2017 Grammy Predictions

It’s nearly Grammy time – and this year’s batch of nominees are sure to disappoint. Check out our predictions!

This Sunday marks the 59th annual Grammy Awards, the show were music’s biggest and best stars perform, and a few awards are handed out. This year’s batch of performances is typically eclectic – John Legend, Chance the Rapper, Adele, Katy Perry, The Weeknd with Daft Punk, A Tribe Called Quest with Anderson .Paak, Sturgill Simpson and Metallica with Lady Gaga – yes, really – are the highlights on a lengthy line-up. But who is up for major awards? And who do we think is worthy of getting the award? Predictions await:

Best New Artist – Kelsea Ballerini, The Chainsmokers, Chance the Rapper, Maren Morris, Anderson .Paak

Will Win/Should Win – Chance the Rapper.

This category is notoriously unpredictable. Remember 2011? I do. Realistically, any nominee could take it. Don’t be surprised by a Chainsmokers upset – they seem to be more hated than loved, but they did have the biggest song of the year (for some reason). .Paak is an incredible performer with an incredible album, and Morris had a strong release too. But this should go to Chance – he’s likely to clean up on Sunday.

Should Be Nominated – Car Seat Headrest. They put out one of the only noteworthy alternative albums of the year, but also one of the best. It’d be an edgier choice for the relentlessly mainstream Grammy’s, but they got enough press that they could’ve picked up a nom.


Best Metal Performance – Baroness – “Shock Me,” Gojira – “Silvera,” KoRn – “Rotting In Vain,” Megadeth – “Dystopia,” Periphery – “The Price Is Wrong”

Will Win/Should Win – Megadeth/Gojira.

This might finally be Megadeth’s year – after an unbelievable 11 nominations to 0 wins, the thrash vets should clean up in this category. KoRn are a decade out of relevance, and the other three acts just don’t have the popularity. Still – Baroness and Gojira are two of the best metal bands active right now, and I’d be happy with either. Especially Gojira. They deserve it for years of underrated records. Also Dave Mustaine is a huge racist and should not get awards.

Should’ve Been Nominated – Nails – “You Will Never Be One Of Us,” The Body – “Hallow/Hollow”


Best Rock Song – David Bowie – “Blackstar,” Radiohead – “Burn the Witch,” Metallica – “Hardwired,” twenty-one pilots – “Heathens,” Highly Suspect – “My Name is Human”

Will Win/Should Win – twenty-one pilots/Bowie.

This hurts, because this is a solid category this year. Again, the Grammy’s have randomly nominated no-name band Highly Suspect (for the 2nd year in a row), but Metallica, Bowie and Radiohead all had great years (well…Bowie didn’t). But, Radiohead’s song is polarizing and really not in the right category, they nominated the wrong Metallica song, and the Grammy’s just hate David Bowie. twenty-one pilots are nominated for higher awards, so don’t be surprised if they take this one. Letting you know in advance. Please don’t throw the remote through the TV. I hate them too.

Should’ve Been Nominated – 2016 was a brutally slow year for rock. Still, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Savages and Deftones were all very deserving of noms.


Best Rock Album – blink-182 – “California,” Cage the Elephant – “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” Gojira – “Magma,” Panic! at the Disco – “Death of a Bachelor,” Weezer – “Weezer”

Will Win/Should Win – any of them/any of them.

Okay, that’s a cop-out. I’m genuinely pleased with this category, though – all five of these albums are perfectly enjoyable. The best of the year? No. But it’s nice to see Weezer pick up a nom, Cage get some due praise, and blink to get their (SOMEHOW) first ever nomination. Gojira’s album is the best here, but they’re also the least well-known, so a win for them is unlikely. If I have to make a prediction? I see this going to Weezer. But I’m happy any which way.

Should’ve Been Nominated – Deftones, Savages, I sound like a broken record. Also: Dinosaur, Jr. And to my friends that read this: sorry.


Best Rock Performance – Alabama Shakes – “Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)”, Beyoncé feat. Jack White – “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” David Bowie – “Blackstar,” Disturbed – “The Sound of Silence (Live on Conan)”, twenty-one pilots – “Heathens”

Will Win/Should Win – dude do you see this category??

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ok – I hate this category. I always have. There shouldn’t be a genre category in which Beyoncé, David Bowie and Disturbed are duking it out. I can’t make a prediction because I can’t compare Beyoncé to Disturbed covering Simon & Garfunkel on late night television, to an Alabama Shakes performance that I haven’t heard. You know who deserves this? Bowie. But who knows.

