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This Sunday marks the date of one of my favortie television shows of the year, the Grammy Awards. The 56th annual Grammy Awards are taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles this Sunday night, live on CBS. The Grammy’s are always one of the musical highlights of the year for me. At the Grammy’s various artists are usually mashed up together to create some pretty spectacular live performances. Remember Radiohead performing “15 Step” with the USC marching band? Or Bruno Mars collaborating with Sting last year? Pretty incredible stuff. This year should be no different. Scheduled to perform this Sunday night in Los Angeles are Beyonce and Jay Z, together (Yowza!)  Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Lorde, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar, (together) Daft Punk with Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers, and Pharrel Williams, (together, and that means dopeness) Taylor Swift, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Queens of the Stone Age with Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails, and Lindsey Buckingham, (All together!!! Say Whatttttt!!!)  Kacey Musgraves, Metallica with pianist Lang Lang are recreating the band’s hit song “One,” (will be sick!!!) and Pink collaborating with Fun’s Nate Ruess. I mean wow,  that is one stacked show, and I am sure there will be other surprise guests appearing. The following group shown below, all had HUGE years in music and will all be appearing at the Grammy’s this Sunday.

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Besides incredible performances that take place, the Grammy’s are also about hardware being passed out. The Grammy’s have definitely not always gotten it right when it comes to handing out awards. (Herbie Hancock won Album of the Year for Rivers: The Joni Letters over Back in Black by Amy Winehouse and Kanye West’s Graduation in 2008) (Robert Plant & Allison Krauss won Album of the year for Rising Sand in 2009 over In Rainbows by Radiohead and Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne) (Dixie Chicks won Album of the Year in 2007 for Taking the Long Way over John Mayer’s Continuum, Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium, and Justin Timberlake’s Future Sex/Love Songs)  (Steely Dan won Album of the Year for Two Against Nature  in 2001 over Kid A by Radiohead, Midnight Vultures by Beck, and The Marshall Mathers LP  by Eminem) But in past years they have done pretty well with their selections. In 2011 Arcade Fire won Album of the Year for The Suburbs. Adele won for 21 in 2012, and Mumford and Sons won Album of the Year for Babel, last year. They have also nailed Best New Artist over the past couple of years. In the past ten years that statue has gone out to Fun., Bon Iver, Esperanza Spaulding, Zac Brown Band, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underword, John Legend, Maroon 5, and Alicia Keys, just to name a few.  So who will bring home Grammy gold this Sunday? You will have to tune in to CBS this Sunday at 8pm to find out.   But for now, I am going to breakdown some of the major categories and tell you who should win and who will win.

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ALBUM OF THE YEAR

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Nominees:

Sarah Bareilles The Blessed Unrest, Daft Punk Random Access Memories, Kendrick Lamar good kid, MAAD City, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist, Taylor Swift Red

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d. city

WHO WILL WIN:

Taylor Swift Red

Kendrick Lamar dropped an epic record with good kid, m.A.A.d. city and it deserves every ounce of acclaim that the album has received. This record put Kendrick on the map and has made him a household name in all of music. The album is filled with gritty tales of life growing up in Compton and was the perfect introduction to the masses for Kendrick Lamar. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had a huge amount of commerical success with The Heist, that is a very underrated collection of work lyrically. The album was full of big hits and that is not be overlooked, but Taylor Swift is an award show darling. The Grammy’s will probably play it safe here and not give this award to a hip hop artist. Swift is a pop machine. She has already won Album of the Year for Fearless  in 2010 and Red  is a better album than that. So I expect America’s sweetheart to take home the award of the night.

