'Guru' makes gutsy Grammy Awards predictions in all top races
Over the past few weeks I pitted our forums moderators David "Guru" Shnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch against each other to predict who'll win the Grammy Awards for best record, song, Album and new artist of the year. Now let's look at each pundit's Grammy predictions on a solo basis. Here's Guru's spin on the Grammys:
RECORD OF THE YEAR
- Favorite -- "Viva La Vida" -- Coldplay
- Possible -- "Chasing Pavements" -- Adele
Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and Adele's "Chasing Pavements" are the only two songs nominated at the Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The contest will most likely be between those two songs.
Coldplay won this category in 2003 for their song "Clocks." I expect them to win here again.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- Favorite -- Robert Plant and Alison Krauss -- "Raising Sand"
- Possible -- Coldplay -- "Viva La Vida" or "Death and All His Friends"
I believe rock voters at the Grammys will be split between Coldplay and Radiohead and urban voters will be split between Lil Wayne and Ne-Yo, leaving Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to win. Plant and Krauss are nominated in multiple fields such as pop, country and folk, which helps their chances.
Grammy voters might mark their ballots for Coldplay throughout the General Field. So they are still possible.
No one expected Herbie Hancock to win here last year. So anything can happen.
SONG OF THE YEAR
- Favorite -- "Viva La Vida" -- Coldplay
- Possible -- "Chasing Pavements" -- Adele
Song of the Year usually is in sync with Record of the Year. I expect "Viva La Vida" to win.
BEST NEW ARTIST
- Favorite -- Adele
- Possible -- Duffy
Last year I was the lone person to predict Taylor Swift instead of Amy Winehouse. A year later Taylor Swift has the No. 1 album in the U.S. for six weeks and counting and Amy Winehouse's future musical status is a mystery.
One thing I learned from predicting Taylor Swift last year is that only twice in 20 years at the Grammys has an artist with one nomination won Best New Artist -- Milli Vanilli in 1989 and Shelby Lynee in 2000. This is what hurts the Jonas Brothers' chances, despite being the biggest name and seller in this category.
Lady Antebellum and Jazmine Sullivan are not crossover enough to win.
The battle is between Adele and Duffy. Adele has the upper hand because she is nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. But do not count out Duffy. She is a critical favorite and still poses competition.
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
- Favorite -- "Long Road Out Of Eden" -- The Eagles
- Possible -- "Rockferry" -- Duffy
No album nominated in this field is nominated for Album of the Year in the General Field. The Eagles and Duffy were both serious contenders for Album of the Year but failed to make the cut.
This is Sheryl Crow's only Grammy nomination this year (which hurts her chances). Leona Lewis' debut album was not well received critically and James Taylor has an album of cover songs.
This Grammy is between The Eagles and Duffy. The Eagles have the edge.
BEST POP MALE VOCAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- Jason Mraz -- "I'm Yours"
- Possible -- John Mayer -- "Say"
John Mayer has won in this Grammy category three times previously but each of those times he was also nominated in the General Field. He is not nominated in the General Field this year. But it's still hard to bet against Mayer at the Grammys.
James Taylor should not be completely counted out. He unexpectedly won in 2001 in this category.
Kid Rock would have a better chance of winning if he was nominated for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. Ne-Yo is favored in Best R&B Male Vocal Performance.
I believe Jason Mraz's Song of the Year nomination will help him win here. John Mayer won with that same reasoning in 2003 with "Daughters."
BEST POP FEMALE VOCAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- Duffy -- "Mercy"
- Possible -- Leona Lewis -- "Bleeding Love"
Ten years ago, I discovered a pattern: every winner in the Best Pop Vocal Album category has been nominated in the General Field or for Best Pop Vocal Album.
This pattern hurts Pink's and Katy Perry's chances.
This year it is between Adele, Sara Bareilles, Duffy, Leona Lewis.
Adele's debut album "19" failed to receive any nominations. I think that will hurt her in this category.
I think it is between Duffy and Leona Lewis because they are both nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. Duffy is a throwback to Dusty Springfeld and voters will like that.
BEST POP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
- Favorite -- Coldplay -- "Viva La Vida"
- Possible -- The Eagles -- "Waiting In The Weeds"
Coldplay being nominated for Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year, makes them a lock to win in this category. The Eagles' Best Pop Vocal Album nomination makes them the next in line to win.
BEST POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
- Favorite -- Robert Plant & Alison Krauss -- "Rich Woman"
- Possible -- Madonna f/ Justin Timberlake & Timbaland -- "4 Minutes"
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss being nominated in both Record of the Year and Album of the Year makes them front-runners to win Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for the second year in a row.
