[REVIEW] 2016 Grammy Predictions + Commentary On ‘The Big Four’ Categories


The 2016 Big Four nominations may be plagued with a majority of mainstream pop artists, but there’s also a few indie artists who are receiving equal (or greater) recognition this year. Kendrick Lamar is this year’s most nominated, but it’s The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran who will likely have a big year at the Grammys (see 2015 list here).

Record Of The Year (Category 1)
D’Angelo & The Vanguard – “Really Love”
Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars) – “Uptown Funk”
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: Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars) – “Uptown Funk”

Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” became so much of a pop masterpiece that it outperformed every song in this category. D’Angelo is the most surprising in this category, but his iconic comeback status gives him the right to compete here. Mark and the Weeknd had the closest numbers to Ed’s “Loud”, which means that either of them could squeeze in an upset here.

Album Of The Year (Category 2)
Alabama Shakes – ‘Sound & Color’
Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’
Chris Stapleton – ‘Traveller’
Taylor Swift – ‘1989’
The Weeknd – ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’

Who Should Win: Alabama Shakes – ‘Sound & Color’

Who Will Win: Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’

I’m rooting for Alabama Shakes the most in this category, but unfortunately the competition is just too stiff for the band to pull an upset here. Chris, Taylor, and Kendrick are multi-platinum sellers, while the Weeknd’s latest placed him at the forefront of R&B. Alabama’s sophomore set didn’t pack a similar set of accolades, which leaves Kendrick as the most likely AOTY winner.

Song Of The Year (Category 3)
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Songwriters: Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears, and Pharrell Williams
Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Songwriters: Max Martin, Shellback, and Taylor Swift
Little Big Town – “Girl Crush”
Songwriters: Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, and Liz Rose
Wiz Khalifa (feat. Charlie Puth) – “See You Again”
Songwriters: Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charlie Puth, and Cameron Thomaz
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Songwriters: Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge

Who Should Win: Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”

Who Will Win: Little Big Town – “Girl Crush”

Impact wise, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” packs the prose that is most Grammy worthy in this category. The song became the breakout hit from his sophomore album and his highest charting song to date. Songwriting wise, Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” is the most impressive. Not only is the song a great introductory foray into the controversial genre, but it’s also shedding light on a somewhat taboo topic…especially for country.

Best New Artist (Category 4)
Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Meghan Trainor
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly

Who Should Win: Courtney Barnett

Who Will Win: James Bay

I’d be happy if anyone won this Grammy except for Meghan Trainor. The four other artists nominated proved their staying power within an evolving music industry. Courtney Barnett’s debut was the most impressive of the five, as she stormed onto the scene with the purpose of paving a new lane for female rockers. But since James Bay has received a few nominations within the rock category, he’s most likely to win here.

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