno Mars), “Uptown Funk”

Song of the Year

Nominations: “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town, “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa (Feat. Charlie Puth) and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

Khalifa’s “See You Again” quickly became one of the most popular ballads of the year and Lamar’s “Alright” has become a modern protest anthem, but this race is between Sheeran and Swift. Most other years “Thinking Out Loud” would be a definite threat, but Swift crafted one of the best pop songs in recent memory with “Blank Space,” so this category belongs to her.

Prediction: Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”

Best New Artist

Nominations: Courtney Barnett, James Bay, Sam Hunt, Tori Kelly and Meghan Trainor

The Beatles, Maroon 5 and Adele are just a few of the long list of artists who won this category when nominated at the beginning of their career. Most people might be quick to jump the gun on Meghan Trainor, but James Bay seems ready to take home the gramophone on this one.

Prediction: James Bay

Best Rock Song

Nominations: “Don’t Wanna Fight” by Alabama Shakes, “Ex’s & Oh’s” by Elle King, “Hold Back the River” by James Bay, “Lydia” by Highly Suspect and “What Kind of Man” by Florence & the Machine

While King and Florence Welch saw more success on the charts with their nominations, Brittany Howard’s aforementioned vocals and the band’s choppy, soulful groove could give Alabama Shakes their first Grammy win.

Prediction: Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”

Best Rock Album

Nominations: “Chaos and the Calm” by James Bay, “Kintsugi” by Death Cab for Cutie, “Mister Asylum” by Highly Suspect, “Drones” by Muse and “.5: The Gray Chapter” by Slipknot

This year’s nominations feature two attention grabbing aspects. First, the Foo Fighters eighth release “Sonic Highways” is the first of their albums not to be nominated for this award since their debut self-titled release in 1995, which is astounding because usually they are major contenders for this category, winning four of their six nominations. Second, Death Cab for Cutie’s inclusion in the rock category instead of the alternative is a noticeable change. But despite it not being the strongest inclusion in their discography, Muse’s “Drones” is the likely winner among the voters.

Prediction: Muse, “Drones”

Best Alternative Music Album

Nominations: “Sound and Color” by Alabama Shakes, “Vulnicura” by Bjork, “The Waterfall” by My Morning Jacket, “Currents” by Tame Impala and “Star Wars” by Wilco

Bjork tends to receive critical acclaim, but has never won a Grammy award. Wilco won this category in 2005 with their album “A Ghost is Born” and My Morning Jacket has been nominated in this category two other times. Alabama Shakes and Tame Impala are clearly the newcomers, being nominated for a collective four Grammys before this year’s ceremony, but are most likely the favorites to win. While Tame Impala’s psychedelic rock tends to draw acclaim, most artists that are nominated for “Album of the Year” (Alabama Shakes) win their respective genre.

Prediction: Alabama Shakes, “Sound and Color”

Best Rap Song

Nominations: “All Day” by Kanye West, “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, “Energy” by Drake, “Glory” by Common & John Legend and “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap

“Trap Queen” was many people’s summer anthem, but lacks the depth to win. “All Day” and “Energy” are fun tracks and “Glory” packs an emotional punch, but none of the other nominations come close to Lamar’s fourth single from “To Pimp a Butterfly” in terms of lyrics, musical content or technical performance.

Prediction: Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”

Best Rap Album

Nominations: “2014 Forest Hills Drive” by J. Cole, “Compton” by Dr. Dre, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” by Drake, “To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar and “The Pinkprint” by Nicki Minaj

J. Cole and Drake satisfied their fans, and even won over some critics with their recent releases, and Dr. Dre and Minaj found continued mainstream success with their latest efforts. However, if anyone believes that this award doesn’t belong to Lamar, they’d be mistaken.

Prediction: Kendrick Lamar, “To Pimp a Butterfly”

Best Country Song

Nominations: “Chances Are” by Lee Ann Womack, “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” by Tim McGraw, “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town, “Hold My Hand” by Brandy Clark and “Traveller” by Chris Stapleton

Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” surprised many listeners and McGraw and Womack remain fan favorites in the community, but Stapleton’s excellent lead single from his album of the same name features a rare reality in its songwriting that could win over the voters.

Prediction: Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”

Best Country Album

Nominations: “Montevallo” by Sam Hunt, “Pain Killer” by Little Big Town, “The Blade” by Ashley Monroe, “Pageant Material” by Kacey Musgraves and “Traveller” by Chris Stapleton

Both Hunt and Little Big Town saw mainstream success in 2015, and Kacey Musgraves’ “Pageant Material” was praised by critics and she even took home this award in 2014 for “Same Trailer Different Park.” However, Stapleton’s raw country feel and excellent down-to-earth songwriting will take home the prize for this one.

Prediction: Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”

For more information on nominees and categories, visit the Grammy Awards’ website