2017 Grammys: Nominations, Predictions and Headliners

Posted February 13, 2017 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

With Beyonce and Adele battling it out for the most nominations, Grammy gold will be served at this year’s award show. We’ve got the spin on the other nods, award predictions and some of the show’s headliners

As always, predicting the results to virtually any award show is a work of science. The Grammys are just one of those tough cookie to crumble, and with each passing year the awards have become harder and harder to predict. Much of the blame falls on the ever-changing voting bloc of NARSAS, as newer and younger members join, musical tastes change, fewer categories to play with and as the Academy deals with the hardships of a smaller, down-sized musical industry. 

Still, the best of the best should be awarded, which is what sets the Grammys apart from the other music award shows. This is not about picking favorites or Mr/Miss Congeniality. It’s about technique, prowess and celebrating excellence. And that’s why it’s important to stress that mostly all the nominees, regardless of genre, deserve to be recognized for their achievements. Keyword: most.

This year’s list is dominated by Beyoncé with nine nominations, followed by similarly huge stars Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West (all carrying eight nods each). Without ranting on those that didn’t deserve the coveted nod, here’s a list of those in the general categories that should be walking to the after parties with golden-plated gramophones in hand.

Who deserves it is highlighted in BLUE. Who will most likely win is highlighted in RED.

Album Of The Year:

25 — Adele
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Views — Drake
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

Song Of The Year:

“Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
“7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

Best New Artist:

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

Best Pop Vocal Album:

25 — Adele
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
Confident — Demi Lovato
This Is Acting — Sia

Best Pop Solo Performance:

“Hello” — Adele
“Hold Up” — Beyonce
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber
“Piece By Piece (Idol Version)” — Kelly Clarkson
“Dangerous Woman” — Ariana Grande

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

“Closer” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey
“7 Years” — Lukas Graham
“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake
“Cheap Thrills” — Sia Featuring Sean Paul
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots


Best Dance Recording:

“Tearing Me Up” — Bob Moses
“Don’t Let Me Down” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya
“Never Be Like You” — Flume Featuring Kai
“Rinse & Repeat” — Riton Featuring Kah-Lo
“Drinkee” — Sofi Tukker

Best Dance/Electronic Album:

Skin — Flume
Electronica 1: The Time Machine — Jean-Michel Jarre
Epoch — Tycho
Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future — Underworld
Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII — Louie Vega

Best Rock Performance:

“Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)” — Alabama Shakes
“Don’t Hurt Yourself” — Beyoncé Featuring Jack White
“Blackstar” — David Bowie
“The Sound Of Silence” — Disturbed
“Heathens” — Twenty One Pilots


Best Rock Song:

“Blackstar” — David Bowie, songwriter (David Bowie)
“Burn the Witch”  —Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)
“Hardwired” — James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica
“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots)
“My Name Is Human” — Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)

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


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

Best Traditional R&B Performance:

“The Three Of Me” — William Bell
“Woman’s World” — BJ The Chicago Kid
“Sleeping With The One I Love” — Fantasia
“Angel” — Lalah Hathaway
“Can’t Wait” — Jill Scott

Best R&B Song:

“Come and See Me” — J. Brathwaite, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (PartyNextDoor Featuring Drake)
“Exchange” — Michael Hernandez & Bryson Tiller, songwriters (Bryson Tiller)
“Kiss It Better” — Jeff Bhasker, Robyn Fenty, John-Nathan Glass & Natalia Noemi, songwriters (Rihanna)
“Lake By the Ocean” — Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)
“Luv” — Magnus August Høiberg, Benjamin Levin & Daystar Peterson, songwriters (Tory Lanez)

Best Urban Contemporary Album:

Lemonade — Beyoncé
Ology — Gallant
We Are King — KING
Malibu — Anderson .Paak
Anti — Rihanna

Best R&B Album:

In My Mind — BJ The Chicago Kid
Lalah Hathaway Live — Lalah Hathaway
Velvet Portraits — Terrace Martin
Healing Season — Mint Condition
Smoove Jones — Mya

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

Regardless of who actually wins, the televised portion of the Grammys are usually watched for another reason: the musical performances and tributes.

Coming off from her Super Bowl halftime show spectacular, Lady Gaga will be teaming up with rock band Metallica for a live performance. Others slated to perform include Adele, Katy Perry (who just released her anti-Trump single “Chained to the Rhythm”), The Weeknd and Daft Punk performing “Starboy,” Chance the Rapper, John Legend with Cynthia Erivo, Carrie Underwood with Keith Urban, Lukas Graham, Bruno Mars. More mashups are also in stone: A Tribe Called Quest with Anderson .Paak are set to hit the stage. Little Big Town, Demi Lovato, Andra Day, Tori Kelly are set to perform a tribute to the Bee Gees in honor of the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever.

There’s a strong possibility that Beyonce, now pregnant with twins, will also perform. 

George Michael and Prince, two mighty titans in pop music history we lost in 2016, will also get tribute segments. 

Surely many will gripe about the lack of tributes for the countless others who passed away in 2016, a devastating year marked by the deaths of many world-renowned musicians, but expect the majority of them to be emblazoned in the usually-tearjerking “In Memoriam” tribute. 

In the news lately, controversy over a list of stars including Justin Bieber, Drake, Kanye West and Frank Ocean boycotting the show has been dominating headlines. most of their gripes stem from their outlook on the awards’ lack of compassion and respect towards black artists. Yup, even the Biebz iz part of the #BlackLivesMatter-esque retort.

There’s one artist who definitely will be sitting out on the Grammys and is raising the most funk about it. Frank Ocean willingly decided to forfeit the option to submit his million-selling Blonde album to the Academy in some form of protest., a disc he proudly sold as an indie artist and without a major label pumping it up. During an interview with Rolling Stone, Grammy show producer Ken Ehrlich and writer David Wild felt Ocean had never quite recovered from his “faulty” live performance of “Forrest Gump,” an artsy avant-garde bland choice possessing eerie vocals and a troubling stage fright quality to the budding musician. It was so bad that rock/pop band Coldplay cancelled Ocean as their opening act on their world tour.

Ocean took to his Tumblr account to respond to their comments and went on a mighty rant: “Yea yea my 2013 performance at the Grammys was absolute shit. Technical difficulties, blah blah,” Ocean continued. “Fuck that performance though. You think that’s why I kept my work out of the Grammy process this year? Don’t you think I would’ve wanted to play the show to ‘redeem’ myself if I felt that way?” Ocean went on to say that he wanted to pay tribute to Prince on the show, but decided not to.

But before he could close his war of words, Ocean took the time to throw some serious shade at last year’s show. “I’ve actually been tuning into CBS around this time of year for a while to see who gets the top honor and you know what’s really not ‘great TV’ guys? 1989 getting album of the year over To Pimp A Butterfly,” he wrote. “Hands down one of the most ‘faulty’ TV moments I’ve seen.”


The 59th annual Grammy Awards, hosted by comedian and late show host James Corden, airs on CBS at 8/7 CST.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response


Please support HIFI Magazine
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better