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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Coldplay

Grammy Awards winners: Sentiment prevails over artistry . . . again

February 8, 2009 | 11:02 pm

Well, the Grammy Awards played out mostly as expected, with one twist. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss bagged the Grammy for best album of the year ("Raising Sand") on cue, but — surprise — also best record ("Please Read the Letter"), a category widely forecast to go to Coldplay, which won best song for "Viva La Vida." Plant/Krauss weren't nominated in that Grammy race, but probably would've snagged that if they'd made the list.

Plant and Krauss were a Grammy juggernaut that couldn't be stopped, going undefeated with their three additional nominations: pop collaboration with vocals, country collaboration and best contemporary folk/Americana album.

Adding five new Grammys to her previous tally, Alison Krauss now has 26, which is one less than Quincy Jones and five shy of the all-time record held by Sir Georg Solti (31), former conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Grammys_grammy_awards_robert_plant

The sad thing about their sweep is that it gives us one more record of the year that really wasn't the record of the year. While "Please Read the Letter" is a nice enough tune, sure, it's probably going to be filed under other obscure best-record champs as "Here We Go Again," which sailed to victory aboard the Ray Charles/ Norah Jones juggernaut at the 2005 Grammys.

We Grammy-watchers weren't the only ones tonight scratchin' our noggins.

"I'd like to say I’m bewildered," Plant said at the end of the Grammy sweep as he clutched the best-album prize. "In the old days we would have called this selling out, but I think it's a good way to spend a Sunday."

Todd Martens of our Pop & Hiss blog wasn't happy about that Grammy victory, sighing, "When it comes to album of the year, always pick old over innovative. With 'Raising Sand,' Robert Plant and Alison Krauss crafted an engrossing and timeless country-influenced album, one that certainly deserved to be rewarded for best contemporary folk album. But album of the year? Not against Radiohead's 'In Rainbows,' an album that took more chances, pairing Radiohead's electronic and studio experimentations with some of the group's warmest songs to date."

Maybe we shouldn't get too riled up by all this, though, knowing how showbiz awards often go. The sentiment behind the Plant/Krauss avalanche was noble and heartfelt, a hug to beloved, enduring artists. It's kind of like "The Departed" winning best picture at the Oscars. No one really thought it was the best flick of 2006, but director Martin Scorsese was overdue for a big industry bear squeeze too.

Poor Jonas Brothers. They were looking so good on stage during their wow-pow duet with Stevie Wonder that I was tempted to sneak into The Envelope's Buzzmeter and switch my prediction for best new artist from Adele. But — whew — I resisted. That category, after all, usually spotlights solo female artists (Amy Winehouse and Carrie Underwood were the last two victors) and the Jonas Brothers had no cross-Grammys support. Best new artist was their solo nomination.

Notable award surprises included Duffy winning best pop album over the Eagles, who were cheated out of a bid for best album of the year for their multi-platinum comeback disc. While there was a lot of sentiment all Grammy night for veteran Plant, the Eagles had to make due with beating a bunch of nobodies for best pop instrumental performance for "I Dreamed There Was No War." While Plant beat Coldplay in the top races, those Eagles veterans couldn't get around Coldplay in the race for best pop group performance, and they even lost rock group performance to Kings of Leon ("Sex on Fire").

My, my, how long ago it seems that the Eagles soared high in Grammy skies by winning record of the year for "Hotel California" (1977). Why was there so much Grammy love for some veterans today but not others, eh?

Speaking of upsets: Rihanna was expected to win, but lost to Daft Punk ("Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"). Another surprise . . .

Continue reading »

100% perfect Grammy Awards predictions

February 8, 2009 | 12:43 am

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends," Coldplay
"Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne
"Year of the Gentleman," Ne-Yo
X - "Raising Sand," Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
"In Rainbows," Radiohead

RECORD OF THE YEAR
(Award to the Recording Artist)
"Chasing Pavements," Adele
X - "Viva La Vida," Coldplay
"Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis
"Paper Planes,"  M.I.A
"Please Read the Letter," Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

SONG OF THE YEAR
(Award to the Songwriter)
"American Boy," (Estelle Featuring Kanye West) William Adams, Keith Harris, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, John Stephens, Estelle Swaray & Kanye West, songwriters
"Chasing Pavements" (Adele) Adele Adkins & Eg White, songwriters
"I'm Yours" (Jason Mraz) Jason Mraz, songwriter
"Love Song" (Sara Bareilles) Sara Bareilles, songwriter
X - "Viva La Vida" (Coldplay) Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters

Grammys_grammy_awards_2

The only suspense in the top Grammy races is which awards will be doled out to Coldplay and which ones to the duo of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Will Plant-Krauss claim best album, as seems logical, leaving the prize for best record to Coldplay? Or the other way around? Or will one team sweep both races?

