2011 Grammy Nominee Predictions

Dave Iannacone

Yes, the 2011 Grammy Awards seem a ways away, but in reality, all of the music that will be nominated has already been released, and this year’s lot is a doozey. The usual cut-off for eligibility is September 30; however, last year’s was bumped up a month to August 31, thus making a whole other month of music available to be nominated. So who will be up? Well, that’s anybody’s guess; but here’s mine.

As far as Album of the Year goes, there haven’t been many exciting releases; but one has really surpassed them all: Eminem’s Relapse, which will be a total shocker if left off the list of nominees. I think it’s also a safe bet to guess that Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now and Sade’s Solider of Love will be up there, too. Also, because the Grammys love to honor legends, as well as mix up the genres in their categories, I’d put my money on Carole King and James Taylor’s live album, Live at the Troubadour as well. To possibly fill the rock void in the category, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs may make an appearance, as no other rock album has really made an impact in the last 13 months. Many contemporary pop and R&B albums, such as Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream and Usher’s Raymond vs. Raymond, are most likely going to be absent from the list.

Both Song of the Year and Record of the Year are two very different categories, but usually with two somewhat similar sets of nominees. So for all intents and purposes, I’ll group them together. Quite honestly, there’s no bigger pop star in the world right now than Lady Gaga, and her smash hit, “Bad Romance” has got both the critical acclaim and public backing to be up for either (or even both) of these awards. I would also predict that Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” are also going to get nominations in either/both categories.

However, as previously mentioned, the Grammys like to include various genres in all of their major categories, which is going to prove difficult this year because of all the popular rap/sung duets that have both seen incredible critical acclaim, but also commercial success. I’d say it really comes down to Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie” and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State Of Mind.” I, personally, wouldn’t be terribly shocked if both songs were pinned against each other as they were two of the biggest hits of the last year and have had the most praise from critics. The third contender, however, would have to be B.o.B. and Haley Williams’ “Airplanes,” which could end up being the dark horse and either could be joining one (or both) of the other tracks, quite possibly beating them both out completely.

Other possible nominees would be Sade’s “Solider of Love,” Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” (featuring Snoop Dogg), and Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are.” However, with all of the many tracks released since August 31, 2009, there is bound to be a surprise or two on the list.

The last major category, Best New Artist is probably going to be the toughest competition to call. Rapper Drake is almost guaranteed a nod, as is (for better or worst) Justin Bieber. However, it’s really up in the air who else will be on the list. While B.o.B. is a likely contender and Nicki Minaj is being filed under “maybe,” neither stand a chance against Drake for nomination. Florence + The Machine are possible nominees to all of the major categories, but Best New Artist more than any of the others. I would be very surprised if they were not included. Other than that, the only other plausible nominees I can come up with would be Bruno Mars and possibly Susan Boyle; so there is no doubt that this will be a nail-biter!

The 2011 Grammys aren’t being held until February 13, but the nominees are being announced on December 1, 2010 during a special televised concert and ceremony for the third year in a row; so mark your calendars!