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

Category: Grammy

Grammy predix for best album: Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Eminem

October 25, 2010 |  1:11 pm

Lady Antebellum Lady gaga sadeOur Grammy seers David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch agree on what four of the five nominees will be for album of the year: "The Suburbs" (Arcade Fire), "Recovery" (Eminem), "Need You Now" (Lady Antebellum) and "Soldier of Love" (Sade). Guru opts for "The Fame Monster" (Lady Gaga) in the fifth slot while DoubleD says it will be "Live at the Troubadour" (James Taylor and Carole King).

I'm shocked that DoubleD doesn't have "Fame Monster" in his high five. He's wrong about that. I say that either "The Suburbs" or "Soldier of Love" will be snubbed and the survivor will be pitted against "Fame Monster," "Recovery," "Need You Now" and "Troubadour."

Also see their predix for best new artist and best record of the year.

"The Suburbs," Arcade Fire
"Recovery," Eminem
"Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
"Live at the Troubadour," James Taylor and Carole King
"Soldier of Love," Sade

"Revolution," Miranda Lambert
"The Fame Monster," Lady Gaga
"The ArchAndroid," Janelle Monae
"The Blueprint 3," Jay-Z
"Backspacer," Pearl Jam

(Long shots)
"New AmErykah Part 2: Return of the Ankh," Erykah Badu
"My World 2.0," Justin Bieber
"Brothers," Black Keys
"Crazy Love," Michael Buble
"Clapton," Eric Clapton
"Going Back," Phil Collins
"World Gone Crazy," Doobie Brothers
"Thank Me Later," Drake
"Plastic Beach," Gorillaz
"The Imagine Project," Herbie Hancock
"The Element of Freedom," Alicia Keys
"Confessions," Liza Minelli
"Teenage Dream," Katy Perry
"Band of Joy," Robert Plant
"Commitment," Seal
"Raymond v. Raymond," Usher
"Contra," Vampire Weekend

DOUBLED'S COMMENTARY: Eminem and Lady Antebellum have the best-selling albums of the year, so they'll easily get in since the industry wants to celebrate artists who actually can still sell records. The other three spots will be filled by critically acclaimed veterans with gold or platinum albums (James Taylor/Carole King, Sade) and either critically acclaimed "under the radar" artists (Arcade Fire, Janelle Monae, Miranda Lambert) or rock veterans (Pearl Jam). This category could really go either way since the industry agrees that it has been a pretty lousy year for album sales.

"The Suburbs," Arcade Fire
"Recovery," Eminem
"Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
"The Fame Monster," Lady Gaga
"Soldier of Love," Sade

Continue reading »

Hey, Taylor Swift: Who needs Kanye? Matt loves ya!

September 14, 2010 |  6:49 am

Poor Taylor Swift just got her heart broken at the recent MTV Video Music Awards. While she took the high road and performed a gracious ballad alluding to Kanye West, the rapper took the low road by performing an unapologetic rant about his joy in being a bad boy.

All this reminds me of the satiric riff our forums moderator Matt Noble did on the video of Taylor's Grammy champ, "You Belong with Me." I should have posted this earlier, but, hey, it's still hilarious -- just like Matt's naughty Emmy preview -- and curiously comforting now.

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Top nominees at Latin Grammys include past champs Alejandro Sánz and Juan Luis Guerra

September 8, 2010 |  8:58 am

Latin Grammy Awards Entering its second decade, the Latin Grammys have grown to 48 categories, many of which parallel those handed out at the Grammys, including the top awards for album, record and song of the year. Nominees were announced in Los Angeles on Wednesday, with the Nov. 11 ceremony set to air live on Univision from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Among those in contention for album of the year are 14-time Latin Grammy and two-time Grammy winner Alejandro Sánz ("Paraíso Express") and nine-time Latin Grammy and two-time Grammy champ Juan Luis Guerra ("A Son De Guerra"). Each of these talented men contends for four awards as does Mario Domm who, as part of the group Camila, is also an album nominee for "Dejarte De Amar." Rounding out the field of five are Bebe ("Y.") and Miguel Bosé ("Cardio").