Remember back in 2002 when virtually all Grammy pundits thought Alicia Keys would win best record for "Fallin' "? It was widely expected that she'd also win best song too. The two awards agree about 60% of the time. If those two Grammy categories split, pundits figured that Alicia Keys at least would keep best record and U2 would siphon off the song victory for "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of," which was Bono's lament over the death of his pal Michael Hutchence, late lead singer of INXS.

The latter tune wasn't up for best record, though. A different U2 tune was — "Walk On," which was about Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi, but it was widely adopted as an inspiring anthem of endurance after the Sept. 11 attack by terrorists on the World Trade Center.

What happened? A weird Grammy flip-flop. Alicia Keys won best song, but not record! That was odd. While the tune was admired for its writing, it was revered for its performance, so that didn't add up. U2 won best record for "Walk On." Nobody saw that coming.

Veterans tend to win the album award (Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Steely Dan in recent years), so it's believed that Plant's team takes that this year. But Plant-Krauss could pull off a sweep like the Dixie Chicks did in 2007. Sweeps are common at showbiz awards. Or at least a mini-sweep might happen here. Plant and Krauss are nominated for best record, but not song. (Does Coldplay get that as consolation?) The last time a veteran chap was teamed up with a pretty young thrush in the record and song categories, he won — quite recently: Ray Charles with Norah Jones. (He won both, she claimed just the record prize.) It's possible that Coldplay could sweep all three, but unlikely. Plant-Krauss will take record or album. Probably album.

Grammys_grammy_awards_1

Coldplay is guaranteed the best song award. No rival is strong enough to beat the hipsters there. It's just a question of whether the Brit band is strong enough to claim best record too. Indeed, it proved to be four years ago when Coldplay's "Clocks" took that Grammy crown.

Since "Viva La Vida" was such a super-hit and "Please Read the Letter" was not, that suggests Coldplay will claim best record and song, leaving the album prize to Plant-Krauss. That prediction all falls into place nicely according to past voting patterns. 

What about all of those other Grammy nominees, you ask? Well, to be quite frank about it, most are there because of political correctness. A Secret Committee of "music experts" is assembled by the Recording Academy every year to listen to the 20 entries of music that get the most votes for best record, song, album and new artist (Grammy's top four awards — together they're known as the General  Field) from the whole membership. The committee likes to add lots of hip-hop that doesn't have a prayer to win. Rap's never won best record or song and only once took best album: "Speakerboxxx: The Love Below." OutKast had to win that year or else the whole music industry would've burnt down the normally fuddy-duddy academy.

Most pundits (who forgot about the fuddy-duddy issue) predicted "Late Registration" would win best album in 2006, but, come on, Kanye West was too creepy and in-your-face for the geezer Grammy voters, which swallowed OutKast when they had to because the duo was cool in a slick establishment way, not wacky like Kanye.

Therefore, when you are looking over the top races, nix all of the hip-hoppers from your predix. Grammy voters think they already gave at the office.

Radiohead was placed here by the Secret Committee as a matter of conscience (it's a sainted band in the rock world now) and balance of music sound. No chance to win. Leona Lewis is the sexy R&B diva du jour, but she's not in the same heavyweight league as Alicia Keys or Norah Jones. So forget it. Adele is even more lightweight — she just had a nifty video and great exposure on "Saturday Night Live." Voters may give her best new artist as a consolation prize.

Just because cool, edgy music acts are nominated in these races, don't make the mistake of thinking that they must therefore have broad support across the Recording Academy. Most of those nominees are put on the list by the Secret Committee so that the Grammys look cool, not because they're serious contenders to win.

Continue reading »

'DoubleD' predicts who'll win the Grammys

February 7, 2009 |  8:34 pm

Some of the Grammy Awards predictions of our forums' moderator Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch have been included in earlier blog posts that pitted his views against David "Guru" Shnelwar's while they forecasted the victors of the Grammy record, song, album and new artist of the year categories. Now let's look at each pundit's Grammy predictions on a solo basis. Here are DoubleD's noodlings on the top races.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Favorite – "Raising Sand," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Possible – "Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends," Coldplay

Robert Plant never won a Grammy while with Led Zeppelin, and he has only two Grammys to date. Krauss is a Grammy favorite (and a past winner here for the "O Brother" soundtrack) and "Raising Sand" got fantastic reviews, so I think Plant/Krauss will easily prevail here. If they lose, it’ll be to Coldplay, which will surely win multiple Grammys this year. Watch out for Lil Wayne’s "Tha Carter III," though. It’s one of the best-reviewed (and best-selling) albums of 2008, but Grammy voters still have a bias against urban music in the General Field.

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Favorite – "Viva la Vida," Coldplay
Possible – "Please Read the Letter," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

The Coldplay track and Adele’s "Chasing Pavements" are the only songs nominated for Record and Song of the Year. "Viva la Vida" was actually a huge No. 1 hit and a win here will serve as a consolation prize for losing the top award. However, if the love for Robert Plant runs deep, he and Krauss will win here too.

