2013 Grammy Awards Nominations and Predictions

We are happy for all of this year’s Grammy nominees but especially Kanye West, Jay-Z and Frank Ocean, all of whom have been featured on this site.  The Grammy Awards may be politically charged at times, but it is still the preeminent award show for music and attracts a global audience and hosts some of the most memorable performances in music history.  As such, we are very excited to present this year’s nominees and our predictions. (note: given the extensive list of categories, we will only focus on those categories and awards which we feel are most relevant to the soulhead community)

Event Details:
55th Annual Grammy Awards
February 10, 8pm EST
CBS (check your local listings)

(our picks are BOLD)
Record Of The Year

  • Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
  • Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
  • We Are Young – Fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe
  • Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye Featuring Kimbra
  • Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift

soulhead:  We’d love to see Frank Ocean get the nod on this one but We are Young was just too ubiquitous for that to happen…at least not this year.  Shout out to Janelle Monáe for inclusion on this track, which should keep her paid for a while.

Album Of The Year

  • El Camino -The Black Keys
  • Some Nights – Fun.
  • Babel – Mumford & Sons
  • Channel Orange – Frank Ocean
  • Blunderbuss – Jack White

soulhead:  Again, we would love Frank Ocean to get this award but this category will likely go to stadium folk/rock artists Mumford & Sons.

Song Of The Year

  • The A Team – Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
  • Adorn – Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
  • Call Me Maybe – Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
  • Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly
  • Clarkson)
  • We Are Young – Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun.Featuring Janelle Monáe)
soulhead:  This will be a close call because we believe We Are Young will be a tough song to beat this year. However, Call Me Maybe was just everywhere and was fueled by a ridiculous number of YouTube parodies.   Miguel deserves props for his new album and Adorn, which is one of the best songs of the past year.

Best New Artist

  • Alabama Shakes
  • Fun.
  • Hunter Hayes
  • The Lumineers
  • Frank Ocean
soulhead: Frank actually has a shot at this one.  However, given the historic low performance of winners in this category, it may be better for him to lose.  If that happens, our vote would be for the Alabama Shakes.

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • Set Fire To The Rain [Live] – Adele
  • Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
  • Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Wide Awake – Katy Perry
  • Where Have You Been – Rihanna
soulhead:  Vocal performance = Adele. Period.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • Shake It Out – Florence & The Machine
  • We Are Young – Fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe
  • Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye Featuring Kimbra
  • Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO
  • Payphone – Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa
soulhead:  Again, this will be a hard song to beat in whatever category.  However, LMFAO’s annoying hit may get the nod.

Best Dance Recording

  • Levels – Avicii
  • Let’s Go – Calvin Harris Featuring Ne-Yo
  • Bangarang – Skrillex Featuring Sirah
  • Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia Featuring John Martin
  • I Can’t Live Without You – Al Walser
soulhead:  While Skrillex has owned this category with his Dub Step fueled brand of electronica, we feel this year Swedish House Mafia will take home the golden gramophone.

Best Dance/Electronica Album

  • Wonderland – Steve Aoki
  • Don’t Think – The Chemical Brothers
  • > Album Title Goes Here < – Deadmau5
  • Fire & Ice – Kaskade
  • Bangarang – Skrillex
While we are in love with Deadmau5’s mask, Skrillex will walk away with this one.

Best R&B Performance

  • Thank You – Estelle
  • Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.) – Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Ledisi
  • I Want You – Luke James
  • Adorn – Miguel
  • Climax – Usher
soulhead:  We love everyone in this category, especially Robert Glasper featuring Ledisi.  However, this will be a battle between newcomer Miguel and Usher, who hit big with Climax.  We think this will be Miguel’s chance to take his place among the elite artists in soul and rhythm and blues.