Sanz and Domm are record and song of the year nominees, for "Desde Cuando" and "Mientes" respectively. Sanz also vies for male pop vocal album while Domm is in contention for pop album by a duo or group. Oscar-winning songwriter Jorge Drexler ("The Motorcycle Diaries") also earned bids in both record and song races for "Una Canción Me Trajo Hasta Aquí" as well as nods for singer-songwriter album and long form video.

The full list of nominees will be available on Thursday in English, Spanish and Portuguese at the Latin Grammys website.

Image: Latin Grammys logo. Credit: LARAS

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Beyonce and Kings of Leon did NOT pull off Grammy 'upsets'

January 31, 2010 | 11:09 pm

Reuters is among the media outlets labeling Kings of Leon's Grammy Award for record of the year for "Use Somebody" as a "surprise," but that's hogwash. Many sources believe that Beyonce pulled off a jaw-dropper in the Grammy battle over best song — or else they think it's shocking that she won there for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and not in the corresponding category for best record for "Halo." (Often those Grammys get bestowed as a matching pair.)

Kings of leon beyonce grammy awards news

You know that's nonsense too — if you've been following the expert Grammy dish here at Gold Derby.

Our forum moderator, Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch, and I predicted Kings of Leon would triumph for best record. We also thought it could prevail for song of the year, but I warned that Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" had a strong chance to be the spoiler.

As Darrin notes during our discussion, the prize for best record often goes to rock tunes with a lush musical sound like "Use Somebody." Consider recent past champs "Clocks" by Coldplay, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day and U2's "Walk On."

Theoretically, "Use Somebody" should've won best song too — the separate awards for the recording artist and songwriter usually line up about 50% of the time. Furthermore, the victory in the best-song race by a dance tune like "Single Ladies" is a rarity. But as I explained, Beyonce screwed up her Grammy submissions this year. "Single Ladies" is her strongest tune — so hip and catchy that it might've won best record too if Beyonce had entered it in competition. She didn't. She submitted the ho-hum "Halo" in the best-record race instead and placed "Single Ladies" exclusively in the songwriters' contest. Why? You can check out our theorizing in past discussions, but basically put, she blew it.

But maybe it's not a total disaster. You can look at the Grammy outcome this way. At least Beyonce finally has won one of the top three awards. (Record, song and album of the year are considered the holy trinity.) In the past, she had won 10 Grammys, but they were all in the second-tier slots. She had lost  record twice ("Irreplaceable" in 2008, "Crazy in Love" in 2004), song once ("Say My Name" in 2001) and she never before had been nominated for album.

It's just that the award for song doesn't have the same glamor as record. Beyonce is a queen. She's overdue for that crown or the one for album.


Hey, Grammy for best album: You belong with Taylor Swift

Will Taylor Swift or Kings of Leon win the award for best record at the Grammys?

Prediction: Taylor Swift will grab Grammy crown for best album of the year

Grammy battle over best song: Taylor Swift, Beyoncé or Kings of Leon?

Will the Zac Brown Band or Keri Hilson win the Grammy for best new artist?

Grammy experts' smackdown: Will Taylor Swift or Kings of Leon win best record and song?

Photo: Kings of Leon (WireImage)

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Watch out, Grammy: Taylor Swift and Beyonce shatter records

January 31, 2010 |  9:59 pm

Taylor Swift didn't merely bag the biggest Grammy of all — album of the year for "Fearless" — she became at age 20 the youngest recipient of that prize, eclipsing Alanis Morissette, who was 21 when she triumphed for "Jagged Little Pill" (1996).

Taylor Swift Beyonce Grammy Awards 743681925 Grammys news

Taylor Swift isn't the youngest victor among winners of all top four Grammy categories – album, record, song and new artist of the year. LeAnn Rimes was 14 when she won best new artist in 1997.

Beyonce set a record for most Grammys won by a female in one year (six), but the total is shy of the overall record held by the guys: Michael Jackson (1984) and Carlos Santana (2000), who each nabbed eight.