Grammy_awards_2

SONG OF THE YEAR
Favorite – "Viva la Vida" (Coldplay)
Possible – "Chasing Pavements" (Adele)

Record and Song usually go together, so it’s foolish to bet against Coldplay here.

BEST NEW ARTIST
Favorite  - Adele
Possible – Jonas Brothers

Adele’s exposure from "SNL" garnered her four unexpected Grammy nominations; I think her nods for Record, Song and Pop Female make her a favorite here. Watch out for the Jonas Brothers, though. They are easily the most recognizable name in this category, and they’ve been campaigning hard to win this Grammy.

BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Favorite – John Mayer, "Say"
Possible – Jason Mraz, "I’m Yours"

Never bet against John Mayer here. He has won this category three times this decade. Mraz’s track is nominated for Song of the Year and is currently in the Top 10, so he could spoil.

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Favorite – Leona Lewis, "Bleeding Love"
Possible – Adele, "Chasing Pavements"

Despite her shocking snub in the Best New Artist category, Lewis’ ubiquitous No. 1 hit will prevail here. Lewis did earn Record of the Year and Pop Album nods, so the support is definitely there. Adele is her biggest competition, but "Chasing Pavements" wasn’t a big enough hit to win here.

BEST POP DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
Favorite – Coldplay, "Viva la Vida"
Possible – Eagles, "Waiting in the Weeds" or Maroon 5, "Won’t Go Home Without You"

Coldplay will easily sweep their genre field nominations. Eagles and Maroon 5 are past winners here, but their tracks weren’t hits.

BEST POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS
Favorite – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, "Rich Woman"
Possible – Alicia Keys f/John Mayer, "Lesson Learned"

As with Coldplay, I fully expect Plant & Krauss to sweep their genre field nominations. If they don’t prevail here, Grammy faves Keys and Mayer will surely win.

BEST POP ALBUM
Favorite – "Long Road Out of Eden," Eagles
Possible – "Detours," Sheryl Crow

Despite their surprising exclusion from the Album of the Year race, the Eagles should have little trouble winning here for their multi-platinum comeback album. Not even Crow, a former Grammy favorite, can stop them.

BEST TRADITIONAL POP ALBUM
Favorite – "Noel," Josh Groban
Possible – "Still Unforgettable," Natalie Cole

Good reviews and astounding sales should put Groban’s Christmas album on top. Beware of Cole, though. She’s a respected Grammy vet.

BEST DANCE RECORDING
Favorite – Lada Gaga, "Just Dance"
Possible – Rihanna, "Disturbia"

"Just Dance" has been the No. 1 song in the country for the last few weeks -- right during the peak of Grammy voting. That’s usually a big help. Rihanna had another big year, so she could win too.

BEST ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM
Favorite – "Bring Ya to the Brink," Cyndi Lauper
Possible – "Alive 2007," Daft Punk

I think Lauper will win here on name recognition alone.

BEST SOLO ROCK VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Favorite – Bruce Springsteen, "Girls in Their Summer Clothes"
Possible – John Mayer, "Gravity"

I’ve lost count on how many times Springsteen has won here. Don’t bet against him.

BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP
Favorite – Coldplay, "Violet Hill"
Possible – Eagles, "Long Road Out of Eden"

Coldplay wins again.

BEST HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE
Favorite – Rob Zombie, "Lords of Salem"
Possible – Motley Crue, "Saints of Los Angeles"

Rob Zombie’s recent success in films will give him the edge here.

BEST METAL PERFORMANCE
Favorite – Metallica, "My Apocalypse"
Possible – Slipknot, "Psychosocial"

Metallica should easily win here as a consolation for losing Rock Album.

BEST ROCK SONG
Favorite – "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" (Bruce Springsteen)
Possible – "Violet Hill" (Coldplay)

Springsteen is a favorite here, and I bet this will be the sole genre category that Coldplay loses.

BEST ROCK ALBUM
Favorite – "Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends," Coldplay
Possible – "Death Magnetic," Metallica

It’ll be another win for Coldplay.

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
Favorite – "In Rainbows," Radiohead
Possible – "Modern Guilt," Beck

This will be Radiohead’s consolation prize for losing Album of the Year.

BEST FEMALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Favorite – Jennifer Hudson, "Spotlight"
Possible – Alicia Keys, "Superwoman," or Beyonce, "Me, Myself and I"

This is a tricky category. I think sympathy votes for her family tragedy will help put Hudson over the top. However, big names almost always win this category, so don’t be surprised if Keys or Beyonce wins here.

BEST MALE R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Favorite – Ne-Yo, "Miss Independent"
Possible – Usher, "Here I Stand"

Ne-Yo has the only crossover hit here, and he’s a multiple nominee; he’ll 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 – Jennifer Hudson f/Fantasia, "I’m His Only Woman" or "Never Give You Up"

Green’s critically acclaimed album will sweep every category it’s nominated in.

BEST TRADITIONAL R&B VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Favorite – Al Green f/Anthony Hamilton, "You’ve Got the Love I Need"
Possible – Raphael Saadiq, "Love That Girl"

This’ll be another win for Green.