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RECORD OF THE YEAR (goes to the performer and production team of the song)

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Nominees:

Daft Punk feat. Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams “Get Lucky,” Imagine Dragons “Radioactive,” Lorde “Royals,”  Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven,” Robin Thicke feat. TI and Pharrell “Blurred Lines”

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Lorde “Royals”

WHO WILL WIN:

Daft Punk feat. Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams “Get Lucky”

This is very tough category. All of these songs were really big tracks this year. “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” were the songs of the summer. You couldn’t escape hearing either of them, and rightfully so, they are both very strong records. I feel like Imagine Dragons should just be happy with the acknowledgement. They dont have a chance of knocking these other hits out. Bruno Mars will be a lock in this category for something that he does anytime he has an album out but didn’t “Locked Out of Heaven”  come out last year? I think Lorde made the most clever and catchy record of this past year. No gimmicks to the dopeness of “Royals.” Hip hop heads, indie heads, and pop fans loved this record. The knock on her is she’s 16 years old and will have plenty more opportunities to win future Grammy’s which is why I think the award will go to Daft Punk, who returned after a long hiatus to drop a classic that we will be singing for years to come.

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SONG OF THE YEAR (goes to the songwriter of the song)

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Nominees:

“Just Give Me a Reason” Pink feat. Nate Ruess of Fun., “Locked Out of Heaven” Bruno Mars, “Roar” Katy Perry, “Royals” Lorde, “Same Love” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

WHO WILL WIN:

“Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink feat. Nate Ruess of Fun.

For some reason this category just screams out Pink to me. “Just Give Me a Reason”  is a pretty good pop song. Pink and Nate Ruess co-wrote the song. It’s catchy, has a big chorus, and an incredible melody. It has all of the makings of a typical Grammy Song of the Year. I think “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was the most important song of the year based on its content and what it meant to so many people. Appreciation and acceptance of gay love took a huge step forward in America this year, and it would be nice to see this song be honored for that alone.

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BEST NEW ARTIST

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Nominees:

James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Kendrick Lamar

WHO WILL WIN:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This is another tough category to choose. Ed Sheeran, who is probably one of the dark horses here is a really good singer/songwriter. Not sure enough people heard about him though. James Blake is also fantastic in his own right, but mainstream America has definitely not caught on to his auto-tune indie R&B sound yet. They both should be very thankful for the nominations. The world will get to know who Kacey Musgraves is after Sunday’s show. You think Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift get a lot of attention, wait till you see what happens after a prime time audience gets to see Kacey Musgraves perform on Sunday nigh. She will be the new “IT” girl in 2014. She is set up for a big night. Which leaves the two hip hop acts to duke this one out. These two hip hop heavyweights are going at it in most categories this year, so I expect them each to bring home some awards, but due to the commercial success of The Heist, I give the nod to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in this one.

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BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

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Nominees:

“Brave” Sara Bareillis, “Royals” Lorde, “When I Was Your Man” Bruno Mars, “Roar” Katy Perry, “Mirrors” Justin Timberlake

WHO SHOULD WIN:

“Mirrors” Justin Timberlake

WHO WILL WIN:

“Roar” Katy Perry

Ms. Perry needs to take home something right? “Roar” was a big song this year. It’s a big pop record all about female empowerment and is one of the only good things about Perry’s latest album “Prism.”  I could see Lorde winning this too. Lorde is definitely going to win something for “Royals.” That record was just too damn big and innovative to be shut out. I think “Mirrors”  is a solid tune. It was one of the best tracks on the 20/20 Experience and a song that Justin Timberlake is proud of, and was another record you just couldnt get out of your head this year.

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BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

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Nominees:

“Get Lucky” Daft Punk feat. Nile Rodgers & Pharrell Williams, “Just Give Me a Reason” Pink feat. Nate Ruess, “Stay” Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams & T.I., “Suit & Tie” Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z

WHO SHOULD WIN:

“Stay” Rihanna feat. Mikkey Ekko

WHO WILL WIN:

“Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams & T.I.

“Blurred Lines” was too big of a song to be completely shut out at the Grammy’s this year. That “hey hey hey” ruled my existence all summer long. Good to see Pharrell Williams getting so much love this year for his major contributions to this record and to “Get Lucky.” Everytime I see the preview for that new Kate Winslet movie Labor Day and they play Rihanna’s “Stay” I am reminded how pretty that record really is. It’s a beautiful song and in my opinion one of her best.