Beyonce had won five in 2004 and, until now, was tied with five other women for being the biggest champ among females in a single year: Lauryn Hill (1999), Alicia Keys (2002), Norah Jones (2003), Amy Winehouse (2008) and Alison Krauss (2009).

Photo of Taylor Swift: L.A. Times

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DoubleD vs. Guru: Lots more Grammy Award predictions

January 30, 2010 |  3:34 pm

You've seen the videos of me dishing with our forum moderators David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch over who'll win the top Grammy Award races. And you've read their analysis of the battles over best record, song, album and new artist. Now check out their views of many more races here in our forums.

Gold Derby nuggets: Taylor Swift odds-on favorite at Grammys | Beyonce could be Grammys spoiler | Oscars shorts get longer exposure

January 29, 2010 |  3:56 pm

Taylor Swift Fearless GrammysJames Montgomery previews Sunday's Grammys and reports that the betting world is touting Taylor Swift as the favorite to win. "Nick Weinberg, Ladbrokes' chief sports, politics and novelty oddsmaker, says, 'Beyoncé's odds are probably a bit shorter than they should be. Because she's a name, she can release a terrible album, and it would be nominated for an award. But Taylor Swift is the selection. All things being equal, she should win it. Quite an impressive record, which is why we made it our favorite.'" And sportsbook manager Richard Gardner agrees, "This Year's Grammy Awards could be a clean sweep in the three main categories as Taylor Swift is the favorite to win Best Album, Record and Song of the Year." MTV

Nekesa Mumbi Moody and Mesfin Fekadu offer up their Grammy predictions in eight categories including record of the year. Moody says, "Swift's 'You Belong With Me' has more momentum, but it's likely she'll split the blonde Grammy vote with Lady Gaga and Beyonce, so the Kings of Leon benefit." However, for Fekadu, "If Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' had been nominated here, it would win. But it's nominated in the song of the year category -- a songwriter's award, when it really deserves recognition for its production. That's the only song I could see competing with 'Use Somebody,' which will win here." AP

Melinda Newman looks at the top race at the Grammys and says, "The slightly off-center selection this year is Dave Matthews Band’s 'Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King.' For that reason, a number of pundits have picked it to win, certainly not because it signifies a high-water mark for the band. This is a race between Beyonce, whose star continues to rise ever higher, and relative newcomers Gaga and Swift. Although we think Beyonce is the most deserving, Swift will get the Nashville vote and a fair amount of mainstream vote, so we’re going with her." HIT FIX

Beyonce I Am Sasha Fierce • Among the Grammy Awards categories considered by Todd Martens is song of the year: "It's rare for a dance song to take this category, but 'Single Ladies' was a club hit with an upbeat and feisty message. Its success should steal votes from Maxwell. Watch out, however, for a strong rock contingent push for 'Use Somebody.' This should be a tight race between Beyoncé and Kings of Leon, but with Beyoncé also up for album of the year, she should have the edge." POP & HISS

Anne Hathaway proved to be a great sport as she was named woman of the year by the Harvard Hasty Pudding theatrical troupe Thursday. As Eric Newcomer writes, "Hathaway, who called the event 'thrilling and wonderful,' may have been the star of the afternoon, but in order to officially collect the Pudding Pot, the starlet had to endure the cutting humor of the event’s hosts and the taunts of the wacky characters that populated the stage." Newcomer notes, "Hathaway joins the ranks of Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, and last year’s winner Renee Zellweger." HARVARD CRIMSON

• The academy will be hosting its 21st annual Oscar night party for New York City-based members at the Palace Hotel. As per the announcement, "The evening’s festivities will begin with a reception in the GILT Bar, renowned for its selection of signature cocktails. Following the reception, the invited guests will adjourn to the restaurant for a multi-course Oscar-themed dinner and live viewing of the 82nd Academy Awards telecast. Executive chef Justin Bogle and executive pastry chef David Carmichael will create a special menu for the occasion." AMPAS

