by Albert Rodriguez
SGN A&E Writer

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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 4, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 49
Grammys 2016: Swift, Lamar, The Weeknd are big contenders for nominations
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Grammys 2016: Swift, Lamar, The Weeknd are big contenders for nominations

by Albert Rodriguez
SGN A&E Writer

            When 2015 closes out, Adele's 25 will claim the top spot on the year's biggest selling albums list. It achieved this feat in a single week with nearly 3.5 million units sold, on the strength of its leadoff single "Hello," which also broke sales records. But neither will be up for Album, Record or Song of the Year when nominations for the Grammy Awards are revealed on December 7. That's because the Grammys, the music industry's top accolade, don't operate on a calendar year. The eligibility period stretches from October 1 of the previous year to September 30 of the current. This makes Adele's album and first released track ineligible for 2016's awards, though they're expected to vie for 2017's batch of prizes.
            That said, let's take a look at possible contenders for this year's Grammy Awards in six categories.

            ALBUM OF THE YEAR
            Although Adele finished strong, 2015 really belonged to Taylor Swift. The pop giant commanded the charts for most of the year with a string of hits, "Bad Blood," "Style," and "Wildest Dreams," plus a sold out stadium tour that landed her at Seattle's CenturyLink Field in early August. "Shake It Off" made the cut for last year's Grammys, but 1989 didn't come out until October 24, 2014, and thus makes it a prime contender going into Monday's nominations. The blue ribbon panel that selects nominees for the General Field categories  Album, Record, Song of the Year, Best New Artist  likes to feature a mix of genres, so expect Kendrick Lamar's critically-acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly to represent the hip hop side and perennial favorites Foo Fighters to be included from the rock world, unless Alabama Shakes' beautifully crafted Sound & Color squeaks by them. From the country field, it's either Chris Stapleton's CMA-winning Traveller or a long shot, Kacey Musgraves' sophomore effort, Pageant Material, and if the R&B genre claims one of the five slots, it'll go to Black Messiah by D'Angelo or Wildheart by Miguel. 1989 and The Weeknd's Beauty Behind the Madness are the pop frontrunners.

            Probable nominees:
            1989 ­ Taylor Swift
            To Pimp a Butterfly  Kendrick Lamar
            Sonic Highways  Foo Fighters
            Traveller  Chris Stapleton
            Beauty Behind the Madness  The Weeknd

            Could sneak in:
            Sound & Color  Alabama Shakes
            Black Messiah  D'Angelo
            Wildheart  Miguel
            A Head Full of Dreams  Coldplay
            How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful  Florence + the Machine
            Before This World  James Taylor
            Cass County  Don Henley

            Longshots:
            Pageant Material  Kacey Musgraves
            Currents  Tame Impala
            Art Angels  Grimes
            Servant of Love  Patty Griffin

            RECORD OF THE YEAR
            Swift has two opportunities to nab an ROTY nod, as 2014's "Blank Space" and 2015's "Bad Blood" (featuring Kendrick Lamar) are both eligible. But the behemoth is "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars), which flooded the airwaves and became more of a phenomenon than a hit single. Other pop contenders include Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud," The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face," Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance," and Jason Derulo's "Want to Want Me." If a country tune makes the cut, look for Stapleton's "Tennessee Whiskey" or Little Big Town's CMA-Single and Song of the Year winner "Girl Crush" to be included, and from the R&B and rap field the battle is between Miguel's "Coffee" (featuring Wale), Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" (featuring Charlie Puth), or Lamar's "Alright."

            Probable nominees:
            Blank Space  Taylor Swift
            Uptown Funk  Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars)
            Can't Feel My Face  The Weeknd
            Girl Crush  Little Big Town
            Alright  Kendrick Lamar

            Could sneak in:
            Bad Blood  Taylor Swift (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
            Tennessee Whiskey  Chris Stapleton
            Thinking Out Loud  Ed Sheeran
            See You Again  Wiz Khalifa (featuring Charlie Puth)
            FourFiveSeconds  Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney
            Cheerleader  Omi
            Biscuits  Kacey Musgraves
            Take Your Time  Sam Hunt

            Longshots:
            Adventure of a Lifetime  Coldplay
            Budapest  George Ezra
            Where Are U Now  Skrillex and Diplo (with Justin Bieber)
            American Kids  Kenny Chesney

            SONG OF THE YEAR
            Song of the Year, awarded to the songwriter(s), has traditionally pitted sappy ballads and easy listening hits against each other, yet recently has featured a more eclectic, hipper group of nominees. Many of the ROTY contenders are favorites here as well, though a few outsiders, such as John Legend and Common's Oscar champ "Glory" could pull a surprise, as could Sia's "Elastic Heart."

