The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will go down January 26th in L.A., and the countdown to Music's Biggest Night begins this evening when the nominees are announced via a live special airing on CBS at 10 p.m. ET. Who's eligible for this year's honors? Albums and songs released between Ocrtober 1st, 2012 and September 30th, 2013. Who'll actually get nominated? Here's our best hunches:
Album of the Year
This is a tough one to predict. In the past decade they've passed it out to Herbie Hancock's jazz tribute to Joni Mitchell, River: The Joni Letters and the posthumous Ray Charles duets album Genius Loves Company. That said, the Academy has gotten a little cooler in recent years, giving the honor to Adele, Taylor Swift and Arcade Fire. Timberlake, Daft Punk, Taylor Swift and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis seem like locks, but it's very hard to say anything for sure. We're going out on a limb with Kendrick Lamar, but the album is amazing and much more palatable to the Grammys than Kanye West's Yeezus.
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
Taylor Swift - Red
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Macklmore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist
Song of the Year
The separate awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year have been confusing people for decades, but it's actually quite simple: Record of the Year goes to the singer and Song of the Year goes to the songwriter(s). This rarely goes to a song that wasn't a huge hit, and the we predict that Grammys won't be able to resist the improbable success story of Lorde, the message of tolerance in "Same Love," the instant hook of "Get Lucky," the swagger of Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" or the smooth heartache of Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man."
Lorde – "Royals"
Bruno Mars – "When I Was Your Man"
Justin Timberlake – "Mirrors"
Daft Punk – "Get Lucky"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – "Same Love"
Record of the Year
The greatest pop songs of 2013 took some serious risks, from Tegan and Sara embracing Eighties synth-pop full-force to Kanye West teaming up with Daft Punk for the industrial rager "Black Skinhead." Daft Punk, meanwhile, created the song of the year by looking back to '77, Lorde became pops new rebel with the spare, irresistible "Royals" and Justin Timberlake released a long, spaced-out epic single.
Daft Punk - "Get Lucky"
Tegan and Sara - "Closer"
Lorde - "Royals"
Justin Timberlake "Mirrors"
Kanye West - "Black Skinhead"
Best New Artist
If the record industry is really dying, the new faces of 2013 won't go down easily. They're a badass group that includes Jake Bugg, who made rockabilly simplicity cool again, Kacey Musgraves, who created a modern country classic and New Zealand teenager Lorde, who slammed hip-hop excess over hip-hop grooves. Kendrick Lamar made a modern-day hip-hop classic and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis scored a massive hip-hop LP that criticized consumerism and spoke out for gay rights.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Best Rock Album
This was one of rock's strongest years in ages, full of older acts finding new sounds: Arctic Monkeys reinvented themselves with glam and hip-hop beats, Vampire Weekend stared down adulthood with their most experimental songs yet and John Fogerty reinvigorated old hits alongside hardcore fans like the Foo Fighters and My Morning Jacket. Meanwhile, Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails proved they're heavier (and darker) than ever.
Arctic Monkeys – AM
Queens of the Stone Age – … Like Clockwork
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
John Fogerty – Wrote a Song for Everyone
Best Rap Album
Many critics felt that Jay Z and Kanye West's new albums didn't live up to the hype, but odds are high they'll both be nominated for this trophy. Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Macklremore & Ryan Lewis seem like sure things, but this is the institution that gave Jethro Tull a best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal award, so there's no such thing as a safe bet.
Kanye West - Yeezus
Drake - Nothing Was The Same
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist
Jay Z - Magna Carta…Holy Grail
Best Country Album
This year saw country get bolder, veering away from cookie-cutter acts to new rebels and innovators. Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe both had strong LPs singing about small town realities, sex and drug addiction while other acts like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban took their sounds in bigger directions. Meanwhile, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell made a very underrated country duets album.
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell - Old Yellow Moon
Ashley Monroe - Like a Rose
Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park
Brad Paisley - Wheelhouse
Keith Urban - Fuse
- Arts & Entertainment
- Justin Timberlake
- Kanye West
- Kendrick Lamar
- Ryan Lewis
- Taylor Swift
- Daft Punk