The Grammy’s pop/dance category is usually one of the easiest to predict – when there’s not much competition. This year’s categories features besties vs. besties, Grammy-winning producer vs. Grammy-winning producer, and #1 album vs. #1 album. With the competition more competitive than ever for pop artists, if there’s any category that will be full of surprises – it’s this one.
Best Pop Solo Performance (Category 5)
Adele – “Set Fire To The Rain” (Live At Royal Albert Hall)
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
Katy Perry – “Wide Awake”
Rihanna – “Where Have You Been”
Who Should Win: Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”
The strength of Katy’s song arranging here would normally be enough to guarantee the Queen of Pop her first Grammy. But with this category’s competition as stiff as wood, note must also be made to the crossover success of “Wide Awake”, which reached #1 on four different genre charts.
Who Will Win: Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
As easy as it is to give this Grammy to anyone else in the category, I wouldn’t be unbiased if I didn’t think Kelly would be in for a #fullsweep at this year’s ceremony. While the song may be generic in nature, the empowering anthem was literally everywhere from car campaigns to Obama’s inauguration.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (Category 6)
Florence + the Machine – “Shake It Out”
fun. (feat. Janelle Monae) – “We Are Young”
Gotye (feat. Kimbra) – “Somebody That I Used To Know”
LMFAO – “Sexy And I Know It”
Maroon 5 (feat. Wiz Khalifa) – “Payphone”
Who Should Win: Florence + the Machine’s “Shake It Out”
Florence’s gospel number “Shake It Out” is going down as one of the best written pop songs of all time. The equally impressive video just may earn the Brit star her first golden statue.
Who Will Win: Gotye (feat. Kimbra)’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”
The power of a pop duo with a mind-stimulating video is far more powerful than any other combination known to man. Expect Gotye’s #1 single “Know” to sweep this year’s ceremony.
Best Pop Vocal Album (Category 8)
Who Should Win: Florence + the Machine’s ‘Ceremonials’
‘Ceremonials’ was a departure from the band’s first album ‘Lungs’ as it strayed more towards moving gospel numbers than its “Dog Days Are Over” times. This album was heavily awarded #acrossthewater, and I’m hoping the favor will also be returned stateside.
Who Will Win: Pink’s ‘The Truth About Love’
Every Pink album is a #massivevocalaffair, and ‘The Truth About Love’ is no exception. Collaborations from the legendary Lily Allen (now Lily Rose Cooper), Eminem, and fun.’s Nate Ruess are more than enough for Pink to win.
Best Dance Recording – Producers Award (Category 9)
Avicii – “Levels”
Producers: Tim Bergling, Ash Pournouri
Calvin Harris (feat. Ne-Yo) – “Let’s Go”
Producers: Calvin Harris
Skrillex (feat. Sirah) – “Bangarang”
Swedish House Mafia (feat. John Martin) – “Don’t You Worry Child”
Producers: Steve Angello, Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso
Al Walser – “I Can’t Live Without You”
Producers: Al Walser
Who Should Win: Skrillex (feat. Sirah)’s “Bangarang”
Skrillex won big at the 2012 Grammys, so being nominated the following year in the same category is no surprise. “Bangarang” has become a viral phenomenon that probably won’t stop its reign anytime soon, especially since the #mainstreamers are just starting to catch on.
Who Will Win: Avicii’s “Levels”
The commercial appeal of “Levels” is just plain crazy. Its catchy “I get a good feeling” refrain became a daily staple in radio, despite most listeners not even knowing who Avicii really is. When a song’s chorus sticks with you like Avicii’s does, there’s no stopping its chart (and Grammy reign).
Best Dance/Electronica Album (Category 10)
Who Should Win: Steve Aoki’s ‘Wonderland’
Steve Aoki’s beats have impressed me since I came across his song with Iggy Azalea about a year ago. His latest full-length release ‘Wonderland’ features impressive collaborations with Wynter Gordon, Lil’ Jon, and Kid Cudi. I’m hoping his efforts will be Grammy-rewarded, simply because it’s about time for him to receive national recognition.
Who Will Win: Kaskade’s ‘Fire & Ice’
The progressive house, Chicago-based Kaskade’s singles are so catchy, you’ve probably danced to many of them and didn’t know who you were listening to. His ninth album ‘Fire & Ice’ features two discs – one with his original songs (‘Fire’) and one with his own remixes to the first disc’s songs (‘Ice’). Very rarely do producers remix their own work, but Kaskade’s risky efforts won’t go unnoticed by Grammy voters.
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Category 11)
Who Should Win: Paul McCartney’s ‘Kisses On The Bottom’
After performing his own song “My Valentine” at last year’s awards, this album has been a slowburner that has steadily risen on the charts. The collection of classic pop covers with a few new songs features beautifully arranged melodies by Paul McCartney – so good that he’s earned himself a new fan.
Who Will Win: Michael Bublé’s ‘Christmas’
I love Michael’s voice on anything – his covers, his original work, and now his Christmas music. Michael’s cover of Mariah Carey’s classic hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is enough to rightfully award the adult contemporary singer for another tasteful and groundbreaking release.