The 56th Annual Grammy Awards

Grammy Predictions: The R&B Category

Yahoo Music

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When the Grammy nominations are announced on Friday, Alicia Keys and John Legend will probably find themselves among the finalists for Best R&B Album for their latest albums, Girl On Fire and Love In The Future, respectively. Keys won in this category with her first two albums, Songs In A Minor and The Diary Of Alicia Keys. Legend won in this category with his debut album, Get Lifted, and 2010's Wake Up! (a collabo with The Roots).

A third win would put either artist in a tie with Beyonce, who won three times in the discontinued category of Best Contemporary R&B Album. No other artists have won three Best Album awards in any R&B category.

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Sisters Tamar and Toni Braxton may each wind up with Grammy nominations in the R&B field. Tamar's Love And War looks good for a nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album. The title track could be nominated for Best R&B Performance. Toni is vying for a nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance for "Hurt You," a collabo with Babyface from their upcoming album Love, Marriage & Divorce.

Will Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars receive Grammy nominations in the R&B field to go along with their expected bevy of nominations in the "Big Four" and pop categories? Timberlake has a good chance of a nomination for Best R&B Performance for "Pusher Love Girl." Mars looks good for a nom for Best Traditional R&B Performance for "If I Knew."

Here are the likely nominees and runners-up for Best R&B Album and Best Urban Contemporary Album and for the two performance categories in the R&B field.

The eligibility year closed on Sept. 30. The awards will be presented on Jan. 26 at Staples Center.

Best R&B Album

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Twosoul greats who date back to the 1970s have a good chance of making the finals. Earth, Wind & Fire is represented with Now, Then & Forever. Charlie Wilson, who co-founded the Gap Band, is entered with Love, Charlie.

The likely nominees:

Alicia Keys' Girl On Fire

John Legend's Love In The Future

India.Arie's Songversation

Earth, Wind & Fire's Now, Then & Forever

Charlie Wilson's Love, Charlie

Also possible: Keyshia Cole's Woman To Woman, Jaheim's Appreciation Day, Chrisette Michele's Better, K. Michelle's Rebellious Soul, Ronald Isley's This Song Is For You, Gladys Knight's Another Journey, Teena Marie's Beautiful, TGT's Three Kings, Joe's Doubleback: Evolution Of R&B, Brian McKnight's More Than Words.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

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This category was added last year. Frank Ocean's Channel Orange was the inaugural winner.

Likely nominees:

Rihanna's Unapologetic

Tamar Braxton's Love And War

Fantasia's Side Effects Of You

Kelly Rowland's Talk A Good Game

The Weeknd's Trilogy

Also possible: Ciara's Ciara, Mindless Behavior'sAll Around The World,Janelle Monae's The Electric Lady, Ne-Yo's R.E.D., Brandy's Two Eleven, The-Dream's IV Play.

Best R&B Performance

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Until 2011, males and females competed in separate categories. Since the categories were combined two years ago, one male (Usher) and one female (Corinne Bailey Rae) have won.

Likely nominees:

Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar's "How Many Drinks?"

Tamar Braxton's "Love And War"

Ciara's "Body Party"

Rihanna's "Pour It Up"

Justin Timberlake's "Pusher Love Girl"

Also possible: The Weeknd's "Wicked Games," Chris Brown featuring Nicki Minaj's "Love More," Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliot's "Without Me," Mario featuring Nicki Minaj's "Somebody Else."

Best Traditional R&B Performance

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Aretha Franklin and Beyonce are the only two-time winners in this category since it was added in 1998. Many of the winners have been old-school R&B favorites such as Franklin, Patti LaBelle, the Temptations and Gladys Knight.

Likely nominees:

Toni Braxton & Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds' "Hurt You"

Earth, Wind & Fire's "My Promise"

Fantasia's "Get It Right"

Bruno Mars' "If I Knew"

Aaron Neville's "Under The Boardwalk"

Also possible: Booker T featuring Anthony Hamilton's "Gently," Beth Hart & Jeff Beck's "I'd Rather Go Blind (Live)," Jeffrey Osborne featuring George Duke's "Smile," Phil Perry's "You Send Me," Mavis Staples' "Can You Get To That," Allen Toussaint's "Old Records," Betty Wright's "Tired," Merry Clayton & iReed Man's The Well's Run Dry," Global Noize featuring Nona Hendryx's "In Time," Kem featuring Ledisi's "Be Mine For Christmas," Jeffrey Osborne's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight."

Who and what do you think will be nominated? Weigh in below.

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