Should’ve Been Nominated – I don’t know???????? Mitski and Babymetal were both excellent on Colbert’s show, how about those?


Best Alternative Album – Bon Iver – “22, A Million,” David Bowie, “Blackstar,” PJ Harvey – “The Hope Six Demolition Project,” Iggy Pop – “Post Pop Depression,” Radiohead – “A Moon Shaped Pool”

Will Win/Should Win: Radiohead/Bowie.

This category is S-T-A-C-K-E-D and realistically, any one of these nominees could take home the award (and is totally deserving of it). The Grammy’s love snubbing PJ Harvey – they’ve done it six times before – so expect it to happen again. Iggy Pop is unfortunately being left in the dust (his alleged final album is great, but not good enough). But it could go to Bowie, Radiohead, or Vernon & co. The Grammy’s love Bon Iver (even if I don’t), so they could sneak in a win. Still, they have tough competition in a Grammy all-time favorite – Radiohead, and a decided non-favorite but recently passed Bowie, who also wrapped up with his best album in three decades. This one’s fierce, but the Grammy’s do love Radiohead (likewise).

Should’ve Been Nominated – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, “Skeleton Tree.” An emotionally draining album that represents the high watermark from a band who hasn’t gotten a single nomination across a three-decade career. Also, Car Seat Headrest, the only other noteworthy alternative album of the year. Otherwise – every band was driftwood.


Best Rap Song – Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared – “All the Way Up,” Kanye West & Rihanna – “Famous,” Drake – “Hotline Bling,” Chance the Rapper feat. 2 Chainz & Lil’ Wayne – “No Problem,” Kanye West feat. Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Kelly Price & The-Dream – “Ultralight Beam”

Will Win/Should Win – Drake/Kanye & Chance, Kirk, Kelly, The-Dream

This is the incredible category where Chance the Rapper goes up against himself three times. He deserves this award, maybe not for his production on Kanye’s “Famous,” but for his own “No Problem,” or as a guest on Kanye’s “Ultralight Beam.” The latter was our #1 song of the year, for [redacted]’s sake. Still, Drake’s song not only dominated the airwaves for an entire season, but holds much more of a chart presence than the others on this list. Hopefully the Grammy’s see the sheer beauty in “Ultralight Beam,” but I’m not sure they will. Also, “Famous” is terrible. Also, Fat Joe still records?

Should’ve Been Nominated – Vince Staples, “War Ready,” and also, they would never nominate this, but YG & Nipsey Hussle’s “Fuck Donald Trump.”


Best Rap Album – Chance the Rapper – “Coloring Book,” De La Soul – “…And the Anonymous Nobody,” DJ Khaled – “Major Key,” Drake – “VIEWS,” ScHoolboy Q – “Blank Face LP,” Kanye West – “The Life of Pablo”

Will Win/Should Win – Drake/Chance.

Again, this hurts. Chance the Rapper released one of the two best rap releases of the year (A Tribe Called Quest’s final album won’t be eligible until next year’s awards), but he’s likely to lose to one of music’s biggest losers, Drake. Truly, “VIEWS” is the only mediocre album on this list, but oh my god is it mediocre. But, it’s up for Album of the Year for some god-be-damned reason, which is all but a guarantee that he’ll win this. Every other album deserves this. It’s really nice to see ScHoolboy Q nominated, though, because he had one of the best of the year, too.

Should’ve Been Nominated – YG, “Still Brazy.” Love that record. And Danny Brown’s, but that’s a longshot for the Grammy’s.


Best Pop Vocal Album – Adele – “25,” Justin Bieber – “Purpose,” Ariana Grande – “Dangerous Woman,” Demi Lovato – “Confidant,” Sia – “This Is Acting”

Will Win/Should Win – Adele.

Adele is squaring off against Bieber for Album of the Year, but this is Adele’s to lose. Still, it’s a pleasant category – Sia’s album wasn’t great, but she’s immensely talented, and the other four albums are pleasures. But I don’t see this going to anyone besides Adele.

Should’ve Been Nominated – Carly Rae Jepsen’s “E*MO*TION B Sides,” because I am not that skilled in this category and I love Carly Rae Jepsen. Also – Grimes!! Oh my god just give her a Grammy now.


Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey – “Closer,” Lukas Graham – “7 Years,” Rihanna feat. Drake – “Work,” Sia feat. Sean Paul – “Cheap Thrills,” twenty-one pilots – “Stressed Out”

Will Win/Should Win – Rihanna & Drake.

