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Category: Leona Lewis

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 »

Six juicy Grammy conspiracy theories!

December 7, 2008 |  6:31 pm

I asked our forums moderator Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch to give us his reax to Grammy bids. He's so befuddled by what is — and what's not — on the list of nominees that he can think of no other explanation: It's a conspiracy! In fact, six of them! Yeah! Read Darrin's report below, then check out more dish on this sinister topic in our forums — CLICK HERE!

The Grammys had a lot of snubs (as usual), but this year something is definitely off. Check out these snubs:

1.) No Eagles in album of the year. People speculate that voters felt there was only room for one veteran act in the category (the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss duets album). Also, Plant has been severely under-rewarded by Grammy voters (he only has two wins, and Led Zeppelin never won a Grammy). So people think the Eagles were snubbed in order to ensure a Robert Plant win.

Alicia_keys

2.) Not only was Alicia Keys snubbed in the general field, but she also wasn't even nominated for best R&B album or best R&B song. "As I Am" was the bestselling album of the eligibility period, according to Billboard, and got great reviews. Plus, Alicia is an obvious Grammy favorite. Lots of bloggers think Alicia was secretly punished for appearing at the AMAs, and they think voters eliminated her to give other artists a chance to win. Her snub in R&B blbum is especially shocking considering every album nominated is a commercial flop and even a Boyz II Men covers album was nominated (so voters were clearly fishing to fill out the category).

3.) Leona Lewis was snubbed in best new artist despite scoring nominations for record of the year, pop female vocal and pop album. This is absolutely unprecedented. Posters are speculating an "American Idol"-type backlash has set in and voters didn't want to nominate a manufactured pop star in the best new artist category. Plus, Clive Davis has stepped down, and many speculate he didn't have as much pull as he did in prior years with NARAS members.

4.) Sugarland's "Love on the Inside" was one of the most acclaimed albums of the year and sold like hotcakes, but Sugarland didn't receive any general field nominations and weren't even nodded for best country album. Posters are saying the country voting bloc didn't support Sugarland because they think its music is "too pop" to be considered country. For me, the best country album snub is especially shocking. They were the front-runners to win.

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

Grammy predix: The Jonas Brothers, Leona Lewis, Sara Bareilles and Katy Perry will be nominated for best new artist

August 6, 2008 |  5:14 pm

Here are predix of who'll win the Grammy for best new artist by our resident sages and the moderators of our Grammy forum David "Guru" Schnelwar and Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch. To see their predix for album of the year, CLICK HERE. To see record of the year, CLICK HERE.

To see Los Angeles Times staff writer Todd Martens' Grammy preview for best new artist and album head to The Envelope's All Things Grammy page.
 

Leona_lewis_grammy

BEST NEW ARTIST -- GURU'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)

Sara Bareilles
Duffy
Estelle
The Jonas Brothers
Lady Antebellum
Leona Lewis
Katy Perry

(Possibles)
Adele
Yael Naim
OneRepublic
The Ting Tings
Vampire Weekend

(Long Shots)
Marie Digby
Little Jackie
Ingrid Michaelson
Kate Nash
Justin Nozuka
Charlotte Sometimes
Thriving Ivory

BEST NEW ARTIST -- DOUBLED'S PREDIX
(Front-runners)

Leona Lewis
Duffy
Estelle

(Possibles)
Jordin Sparks
OneRepublic
Sara Bareilles
Vampire Weekend

(Long Shots)
Adele
Katy Perry
Lady Antebellum

DoubleD's Commentary:

Leona Lewis is a 100% lock to win this category in February. She has the voice, the sales, the big hit single and the backing of Clive Davis and J Records. This is sure to be one of the weakest rosters of best new artist nominees in years because, outside of Leona, none of these artists have had consistent critical and commercial success, though critical praise will more than likely be enough to get Amy Winehouse knockoff Duffy and alternative hip-hop head Estelle in this race. Vampire Weekend and/or OneRepublic may get in since one group is almost always nominated. Besides Carrie Underwood, no other "American Idol" alum has been nodded in this category. However, Jordin Sparks, unlike previous "AI" alum, has had two big radio hits off of her debut. She just might get in. NARAS likes to throw wrenches in this race (see the Imogean Heap, Paramore and Ledisi nods in recent years) so little-known acts like Adele and Lady Antebellum, a country act, could fill out a spot or two. Katy Perry's debut disc has been getting trashed by critics, but her inescapable hit, "I Kissed a Girl," is still the no. 1 song in the country. Whatever the outcome, I bet the farm that Lewis will win this Grammy. Don't worry, though. I highly doubt Lewis will get an Amy Winehouse Grammy coronation. 

Photo: AP / Matt Sayles 


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