Oscars New Members movie news 1357986 • The Oscar-nominated animated and live action shorts will be showcased in a program offered at 100 cinemas in the U.S., Canada and the UK beginning Feb. 19. This marks the fifth year that Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International have teamed up to bring these contenders to a wider audience. As the press release notes, "The series' popularity has charted a spectacular 289% increase in attendance at the domestic box office since its inception in 2005, breaking the record last year for the highest gross ever on a single screen at New York's IFC Center." THE OSCAR SHORTS

• For Greg Ellwood, January may not even be finished but the 2010 Oscar race has already started at Sundance. "At the top of the list is 'The Kids Are All Right,' which if it had been included in the dramatic competition instead of the premieres category probably would have duplicated 'Precious' double wins last year. If Oscar keeps its 10-nominee system it's already in the conversation and Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo are all real acting contenders (although start the debate now on whether Bening or Moore is lead or supporting). Additionally, Lisa Cholodenko has a shot in the directing race and screenplay with collaborator Stuart Blumberg. With Focus having picked up the dramedy, the film will be in good hands for a strong awards campaign. Other potential contenders include Fox Searchlight's 'Cyrus' and Sony Classic's 'Please Give' for screenplay, 'Winter's Bones' Jennifer Lawrence for best actress, both Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams for their amazing performances in 'Blue Valentine,' James Gandolfini in 'Welcome to the Rileys' for best actor, Chris Cooper in 'The Company Men' and Tilda Swinton in 'I Am Love' (which premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival)." HIT FIX

Top photo: "Fearless" by Taylor Swift. Credit: Big Machine Records

Middle photo: "I Am Sasha Fierce" by Beyonce. Credit: Sony Music Entertainment

Bottom photo: Academy Awards. Credit: AMPAS

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Gold Derby nuggets: Details of Oscars telecast emerge | Taylor Swift and Rihanna dish Grammys

January 28, 2010 |  3:37 pm

Alec_baldwin_steve_martin_oscar_statues1Sandy Cohen dishes the Oscarcast with first-time producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman."The two men say they're a well-matched team. Mechanic is 'the true film historian and the insane fan,' Shankman says, 'and I'm a little bit more of the P.T. Barnum energy.' So what kind of film-focused circus magic are the two planning? The show will be funnier, shorter and more inclusive than past telecasts, Mechanic says. It'll feature not just nominated films but popular movies from throughout the year. Music and performance will be integrated in a way that's 'really spot-on,' Shankman says, and the newly expanded best-picture category will 'create some consistency' in the traditionally long telecast." AP

Claudia Puig attended last weekend's dance auditions for the Oscars and chatted with Shankman, who remembered, "'Twenty years ago I was auditioning for Paula Abdul in a room like this. My Oscar audition changed the direction of my career. So this is one long pinch-me moment.' And the night nearly changed the direction of another star's career. 'I remember it like it was right now,' Shankman says. 'I got thrown off stage and literally landed on Jessica Tandy. I almost killed her.' Shankman divulges only tantalizing whiffs of the Oscars show, traditionally shrouded in secrecy. 'There will be more dancers this year than last and probably more dance numbers,' he says. And for the first time, there will be hip-hop dancing. 'It's never been done before.'"USA TODAY

• Ratings for this year's Oscarcast should be boosted by the inclusion of box office champ "Avatar" to the mix. As this item notes, "The cumulative domestic box-office total for the five films nominated in 2008 -- the year of the lowest-rated Oscar broadcast in decades -- was less than the box-office haul of 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' alone, which won best picture in 2004, the last time Oscar viewership passed the 40 million mark. That rating, in turn, pales in comparison to the 57 million people who tuned in to see 'Titanic' take 11 Oscars in 1998. It’s a very simple equation: people are more likely to watch the Oscars if they’ve seen -- and, importantly, liked -- a movie that has a chance of winning. If they have a horse in the race." VANITY FAIR