Although the Chainsmokers had the biggest song of the year in “Closer,” it’s hard to see the Grammy’s pass up a chance to award Rihanna. She’s already won 8 (and is up for an incredible 8 this year). And although I personally don’t care for “Work,” I see why it was popular, with a long-lasting quality absent from “Closer.” Worth noting that “Work,” “Closer,” and “Cheap Thrills” were all #1 hits – the other two peaked at #2. Let that universal popularity add unpredictability as a factor.

Should’ve Been Nominated – The Weeknd/Daft Punk – “Starboy.” Grimes/Janelle Monae – “Venus Fly.” Zedd/Kesha – “True Colors.”


Best Pop Solo Performance – Adele – “Hello,” Beyoncé – “Hold Up,” Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself,” Kelly Clarkson – “Piece By Piece (Idol Version),” Ariana Grande – “Dangerous Woman”

Will Win/Should Win – Adele.

“Hold Up” was arguably the most emotionally affecting song on Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” but for me, it just can’t top “Hello.” A brutally emotional opener to a brutally emotional album, Adele’s vocal ballad is about as good as Adele songs come. Add a massive popularity absent from the other songs that aren’t Bieber’s, and you’ve got a likely candidate. Still – this category is strong, and any of the other singers could pull it out.

Should’ve Been Nominated – Zayn’s “Pillowtalk.” Otherwise, strong category.


Song of the Year – Adele – “Hello,” Beyoncé – “Formation,” Mike Posner – “I Took A Pill In Ibiza,” Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself,” Lukas Graham – “7 Years”

Will Win/Should Win – Adele

This whole Grammy’s comes down to Adele v. Beyoncé, in the last category, in this one, and in the next one, and the one after that. It’s a tough battle between them, even though Beyoncé pretty much deserves all of her awards. That said, I think the Grammy’s will give her Album of the Year – and erase their past mistakes – and give Adele this award as a consolation prize. “Hello” is a pop ballad for the ages, and it’s very deserving of this award. I don’t see any upsets, although Bieber’s song is quite good. The other two shouldn’t be here at all.

Should’ve Been Nominated – “Hotline Bling,” “Ultralight Beam,” “Cranes In the Sky,” anything from Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book,” “Starboy,” “Lazarus,” and about 100 other songs before Posner & Graham.


Record of the Year – Adele – “Hello,” Beyoncé – “Formation,” Lukas Graham – “7 Years,” Rihanna & Drake – “Work,” twenty-one pilots – “Stressed Out”

Will Win/Should Win – Adele/Beyoncé.

I’m still not positive what the difference between this award and Song of the Year is, but I don’t know, Beyoncé deserves it. They might give to Adele as a further consolation prize. Given that they’re both nominated for the same song in both categories (as is Lukas Graham), then who’s to say. Give it to Bey. Don’t give it Graham or twenty-one pilots, please.

Should’ve Been Nominated – just see above


Album of the Year – Adele – “25,” Beyoncé – “Lemonade,” Justin Bieber – “Purpose,” Drake – “VIEWS,” Sturgill Simpson – “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth”

Will Win/Should Win – Beyoncé.

The Grammy’s have messed up, and I like to think they know it. Two years ago, they snubbed Beyoncé in favor of Beck (awarding him for a previous screw-up in 1996). Last year, they snubbed Kendrick Lamar in favor of Taylor Swift. While the winning albums are both excellent, the snubs were better, and it’s tough not to look at a race issue. So here, in Beyoncé vs. Adele, we represent the most politically divisive album of the year, vs. an Adele album that isn’t as good as the last one (which won this award). Adele’s album was great, definitely, but if she wins, I’m permanently boycotting the show. “Lemonade” is the best album of the year. It’s the best album in years. Bieber’s album is fine, Drake’s isn’t. “VIEWS” is awful. Sturgill Simpson is honestly great, but he has no star power, and I don’t see a 2008 Herbie Hancock or 2011 Arcade Fire upset in store for him (also, their obligatory country nom should’ve gone to Miranda Lambert). This should go to Queen Bey.

Should’ve Been Nominated – David Bowie. Even in death, the Grammy’s don’t care about him.

Come Sunday night, grab a drink and watch your favorite artists perform and then lose awards. Hopefully I’m wrong about some of these! Join me at @amcnal for a hopeful livetweeting of the event.

-By Andrew McNally

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