Continue reading »

'Guru' makes gutsy Grammy Awards predictions in all top races

February 7, 2009 |  7:58 pm

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.

Grammy_awards

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.

Continue reading »

Gold Derby Nuggets: Hot on the trail of Coldplay | Kris Tapley big on Oscar shorts | Do Michelle Pfeiffer + 'Cheri' = Oscar?

February 5, 2009 | 12:19 pm

Roger Friedman warns of trouble ahead for Chris Martin and the rest of Coldplay: "Martin and his bandmates may be looking over their shoulders this Grammy weekend. The reason is that a lawyer representing musician Joe Satriani is sending teams of process servers all over town to hand them a plagiarism lawsuit ... Satriani is claiming that Coldplay lifted his 2004 instrumental, "I Just Wanna Fly," for the basic melody of "Viva la Vida." Coldplay disputes this and has issued a rebuke on its website. But that hasn’t stopped Satriani or his attorney Howard King of King Paterno et al. The firm claims that Coldplay has dodged being served, and that the Grammys are the easiest forum at which to strike while the iron is hot. King says, 'We have warned their British lawyers that we have hired a fleet of process servers lined up to dog the band everywhere they go this weekend in the hopes of serving them.'" FOX NEWS

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• The Grammys are auctioning off more than 100 items at EBay to raise money for its MusicCares Foundation. Included among the googies: a private DJ lesson from DJ AM; meet Rihanna on the set of her next video or photo shoot; phone call from Aretha Franklin; guitars autographed by AC/DC, B.B. King, John Mayer, Jonas Brothers, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Taylor Swift. EBAY AUCTIONS

• Bad omen for the front-runners at the BAFTA Awards coming up? "Slumdog Millionaire" lost best picture to "Hunger" and Kate Winslet ("The Reader") just lost best actress to Tilda Swinton ("Julia") at the London Evening Standard Awards. WASHINGTON POST

• "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black will receive the WGA West's Paul Selvin Award at the guild's awardsfest Saturday. The kudo is given to a writer whose work embodies the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties. Said WGA West prexy Patric Verrone, "At a time when history seems to be made daily, Lance Black's script reminds us that all it takes is a single spark to light the fuse of an entire movement." WGAW

Oscars_shorts_1

Kris Tapley provides invaluable guidance to the Oscar nominated animated and live action shorts like "La Maison en Petits Cubes" (left, nominated for best animated short): "I always like seeing what the world’s filmmakers have cooked up in these categories, so I took an hour or so earlier in the week to have a look at the films in contention. I have to say, it’s a more impressive collective than we’ve seen in recent years, especially on the live action side of things, where interestingly enough, all the entrants hail from overseas." IN CONTENTION

Brad Brevet wonders if "Cheri" will be a return to Oscar form for Michelle Pfeiffer: "The new film from Stephen Frears ('The Queen') ... stars Kathy Bates as Madame Peloux, a famed courtesan in 1920s France, who sends the spoiled Cheri (Rupert Friend) to her courtesan pal Lea de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer) for an adult education, but their six-year affair comes to a painful end when he’s forced to marry a wealthy young woman. Christopher Hampton, who was nominated for an Oscar for his screen adaptation of 'Atonement' (2007) and won for his 'Dangerous Liaisons' (1988) script, adapted the script from the novel by the late Sidonie Gabrielle Colette. Based purely on the talent involved this film is gaining attention considering Frears, Hampton and Pfeiffer were all involved in 'Dangerous Liaisons' and all three have proved to have the talent to bring a great film to the big screen." ROPE OF SILICON

Splendor_in_the_grass_edited1

Lou Lumenick revisits the career of three-time Oscar nominee Natalie Wood with the release of the DVD versions of "Splendor in the Grass" (nomination No. 2 — Wood lost to Sophia Loren, "Two Women" ) and "Inside Daisy Clover." NEW YORK POST

Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the producing team behind the Emmy-winning "thirtysomething" and "My So-Called Life," are prepping a new drama pilot for CBS. The project, called "A Marriage," will be an examination of a working modern-day marriage. TV SQUAD

• Playbill has a quick Q&A with two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda, who is returning to the rialto after a 46-year absence in Moisés Kaufman's latest play, "33 Variations," which begins performances Feb. 9. In it, she plays Katherine Brandt, who is trying to solve a centuries-old mystery about the great classical composer, Beethoven. PLAYBILL

Photos: NARAS, Robot Communications, Warner Bros.

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Our forum pundits pick Coldplay to win the Grammys for record and song of the year

January 29, 2009 | 10:16 am

It's great gladiatorial fun when our fiesty forum moderators clash over Grammy predictions. Last year Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch emerged triumphant with his savvy forecast of the Amy Winehouse sweep. David "Guru" Schnelwar has prevailed in the past, however, and would surely like to crush DoubleD now, but they're in uncommon Grammy agreement over who'll claim the top categories when the awards are doled out Feb. 8.