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BEST POP ALBUM

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Nominees:

Lana Del Ray Paradise, Lorde Pure Heroine, Bruno Mars Unorthodox Jukebox, Robin Thicke Blurred Lines, Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience-The Complete Experience

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Lorde Pure Heroine

WHO WILL WIN:

Bruno Mars Unorthodox Jukebox

This is a pick em for me. Both of these albums I really enjoyed. Unorthodox Jukebox was filled with hits. Bruno Mars proved he was the real deal with his sophomore release. He actually made a record that was better than his first. And his live show this year was incredible. Pure Heroine was one of the best debut records of the year. Every song on that album has Lorde’s style planted all over it. She is an indie pop lovers dream. Should be a close call.

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BEST DANCE RECORDING

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Nominees: 

“Need U” (100%) Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E & MNEK, “Sweet Nothing” Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch, “Atmosphere” Kaskade, “This is What it Feels Like” Armin Van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie, “Clarity” Zedd feat. Foxes

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Zedd “Clarity”

WHO WILL WIN:

Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch “Sweet Nothing”

Another tough category. All of these songs all made us shake in the club this year. “Clarity”  was such a big record. It really helped put Zedd on the map. Now you can find him playing everywhere this year. I really love ‘”This is What it Feels Like” by Armin Van Buuren. But “Sweet Nothing”  is a huge mashup of two of the biggest names in pop music right now, Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine and Calvin Harris and together they created a banger. This is one of those songs that after you heard it, it stayed in your head for hours. And I swear it is always on at the gym.

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BEST DANCE/ELECTRONICA ALBUM

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Nominees:

Daft Punk Random Access Memories, Disclosure Settle, Calvin Harris 18 Months, Kaskade Atmosphere, Pretty Lights A Color Map of the Sun

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Disclosure Settle

WHO WILL WIN:

Disclosure Settle

Settle is a crazy dope album that deserves any accolade that it can get. That is taking nothing away from any of the other nominees, but this was by far and away the best dance album of the year.

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BEST ROCK ALBUM

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Nominees:

Black Sabbath 13, David Bowie The Next Day, Kings of Leon Mechanical Bull, Led Zeppelin Celebration Day, Queens of the Stone Age …Like Clockwork, Neil Young with Crazy Horse Psychedlic Pill

WHO SHOULD WIN:

David Bowie The Next Day

WHO WILL WIN:

Queens of the Stone Age …Like Clockwork

Both of these albums are very deserving. I thought Bowie released a very good album in 2013. His first collection of original matieral in over 10 years. It sounded current and was very impressive. Yet, Queens of the Stone Age continue to push rock n roll’s envelope. They are a gritty American rock band who is following in the Foo Fighters role of making quality rock music. …Like Clockwork is some of their best material to date. Plus it will be great to hear Josh Holmes make an acceptance speech. He has no filter.

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BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

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Nominees:

Neko Case The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love, You, The National Trouble Will Find Me, Nine Inch Nails Hesitation Marks, Tame Impala Lonerism, Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

WHO WILL WIN:

Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

Modern Vampires of the City  was my favorite album of 2013, so this was an easy one for me. However, Vampire Weekend are up against some pretty tough competition. I can easily see the academy giving credit to Trent Reznor’s comeback with Nine Inch Nails for Hesitation Marks Lonerism by Tama Impala is also an incredible album, but they are  a little too unkown to wrestle this crown from the Columbia University boys. Although the National made another strong record with Trouble Will Find Me, they may be too dark to receive Grammy’s glory.