• Our good pal Tariq Khan has compiled a comprehensive photo gallery detailing his predictions for nominations in the top categories at the Oscars. On the subject of the best picture slate, Tariq writes, "The top six on my list seem all but certain. After that the category is decidedly up in the air. 'Up' charmed children and adults alike with its superb animation and gentle storytelling, so it has a strong chance of being only the second film in the genre (after 'Beauty and the Beast') to be nominated for best picture. The alien invasion-themed 'District 9' has enthusiastic support from several technical branches of the Academy, and looks like a good bet to join 'Avatar' in the top ten despite the general bias against science fiction. The British romantic drama 'An Education' has been highly touted since its release last fall due to its fine acting ensemble. And finally, don’t count out 'The Hangover' for a possible best picture nod. It was the surprise smash of the summer and even the snootiest of critics loved it. At the Golden Globes earlier this year it defeated the more award-friendly 'Julie and Julia' and 'Nine' to claim best musical/comedy honors (something which I predicted, I might add). With the race so wide open, it just might make it in." FOX NEWS

2009-grammy-awards-nominees-imageSusan Hornik says when she "caught up with Taylor Swift at the Saks Fifth Avenue and EIF Unforgettable Evening gala in Beverly Hills last night, we wondered if she was nervous for the Grammy Awards this weekend. 'I get nervous about everything!' she exclaimed. 'I'm so excited about being nominated for eight Grammys. That kind of thought is sorta still unfathomable to me,' she continued, which is an unfathomable thought in itself -- with her track record of winning huge awards all year, another Taylorfest at an awards shows is practically expected at this point. 'Walking into the Grammys knowing I have eight chances to possibly win one. I've never won one Grammy before! So please wish me luck.'" NEW YORK

Grammy nominee Rihanna won't be bringing baseball player Matt Kemp to Sunday's cermony. " 'I'm going to the Grammys alone, as always!' she said today on 104.3 MY FM's Valentine in the Morning show in Los Angeles. 'Even when I was in a relationship, I always have gone alone.' " The nominee -- with Jay-Z and Kanye West -- for best rap/sung collaboration for "Run This Town" revealed "this was actually the first piece of music we did since the last Grammys. It's exciting that it's nominated. We cannot wait. We hope we bring home the bacon, but if not, it's great that it was nominated." US MAGAZINE

Scott Feinberg reviews the career of "The Hurt Locker" helmer Kathryn Bigelow, noting, "For the past 30 years, Bigelow has quietly but steadily carved a niche in the film industry: she is a female director who makes 'guy movies' -- particularly of the action, sci-fi, suspense, thriller, and/or war variety, with lots of shootouts and/or explosions -- as well as virtually any male, and for a lot less money. 'The Hurt Locker,' which is as intense as any movie this year and cost only $15 million to make, is the best example of this, but far from the first." Scott then recaps each of her eight feature films. AND THE WINNER IS

David Germain reports from Sundance on the success of the fest in launching awards caliber films. This year, "Precious" and "An Education" are strong contenders for Oscar nominations and could both be best picture contenders as were Sundance hits "In the Bedroom" and "Little Miss Sunshine." And, as David writes, " 'In the Bedroom' also earned acting nominations for Sissy Spacek, Marisa Tomei and Tom Wilkinson, while 'Little Miss Sunshine' won the supporting-actor Oscar for Alan Arkin and brought a supporting-actress nomination for Abigail Breslin. Other past films that made the leap from Sundance to the Oscars include 'You Can Count on Me' (best-actress nomination for Laura Linney); 'Hustle & Flow' (best-actor nomination for Terrence Howard); 'Half Nelson' (best-actor nomination for Ryan Gosling); and 'Junebug' (supporting-actress nomination for Amy Adams)." AP

Top photo: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, hosts of the 82nd Academy Awards. Credit: ABC

Bottom photo: Grammy Award. Credit: NARAS

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Gold Derby nuggets: Greg Ellwood: Globes seeing double | 'Superior Donuts' shuts up shop

