2015 Grammy Awards

 

What to expect at Sunday's Grammys

What to expect at Sunday's Grammys

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Last year's Grammy Awards belonged to Adele. The powerful singer took home more trophies than she could carry and her memorable comeback performance following vocal cord surgery was the show's emotional highlight. This year, The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, fun., Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Mumford & Sons lead the pack with six nominations apiece going into Sunday night's ceremony. But who will everyone be talking about come Monday morning?

In recent years, Grammy nominees and winners have largely been a reflection of mainstream taste in music. But surprises are always possible, especially in the Best New Artist category -- who can forget 2011 when the phenomenally talented jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding beat out much better-known competition like Florence & the Machine, Mumford & Sons, Drake, and Justin Bieber (a decision that didn't go over well with Beliebers).

I can't wait to see Ed Sheeran's duet with Elton John Sunday night. Elton is a legend, and his past Grammy duets with Eminem and Lady Gaga have been unforgettable.

Ed Sheeran is a name we'll still be talking about decades from now, and I can guarantee he will be water cooler talk on Monday morning. We'll also be talking about fun., who I expect to take home four of the night's biggest awards, including Best New Artist and Record of the Year. Years from now, we'll still have their "We Are Young" stuck in our heads, along with Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger," Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" and, yes, Psy's "Gangnam Style."

Coldplay and their fifth album, Mylo Xyloto, are the Grammys' Argo this year, left out of the night's biggest categories. And while R&B is well represented in major categories by Frank Ocean, I'm also surprised that we didn't see more hip-hop nominated.

Several emerging styles dominated the airwaves and digital landscape in 2012, with EDM launching into the mainstream in a big way, thanks in large part to electronic pioneer David Guetta and producer/DJ Calvin Harris. The electronic sound crept into more than a few #1 records last year, including hits from Nicki Minaj, Usher, Rihanna, Flo Rida and Chris Brown. Expect EDM to develop an even stronger foothold with mainstream audiences. The response to EDM has been so strong that we actually took a digital-only iHeartRadio station, Evolution, and gave it a home on the radio dial, launching Evolution 101.7 in Boston late last year where it's been increasingly popular and influential.

Alternative/indie acts like fun., Gotye, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and Of Monsters and Men also found mainstream audiences on the pop charts. And you can't talk about 2012 without mentioning the next British invasion. On the pop side, One Direction picked right up where the Jonas Brothers left off as boy band of the moment, and our friends across the pond also introduced us to The Wanted, Olly Murs, Conor Maynard, and Ellie Goulding.

Finally, this year, keep an eye on Twenty One Pilots, one of my favorite young bands. They sound like fun., Eminem and Mumford & Sons all rolled into a ball of high-energy, infectious music.

2012 was a great year for music across every genre, so it'll be as hard for the voters to choose winners as it is for me. But here goes:

Album of the Year
Mumford & Son / Babel

Record of the Year
fun. / "We Are Young"

Best New Artist
fun.

Best Pop Vocal Album
fun. / Some Nights

Song of the Year
fun. / "We Are Young"

Best Pop Solo Performance
Kelly Clarkson / "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"

Best Pop Vocal Duo/Group
Gotye f/Kimbra "Somebody That I Used To Know"

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Skrillex "Bangarang"

Best Rock Song
Mumford & Sons / "I Will Wait"

Best Rock Album
Coldplay / Mylo Xyloto

Best Alt Album
Gotye / Making Mirrors

Best Rap Song
Jay-Z and Kanye West / "N---as In Paris"

Best Rap Album
The Roots / Undun

Best Country Song
Eric Church / "Springsteen"

Best Country Album
Zac Brown Band / Uncaged 

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