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Madonna, Gorillaz, U2 with Mary J. Blige, Coldplay, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban among performers for this week's Grammy Awards
Madonna, Gorillaz, U2 with Mary J. Blige, Coldplay, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban among performers for this week's Grammy Awards
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

48th Annual Grammy Awards

Wednesday, February 8 - 5:30 pm (red carpet arrivals), 8:00 pm (telecast)

Check local listings for coverage on MTV, VH1, E! and CBS stations


Performers: Madonna, Gorillaz, Coldplay, Kanye West, U2 with Mary J. Blige, Bruce Springstein, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Herbie Hancock with Christina Aguilera and more

Presenters: Michael Buble, Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Tom Hanks, Common, Big & Rich, Ludacris, Queen Latifah and more

I watch the Grammy Awards each year with tremendous frustration. It's a tradition I own, mostly a bad one, equaling anyone's addiction to a major sporting championship. By show's end, I usually end up theorizing a way to tell Grammy voters how lame they truly are. How could music professionals give Album of the Year to a Ray Charles recording that was miles away from his best work? Or, a metal award to Jethro Tull? Or, declare a pair of mopheads (Milli Vanilli), with no talent and no shame (they stole someone else's vocals), the Best New Artist? Simple. It's an old, out of touch membership with its hip factor turned off.

So here's hoping they finally get it right this time, allowing the deserving winners to actually win. Either way, with Madonna leading a lineup of performers that includes Coldplay, Gorillaz, Mariah Carey and a unique pairing of super group U2 with hot mama Mary J. Blige, my fingers are dialing the nearest pizza joint and my eyes are glued to the tube Wednesday night. Below is my take on the night's four big awards. Check out our blog site, accessible through www.sgn.org, for a rundown of other hotly contest Grammy categories.

Record of the Year nominees: We Belong Together - Mariah Carey, Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz featuring De La Soul, Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day, Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani, Gold Digger - Kanye West

Likely winner: Gold Digger - Unless Grammy voters fall for Mariah Carey's non-stop self-gratuitous campaigning (she's everywhere these days), they'll reward West for a slick single that gave dance floors some serious heat.

My vote: Feel Good Inc. - I won't be disappointed if West or Green Day pull it out, but Gorillaz with help from old school rappers De La Soul clearly own 2005's best single.

Album of the Year nominees: The Emancipation of Mimi - Mariah Carey, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard - Paul McCartney, Love.Angel.Music.Baby. - Gwen Stefani, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - U2, Late Registration - Kanye West

Likely winner: Late Registration - Grammy voters need to redeem themselves for last year's sentimental, yet far from sensational, AOTY choice, Ray Charles' posthumous Genius Love Company. West has the commercial clout, critical backing and respect from fellow artists to hopefully move votes in his direction. But watch out for the always-dangerous U2.

My vote: Late Registration - A more complex piece of work than West's debut The College Dropout, but a smarter and creatively stronger recording altogether.

Song of the Year nominees: Bless the Broken Road - various songwriters (Rascal Flatts), Devils & Dust - Bruce Springstein, songwriter (Bruce Springstein), Ordinary People - W. Adams and J. Stephens, songwriters (John Legend), Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own - U2, songwriters (U2), We Belong Together - various songwriters (Mariah Carey)

Likely winner: Ordinary People - Perhaps the category where Grammy voters show their true boringness, as a whole membership, is SOTY. Legend's number is great soul, but there were better entries that went unnoticed.

My vote: Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own - This is one of U2's best songs. Enough said.

Best New Artist nominees: Ciara, Fall Out Boy, Keane, John Legend, Sugarland

Likely winner: John Legend - He's had it in the bag since summer.

My vote: Keane - While Legend is the real deal, Keane's brilliant pop-rock songs on Hopes and Fears shouldn't be ignored.

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