Now that the Grammy eligibility period is over (Sept. 30), I asked our forums moderator Darrin "Double D" Dortch to stick out his tender neck and bravely forecast the top three races — record, album and new artist of the year — in advance of nominations being unveiled on Dec. 6. See below, then compare to the predix of our other moderator, David "Guru" Schnelwar (CLICK HERE).
You can listen to Darrin and my podcast chat about his Grammy predix — CLICK HERE to Download MP3 File! Note: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.
The words south of this sentence are Darrin's.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
"Umbrella," Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
"Radio Nowhere," Bruce Springsteen
"Stronger," Kanye West
"Rehab," Amy Winehouse
"Smile," Lily Allen
"It's Not Over," Daughtry
"Thinking About You," Norah Jones
"No One," Alicia Keys
"Makes Me Wonder," Maroon 5
"The Sweet Escape," Gwen Stefani featuring Akon
"The Way I Are," Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson
"Until the End of Time," Justin Timberlake
"What Goes Around," Justin Timberlake
"Before He Cheats," Carrie Underwood
This is an odd year because two of the biggest songs — Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and Robin Thicke's "Lost Without You" — aren't eligible for Grammy consideration because both tracks were submitted last year before they became hits.
Predicting record (and song) of the year nominees this year is a real crap shoot. I really don't feel confident in saying any of these songs are frontrunners to be nominated. Grammy voters usually try to give us a mix of commercially successful songs and singles that made artistic statements. The past few years, however, the record of the year nominees have been almost solely made up of big hits.
Rihanna and Beyonce have had two of the year's biggest hits so I'm assuming both are likely nominees, but will voters really go for both in this category? Beyonce is the likelier nominee since she's been twice nominated in this category, but Rihanna has been a bigger force on the pop scene this year. Springsteen and West are past nominees in this category and are critical darlings this year so that should hopefully land them repeat nods here, though Springsteen's single isn't making an impact on the charts.
I feel most confident in predicting Winehouse's "Rehab" for a nod here and in song of the ear. It's easily the most interesting, if not controversial, record of the year. If one or more of the above five don't make the cut, we could see Grammy darlings like Norah Jones or Alicia Keys earn a spot or see a past nominee (Gwen Stefani) show up here. Keys, in particular, has a huge advantage since her song is currently sitting in the Top 5 on the pop and R&B charts. If not, last year's best new artist winner, Carrie Underwood, could steal a spot for her 'boyfriend done me wrong' country ditty. Underwood's song has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for over a year.
Potential new artist nominees Lily Allen and Feist could surprise and be up for best record. Was anyone else shocked to Corinne Bailey Rae crack Record and Song last year? Popular pop/rock bands like Daughtry and Maroon 5 are always a possibility. Timbaland and Justin Timberlake have been ubiquitous for over a year now so a nod here seems plausible.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Magic,: Bruce Springsteen
"Graduation," Kanye West
"Back to Black," Amy Winehouse
"Not Too Late," Norah Jones
"It Won't Be Soon Before Long," Maroon 5
"Icky Thump," White Stripes
"The Reminder," Feist
"Memory Almost Full," Paul McCartney
"Arcade Fire," Neon
"The Information," Beck
"Infinity on High," Fall Out Boy
Hell would freeze over if Springsteen, West and Winehouse weren't nominated in this category on the morning of Grammy nominations. Springsteen has great critical and commercial success at the moment; West has become somewhat of a perennial nominee and Winehouse has one of the most buzzworthy debut discs of the year. Daughtry has one of the bestselling albums of the year and I expect voters to honor them since there isn't much to choose from.
The last spot is anyone's guess. It could go to Norah Jones, but her album has almost fallen off of the Billboard 200 albums chart, despite being in release for less than a year. I have a strong feeling that this is going to be one of those years where Grammy voters throw one or two wildcards in this race. Remember Diana Krall's shocking nomination in this category back in 2000? I bet we see a critically acclaimed indie disc get a nomination this year. It's been such a poor year for mainstream releases.
BEST NEW ARTIST
Gym Class Heroes
Jennifer Hudson (if submitted)
Robin Thicke (if eligible)
Winehouse is a lock and should win this category pretty easily, but she'll need four filler co-nominees. I don't think the Academy will be able to ignore the triple platinum success of Daughtry and recent VMA champs Gym Class Heroes should warm a spot too. The last two spots could go to any of the indie female solo artists, namely Lily Allen and Feist whose breakout singles ("Smile" and "1234") have gained them some buzz. Female country and R&B singers often score nods here so watch out for Colbert, Swift and Michele. But if Hudson and Thicke are on that eligibility list then I expect both to score nominations. Time will tell.