Taylor Swift may be the most successful artist in these group of nominations, but she’s also least likely to win. Many of the other artists are first-time nominees, which usually pays off well amongst this mainstream category (see 2015 list here).
Best Pop Solo Performance (Category 5)
Kelly Clarkson – “Heartbeat Song”
Ellie Goulding – “Love Me Like You Do”
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”
Who Should Win: Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Who Will Win: The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”
There’s no denying how massive both Ed and the Weeknd’s singles were during the 2015-16 eligibility period. In a perfect world, Ed would receive the edge here because the songwriting and arrangements are minimal while still producing a long-lasting impact. But the Weeknd’s “Face” dominated radio for most of 2015, which should be enough for him to win his first Grammy with this category.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (Category 6)
Florence + The Machine – “Ship To Wreck”
Maroon 5 – “Sugar”
Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars) – “Uptown Funk”
Taylor Swift (feat. Kendrick Lamar) – “Bad Blood”
Wiz Khalifa (feat. Charlie Puth) – “See You Again”
Who Should Win: Florence + The Machine – “Ship To Wreck”
Who Will Win: Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars) – “Uptown Funk”
It’s a wild card for Florence to win in the rock categories against Alabama Shakes, but the competition is even harder for her in the general pop categories. Although “Ship To Wreck” is the most respectable vocal in this category, expect the record-shattering “Uptown Funk” to upset Flo.
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Category 7)
Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap – ‘The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern’
Bob Dylan – ‘Shadows In The Night’
Josh Groban – ‘Stages’
Seth MacFarlane – ‘No One Ever Tells You’
Barry Manilow – ‘My Dream Duets’
Who Should Win: Seth MacFarlane – ‘No One Ever Tells You’
Who Will Win: Barry Manilow – ‘My Dream Duets’
The traditional category is always a tough one to call, but there’s an enormous amount of great talent in 2016 which could open up wins to almost anyone nominated here. Seth MacFarlane’s ‘No One Ever Tells You’ was inspired by Frank Sinatra and featured minimalist instrumentation. However, Barry Manilow’s ‘Dream Duets’ features his favorite deceased artists engineered on duets with him – a brilliant and touching move that’s sure to be awarded.
Best Pop Vocal Album (Category 8)
Kelly Clarkson – ‘Piece By Piece’
Florence + The Machine – ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’
Mark Ronson – ‘Uptown Special’
Taylor Swift – ‘1989’
James Taylor – ‘Before This World’
Who Should Win: Florence + The Machine – ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’
Who Will Win: Kelly Clarkson – ‘Piece By Piece’
Although it’s not quite a pop album, Florence + The Machine’s ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ is an album that truly lives up to its title when categorized in any genre. Kelly Clarkson’s seventh studio release ‘Piece By Piece’ is – without question – her most personal album to date. Despite the fact that Florence and Kelly are neck-and-neck vocally, I would give Kelly a slight edge since she’s won in this category before.
Best Dance Recording (Category 9)
Above & Beyond (feat. Zoë Johnston) – “We’re All We Need”
The Chemical Brothers (feat. Q-Tip) – “Go”
Flying Lotus (feat. Kendrick Lamar) – “Never Catch Me”
Galantis – “Runaway (U & I)”
Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü (feat. Justin Bieber) – “Where Are Ü Now”
Who Should Win: Galantis – “Runaway (U & I)”
Who Will Win: Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü (feat. Justin Bieber) – “Where Are Ü Now”
Justin Bieber’s crossover hit with Skrillex and Diplo became the biggest song of 2015. While the EDM-pop crossover ballad was impressive in every aspect, “Runaway” shared equal impact on indie charts. Both songs are incredibly catchy, but the A-list feature on “Ü” is most likely to win this category.
Best Dance/Electronic Album (Category 10)
Caribou – ‘Our Love’
The Chemical Brothers – ‘Born In The Echoes’
Disclosure – ‘Caracal’
Jamie xx – ‘In Colour’
Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü – ‘Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü’
Who Should Win: Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü’
Who Will Win: Jamie xx – ‘In Colour’
As a frequent wildcard, any album in this category could sneak in an upset win here. Jack Ü and Jamie xx’s solo ‘In Colour’ set stand out the most as the critic favorites, while each of the others have been met with mixed reviews. The Jack Ü project could win because its increments of greatness mixed in with EDM bangers. Jamie xx’s debut is a different kind of work, one that could fit more in the pop categories, which is why its versatility could prove victorious for the former xx frontman.