What to expect at the Grammys and who we think should win

By Cameron Lee

February 12, 2017

The Grammys are historically notorious for choosing over-hyped pop artists over truly creative works. This year is no different with the nominations for Album of The Year that included Beyonce’s Lemonade and Justin Bieber’s Purpose over albums like the late great David Bowie’s Black Star, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, Anderson .Paak’s Malibu, and many more great projects released in 2016. Despite the commercialized list of nominees, they did get a couple things right; it’s hard to deny the talent and song stylings of Adele’s third studio album, 25. Sturgill Simpson is a pure and soulful singer-songwriter that deserves the attention he is receiving, although he has openly admitted that Frank Ocean’s Blonde should have been nominated over him for Album of The Year. De La Soul’s And the Anonymous Nobody is also a refreshing pick in the always mediocre rap category.

Sturgill Simpson Charlotte, NC 11.7.14. Photo by Daniel Coston for CLTure

Although the Grammys continue to miss the mark with the best music of the year, the performances have been increasingly better, with several collaborations and tributes scheduled for the evening, John Legend and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) will pay tribute to the artists we lost in 2016. We have a lot of legends to pay tribute to from the past year, so get your tissues ready, this could be a tearjerker. 77 year old, first-time Grammy-nominee and soul singer William Bell will perform with Gary Clark Jr., which sounds like a promising mash-up of soul music and blues. Legendary rap group, A Tribe Called Quest will share the stage with Anderson .Paak, The Weeknd will be performing with Daft Punk, and Sturgill Simpson, Adele, Chance the Rapper, Bruno Mars, and Alicia Keys round out a stellar lineup for the evening. In addition, an odd pairing with Lady Gaga and Metallica should be eventful while Demi Lovato, Andra Day and Tori Kelly will celebrate the music of the Bee Gees and the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever. There’s something for everyone, and with English funny-man James Corden hosting the event, it’s sure to be an entertaining night (Anyone is better than LL Cool J).

Here are some of the nominees we think should win:

Album Of The Year: 25 Adele, Lemonade Beyoncé, Purpose – Justin Bieber, Views – Drake, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson

Our pick: A Sailor’s Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson

Record of the year: “Hello” – Adele, “Formation” – Beyoncé, “7 Years” – Lukas Graham, “Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake, “Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots

Our pick: “Hello” – Adele

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

Our pick: Anderson .Paak

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

Our pick: Tell Me I’m Pretty – Cage the Elephant

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

Our pick: And the Anonymous Nobody – De La Soul

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

Our pick: Blackstar – David Bowie

Best R&B Performance: “Turnin’ Me Up” – BJ The Chicago Kid, “Permission” – Ro James, “I Do” – Musiq Soulchild, “Needed Me” – Rihanna, “Cranes in the Sky” – Solange

Our pick: “Cranes in the Sky” – Solange

Best Country Album: Big Day In A Small Town – Brandy Clark, Full Circle – Loretta Lynn, Hero – Maren Morris, A Sailor’s Guide To Earth – Sturgill Simpson, Ripcord – Keith Urban

Our pick: A Sailor’s Guide To Earth – Sturgill Simpson

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

Our pick: This Is Acting – Sia

Best Music Video: “Formation” – Beyoncé, “River” – Leon Bridges, “Up & Up” – Coldplay, “Gosh” – Jamie XX, “Upside Down & Inside Out” – OK Go

Our pick: “River” – Leon Bridges

The 2017 Grammy Awards happen on Sunday, February 12 from 8:00-11:30 p.m. EST, live 5:00-8:30 p.m. EST) at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles hosted by James Corden on CBS.

We’ll be live tweeting, so be sure to give us a holler at @CLTure.

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