Award Shows: 2017 Grammys – General Field Predictions (Winners)

Album of the Year

Album of the Year.jpg

Nominees – 

25 by Adele

Lemonade by Beyonce

Purpose by Justin Bieber

Views by Drake

A Sailor’s Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson

Will Win: Lemonade by Beyonce

Dark Horse: 25 by Adele

Should Win: Lemonade by Beyonce

If Kanye West stood up, went onstage and almost interrupted Beck’s speech because he thought Beyonce was robbed of the award her self-titled album deserved, he should set the stage on fire if Lemonade loses. Beyonce has us believing that our experiences of defeat, rage, hope and pursuit of equality are shared with the biggest superstar living today. She goes from ballad to folk to rock to R&B and demonstrates her versatility as a vocalist and diversity as an artist. Not to mention, the academy can best make a political statement through Beyonce (Remember the Dixie Chicks?). The bias against hip-hop and R&B in the general fields do not go well for her chances though.

Adele is the contender most likely to upset but 25 is no 21 and it would be an injustice to reward an underwhelming record based on an artist’s credibility and track record. Justin Bieber’s nomination is the reward and Drake’s Views is acclaimed for select tracks but not the album in its entirety. Most critics were actually disappointed after the long wait. I do not share this sentiment but I’m just a consumer of music. Listening to three tracks from Sturgill Simpson’s new album and you’d get he is the alternative choice. But I could not get myself to listen to any more and pretend I enjoyed it.

Record of the Year

Record of the Year.jpg

Nominees – 

Hello by Adele

Formation by Beyonce

7 Years by Lukas Graham

Work by Rihanna featuring Drake

Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots

Will Win: Hello by Adele

Dark Horse: Formation by Beyonce

Should Win: Formation by Beyonce

While 25 was no 21, Hello would remain as one of Adele’s signature hits, even side by side tracks from her sophomore album. By far, it is the most anticipated and commercially successful among the five nominated. Recall, impact and generally safe are traits it has going for it.

On the other hand, Formation is controversial and divisive and a clear deviation from radio sound, showcasing an artist willing to take risks and go political. The Super Bowl performance and the music video helped bring media mileage but I’m hesitant to believe that made a significant enough number to appreciate Formation for the gem it is.

The other three nominees have no chance. Any other year, Rihanna would’ve dominated but this is not any other year. Beyonce had to release an album during the consideration period. Twenty One Pilots broke out and is the alternative/rock/pop choice but its the uncertainty in its genre that will be their defeat. Lukas Graham has one hit going for them but not huge  enough to get away with a Gotye in this category.

Song of the Year

Song of the Year.jpg

Nominees – 

Hello by Adele

Formation by Beyonce

Love Yourself by Justin Bieber

7 Years by Lukas Graham

I Took a Pill in Ibiza by Mike Posner

Will Win: Hello by Adele

Dark Horse: Formation by Beyonce

Should Win: Formation by Beyonce

The songwriters get the award for Song of the Year but I’m sure half the people voting aren’t even aware of this distinction. Hence, for the same reasons I expect Hello to pull off a victory over Formation in Record of the Year, the same will hold true in this category.

Ed Sheeran writing and pulling off a victory last year for Thinking Out Loud might help Love Yourself. However,  I cannot imagine the academy rewarding Justin Bieber in the general categories just yet. Mike Posner is a pleasant surprise and I would be happy if he pulls off an upset. The lyrics of Lukas Graham’s 7 Years is too basic that it would be a tragedy for it to win this category.

Best New Artist

Best New Artist.jpg

Nominees – 

Anderson Paak

Chance the Rapper

The Chainsmokers

Marren Morris

Kelsea Ballerini

Will Win: Chance the Rapper

Dark Horse: Marren Morris

Should Win: Chance the Rapper

Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar have both lost this category which does not bode well for Chance the Rapper. But Marren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini are likely to split the country vote and The Chainsmokers are not taken seriously by the industry to win. Whether they deserve to be taken seriously as artists is another point of discussion, hopefully not reach a saturation point they get to be considered Nickelback. Anderson Paak – I do not know who and maybe I should. I’m sure he doesn’t know me either.

In any case, Chance the Rapper should’ve been nominated for the other three general field categories but a victory here should be his consolation. Hip-hop/rap music has never sounded so inspired and gospel-high while maintaining its authenticity and generating more inclusivity.


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