2015 Grammys: Winners, Performers and Early Predictions

0
Posted February 9, 2015 by J Matthew Cobb in Features
2015grammyawards-header

Music’s biggest night has finally arrived. The full list of Grammy 2015 winners will be posted here

The 57th Grammy Awards has finally arrived. It is no secret that the Grammys is the pinnacle of award shows for music (it’s only second in TV ratings behind the Academy Awards). Trying to put a jump on last year’s line-up and TV ratings, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Prior is hoping to piggyback on previous success.  Prior to tonight’s televised portion, the Grammys kicked off their big night with the pre-Grammy show, where most of the awards are usually handed out. A flurry of winners were announced, including Aphex TwinSt. VincentJack White“Weird Al” Yankovic and Rosanne Cash.

Judging from early press, Beyoncé Knowles may be on the verge of a killer sweep this year. The R&B-pop superstar is nominated for six Grammys tonight and is tied with the most nominations for this year with super producer Pharrell Williams and UK crooner Sam Smith. During the early portion, Bey won a few of those awards.

She’s up for the biggest title  — Album of the Year, but faces some very stiff competition. In that category are albums by Beck (Morning Phase), Ed Sheeran (X), Williams (Girl) and Smith (In the Lonely Hour).

The UK singer, best known for his smoldering hit “Stay With Me,” mentioned earlier that if he does win the top title over Beyonce’s self-titled album (which HiFi gave a very dismal album review), he plans to give the award to Bey. We will see if that comes true.

To date, Knowles takes the cake for having the most nominations in Grammy history (52 nods). She’s won seventeen of them (excluding the early wins tonight).

The Song of the Year category also features Smith, which includes “Stay With Me.” Other nominees in that field include Sia (“Chandelier”), Meghan Trainor (“All About the Bass”), Taylor Swift (“Shake It Off”) and Hozier (“Take Me to Church”).

OUR PREDICTION: “Stay With Me” has an advantage, but Taylor Swift’s cool and buttery pop tune “Shake It Off” could be a surprise winner. Don’t expect Swift to show up for an acceptance speech. She won’t be there, citing she needs rest for a very vigorous touring schedule in the days and months to come.

No big surprises in the category of Record of the Year. Smith returns with “Stay With Me” and will battle it out with Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s “Fancy,” Sia‘s “Chandelier,” Meghan Trainor‘s “All About the Bass” and Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off.”

OUR PREDICTION: “Stay With Me” will probably win.

 

MILD PREDICTIONS

Other predictions aren’t always easy. You have to know the conscious of the voting body of NARSAS and keep in mind that this is not a simple popularity contest. Almost always are these albums awarded because they feature Top 10 hits or because this is simply music’s biggest prom night. It’s usually about merit and timing.

For Best Dance Recording, Clean Bandit’s delicious “Rather Be” seems like a very sure win. We selected it as the best song of 2014. But considering that “Never Say Never” is also on our list of best songs of 2014 and that “F for You” was a stellar standout on Disclosure’s last album, any of those guys are contenders for the big win.

For Best Rock Song, Hayley Williams and her Paramore gang looks like a crowd favorite for the unexpected breakthrough hit “Ain’t It Fun.” In our review, we pointed out that it was the best song off the album and was deserving to be a single. The labels and the powers that be listened, and the world was pleased. But Jack White‘s “Lazaretto” and the Black Keys‘ “Fever” are also decent nominees. We’re still pulling on Paramore to win this fight, even if it’s pretty much a pop-rock song.

 

 

The New Artist of the Year category could be the most controversial title this year as Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea faces off with Smith along with pop group Haim, British rock band Bastille and country singer Brandy Clark. Azalea has been suffering on social media from a stunning backlash of social media debate that surrounds the subjects of race, cultural appropriation and black erasure. After NYC rapper Azeaila Banks set off a firestorm of tweets about Azalea, even leading other black performers to jump into the conversation voluntary or involuntarily, it has somewhat put her in a dangerous position as a new artist. And yes, it’s worse than when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won Best Rap Album over Kendrick Lamar.

OUR PREDICTION: We won’t say. We don’t want to start a fire we can’t afford to put out.

