It is September 30th meaning that the eligibility period for the 58th GRAMMY Awards, that ranged from October 1st last year, is now over. And it is now time to look at the possible contenders. However, we still have to wait a few more weeks until the official list of submissions is disclosed. Therefore, the predictions below are pure speculation. Let’s now take a look at the top contenders in each of the four general field categories:
RECORD OF THE YEAR
The current front-runner for the RoTY nod is of course British producer Mark Ronson for “Uptown Funk” featuring 2-time GRAMMY winner, Bruno Mars. The song features that throwback sound that the Academy likes and it was also one of the best selling singles of the year. Following Ronson, is GRAMMY darling, Taylor Swift who could be competing with “Blank Space”. Another favourite is Ed Sheeran with “Thinking Out Loud”. If Sheeran gets nominated, he will be completing his stack of nominations in the general field. Also, the RoTY line-up had included the biggest hit of the summer for the past three years so don’t be surprised if you see Omi’s “Cheerleader” grabbing a nod. And since the Academy loves collaborations, specially when they involve some of their favourite performers; “FourFiveSeconds” featuring Kanye West, Rihanna and Paul McCartney could complete the line-up.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
There are two clear candidates here: The top-selling album of the year, Taylor Swift’s 1989 and the most critically-acclaimed record of the year, To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. There is no doubt that the “Bad Blood” duo will be battling each other for the GRAMMYs’ most prestigious award. Another album that is featured on several predictions lists is Black Messiah by the neo-soul singer D’Angelo. Another favourite is blues rock group, Alabama Shakes for their sophomore album Sounds & Colour. Also in the running are Foo Fighters for their eight studio album, Sonic Highways that despite of average reviews and sales it is worth to take into account that the Foos have made the AoTY line-up for their last two albums.
SONG OF THE YEAR
The Song of the Year category is highly unpredictable and it can include non-mainstream alternative rock songs and the cheesiest pop songs. The only front-runners here are Taylor Swift for “Blank Space” and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”. The SoTY line-up could include two songs from movies: “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” by The Weeknd and “See You Again” from Furious 7 by rapper Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth. And if you want to throw a relatively unknown nominee here George Ezra’s “Budapest” could make the cut.
BEST NEW ARTIST
The 2014-15 period was not the greatest year for new artists as we didn’t get a Sam Smith or a Macklemore. Therefore, it is another unpredictable category. The current front-runner, and definite contender of the unofficial ‘country’ slot is Sam Hunt. Another front-runner is last year’s nominee, Meghan Trainor who is know eligible following the release of her debut album, Title. Furthemore, a trend that we’ve seen in the BNA category is having a British solo singer. Hence, you can count on James Bay for that matter. Another acclaimed new artist is Tori Kelly, whose debut album was produced by Max Martin and Ed Sheeran, among others. The other possible nominees are the all-girl group, Fifth Harmony.
The following predictions are listed in order of likelihood of getting nominated:
RECORD OF THE YEAR
|ALBUM OF THE YEAR||SONG OF THE YEAR||
BEST NEW ARTIST
|Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars
|“Blank Space”||Sam Hunt|
To Pimp A Butterfly
|“Thinking Out Loud”||Meghan Trainor|
“Thinking Out Loud”
|D’Angelo & the Vanguard
|“Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)”||James Bay|
|Kanye West, Rihanna & Paul McCartney
Sound & Color
|“See You Again”||Tori Kelly|
The nominations for the 58th GRAMMY Awards will most likely be announced on the first week of December.