BEST DANCE RECORDING
- Favorite -- Rihanna -- "Disturbia"
- Possible -- Lady Gaga & Colby O'Donis -- "Just Dance"
Rihanna's "Disturbia" was not submitted for Record of the Year consideration. It should have been. It would have received a nomination. I believe "Disturbia" is the front-runner to win Best Dance Recording. I have to admit that last year I predicted Rihanna's "Don't Stop The Music" to win and it lost Justin Timberlake's "Lovestoned / I Think She Knows"
Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" peaked during the voting and is currently the No. 1 song on Billboard's Hot 100. It might prevail.
It is always hard to count out Madonna in this category but she has lost two times previously ("Die Another Day" in 2003 and "Get Together" in 2006).
BEST ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM
- Favorite -- "Alive 2007" -- Daft Punk
- Possible -- "Last Night" -- Moby
Daft Punk is the only artist nominated in both Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording making it the front-runner.
I think it will be hard for voters to choose between Cyndi Lauper, Kylie Minogue and Robyn.
Moby received excellent reviews and may finally win to make up for losing Best Dance Recording in 2000 to Baha Men's "Who Let The Dogs Out."
BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
- Favorite -- Josh Groban -- "Noel"
- Possible -- Rufus Wainwright -- "Rufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall"
Josh Groban's "Noel" surged to the top of the charts at the end of 2007. He is the biggest seller of the five nominees, making him the front-runner. Groban has yet to win a Grammy.
Rufus Wainwright is finally nominated for a Grammy and voters might feel it is time to award him.
Natalie Cole was the first winner of this category when it debuted in 1991. She is trying win again in Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album with more songs from her father's catalog of music.
Barry Manilow and Michael Feinstein have both been previously nominated and lost in this category.
BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- "Girls In Their Summer Clothes" -- Bruce Springsteen
- Possible -- "Gravity" -- John Mayer
Bruce Springsteen is "Grammy Royalty." He has won a Grammy every consecutive year since 2002 and will win again this year. You could already expect him to win next year for his new album "Working On A Dream."
John Mayer, Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder and Neil Young do not pose serious threats to Springsteen.
BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
- Favorite -- "Violet Hill" -- Coldplay
- Possible -- "House of Cards" -- Radiohead
Coldplay and Radiohead are both nominated for Album of the Year. Coldplay has the advantage of being a previous winner in this category and having Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year nominations in the General Field this year.
AC/DC should have been nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance instead of this category. They would have won.
BEST HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- "Visions" -- Judas Priest
- Possible -- "Wax Simulacra" -- The Mars Volta
Judas Priest is the only group to be nominated for both Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance this year. Judas Priest is a hard rock/metal veteran who has yet to win a Grammy. They are overdue.
The Mars Volta is a critical favorite and might upset in this category.
BEST METAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- "My Apocalypse" -- Metallica
- Possible -- "Nostradamus" -- Judas Priest
Metallica is a lock to win in this category. Their nomination for Best Rock Album is a good indicator.
BEST ROCK SONG
- Favorite -- "Violet Hill" -- Coldplay
- Possible -- "Girls In Their Summer Clothes" -- Bruce Springsteen
Coldplay will either win big on Grammy night or Bruce Springsteen will win Best Rock Song for the fourth time.
BEST ROCK ALBUM
- Favorite -- "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends" -- Coldplay
- Possible -- "Death Magnetic" -- Metallica
Coldplay is a lock to win in this category. Being nominated throughout the General Field is too big to ignore.
BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
- Favorite -- "In Rainbows" -- Radiohead
- Possible -- "Modern Guilt" -- Beck
Every time Radiohead has been nominated for Album of the Year, they have won Best Alternative Music Album, and this year should be no different. This is would be Radiohead's third time winning in this category, tying the White Stripes for most wins.
Beck and Gnarls Barkley are previous winners in this category but not serious competition this year.
BEST FEMALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- Alicia Keys -- "Superwoman"
- Possible -- Beyonce -- "Me, Myself And I"
Alicia Keys is an 11-time Grammy winner. Beyonce is a 10-time Grammy winner. I think voters caught on that they have won too many Grammys.
Beyonce has received a lot of radio airplay for her two latest singles during the voting period but she is somehow nominated for a song from 2003.
If you look at the past winners of Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Keyisha Cole, Jennifer Hudson and Jazmine Sullivan are not crossover enough to beat Alicia Keys or Beyonce.
I think Alicia Keys will win despite not being nominated for Album of the Year and throughout the R&B field as expected.
BEST MALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- Ne-Yo -- "Miss Independent"
- Possible -- Chris Brown -- "Take You Down"
The whole year I thought Chris Brown was going to win Best Male R&B Vocal Performance until the Grammy nominations were announced. Chris Brown's sophomore album "Exclusive" was not even nominated for Best Contemporary R&B Album as most expected.
Ne-Yo being nominated for Album of the Year makes him a lock to win.
BEST R&B PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
- Favorite -- Al Green f/ John Legend -- "Stay With Me (By The Sea)"
- Possible -- Raphael Saadiq f/ Stevie Wonder & CJ Hilton -- "Never Give You Up"
Last year, Chaka Khan with Mary J. Blige beat various contemporary R&B artists. This year, Al Green with John Legend will do the same.
The only real threat is Raphael Saaqdiq because he has 22-time Grammy winner Stevie Wonder with him. Stevie Wonder is Grammy Royalty and you can never count him out.
BEST TRADITIONAL R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- Al Green f/ Anthony Hamiliton -- "You've Got The Love I Need"
- Possible -- Jazmine Sullivan -- "In Love With Another Man"
Al Green is the front-runner.
BEST URBAN/ALTERNATIVE PERFORMANCE
Favorite -- Chrisette Michele f/ Will.I.Am -- "Be OK"
Possible -- Kenna -- "Say Goodbye To Love"
Chrisette Michelle & Will.I.Am will win. The other nominees in this category are too obscure.
BEST R&B SONG
- Favorite -- "Miss Independent" -- Ne-Yo
- Possible -- "Spotlight" -- Jennifer Hudson
Ne-Yo will win.
BEST R&B ALBUM
- Favorite -- "Lay It Down" -- Al Green
- Possible -- "Jennifer Hudson" -- Jennifer Hudson
Al Green is the front-runner.
BEST CONTEMPORARY R&B ALBUM
- Favorite -- "Year Of The Gentleman" -- Ne-Yo
- Possible -- "Fearless" -- Jazmine Sullivan
Ne-Yo will win in this category for the second year in a row.
BEST RAP SOLO PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- Lil Wayne -- "A Milli"
- Possible -- Jay-Z -- "Roc Boys (And The Winner Is...)"
Lil Wayne is the front-runner.
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP
- Favorite -- Jay-Z & T.I. f/Lil Wayne & Kanye West -- "Swagga Like Us"
- Possible -- Lil Wayne f/Jay-Z -- "Mr. Carter"
The four biggest names in rap all at one time is hard to ignore. Jay-Z, T.I., Lil Wayne & Kanye West will win.
BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
- Favorite -- Estelle f/Kanye West -- "American Boy"
- Possible -- Lil Wayne f/T-Pain -- "Got Money"
Estelle & Kanye West are the front-runners because "American Boy" was nominated for Song of the Year.
Lil Wayne might win if voters want him to completely sweep the rap field.
I would not be shocked if any of the five nominees won in this category.
BEST RAP SONG
- Favorite -- "Swagga Like Us" -- Jay-Z & T.I. f/Lil Wayne & Kanye West
- Possible -- "Lollipop" -- Lil Wayne f/ Static Major
"Lollipop" was the bigger hit but it is hard not to award four of the biggest names in rap at one time. I think "Swagga Like Us" will win.
BEST RAP ALBUM
- Favorite -- "Tha Carter III" -- Lil Wayne
- Possible -- "American Gangster" -- Jay-Z
Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" is a lock to win.
BEST FEMALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- Trisha Yearwood -- "This Is Me You're Talking To"
- Possible -- Carrie Underwood -- "Last Name"
Trisha Yearwood is the only one of the five nominees for Best Female Country Vocal Performance to be nominated for Best Country Album. I think she will win.
BEST MALE COUNTRY VOCAL PERFORMANCE
- Favorite -- George Strait -- "Troubador"
- Possible -- Jamey Johnson -- "In Color"
I think George Strait is the front-runner.
BEST COUNTRY PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
- Favorite -- Sugarland -- "Stay"
- Possible -- Lady Antebellum -- "Love Don't Live Here"
Sugarland is the only country group also nominated for Best Country Song. I think they will win.
BEST COUNTRY COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
- Favorite -- Robert Plant & Alison Krauss -- "Killing The Blues"
- Possible -- Sugarland, Jake Owen & Little Big Town -- "Life In A Northern Town"
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss are the front-runners because of their nominations in the General Field for Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
BEST COUNTRY SONG
- Favorite -- "Stay" -- Sugarland
- Possible -- "I Saw God Today" -- George Strait
Many expected Sugarland's "Stay" to be nominated for Song of the Year. It did not happen. Sugarland is expected to win in this category.
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
- Favorite -- "Troubador" -- George Strait
- Possible -- "Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love" -- Trisha Yearwood
This is George Strait's year. He's never won a Grammy. I expect him to win Best Country Album.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO (SHORT FORM)
- Favorite -- Erykah Badu -- "Honey"
- Possible -- Weezer -- "Pork and Beans"
I am still surprised Feist's "1234" lost to Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down." This category is usually so predictable.
I think Erykah Badu's "Honey" will win.
Weezer's "Pork and Beans" is the only music video to rank on VH1's Top 40 of 2008. Their music video for "Buddy Holly" should have won in 1995. I do think they are possible this year.
Photos: J Records, Mercury Records