Azalea is a much different place than her contemporaries. She’s the only female rapper to produce a solo No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. And she’s far from being a one-hit wonder: Her debut LP, The New Classic, has yielded two other Hot 100 hits and is also nominated for Best Rap Album tonight. All eyes will be watching this event, even if it’s just for tomorrow’s headline drama on the rap blogs.

As always, all eyes and ears will be glued to the televised portion just to witness the live performances. Maroon 5’s Adam Levine will be singing a duet with Gwen Stefani; Sam Smith will join forces with Mary J. Blige, possibly on “Stay With Me.” A super collaborative performance featuring one of Kanye West, Paul McCartney and one of 2014’s quiet artists Rihanna is slated to happen, and will most likely be their new hit, “FourFiveSeconds.”

Pop princess Ariana Grande is also scheduled to perform, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett will sing some pop jazz and AC/DC will bring some rock firepower to the tube.

John Legend and rapper Common will perform “Glory” from the ‘Selma’ motion picture soundtrack. Beyoncé is scheduled to perform “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” a song originally sung by Ledisi in the film. Lots of controversy amongst R&B lovers erupted on social media when word leaked about the performance snub and has not withered.

J Matthew Cobb, editor of HiFi Magazine, jumped into the conversation, stating that “it’s all politics.” View his response below:

Everyone is still talking about Bob Dylan‘s mammoth speech during his MusiCares Person of the Year. After being introduced by former U.S president Jimmy Carter, Dylan took the stage and delivered a speech that turned out to be over 30 minutes long. There was lots of historical footnotes, thanks to legendary pioneers (John Hammond, the Staple Singers) and words of wisdom. Check out the speech in text by clicking here.

 

Check out a partial list of 2015’s Grammy winners along with the respected category nominees:

Record of the Year:
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)” (winner)
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Sia, “Chandelier”
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”

Song of the Year:
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)” (winner)
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”
Sia, “Chandelier”
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
Hozier, “Take Me To Church”

Album of the Year:
Beck, Morning Phase (winner)
Beyoncé, Beyoncé
Ed Sheeran, X
Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
Pharrell Williams, G I R L

Best Country Album:
Miranda Lambert, Platinum (winner)
Dierks Bentley, Riser
Eric Church, The Outsiders
Brandy Clark, 12 Stories
Lee Ann Womack, The Way I’m Livin’

Best R&B Performance:
Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, “Drunk In Love” (winner)
Chris Brown feat. Usher & Rick Ross, “New Flame”
Jennifer Hudson feat. R. Kelly, “It’s Your World”
Ledisi, “Like This”
Usher, “Good Kisser”

Best Rock Album:
Beck, Morning Phase (winner)
Ryan Adams, Ryan Adams
The Black Keys, Turn Blue
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye
U2, Songs of Innoncence

Best Pop Vocal Album:
Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour (winner)
Coldplay, Ghost Stories
Miley Cyrus, Bangerz
Ariana Grande, My Everything
Katy Perry, Prism
Ed Sheeran, X

Best Pop Solo Performance:
Pharrell Williams, “Happy (live)” (winner)
John Legend, “All of Me (live)”
Sia, “Chandelier”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”

Best New Artist:
Sam Smith (winner)
Iggy Azalea
Bastille
Brandy Clark
Haim

Best Rock Performance:
Jack White, Lazaretto (winner)
Ryan Adams, Gimme Something Good
Arctic Monkeys, Do I Wanna Know? 
Beck, Blue Moon
The Black Keys, Fever

Best Metal Performance:
Tenacious D, The Last In Line (winner)
Anthrax, Neon Knights
Mastodon, High Roads
Motörhead, Heartbreaker
Slipknot, The Negative One 

Best Rock Song:
Paramore, “Ain’t It Fun” (winner)
Beck, “Blue Moon”
The Black Keys, “Fever”
Ryan Adams, “Gimme Something Good”
Jack White, “Lazaretto”

Best Alternative Music Album:
St. Vincent, St. Vincent (winner)
Alt-J, This Is All Yours
Arcade Fire, Reflektor
Cage the Elephant, Melophobia
Jack White, Lazaretto

