Since there’s no Skrillex, Diplo, or Taylor Swift amongst the 2017 nominees, there’s bound to be lots of new faces to win this year – if Adele doesn’t win AOTY (see 2016 list here).
Best Pop Solo Performance (Category 5)
Adele – Hello
Beyoncé – Hold Up
Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece (Idol Version)
Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman
Who Should Win: Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece (Idol Version)
Who Will Win: Adele – Hello
This category is one of the most jam packed of all, but Kelly’s emotional vocal (and equally impressive live performances) on “Piece” outshines all of them. With Adele amassing ten Grammys in six years (compared to Kelly’s three), however, I’m expecting Adelephant to narrowly gain another victory here.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (Category 6)
The Chainsmokers (feat. Halsey) – Closer
Lukas Graham – 7 Years
Rihanna (feat. Drake) – Work
Sia (feat. Sean Paul) – Cheap Thrills
Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out
Who Should Win: Lukas Graham – 7 Years
Who Will Win: Sia (feat. Sean Paul) – Cheap Thrills
Danish pop band Lukas Graham stormed onto charts stateside with the massive single “7 Years”, which proved to be enough to outlast every other song in this category. Out of the five, Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” sold the most despite having an official video, which will hopefully be enough to secure her first Grammy win.
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Category 7)
Andrea Bocelli – Cinema
Bob Dylan – Fallen Angels
Josh Groban – Stages (Live)
Willie Nelson – Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin
Barbra Streisand – Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway
Who Should Win: Barbra Streisand – Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway
Who Will Win: Bob Dylan – Fallen Angels
Barbra Streisand took a great approach to a duets album by featuring her fellow movie partners on Broadway tribute ‘Encore’, but I doubt it will be enough to beat Grammy veteran Bob Dylan, who just won in this same category last year.
Best Pop Vocal Album (Category 8)
Adele – 25
Justin Bieber – Purpose
Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman
Demi Lovato – Confident
Sia – This Is Acting
Who Should Win: Sia – This Is Acting
Who Will Win: Adele – 25
Since Beyonce’ will likely win Album of the Year for ‘Lemonade’, that means that Adele will become a 100% shoe-in for this category. It would be better if Sia or Ariana won instead (since they are both without Grammys), but the competition is just too thick in the main categories for ‘25’ to go unnoticed as a whole.
Best Dance Recording (Category 9)
Bob Moses – Tearing Me Up
The Chainsmokers (feat. Daya) – Don’t Let Me Down
Flume (feat. Kai) – Never Be Like You
Riton (feat. Kah-Lo) – Rinse & Repeat
Sofi Tukker – Drinkee
Who Should Win: Sofi Tukker – Drinkee
Who Will Win: The Chainsmokers (feat. Daya) – Don’t Let Me Down
Having seen Bob Moses perform live just last year, this category is a tough one to call as Moses (along with Flume, Sofi, and Riton) had huge success from each of their singles. The Chainsmokers’ “Down”, however, became an international and mainstream success – which gives them a slight advantage over the other nominees.
Best Dance/Electronic Album (Category 10)
Flume – Skin
Jean-Michel Jarre – Electronica 1: The Time Machine
Tycho – Epoch
Underworld – Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future
Louie Vega – Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII
Who Should Win: Tycho – Epoch
Who Will Win: Flume – Skin
Unlike many others, this category is the most consistent in terms of both nominees and winners. Tycho’s fourth album ‘Epoch’, while impressive, does not pack as hard of a punch as Flume’s sophomore ‘Skin’, which is a near-minimum requirement for winning anything within the electronic/dance genre.