Rewind 2011: Grammy Nominees & Predictions

Considering this column is a wrap-up of pop music for the past year, plus the fact that the Grammy nominations were recently announced, I found this to be the perfect opportunity to highlight the music that dominated 2011. In addition, I’ll place my predictions on the songs and albums that I think will win the gold, and add my opinion on what I feel should win. Since there are over 100 categories, I’ll just place the emphasis on the big prizes, such as song, album and record of the year, as well as the dance categories and traditional pop albums, including R&B, Rap, and add a touch of jazz, as well as “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll” to suit everyone’s taste. Thanks to Donny & Marie for providing me with that last quote!


First up, the nominations for Record of the Year: Adele for her infectious (and perhaps the most popular pop song of 2011) “Rolling In The Deep” “Holocene” by Bon Iver; “Grenade” by Bruno Mars; “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons and “Firework” by Katy Perry.  

What will win: Adele: “Rolling In The Deep” What should win: Adele: “Rolling In The Deep”

Spoiler Alert: None – Adele’s got this one in the bag.


The nominees for Album of the Year – Adele: 21; Foo Fighters: Wasting Light; Lady Gaga: Born This Way; Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops & Hooligans and Rihanna: Loud.

Who will win: Adele: 21 Who should win: Adele: 21

Spoiler Alert: Ditto my previous choice. It’s Adele’s night to shine.


The nominees for Song of the Year are awarded to the songwriter. The nominees are: “All Of The Lights”: Songwriters - Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West. Performed by Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie; “The Cave”: Songwriters - Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston. Performed by Mumford & Sons; “Grenade”: Songwriters - Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt. Performed by Bruno Mars. “Holocene”: Songwriter - Justin Vernon. Performed by Bon Iver and “Rolling In The Deep”: Songwriters - Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth. Performed by Adele.

Who will win: The songwriting duo of “Rolling In The Deep.” Who should win: The songwriting duo of “Rolling In The Deep.”

Spoiler Alert: The best pop song of the year comes from Adele. ‘Nuf said.


The nominees for Best New Artist belong to The Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj and Skrillex.

Who will win: Nicki Minaj Who should win: Nicki Minaj

Spoiler: Don’t be surprised to see Bon Iver sneak in and grab the statue from the new darling on the block, Ms. Minaj.


The nominees for Best Pop Solo Performance: Adele: “Someone Like You”; Lady Gaga: “You And I”; Bruno Mars: “Grenade”; Katy Perry: “Firework”; P!nk: “Fuckin’ Perfect.”

Who will win: Adele Who should win: Adele

Spoiler Alert: Gaga may sneak in a grab a piece of Adele’s gold.


The nominees for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse: “Body & Soul”; The Black Keys: “Dearest”; Coldplay: “Paradise”; Foster The People: “Pumped Up Fists”; Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera: “Moves Like Jagger.”

Who will win: Bennett & Winehouse: “Body & Soul” Who should win: Bennett & Winehouse: “Body & Soul” Not because it was Winehouse’s very last recording, but because it was a spectacular recording.


The nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album: Adele: 21; Cee Lo Green: The Lady Killer; Lady Gaga; Born This Way; Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops & Hooligans; Rihanna: Loud.

Who will win: Adele (It’s all about the vocals)

Who should win: Lady Gaga (Gaga can blow the roof off the joint with her powerhouse vocals, but this is Adele’s year to shine.)


The nominees for Best Dance Recording: Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech: “Raise Your Weapon”; Duck Sauce: “Barbra Streisand”; David Guetta & Avicii: “Sunshine”; Robyn: “Call Your Girlfriend”; Skrillex: “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites”; Swedish House Mafia: “Save The World.”

Who will win: Duck Sauce because their dance ditty “Barbra Streisand” went viral after airing on ‘Glee.’ Who should win: David Guetta & Avicil because this is truly one of the best dance recordings of the year and it’s from one of the most consistent dance albums of the year.


The nominees for Best Dance/Electronica Album: Cut/Copy: Zonoscope; Deadmau5: 4x4=12; David Guetta: Nothing But The Beat; Robyn: Body Talk, Pt. 3; Skrillex: Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites.

Who will win: David Guetta: Nothing But The Beat

Who should win: David Guetta: Nothing But The Beat (For reasons I mentioned in previous category)


The nominees for Best Traditional Pop Album: Tony Bennett & Various Artists: Duets II; Susan Boyle: The Gift; Harry Connick, Jr.: In Concert On Broadway; Seth McFarlane: Music Is Better Than Words; Barbra Streisand: What Matters Most.

Who will win: Tony Bennett & Various Artists: When you’re 85 and you sound this good with a line-up of guests this great, there’s no competition. Who should win: I just said it!

Spoiler Alert: Unless the voters feel Tony’s won enough, a surprise could come from Harry Connick, Jr., but I wouldn’t bet on it.


In a nutshell: I’m giving the Rock honors to Mumford & Sons, the Country honors to Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson for their wonderful smash it record “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” the R&B honors go to Kelly Price, the Rap/Sung honors go to Dr. Dre, Eminem & Skylar Gray for “I Need A Doctor,” the Best Rap Album is awarded to Nicki Minaj for “Pink Friday,” Best Country Album goes to Lady Antebellum for “Own The Night,” The Best Jazz Vocal Album goes to Karrin Allyson for “’Round Midnight” and the Best Song Written for a Motion Picture (Visual Media) goes to Diane Warren for “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me” from the film ‘Burlesque’ performed by Cher.

Keep this list handy and see how your predictions stack up to mine when the 54th Annual Grammy Awards are telecast live on CBS, February 12, 2012.

© 2011 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.