Beyoncé – Drunk In Love (Feat. Jay-Z)
A Great Big World – Say Something (Feat. Christina Aguilera)
Iggy Azalea – Fancy (Feat. Charli XCX)
Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Others: Idina Menzel – Let It Go, Jason Aldean – Burnin’ It Down, Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
A category that is much easier to find potential nominees for, narrowing down Record Of The Year to just 5 songs is much tougher. Last year saw Get Lucky and Blurred Lines miss out on Song Of The Year nominations, despite the former winning the award for Record; success in both categories is often not a sure thing. There have been quite a few big hits in the last 12 months, so a few of them may not even make the cut here, except Happy, that will 100% be nominated for Record Of The Year.
I may sound like a broken record when it comes to the Pharrell Williams mega-hit, but it’s hard to imagine this award going to any other song. Happy has defined the last 12 months like no other and while I’ll make a case for the other nominees here I think Pharrell has had this award locked down since November 2013.
The only other crossover with Song Of Year is Sam Smith, who I think has made his mark in the US at the perfect time for the Grammys. When Ed Sheeran was nominated 2 years ago, he hadn’t entered American popular culture in the way he has now, he may have missed his chance to have his ‘year’ at the Grammys. Everything is looking good for Sam Smith this year, in fact, he’s the most likely act to score the well sought after Big 4 nominations, the last to do so was Fun. back in 2013. Stay With Me is the perfect cross genre hit that hits on the things voters are looking for in both the Song and Record categories. I think Sam could nick the Song award on the night, but Record may be slightly beyond his grasp. A nomination is guaranteed though.
Now for the last song I’ve mentioned before, Say Something is definitely eligible for the Record Of The Year category and may well give Pharrell a run for his money. Say Something is Grammys gold, an unknown act emerging from obscurity alongside a previous winner of Best New Artist. A sleeper hit that blew up across the world, a surprisingly understated performance from one of music’s biggest voices; if Say Something doesn’t win at least one award next year I’ll be very surprised. Expect a candlelit performance of this that ends in a standing ovation moments before they win one too.
Now onto the final two songs, which couldn’t be more different to Say Something if they tried. If you have paid attention to the chart in 2014 there are a collection of female artists that have dominated, especially in the US. Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea alongside others like Nicki Minaj, Charli XCX and Jessie J have been hanging onto the top end of the chart for months. You might expect to see quite a few of these hits appearing in the Record Of The Year category, Bang Bang, Problem and Fancy being the biggest of those. Part of me could see all three making it into the nominees, but I don’t think voters will have enough of a split for this. I’d go with Fancy as the most likely of that bunch, the song owned summer 2014 and managed to be inescapable without being annoying. Whatever you think of Iggy Azalea (Which I go into here) Fancy is a massive record, and may well be many people’s choice for Record Of The Year.
Last but by no means least we have Beyoncé, queen of the Grammys and set to have one of her biggest years yet. While her sudden secret album release may not have contained anywhere near as many hits as albums like I Am…Sasha Fierce, or Dangerously In Love, the hit it does have is one that Grammy voters may turn to this year. Back in 2004 Beyoncé and Jay-Z were nominated for this very category for Crazy In Love and 10 years on Drunk In Love showcases how drastically different their professional and personal relationship is. A nomination here is very likely, their performance opening this year’s Grammy Awards turning heads for being far too steamy for such a typically uptight night of music. Drunk In Love is naughty, dirty, slightly offensive and was a big enough hit to warrant inclusion here alongside some much tamer songs. Never put it past Jay and Bey to be nominated at the Grammys.
Other songs that could make the cut? I didn’t include Let It Go, but I’d say that’s would be song number 6 of my predictions. I expect the writers and Idina herself will score multiple nominations this year. Taylor Swift is another big name that could make it. I was surprised 2 years ago when We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together was nominated for Record Of The Year after being eligible for only a few weeks and Shake It Off could do the same. Something that was missing from both sets of nominees here was much outside of the main pop genre, which mean we could see an act from somewhere else sneak in with enough support. There haven’t been many big alternative or rock hits in the last 12 months, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Jason Aldean managed to sneak in. Burnin’ It Down has been one of the few country songs to really cross over, despite competition from the likes of Miranda Lambert and Eric Church. It’s a long shot, but part of me thinks Jason has a chance for a nomination here.
There we have it, just 2 more categories to go through in the big 4, where finding potential nominees becomes much more difficult.
I would include Sky Full of Stars in the Record of the Year top 5, or Song of the Year.