Grammy_awards_predix_coldplay

First, let's start with the Grammy Awards for record (bestowed to the recording artist) and song (bestowed to the songwriter) of the year. As noted below, the categories tend to line up, but beware: not always!

RECORD OF THE YEAR: GURU'S PREDIX
Favorite: "Viva La Vida" -- Coldplay
Possible: "Chasing Pavements" -- Adele

GURU'S COMMENTARY: Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and Adele's "Chasing Pavements" are the only songs nominated for both record and song of the year. The contest will most likely be between those two. Coldplay won this category in 2003 for its song "Clocks."  I expect it to win here again.

RECORD OF THE YEAR -- DOUBLE D'S PREDIX
Favorite: “Viva la Vida,” Coldplay
Possible: “Please Read the Letter,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

DOUBLE D'S COMMENTARY: The Coldplay track (and Adele’s "Chasing Pavements") are the only songs nominated for both record and song of the year. "Viva la Vida" was actually a huge No. 1 hit, and a win here will serve as a consolation prize for losing the top award. However, if the love for Robert Plant runs deep, he and Krauss will win here too.

SONG OF THE YEAR -- GURU'S PREDIX
Favorite: "Viva La Vida" -- Coldplay
Possible: "Chasing Pavements" -- Adele

GURU'S COMMENTARY: Song of the year usually is in sync with record of the year. I expect "Viva La Vida" to win.

SONG OF THE YEAR -- DOUBLE D'S PREDIX
Favorite: "Viva la Vida" (Coldplay)
Possible: "Chasing Pavements" (Adele)

DOUBLE D'S COMMENARY: Record & song usually go together, so it’s foolish to bet against Coldplay here.

RELATED POST

See Last Year's Predix Smackdown Between DoubleD and Guru

Coldplay vs. Mraz in Best Song Race

Do the Jonas Brothers Have Best New Artist Locked Up?

Photo: Capitol Records

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Album of the year predix: Hey, why no Grammy pundit smackdown?

December 2, 2008 |  8:34 am

When Grammy nominations are announced on Wednesday, expect lots of head-scratchers, particularly in the top four categories: best album, record, song and new artist of the year. Those are all determined by a secret committee of "music experts" who powwow in a hotel over one weekend and listen to the discs that landed in the top 20 when the votes were cast by the general membership of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Getting in the heads of those mysterious gurus is frustrating, so it's tough to try to predict nominees. But not impossible. Pundits have a good guess about what music probably made the top 20 runoffs — then they just need to keep in mind what the secret gurus usually do. That is, they like to be democratic and all-inclusive, scattering the five nominees among music genres, so it's not likely, say, that several rap works will be nominated together. Below, our forum moderators David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch explain that voting trend in more detail as they offer up their predix of what they think will be nominated for best album of the year on Dec. 3. To see more Grammy predix from our forum posters, click here.

Grammy_album_of_the_year7

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: GURU'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)
"Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends," Coldplay
"Long Road Out of Eden," Eagles
"As I Am," Alicia Keys
"Raising Sand," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

(Possible)
"Rockferry," Duffy
"Lay It Down," Al Green
"Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne

(Long Shots)
"American Gangster," Jay-Z
"Detours," Sheryl Crow
"Hard Candy," Madonna
"In Rainbows," Radiohead
"Modern Guilt," Beck
"Rock N Roll Jesus," Kid Rock
"Sleeping Through the Static," Jack Johnson

GURU'S THOUGHTS: In 2007, the five nominees were each from a different genre field: Herbie Hancock (jazz), Vince Gill (country), Foo Fighters (rock), Amy Winehouse (pop) and Kanye West (rap).

I'm guessing the same thing could happen this year: Coldplay (rock), the Eagles (pop), Alicia Keys (R&B) and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (folk). The fifth nomination is up for grabs. I think it will between Duffy (pop) and Lil Wayne (rap).

The Eagles, Alicia Keys and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss all won last year before their albums were eligible. That is usually a good indicator.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR: DOUBLE D'S PREDIX

(Front-runners)
"As I Am," Alicia Keys
"Long Road Out of Eden," The Eagles
"Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends," Coldplay
"Raising Sand," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
"Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne

(Possibilities)
"Death Magnetic," Metallica
"Detours," Sheryl Crow
"Love on the Inside," Sugarland
"One Kind Favor," B.B. King
"Rockferry," Duffy

(Long Shots)
"Accelerate," R.E.M.
"Carnival Ride," Carrie Underwood
"In Rainbows," Radiohead
"Lay It Down," Al Green
"Modern Guilt," Beck
"Spirit," Leona Lewis
"Still Unforgettable," Natalie Cole
"Two Men With the Blues," Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis

DOUBLE D'S THOUGHTS: Keys is a Grammy favorite, a past nominee here, and Billboard just named her disc the best-selling album of 2008; she's in. The Eagles' comeback record is also sure to get in here and they will win. Coldplay returned strong and will earn their first nod in this category. Krauss is a 21-time Grammy winner and her duet disc with Robert Plant will be like catnip to NARAS voters.