November 27, 2009 |  2:11 pm

• While the price of gold skyrockets, the Oscars are having to make this year's statues with less money in the kitty. Michael Cieply reports, "net assets for the fiscal year ended June 30 fell slightly, to $228.8 million, from $235.3 million the year before, as cash dwindled a bit and investments fell." And says Cieply, "Income from the Academy Awards rose about 3.5%, to $76.3 million from $73.7 million in 2008. Still, this year’s awards ceremony was more expensive. Awards-related expenses rose 6.8%, to $33.2 million from $31.1 million." NEW YORK TIMES

Golden-globes • Among the tasty tidbits offered up by Greg Ellwood in his comprehensive preview of the Golden Globes are the notion that Sandra Bullock ("The Proposal," "The Blind Side"), Meryl Streep ("Julie and Julia," "It's Complicated"), George Clooney ("The Men Who Stare At Goats," "Up in the Air") and Stanley Tucci ("Julie and Julia," "The Lovely Bones") "all have a legitimate shot at double acting nods" and that "global critical standouts such as Neil Bloomkamp's 'District 9' may receive the deserved recognition Oscar may deny them." HIT FIX

Jeff Wells conducts a compelling interview with "Crazy Heart" star Maggie Gyllenhaal. Jeff prefaces his three-part video chat by commenting, "her performance works for everyone and then some, but is it leading or supporting? I saw it as supporting from the get-go, which didn't strike me as a problem in the least. The Fox Searchlight guys were feeling differently about this a week or two ago, but maybe they've come around." HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Melinda Newman has put together a fun and fact-filled photo gallery of possible contenders for the new artist award at this year's Grammys. As Melinda notes in her intro, "Lady GaGa, the obvious winner, isn’t eligible because 'Just Dance' was nominated for best dance recording last year. Two other possible contenders, Phoenix and Kid Cudi, are also not eligible." HIT FIX

Superiodonutscover • "Superior Donuts," the well-received new play by Tracy Letts, is shuttering after just 16 weeks on Broadway. As Gordon Cox writes, "The show was Letts’ Rialto follow-up to his Tony and Pulitzer-winner 'August: Osage County,' but unlike that play, 'Donuts' never gained much momentum at the box office. Helmed by Tina Landau, 'Donuts' stars Michael McKean as the owner of a doughnut shop in a run-down part of Chicago. Co-star Jon Michael Hill has attracted attention for his well-reviewed perf as the shop owner’s young employee." VARIETY

Pete Hammond reports, "Quentin Tarantino turned moderator for a SAG screening of 'Inglourious Basterds' Sunday, with 10 of his actors fielding questions at the post-screening Q&A. Guild members reportedly started lining up at 8:30 a.m. for the noon event that also featured a casual and bearded Brad Pitt, who was mobbed by paparazzi when the panel finally ended. Quentin, who loves doing this sort of thing, kept it going even after publicists were waving at him to end it for nearly 20 minutes." NOTES ON A SEASON

Steve Pond does a crackerjack job interviewing Oscar contender Viggo Mortensen ("The Road"). Mortensen admitted, "I’ve never been in a movie where the character was dealing with this much sadness and dread all the way through. There are scary moments and entertaining moments, but still, inside he’s carrying a burden emotionally. How do you do that realistically, as an actor, and get it across so that it’s as real as the open wound of nature around us? That was a measuring stick. We couldn’t be any less real than what we were traveling through, these dead or dying landscapes." THE ODDS

Photos: HFPA, Playbill

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Michael Jackson uproar: Do you think it will hurt 'This Is It' at the Grammys?

October 13, 2009 |  9:01 am

Michael Jackson This Is It Paul Anka Grammy Awards Entertainment News 2468097 Just hours after the release of the new Michael Jackson single "This Is It" Monday, Paul Anka established his right to co-author credit on the song. Turns out the tune -- then titled "I Never Heard" -- was penned by Anka and Jackson back in 1983 when they were working together on songs for a new Anka album. As Reuters reports, "Both 'I Never Heard' and 'This Is It' share the same vocal and piano line, although the latter track boasts new overdubs from Jackson's brothers."

