[REVIEW] 2016 Grammy Predictions x Gospel/Contemporary Christian


This year’s Grammy category is the first in three years to not include contemporary rapper Lecrae, who has been a frontrunner of numerous gospel awards. While there are some new artists among the gospel/contemporary Christian groups in 2016, many of the artists are quite established and well-deserving of their first Grammy win (see 2015 list here).

Best Gospel Performance/Song – Songwriter’s Award (Category 36)
Anthony Brown & Group Therapy “Worth (Live)”
Songwriters: Anthony Brown
Kirk Franklin – “Wanna Be Happy?”
Songwriters: Kirk Franklin
Travis Greene – “Intentional”
Songwriters: Travis Greene
Israel & New Breed (feat. Yolanda Adams) – “How Awesome Is Our God (Live)”
Songwriters: Neville Diedericks, Israel Houghton, and Meleasa Houghton
Brian Courtney Wilson – “Worth Fighting For” (Live)
Songwriters: Aaron Lindsey and Brian Courtney Wilson

Who Should Win: Israel & New Breed (feat. Yolanda Adams) – “How Awesome Is Our God (Live)”

Who Will Win: Kirk Franklin – “Wanna Be Happy?”

Israel & New Breed’s live album stormed onto gospel charts and dominated throughout most of the 2014-15 eligibility period, but Kirk Franklin’s latest single brings back the vintage call-and-shout technique that everyone’s missed from him over the last few years.

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song – Songwriter’s Award (Category 37)
Francesca Battistelli – “Holy Spirit”
Songwriters: Francesca Battistelli
Crowder – “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)”
Songwriters: Ed Cash, David Crowder, and Seth Philpott
Matt Maher – “Because He Lives (Amen)”
Songwriters: Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Matt Maher, and Chris Tomlin
Third Day (feat. All Sons & Daughters) – “Soul On Fire”
Songwriters: Tai Anderson, Brenton Brown, David Carr, Mark Lee, Matt Maher, and Mac Powell
Tobymac (feat. Mr. Talkbox) – “Feel It”
Songwriters: Cary Barlowe, David Arthur Garcia, and Toby McKeehan

Who Should Win: Francesca Battistelli – “Holy Spirit”

Who Will Win: Crowder – “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)”

While vocals are especially important for any gospel performance, the message carries a much stronger weight. Francesca Battistelli’s “Holy Spirit” is so powerful that it could compete with many pop stars today, but the message behind Crowder’s “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” will likely prevail.

Best Gospel Album (Category 38)
Karen Clark-Sheard – ‘Destined To Win (Live)’
Dorinda Clark-Cole – ‘Living It’
Tasha Cobbs – ‘One Place (Live)’
Israel & New Breed – ‘Covered: Alive In Asia (Live)’
Jonathan McReynolds – ‘Life Music: Stage Two’

Who Should Win: Dorinda Clark-Cole – ‘Living It’

Who Will Win: Tasha Cobbs – ‘One Place (Live)’

Dorinda Clark-Cole’s voice is legendary amongst gospel musicians, comparable only to the great Shirley Caesar. However, Tasha Cobbs’ stage presence and impressive vocal runs (especially live) makes any song that she sings a complete masterpiece.

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album (Category 39)
Jason Crabb – ‘Whatever The Road’
Lauren Daigle – ‘How Can It Be’
Matt Maher – ‘Saints And Sinners’
Tobymac – ‘***This Is Not A Test***’
Chris Tomlin – ‘Love Ran Red’

Who Should Win: Lauren Daigle – ‘How Can It Be’

Who Will Win: Tobymac – ‘***This Is Not A Test***’

Since Lauren Daigle is bringing a commanding presence to this category, Tobymac is exuding crossover appeal. Lauren’s music has been praised more as of late, but Tobymac’s seventh album is possibly his best work since ‘Welcome To Diverse City’.

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