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Dueling Grammy predix: Record of the Year

November 30, 2008 |  8:14 pm

LATimes.com readers have already seen what our Pop & Hiss blog says will nab bids for record of the year when Grammy nominations are announced this Wednesday, Dec. 3. To make things interesting, I requested challenging views from two of The Envelope's experts — our forum moderators David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch.

Of the five songs cited by the Pop & Hiss blogger Todd Martens, Guru and Double D agree on only one: Coldplay's "Viva la Vida." However, Guru and Double D agree with each other on another likely nominee: Duffy's "Mercy."

Coldplay_viva_la_vida_edited1

They also think these tunes have a shot, but in varying degrees: Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" and Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love." They also agree that Rihanna's "Take a Bow" is a possibility.

Only one of those choices lands in the top five picks at Pop & Hiss: Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love." See the full blog list HERE. Below, Guru and Double D's predix and reasoning. First, Guru.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: GURU'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)
"I Kissed a Girl," Katy Perry
"Mercy," Duffy
"Viva La Vida," Coldplay

(Possibles)
"All Summer Long," Kid Rock
"Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis
"Lollipop," Lil Wayne
"I'm Yours," Jason Mraz
"Take a Bow," Rihanna

(Long Shots)
"4 Minutes," Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland
"Love Song," Sara Bareilles
"No Air," Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown
"With You," Chris Brown

GURU'S THOUGHTS: I believe this category will be dominated by Pop songs this year.

Coldplay are no strangers to this category. They won Record of the Year for "Clocks" in 2003 and are strong contenders to win again for "Viva La Vida."

I believe Rihanna will be a back to back nominee. Her situation is similar to the one the Black Eyed Peas were in 2003 & 2004. Rihanna had multiple hits this year and is likely to be the #1 on VH1's Top 40 of 2008. I'm leaning towards "Disturbia" but it might be "Take a Bow."

Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" was too big a hit to ignore in 2008.. "I Kissed A Girl." is the "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" of this decade. Which was a Record of the Year nominee in 1984.

Duffy's "Mercy" seems like a seat filler for Amy Winehouse's "Rehab."

I am really uncertain who will be the fifth nominee. I am between Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" and Kid Rock's "All Summer Long." Both artists I predicted for Record of the Year in the past and both failed to get nominated (Kid Rock's "Picture" in 2003 and Jason Mraz's "The Remedy"). Anything can happen.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: DOUBLE D's PREDIX
(Front-runners)
"Viva la Vida," Coldplay
"Mercy," Duffy
"American Boy," Estelle f/Kanye West
"Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis
"Apologize," One Republic

(Possibilities)
"Love Song," Sara Bareilles
"With You" or "Forever," Chris Brown
"I Kissed a Girl," Katy Perry
"Take a Bow," Rihanna
"Stay," Sugarland

(Long Shots)"Touch My Body," Mariah Carey"Love Is Free," Sheryl Crow"Busy Being Fabulous," The Eagles"
Lollipop," Lil Wayne"Paper Planes," M.I.A.

DOUBLE D'S THOUGHTS: "Viva la Vida" and "Bleeding Love" are big, soaring, epic ballads that NARAS voters adore in this category. Both are slam dunks for nominations here and the former is the frontrunner to win.

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Gutsy updated Grammy predix: Coldplay, Alicia Keys, the Eagles, Leona Lewis, Sugarland . . .

October 7, 2008 | 10:34 am

It's been about two months since I asked our forum moderators Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch and David "Guru" Schnelwar for their early Grammy predix, so, now that the eligibility period has waned, it's time for an update. David is busy now with a personal matter, so we'll catch up with his forecasts later. For now, here are DoubleD's thoughts — in his own words.

There is a horrible, horrible assumption that many Grammy "experts" make. Some experts — whom I won't embarrass by naming in print — seem to believe that albums and singles released early in the Grammy eligibility period will be forgotten by voters when nominations roll around. (NOTE: The Grammy eligibility period is Oct. 1, 2007 through Sept. 30, 2008.) Don't these "experts" realize that Grammy voters march to the beat of their own drum? How else do you explain Herbie Hancock's awful album of the year win earlier this year?

Can "experts" please stop saying that something is too old to be nominated? There are numerous examples of Grammy voters embracing "old" music. In December 2007, Vince Gill received an album of the year nomination for an album that was released in October 2006; Corinne Bailey Rae earned a song of the year nomination for a song that appeared on her 2006 album. In October 2000, U2 released their spectacular "All That You Can't Leave Behind" album. In February 2002, they won four Grammys for that album, including record of the year. Even Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" was released in October/November 1997 and didn't win record and song of the year and best pop female until February 1999. I could go on.

Grammy_predictions_leona_lewis_cold

Despite being released in November 2007, I fully expect albums by the Eagles, Alicia Keys and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss to crack this year's album of the year lineup when Grammy nominations are announced in December. The Eagles, Keys and Plant/Krauss will be heavily nominated alongside Coldplay, which will more than likely lead the nominations.

Also, watch out for U.K. newcomer Duffy and Sugarland, the newest country sensation. Duffy's buzz has been building all year thanks to her throwback single, "Mercy," and I have a feeling the singer-songwriter will go over very well with Grammy voters, much as India.Arie did in 2001. Sugarland scored a surprise best new artist nomination a few years back. Grammy voters have an affinity for past best new artist nominees and winners, and since Sugarland has seen great success with its latest album, "Love on the Inside," I could see them doing very well in the general and country fields.

With that said, here are my insights on Grammy's top races this year:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

FRONT-RUNNERS
"As I Am," Alicia Keys
"Long Road Out of Eden," The Eagles
"Raising Sand," Robert Planet & Alison Krauss
"Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends," Coldplay

FIGHTING FOR THE LAST SLOT
"Detours," Sheryl Crow
"Lay It Down," Al Green
"Love on the Inside," Sugarland
"Rockferry," Duffy
"Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne

VETERANS THAT MAY SPOIL
"Accelerate," R.E.M.
"Backwoods Barbie," Dolly Parton
"Death Magnetic," Metallica
"Home Before Dark," Neil Diamond
"In Rainbows," Radiohead
"Modern Guilt," Beck
"Two Men With the Blues," Willie Nelson & Wynston Marsalis

After the shocking nods for veteran acts Vince Gill and Herbie Hancock earlier this year, I think it's wise for us at least to consider the noteworthy veterans acts that have eligible discs. But I think the Eagles' comeback disc will be enough for voters this year. Barring some upset, I think the Eagles, Keys, Coldplay and Plant-Krauss are in. The last spot will probably go to Sugarland, though Duffy is a strong possibility.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

FRONT-RUNNERS
"Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis
"Mercy," Duffy
"Stay," Sugarland
"Viva La Vida," Coldplay

FIGHTING FOR A SPOT
"All Summer Long," Kid Rock
"American Boy," Estelle / Kanye West
"Apologize," One Republic
"Disturbia," Rihanna
"I Kissed a Girl," Katy Perry
"Like You'll Never See Me Again," Alicia Keys
"Lollipop," Lil Wayne / Static Major
"Love Lockdown," Kanye West
"Love Song," Sara Bareilles
"Pocketful of Sunshine," Natasha Bedingfield

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Grammy predix: Coldplay, Alicia Keys, the Eagles and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are front-runners for best-album award

August 4, 2008 | 11:44 am

Those are the bold forecasts of our resident sages and the moderators of our Grammy forum, David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch. See and compare their lists below. Also, check out their views on the race for record of the year - CLICK HERE.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR - GURU'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)

"Viva la Vida" -- Coldplay
"Long Road Out of Eden" -- The Eagles
"As I Am -- Alicia Keys
"Raising Sand" -- Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

(Possibles)
"Rockferry" -- Duffy
"Lay It Down" - -Al Green
"Tha Carter III" -- Lil Wayne
"Hard Candy" -- Madonna
"In Rainbows" -- Radiohead

(Long shots)
"Modern Guilt" -- Beck
"Exclusive" -- Chris Brown
"E=MC2" -- Mariah Carey
"Detours" -- Sheryl Crow
"Home Before Dark" -- Neil Diamond
"American Gangster" -- Jay-Z
"Sleeping Through The Static" -- Jack Johnson
"Two Men With the Blues" -- Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis
"Accelerate" - R.E.M.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR - DOUBLED'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)

"As I Am," Alicia Keys
"Long Road Out of Eden," The Eagles
"Raising Sand," Alison Krauss & Robert Plant
"Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends," Coldplay

(Possibles)
"Detours," Sheryl Crow
"Hard Candy," Madonna
"Tha Carter III," Lil Wayne

(Long shots)
"In Rainbows," Radiohead
"Lay It Down," Al Green
"Rockferry," Duffy

Continue reading »

Grammy predix: Coldplay, Leona Lewis, Sara Bareilles and Rihanna lead race for best record of the year

July 28, 2008 |  6:53 pm

Two of the best Grammy prognosticators on the planet are our forum moderators David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch. Now that we're nearing the tail end of this year's eligibility period (Sept. 30), I asked them for their noodlings on the race for record of the year.