Paul Anka could be in for quite a payday now that he owns half of the copyright in "This Is It." But will it finally win the veteran singer-songwriter a Grammy Award? Though Paul Anka enjoyed a string of hits in the early years of the Grammys, he has never contended for any of the major awards. He was snubbed even for his 1969 English language lyrics for "My Way" -- a signature song for then Grammy favorite Frank Sinatra.

Critical response to "This Is It" has been mixed at best. Jon Pareles of the New York Times said: "No funk here: it’s the posthumous, all-sweetness-and-light Jackson that his family is determined to sell. But at least he sounds human, especially at the end, where he lets the vocal line take a few tentative leaps." Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune said, "Jackson cycles through a verse, pre-chorus and chorus several times during the track's 3:46 duration but never really develops any of the initial ideas." And for Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times, "His high tenor billows and crests, but never breaks; this is ecstasy without resolution. It feels great, but unfinished. It simultaneously makes you want it to keep going and to become something else, something more."

Photo: Poster for "This Is It" film. Credit: Sony Pictures / AFP / Getty Images

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Can Barbra Streisand turn her No. 1 album into a Grammy winner?

October 7, 2009 | 12:43 pm

Barbra Streisand Love is the Answer Billboard Grammy Awards Entertainment News 2468097 Barbra Streisand just debuted at the top of the Billboard album chart with her disc "Love Is the Answer." This jazz-themed album beat out a slew of new offerings for the top spot, including "Brand New Eyes" by "Twilight" rockers Paramore and "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" from Mariah Carey. Streisand bettered her Billboard record of at least one No. 1 album in each decade stretching back to the 1960s. Before "Love Is the Answer," she last topped the charts with "Higher Ground" in 1997.

The question now is whether Barbra Streisand can parlay this sales success into another Grammy Award. She already has eight competitive Grammys on her crowded mantle (along with two honorary ones). The versatile Streisand has earned a total of 39 nominations across a dozen categories. Buoyed by the good reviews for "Love Is the Answer," Streisand could contend for the first time in the jazz vocal category.

Usually Babs produces her own albums, but this time around she let Diana Krall do the heavy lifting. Krall has a pair of Grammys herself for jazz vocal (1999) and jazz album (2002). And this Canadian talent contended for album of the year in 1999 for "When I Look in Your Eyes" -- she lost to "Supernatural" by Santana.

The top Grammy category has come to include albums representing many musical genres. Streisand has won album of the year only once -- for her self-titled debut disc way back in 1964. She has contended for this award another five times: "People" (1965), "My Name Is Barbra" (1966), "Color Me Barbra" (1967), "Guilty" (1980) and "The Broadway Album" (1986).

Continue reading »

Will Whitney Houston get Grammy bump from chart success? (Thank you, Miley Cyrus!)

September 3, 2009 |  7:05 pm

"Despite struggling with her vocals on "Good Morning America," Whitney Houston's latest album 'I Look To You' is projected to sell 200,000 copies and gain the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart," reports Billboard.

Whitney Houston I Look to You music news

If Whitney pulls that off, it'll be a notable achievement, because she's competing against Miley Cyrus' new CD, "The Time of Our Lives," which might be restricted in sales by being released exclusively by Wal-Mart — and prematurely at that. "Lives" was supposed to debut this past Tuesday, but Miley confessed via Twitter that she's "kinda bummed" that Wal-Mart put it on shelves last Friday, triggering early sales of 62,000 copies.

If that helps Whitney to get back on top of the charts, it might give the former Grammy queen a big psychological push in the new awards derby. "I Look to You" debuted (on time) on the last day of Grammy eligibility so that it will be most fresh on voters' minds when they check off their nomination ballots in October. Whitney Houston won six Grammys, including the recording academy's two highest honors — best record ("I Will Always Love You") and album ("The Bodyguard") of the year (1993).

Miley Cyrus, by contrast, has won no Grammys.


'I Look to You' launches comeback for Whitney Houston

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