            Probable nominees:
            Blank Space
            Can't Feel My Face
            Thinking Out Loud
            Girl Crush
            Glory

            Could sneak in:
            Uptown Funk
            Bad Blood
            Elastic Heart
            Biscuits
            FourFiveSeconds
            Take Your Time

            Longshots:
            Tennessee Whiskey
            Budapest
            Fight Song

            BEST NEW ARTIST
            This is where things get wonky. You might recall that Hozier and Meghan Trainor received Song of the Year nominations last December for "Take Me to Church" and "All About That Bass," respectively. Trainor actually scored an ROTY nod as well. But because both artists released their full-length albums after October 1, 2014, they now qualify for this year's Best New Artist category, and both are considered shoo-ins going into Monday's announcement. Joining them will likely be country newbie Sam Hunt, pop group Walk the Moon, singer songwriter Vance Joy, and possibly alternative vocalist FKA twigs. Scottish electro trio Chvrches, for some inexplicable reason, is on the ballot, despite having breakthrough success already two years ago with their debut album. It'll be interesting to see who the Grammy folks nominate from a very long list of contenders.

            Probable nominees:
            Hozier
            Meghan Trainor
            Sam Hunt
            Walk the Moon
            Vance Joy

            Could sneak in:
            Chvrches
            Twentyone Pilots
            Tori Kelly
            Tinashe
            Fetty Wap
            FKA twigs
            Tove Lo
            George Ezra
            Elle King
            Thomas Rhett
            Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
            Troye Sivan

            Longshots:
            James Bay
            Tobias Jesso Jr.
            Courtney Barnett
            The Chainsmokers
            Allen Stone

            BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC RECORDING
            As EDM becomes increasingly popular, so does this category featuring singles and tracks. In a highly competitive field, it seemed certain that Major Lazer's "Lean On" with MO and DJ Snake would not only be nominated, but would capture the award. Strangely, however, it was submitted in the pop field. This opens the door widely for Galantis' "Runaway (You & I)," Disclosure's "Bang That," Zedd's "Beautiful Now" (featuring Jon Bellion), and Diplo and Skrillex's "Where Are U Now" collaboration with Justin Bieber. I'd love to see Alesso's "Heroes (We Could Be)" with Tove Lo sneak in, or The Chainsmokers' "Roses" (featuring Rozes).

            Probable nominees:
            Runaway (You & I)  Galantis
            Bang That  Disclosure
            Beautiful Now  Zedd (featuring Jon Bellion)
            Where Are U Now  Diplo and Skrillex (with Justin Bieber)
            Monument  Royksopp & Robyn

            Could sneak in:
            Go  The Chemical Brothers
            Heroes  Alesso (featuring Tove Lo)
            Real Love  Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne
            Never Catch Me  Flying Lotus (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
            74 Is the New 24  Georgio Moroder

            BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
            Always competitive, this category spotlights some of the best bands and most innovative artists in all of music; case in point: 2015 winner St. Vincent for her critically praised self-titled album. Previous winners Wilco are almost guaranteed a spot with Star Wars, as is Alabama Shakes with Sounds & Color, plus Tame Impala's Currents, which would give the Australian group back-to-back nominations in this race; ditto for Cage the Elephant, who could score again for Cigarette Daydreams. Northwest act Modest Mouse could make it in, as they have in the past, with their latest work, Strangers to Ourselves, though Seattle-based Death Cab for Cutie's Konsigi was submitted for Best Rock Album. The female trio Sleater-Kinney is also a serious threat with their reunited effort No Cities to Love.

            Probable nominees:
            Star Wars  Wilco
            Sounds & Color  Alabama Shakes
            Currents  Tame Impala
            No Cities to Love  Sleater-Kinney
            Vulnicura  Bjork

            Could sneak in:
            Strangers to Ourselves  Modest Mouse
            Cigarette Daydreams  Cage the Elephant
            The Waterfall  My Morning Jacket
            Better Nature  Silversun Pickups
            M3LL155X  FKA Twigs
            Depression Cherry  Beach House
            Carrie & Lowell  Sufjan Stevens
            Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit  Courtney Barnett
            Broke With Expensive Taste  Azalia Banks
            What Went Down  Foals

 

Tell a friend:

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Grammys 2016: Swift, Lamar, The Weeknd are big contenders for nominations
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Niki Trumbo - an interview with Dalton Trumbo's daughter
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Gage Academy of Art presents the 16th Annual Drawing Jam on Dec. 5

The annual family-friendly event includes live music, models & free art supplies

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Singers Nora Michaels & Victor Janusz - 'together again for the very second time!' - will offer an Intimate Holiday Concert

'CHARISMA NOEL!'

Singing Only the Holiday Songs They LOVE at this Special Time of Year

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Seattle LGBT Community Center
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Kid-friendly Dinosaur a beautifully animated fable
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Misty Copeland's ballet Tale worthy of a look
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