Grammmy

RECORD OF THE YEAR - GURU'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)

"Viva la Vida" - Coldplay
"Mercy" - Duffy
"4 Minutes" - Madonna & Justin Timberlake

(Possible)
"Love Song" - Sara Bareilles
"With You" - Chris Brown
"Bleeding Love" - Leona Lewis
"I Kissed a Girl" - Katy Perry
"Disturbia" - Rihanna
"Take a Bow" - Rihanna

(Long Shots)
"No Air" - Chris Brown & Jordin Sparks
"Touch My Body" - Mariah Carey
"Like You Never See Me Again" - Alicia Keys
"Lollipop" - Lil Wayne f/ Static Major
"Give It 2 Me" - Madonna
"If I Never See Your Face Again" - Maroon 5 & Rihanna
"Love in This Club" - Usher f/ Young Jeezy

RECORD OF THE YEAR - DOUBLE D'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)

"Apologize," One Republic (if eligible)
"Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis
"Like You'll Never See Me Again," Alicia Keys
"Love Song," Sara Bareilles
"Viva la Vida," Coldplay

(Possibilities)
"Lollipop," Lil Wayne
"Say," John Mayer
"Take a Bow," Rihanna

(Long Shots)
"4 Minutes to Save the World," Madonna f/ Justin Timberlake & Timbaland
"Mercy," Duffy
"No Air," Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown 
"Pocketful of Sunshine," Natasha Bedingfield
"Stay," Sugarland

DOUBLE D'S ANALYSIS OF THE RACE FOR BEST RECORD: Previous winners Coldplay will surely be back since their track is so damn Grammy friendly (and the first No. 1 hit of their career). "Bleeding Love" is the kind of epic pop diva ballad that NARAS often nominates here. If eligible, "Apologize" is a probable nominee due to its immense staying power on the charts and the fact that NARAS loves soft rock songs in this category. Keys is always a threat to be nominated and the lack of quality urban records this eligibility period will probably push her over the top here, though she hasn't been nominated in this category since her debut. "Love Song" is one of those catchy, dreamy pop songs that voters favor and it is one of the year's biggest hits. If NARAS nominated Vanessa Carlton here a few years back, singer/songwriter/musician Sara Bareilles will likely get in.

KEEP READING - CLICK HERE!

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DoubleD bets $5 that the Eagles' 'Long Road Out of Eden' will beat Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' for best album at the Grammys

June 24, 2008 | 10:54 pm

Even though Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch and I have been pals for seven years here at Gold Derby where he's one of our esteemed forum moderators and Grammy pundits, I didn't meet him in person until this past weekend. Well, some things are worth waiting for — he's a great guy — and I finally had the treat to catch up with him after he recently scooted from St. Louis to the City of Angels to pursue his dream to work in The Biz.

No surprise, I guess: Turns out Darrin's just as gutsy in person as he's been online. Even though there are three more months left in the Grammy eligibility period, he's already convinced that the Eagles will win best album for "Long Road Out of Eden." In fact, he believes it's the automatic winner considering how veterans have swept the category 7 of the past 10 years. And even though the Eagles face such tough competish from Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Madonna and other contemp hotties.

Eagles_long_road_to_eden_hotel_cali

I might agree with him later this year, but on Sunday I had to remind Darrin how poorly groups usually do when facing off against solo artists like Sheryl Crow (who, surprisingly, beat Boys II Men for best record in 1995) or groups that are heavily identified with one person like Coldplay (Chris Martin), Santana (Carlos) or, in the best new artist category, Maroon 5 (Adam Levine). Bottom line: Grammys are all about hugs — industry insiders embracing one of their own — and it's always easier to wrap your arms around just one person than many. It's one of the quirks of voting on showbiz awards. Look how solo TV hosts like Ellen DeGeneres always beat multiple hosts like "The View" gals at the Daytime Emmys. Just happened again last Friday night.

Before he and I hooked up he e-mailed me his analysis of the top Grammy race. Words below are Darrin's:

The Grammy eligibility period is quickly winding down. Commercially, it's been a disappointing year for mainstream releases, but we still have some strong contenders for album of the year. I suspect the Eagles (Long Road Out of Eden), Sheryl Crow ("Detours"), Alicia Keys ("As I Am"), Madonna ("Hard Candy"), Mariah Carey (E=MC2), R.E.M. ("Accelerate"), and the Robert Plant/Allison Krauss duet album ("Raising Sand") are probably the strongest contenders for the nomination at this point. We still have a few months left in the eligibility period, but, strangely, there aren't many more blockbuster releases between now and September. (Clive Davis and Co. are sneaking Jennifer Hudson's debut album in on the last day of eligibility.)

Anyway, the new Coldplay album ("Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends") is getting terrific reviews and the fans are loving it. And it only helps that the single is already in the Top 5 on the pop charts (a first for a Coldplay single) and early sales are huge. It really looks like Coldplay may have Grammy's Album of the Year winner. However, this decade Grammy voters have been notorious for shunning "the best" albums when it comes to picking a winner. No matter what Grammy voters almost always opt for a veteran act when it comes to selecting the Album of the Year winner. It's a disgrace that Herbie Hancock won Album of the Year earlier this year. That's going to go down as one of Grammy's most shameful wins. How could Grammy voters give Amy Winehouse five Grammys (all in notable categories) yet shun her in Album? And Kanye West won four Grammys that night so it would've made more sense if he were the alternative to coked out Amy Winehouse.

KEEP READING - CLICK HERE!

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