Best Dance Recording:
Clean Bandit feat. Jess Lynne, “Rather Be” (winner)
Basement Jaxx feat. ETML, “Never Say Never”
Disclosure feat. Mary J. Blige, “F For You”
Zhu, “Faded”
Duke du Mont feat. Jax Jones, “I Got U”

Best Dance/Electronic Album:
Aphex Twin, Syro (winner)
Deadmau5, While(1<2)
Little Dragon, Nabuma Rubberband
Röyksopp & Robyn, Do It Again
Mat Zo, Damage Control

Best Rap Album:
Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (winner)
Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
Childish Gambino, Because The Internet
Common, Nobody’s Smiling
Schoolboy Q, Oxymoron
Wiz Khalifa, Blacc Hollywood
Best Rap Performance:
Kendrick Lamar, “i” (winner)
Childish Gambino, “3005”
Drake, “0 to 100/The Come-up”
Eminem, “Rap God”
Lecrae, “All I Need Is You”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
Eminem feat. Rihanna, “The Monster” (winner)
Common feat. Jhené Aiko, Blak “Majik”
I Love Makonnen feat. Drake, “Tuesday”
Schoolboy Q feat. BJ The Chicago Kid, “Studio”
Kanye West & Charlie Wilson, “Bound 2”

Best Rap Song:
Kendrick Lamar, “i” (winner)
Nicki Minaj, “Anaconda”
Kanye West & Charlie Wilson, “Bound 2”
Wiz Khalifa, “We Dem Boyz”
Drake, “0 To 100 / The Catch Up”

Best Traditional R&B Performance:
Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm Jamal Warner, “Jesus Children” (winner)
Marsha Ambrosius & Anthony Hamilton, “As”
Angie Fisher, “I.R.S.”
Kem, “Nobody”
Antonique Smith, “Hold Up Wait A Minute (Woo Woo)”

Best R&B Song:
Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, “Drunk In Love” (winner)
Usher, “Good Kisser”
Chris Brown feat. Usher & Rick Ross, “New Flame”
(Luke James feat. Rick Ross, “Options (Wolfjames Version)”
Jhené Aiko, “The Worst”

Best R&B Album:
Toni Braxton & Babyface, Love, Marriage & Divorce (winner)
Bernhoft, Islander
Aloe Blacc, Lift Your Spirit 
Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio 2
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Give The People What They Want

Best Country Solo Performance:
Carrie Underwood, “Something In The Water” (winner)
Eric Church, “Give Me Back My Hometown”
Hunter Hayes, “Invisible”
Miranda Lambert, “Automatic”
Keith Urban, “Cop Car”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
The Band Perry,”Gentle On My Mind” (winner)
Miranda Lambert With Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad”
Little Big Town, “Day Drinking”
Tim McGraw feat. Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s”
Keith Urban Featuring Eric Church, “Raise ‘Em Up”

Best Country Song:
Glen Campbell, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (winner)
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Miranda Lamber, “Automatic”
Eric Church, “Give Me Back My Hometown”
Tim McGraw, “Meanwhile Back at Mommas”

Best New Age Album:
Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman, Winds Of Samsara (winner)
Paul Avgerinos, Bhakti
Peter Kater & R. Carlos Nakai, Ritual
Kitaro, Symphony Live In Istanbul Kitaro
Silvia Nakkach & David Darling, In Love And Longing

Best Regional Roots Music:
Jo-El Sonnier, The Legacy (winner)
Bonsoir, Cantin, Lights the Stars 
Kamaka Kukona, Hanu ‘A’ala
Magnolia Sisters, Love’s Lies 
Joe Tohonnie Jr., Ceremony 

Best Reggae Album:
Ziggy Marley, Fly Rasta (winner)
Lee “Scratch” Perry, Back On The Controls
Sean Peal, Full Frequency
Shaggy, Out Of Many, One Music
Sly & Robbie & Spicy Chocolate, The Reggae Power
Soja, Amid The Noise And The Haste

 

To see a full list of tonight’s winners and category nominees, click here.

The 57th annual Grammy Awards air Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine