The Grammy Awards claim to be music’s biggest night, an exciting spectacle of live performance and major upsets honoring the best in the biz. With 84 categories, it’s easy to get lost in the fanfare of an awards ceremony that is as self-congratulating — members of The Academy, i.e., people who have won a Grammy previously or qualify as an industry professional — as it is exhaustive, recognizing everything from Record of the Year to Best Album Notes.
This year’s ceremony, which airs on Sunday on CBS live from Los Angeles, promises some historic moments, including in memoriam tributes to Prince and George Michael, Katy Perry’s first performance of “Chained To The Rhythm,” her new song featuring Skip Marley, and a genre-scrambling union of Lady Gaga performing with Metallica.
For those who want to play catch up on a year of music or want a guide map of what to expect when it comes to the winners and losers, Vanyaland presents its prediction of the winners in 10 of the Grammys’ biggest categories.
Record of the Year
“7 Years”, Lukas Graham
“Work”, Rihanna featuring Drake
“Stressed Out”, Twenty One Pilots
Who Will Win: “Formation,” hands down. This award is meant to capture the zeitgeist of the recording industry, honoring the artist, the producers, and the engineers and mixers responsible for it. In a turbulent political year, to say the least, “Formation” transcended music and became one helluva co-or-dinated rallying cry. From the lyrics to the production to that Big Freedia sample, it wasn’t the song anyone expected from Beyoncé but it was the song we all needed.
The Dark Horse: “Hello” may have been a major win for Adele — and the most anticipated single of this eligibility period — but its success didn’t hold up. Record-breaking sales, absolutely, but it failed to garner the same public reception across the long term. That’s why the follow-up, “When We Were Young” was released so soon thereafter. Instead, “Work” could surprise us with a win. Put simply, it’s the only song here, besides “Formation,” that you can hum the chorus to. Checkmate Rihanna.