Battle for the Grammy: 2016’s Nominees

Glenn Rohrbacker

As you start cranking your holiday music, the Grammy season is just getting started.

“Back to Back” by Drake is one of the nominees for Best Rap Performance                                       (AP photo)
“Back to Back” by Drake is one of the nominees for Best Rap Performance
(AP photo)

On Monday, Dec. 7, the Grammy Organization released the nominees for the 2016 Grammy Awards, set to air in early February.

With a total of 83 awards, the Grammy’s cover every corner of the music industry, and create a buzz amongst fans about who will be crowned with the legendary gramophone statue.

From record of the year to best music film, the best of the best are represented on this list of music greats. Some of the nominees are no brainers – Taylor Swift, the Weeknd, Ed Sheeran – and then there are some obscure choices that you may find surprising in this comprehensive guide to the 2016 nominees.

For Record of the Year, the obvious choices are present – “Blank Space,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “Uptown Funk,” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” But the surprising addition is “Really Love” by D’Angelo and the Vanguard. This track definitely didn’t sell as well as the others in this category, and definitely didn’t get as much radio time or talk.

The top choices for Album of the Year would be The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, and Kendrick Lamar. Hearing talk around the industry, it seems that Kendrick is the favorite and most likely to win this category. Kendrick Lamar also holds the most nominations for this year.

Best new artist will definitely be a close category. The nominees are Tori Kelly, Meghan Trainor, James Bay, Sam Hunt and Courtney Barnett. I’m sure you’ve heard all of these names in the past year, but I think that Tori Kelly is going to be the underdog to come out with the award.

The nominees for Best Rap Performance are “Back to Back” by Drake, “Apparently” by J. Cole, “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap, “All Day” by Kanye West, “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, and “Truffle Butter” by Nicki Manaj ft. Drake & Lil’ Wayne. These songs were all a huge part of 2015 music, but I find it hard to believe that the summer anthem “Trap Queen” won’t take this category.

Similarly, the nominees for Best Rap Album are 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole, Compton by Dr. Dre, If You’re Reading This Its Too Late by Drake, To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar, and The Pinkprint by Nicki Minaj. Drake made waves with his album this year, while Nicki Manaj’s record was much under received than she may have wanted. This category is another example of where the results can go several ways.

For Best Musical Theater Album, I think the obvious choice would be Hamilton, which blew up on Broadway this year out of the brain of Lin Manuel Miranda.

There could be a close call for Best Soundtrack for Visual Media (Movies), where Selma, Pitch Perfect 2, Fifty Shades of Grey and Empire: Season 1 will be battling for the Grammy.

All the way at the bottom of the list of nominees, we have the category for Best Music Film. The nominees are Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, Sonic Highways, What Happened Miss Simone?, The Wall, and Amy. Amy was a revolutionary film about the life of Amy Winehouse that could definitely be a contender for the Grammy.

The 2016 Grammy Awards will air on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016 on CBS. They only show a few of the categories on the show, along with a lot of great performances. I’ll be back before the show to tell you my picks for the winners.