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BEST RAP PERFORMANCE

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Nominees:

Drake “Started from the Bottom,” Eminem “Bezerk,” Jay Z “Tom Ford,” Kendrick Lamar “Swimming Pools” (Drank) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Thrift Shop”

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Drake “Started from the Bottom”

WHO WILL WIN:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Thrift Shop”

I have to believe the academy will select the popular choice on this one. Although Kendrick’s “Swimming Pools” is a banger, it’s not the best song on that album. “Thrift Shop” went to number one of every chart possible. You couldn’t escape that single. “Started From the Bottom” was a nice return for Drake into the rap world. He flexed his muscles on that track and showed that he’s not just an R&B dude. Expect the popularity contest to regin supreme here though.

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BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION

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Nominees:

“Power Trip” by J. Cole feat. Miguel, “Part II” (On the Run) by Jay Z feat. Beyonce, “Holy Grail” by Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake, “Now or Never” by Kendrick Lamar feat. Mary J. Blige, “Remember You” by Wiz Khalifa feat. The Weeknd

WHO SHOULD WIN:

“Power Trip” by J. Cole feat. Miguel

WHO WILL WIN:

“Holy Grail” by Jay Z feat Justin Timberlake

You can’t go wrong with either of these songs. Both were bangers on radio and in the streets. “Holy Grail” was such a big record and did wonders for both Jay and Justin all summer long. It was one of Jay’s biggest hits and features a memorable appearance by Justin with his vocals all throughout the track. I just really like “Power Trip,” mainly because I’m a big Miguel fan but J. Cole came up this year and became a legit threat lyrically, so this one is a pick em for me.

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BEST RAP SONG

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Nominees:

“Fucking Problems” by Asap Rocky feat. Kendrick Lamar, Drake & 2 Chainz, “Holy Grail” by Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake, “New Slaves” by Kanye West, “Started from the Bottom” by Drake, “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

WHO SHOULD WIN:

“Fucking Problems” by Asap Rocky feat. Kendrick Lamra, Drake & 2 Chainz

WHO WILL WIN:

“Thirft Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This is another tough category and one of those that I can see the Twitterverse exploding over because the right song is probably not going to get selected. “Fucking Problems”  is one great song. It featured memorable verses from four of the biggest names in hip hop right now. There is nothing better than a good posse cut, and this was the best of the bunch last year. “Holy Grail” should pick up something in one of these categories, so I definitely don’t put it past them that this song could take Best Rap Song. “New Slaves” isn’t close to the best track off Yeezus, so I have to say no to that one. Leaving the popular rap hit that put this duo on the map as the winner.

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BEST RAP ALBUM

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Nominees:

Drake Nothing Was the Same, Jay Z Magna Carta Holy Grail, Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d. city,  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis  The Heist, Kanye West Yeezus

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Kanye West Yeezus

WHO WILL WIN:

Kendrick Lamar good kid, MAAD City

You have to give it to one of these two albums, or there may be a riot at the Staples Center. This would be a sweet victory for Compton’s own, Kendrick Lamar to grab Grammy gold in his home city. I personally think Yeezus was the best rap album of the year but I’m not sure how much the academy loves Kanye and his antics. He continues to put out amazing albums that get overlooked by the academy, so I can see them snubbing him again. I wouldn’t argue with Drake’s album either because it is a very impressive piece of work, but this award can’t go to Jay or Macklemore because both of their albums just don’t compare to these two powerhouses in my opinion.

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BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

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Nominees:

Jason Aldean Night Train, Tim McGraw Two Lanes of Freedom, Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park, Blake Shelton Based On A True Story, Taylor Swift Red

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park

WHO WILL WIN:

Taylor Swift Red

This should be a lock for Taylor Swift. She is the biggest name in country music and has made the transition into the pop world seem very easy. At the core of it all Taylor Swift is a very talented songwriter who shined on this year’s Red. I can see Blake Shelton giving her a run for her money with Based On A True Story, which has continued his string of successful albums. But if I could give this award out it would go to newcomer Kacey Musgraves  for her debut Same Trailer Different Park. I liked the rawness and honesty of this record. Musgraves is in for a nice career if she keeps her musical chops up.

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Make sure you tune into CBS this Sunday night at 8pm to see which of your favorite stars will be bringing home the Grammy gold!

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