Best Traditional R&B Performance

  • Lately – Anita Baker
  • Love On Top – Beyoncé
  • Wrong Side Of A Love Song – Melanie Fiona
  • Real Good Hands – Gregory Porter
  • If Only You Knew – SWV
soulhead:  SUPER TOUGH category.  Anita returned with a solid Tyrese remake.  Although I don’t think Beyonce belongs in this category, LOT was a smash and gets everyone moving.   And SWV really made a solid comeback, albeit relatively quiet.  But, we have to go with Brooklynite Gregory Porter, whose story of a young man seeking the approval of a doting father really touched us.

Best R&B Song

  • Adorn – Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
  • Beautiful Surprise – Tamia Hill, Claude Kelly & Salaam Remi, songwriters (Tamia)
  • Heart Attack – Benjamin Levin, Rico Love & Tremaine Neverson, songwriters (Trey Songz)
  • Pray For Me – Antonio Dixon, Kenny Edmonds, Anthony Hamilton & Patrick “jQue” Smith,
  • songwriters (Anthony Hamilton)
  • Refill – Darhyl “DJ” Camper, Elle Varner & Andrew “Pop” Wansel, songwriters (Elle Varner)
soulhead:  Miguel should take this even though the competition is stiff.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

  • Fortune – Chris Brown
  • Kaleidoscope Dream – Miguel
  • Channel Orange – Frank Ocean
soulhead:  First off, this category should either be eliminated or include a lot more artists who deserve some attention.  We really think Miguel will be hard to beat here, but we are pulling for Frank Ocean, who really blew the music world away this past year.

Best R&B Album

  • Black Radio – Robert Glasper Experiment
  • Back To Love – Anthony Hamilton
  • Write Me Back – R. Kelly
  • Beautiful Surprise – Tamia
  • Open Invitation – Tyrese
soulhead:  Tyrese?  Really?  We love this brother but he really shouldn’t be included in this category despite one throwback hit this past year. Our vote is for Robert Glasper’s Black Radio project which really lit up the underground and put the spotlight on musicianship and quality vs. glitz and glam.

Best Rap Performance

  • HYFR (Hell Ya F***ing Right) – Drake Featuring Lil’ Wayne
  • N****s In Paris – Jay-Z & Kanye West
  • Daughters – Nas
  • Mercy – Kanye West Featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz
  • I Do – Young Jeezy Featuring Jay-Z & André 3000
soulhead:  I would not want to be the announcer for this category which features a song with a curse word and a racial epitaph.  Kanye will win either way but our vote would be for Mercy, which hit slightly harder than his duet with Jay Z, N****s in Paris, which would be our vote otherwise.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • Wild Ones – Flo Rida Featuring Sia
  • No Church In The Wild – Jay-Z & Kanye West Featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream
  • Tonight (Best You Ever Had) – John Legend Featuring Ludacris
  • Cherry Wine – Nas Featuring Amy Winehouse
  • Talk That Talk – Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z
soulhead:  Although I know Hoda Kotb will be rooting for Flo Rida, we cannot cosign.  This category features a lot of great collabs, but we think John Legend deserves to win.  No Church…could surprise us all though.

Best Rap Song

  • Daughters – Nasir Jones & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Patrick Adams, Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer & Paul Leka, songwriters) (Nas)
  • Lotus Flower Bomb – Olubowale Akintimehin, S. Joseph Dew, Jerrin Howard, Walker Johnson & Miguel Jontel Pimentel, songwriters (Wale Featuring Miguel)
  • Mercy – Sean Anderson, Tauheed Epps, Stephan Taft, James Thomas, Terrence Thornton & Kanye West, songwriters (Denzie Beagle, Winston Riley & Reggie Williams, songwriters) (Kanye West Featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz)
  • The Motto – Dwayne Carter, Aubrey Graham & Tyler Williams, songwriters (Drake Featuring Lil’ Wayne)
  • N****s In Paris – Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis & Kanye West, songwriters (W.A. Donaldson, songwriter) (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
  • Young, Wild & Free – Calvin Broadus, Chris Brody Brown, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Peter Hernandez & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (T. Bluechel, M. Borrow, T. Griffin, K. Jackson, N. Lee & M. Newman, songwriters) (Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa Featuring Bruno Mars)
soulhead:  Lyrics alone, we are going with Nas.  But, given the popularity of the phrase “YOLO,” The Motto could be a sneaky play here too.

