I agree with our forum moderators David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch that the Zac Brown Band will win the Grammy Award for best new artist on Sunday (CBS, 8 p.m. ET/PT), but I think they're vastly underestimating the chance that Keri Hilson can triumph. Solo female artists usually win this category. The last three champs were Adele, Amy Winehouse and Carrie Underwood.
BEST NEW ARTIST
The Ting Tings
Zac Brown Band — DoubleD, Guru
GURU'S COMMENTARY: Keri Hilson and the Zac Brown Band were the only two artists expected to be nominated in this category.
MGMT, Silversun Pickups and the Ting Tings are all on alternative/modern rock radio and will most likely split that vote between them. MGMT has a bit of an advantage because they received a nomination in the pop field for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals.
Female artists have a good track record in this category but Keri Hilson failed to receive nominations in the R&B field in a year where there are mostly filler nominees. So I don't expect her to win.
The Zac Brown Band did manage to get two nominations in the country field for best counrty album and best country performance by a duo or group with vocals. They are charting really well at the right time. So, by process of elimination, I expect them to win.
The last time a country artist won in this category was in 2006 with Carrie Underwood. That year, the Dixie Chicks won record of the year, album of the year and song of the year. Country music is likely to be the big winner in the general field again this year.
DOUBLED'S COMMENTARY: This is one of the weakest groups of nominees the Grammys have seen in years. The Ting Tings and Silversun Pickups are out … this is their sole nomination and an artist hasn't won this category without a corresponding genre/general field nomination in years. Hilson was completely snubbed in the (weak) R&B field, despite a nod in the rap field, so she's out. MGMT has one (filler) nomination in the pop field, but I think they needed a record of the year nod to be competitive here. Zac Brown Band is the default choice here, though they do have two nominations in the country field.
Photos: Zac Brown Band (Atlantic), Keri Hilson (Interscope)