Grammy Predictions: Who Will Win? Who Has No Chance?

Kelly Clarkson LIVES!

Kelly Clarkson wants to snatch a trophy, y’all

What kind of pop music critic would I be if I didn’t predict the Grammy winners? A terrible pop music critic, that’s what kind.

So in the interest of my reputation, I have gazed into my crystal iPod Touch and determined not only who will win at the Grammys on Sunday, but also who should win and who doesn’t have a chance. [cue mystical music that implies I have the powers of second sight.]

Record of the Year (awarded to the performer)

“Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys

“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson

“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye feat. Kimbra

“We Are Young” by Fun.

“Thikin’ Bout You” by Frank Ocean

“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift

Who will win?

I’ve already noted that if Frank Ocean wins in any of the major categories, he could make queer music history, but I don’t think he’s taking it home with Record of the Year. And while Fun. has a billion nominations, which indicates enormous support, my gut tells me Gotye is going all the way. That song just sounds so different, yet it became a massive hit. However, Fun. could still pull it out, and don’t count out Kelly Clarkson, since she destroys her vocal.

Who has no chance?

Taylor Swift. For all its catchiness, that song annoys a lot of country fans, who might avoid it out of spite. Plus, she can come back next year for Album of the Year (for Red) and Song and Record of the Year (for “I Knew You Were Trouble.”)

Who SHOULD win?

Kelly C.! I actually like every song in this category—which is not always the case, ALISON KRAUSS AND ROBERT PLANT—but the sheer joy of “Stronger” can’t be denied.

Song of the Year (Awarded to the songwriter)

“The A Team” by Ed Sheeran

“Adorn” by Miguel

“We Are Young” by Fun.

“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson

Who will win?

I think it’s going to be Fun., simply because the band has all those other nominations, but this category can be a tough call. Sometimes, the obvious front runner like “Rolling in the Deep” takes it home, but sometimes, the prize goes to some random song by U2. So don’t count out a surprise victory from Ed Sheeran, whose gentle folk song about drug abuse is both a top twenty hit and an example of old-fashioned, straightforward, acoustic guitar songwriting.

Who has no chance?

I think pop divas Kelly and Carly will cancel each other out.

Who SHOULD win?

I’ve got to go with Fun. on this one. The lyrics are evocative, the structure and vocal arrangements are compelling, and since Gotye isn’t nominated here, it’s hard to find another competitor that sounds as grand.

Album of the Year

El Camino by The Black Keys

Some Night by Fun.

Babel by Mumford & Sons

Channel Orange by Frank Ocean

Blunderbuss by Jack White

Who will win?

I’d put money on Mumford & Sons, even though this album isn’t nearly as good as their debut. They’re a solid rock band that blew up after appearing on the Grammys a few years ago, which means the Academy can take partial credit for their success. Plus, they got nominated for Record and Song of the Year last year, but they lost to Adele. And they lost Best New Artist to Esperanza Spalding. Voters might feel they’re due a major win. However, it’s also possible that all the rock albums will split the vote, leaving Frank Ocean to sneak in.

Who has no chance?

Jack White. It’s cool that he’s the closest thing we’ve got to a “legacy nomination” for an old rock star, since he’s not even old. That suggests the Grammys are getting more relevant than they were when Steely Dan and Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett got tapped in the 90s. But that said, he’s still in the legacy slot here, and his album didn’t make enough of an impact to excite a large base of voters.

Who should win?

Frank Ocean. Fun. released some great singles, but parts of that album are weak, and while I like the Black Keys and Mumford albums, they’re not nearly as exciting and refreshing as Channel Orange.

Best New Artist

Frank Ocean
Alabama Shakes
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers

Who Will Win?

Lord, who knows? With Bon Iver and Esperanza Spalding winning in 2012 and 2011, respectively, this category has been crazy recently. Since they had two inescapable hits, I’m putting soft money on Fun., but I’d put an equal amount of bills on Frank Ocean, since this would be a great place to reward his achievement and his promise. But if Alabama Shakes—also great, by the way—takes it home, don’t be surprised.

Who Has No Chance?

Hunter Hayes. He’s the only one who seems slight compared to the other nominees. He might nab a few trophies in the country genre, but I don’t seem him beating all these heavy hitters.

Who SHOULD win?

Frank Ocean. Obviously.

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Set Fire to the Rain (Live)” by Adele
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson
“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
“Wide Awake” by Katy Perry
“Where Have You Been” by Rihanna

Who will win?

I’ve seen predictions for Adele, but since she just won every Grammy last year, but that’s why I think she won’t take it here. It’s time to spread the love around. Voters clearly like “Stronger,so I’m going with Kelly Clarkson. I’d put slim odds on Carly Rae Jepsen, thought I’m guessing she seems too much like a novelty singer and not enough like an actual artist.

Who has no chance?

Rihanna and Katy Perry. They’re pretty much filling out the category.

Who SHOULD win?

I’ve got to give it up to Kelly Clarkson. She kills this song.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
Some Nights by Fun.
Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine
Overexposed by Maroon 5
The Truth About Love by Pink

Who will win?

It’s got to be Fun., right? Getting nominated for Album of the Year is always a good sign that you’ll win in your album’s genre.

Who has no chance?

Pink and Maroon 5. The lack of major nominations in the bigger categories shows weak support.

Who SHOULD win?

I love Pink, and I hope she takes ALL the awards for “Just Give Me a Reason” next year, but this time, I’ve got to go with Florence + The Machine. Ceremonials is an album I didn’t get at first, but now I appreciate how great it is.

Mark Blankenship is thinkin’ bout how what doesn’t kill him makes him stronger. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.