Best Rap Album

  • Take Care – Drake
  • Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1 – Lupe Fiasco
  • Life Is Good – Nas
  • Undun – The Roots
  • God Forgives, I Don’t – Rick Ross
  • Based On A T.R.U. Story – 2 Chainz

soulhead:  It was clearly 2Chainz’s year. The mid-30’s rapper who rebranded himself and got down with a dope crew really made a splash this year and we think he will walk away with this one, much to the dismay of Drake, who will likely be expecting it.

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance

  • Jesus, Friend Of Sinners – Casting Crowns
  • Take Me To The King – Tamela Mann
  • Go Get It – Mary Mary
  • 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) – Matt Redman
  • My Testimony – Marvin Sapp

soulhead:  Sapp is hard to beat.

Best Gospel Song

  • Go Get It – Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell & Warryn Campbell, songwriters (Mary Mary)
  • Hold On – Cheryl Fortune, James Fortune & Terence Vaughn, songwriters (James Fortune & FIYA, Monica & Fred Hammond)
  • I Feel Good – Phillip Feaster, Fred Hammond, Jonathan Miller & Calvin Rodgers, songwriters (Fred Hammond)
  • My Testimony – Aaron Lindsey & Marvin Sapp, songwriters (Marvin Sapp)
  • Released – Donald Lawrence, songwriter (Bill Winston & Living Word Featuring Donald Lawrence)
soulhead:  Tough category but Hammond just keeps churning out inspirational hits that do well in the pew and on the radio.

Best Contemporary Christian Music Song

  • Jesus, Friend Of Sinners – Mark Hall & Matthew West, songwriters (Casting Crowns)
  • 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) – Jonas Myrin & Matt Redman, songwriters (Matt Redman)
  • When Mercy Found Me – Jeff Pardo & Rhett Walker, songwriters (Rhett Walker Band)
  • White Flag – Jason Ingram, Matt Maher, Matt Redman & Chris Tomlin, songwriters (Passion &
  • Chris Tomlin)
  • Your Presence Is Heaven – Israel Houghton & Micah Massey, songwriters (Israel & New Breed)

Best Gospel Album

  • Identity – James Fortune & FIYA
  • Jesus At The Center Live – Israel & New Breed
  • Gravity – Lecrae
  • I Win – Marvin Sapp
  • Worship Soul – Anita Wilson

Best Blues Album

  • 33 1/3 – Shemekia Copeland
  • Locked Down – Dr. John
  • Let It Burn – Ruthie Foster
  • And Still I Rise – Heritage Blues Orchestra
  • Bring It On Home – Joan Osborne

Best Reggae Album

  • Rebirth – Jimmy Cliff
  • Miracle – The Original Wailers
  • Tomahawk Technique – Sean Paul
  • New Legend – Jamaica 50th Edition – Sly & Robbie & The Jam Masters
  • Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged On Strawberry Hill – Toots And The Maytals

Best Short Form Music Video

  • Houdini – Foster The People
  • No Church In The Wild – Jay-Z & Kanye West Featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream
  • Bad Girls – M.I.A
  • We Found Love – Rihanna Featuring Calvin Harris
  • Run Boy Run – Woodkid

Best Long Form Music Video

  • Big Easy Express – Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros & Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Emmett Malloy, video director; Bryan Ling, Mike Luba & Tim Lynch, video producers
  • Bring Me Home – Live 2011 – Sade
  • Radio Music Society – Esperanza Spalding
  • Get Along – Tegan & Sara
  • From The Sky Down – U2

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