By Maggie Adams
In case you're wondering why we all decided to comment on the Grammy's this year, it's because 1) we work in this industry and it's important to pay attention to its traditions and 2) we have a bet going in the office that involves home-cooked meals for the winner. Of course, because of the second reason, I have been researching different outlets' predictions for what's to come this year. In doing so, I think I have furthered myself from the tasty winnings I desire so much because in my attempt to gain an answer, I have confused myself with all of the potential outcomes. So, I'm just going to comment on one category. Also, I'm incredibly competitive (ask any one of my friends who has played board games against me), so I don't want the record to show all of my predictions in case I'm wrong. (Note: if you'd like to help me win three, YES THREE, home-cooked dishes and happen to have a history in correctly predicting Grammy winners, please get in touch with me...I will give you a bite of my winnings.)
Album of the Year
Nominees: 25 by Adele, Lemonade by Beyoncé, Purpose by Bieber, Views by Drake and A Sailor's Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson
Winner Prediction[Edit:Ramblings]: This is the category where I'm most conflicted because I think there are three scenarios that are the most probable. First, and I think most commonly agreed upon, is the scenario where Adele's 25 wins. According to Nielsen, the album had the greatest sales week of all time, so its universal appeal and commercial success could be reason enough for the Recording Academy to give her the win.
The second scenario is where the controversial, insanely collaborative and, in my opinion, genius Lemonade wins. With subject matter ranging from race to politics to gender struggles, Beyoncé made a piece of art that challenges the status quo and involved many artists who regularly do the same (seriously, there's a lot of collaboration, check the album credits here). However, the Recording Academy doesn't regularly reward obvious political commentary, so I won't hold my breath for beloved Queen Bey.
Third scenario: the upset. Sturgill Simpson was voted into this category, clearly the dark horse. He obviously has some supporters in the voting realm, and we've seen outliers in a category dominated by pop stars upset the predictions before - most recently with Beck's Morning Phase. Like before, the mainstream votes could be split and prove Sturgill the winner. If this is the case, I sure wouldn't be mad; he's definitely deserving of the award - the Nashville Scene can tell you more about why. Although I'd love to see someone so representative of my city win this award, I think the Recording Academy is going to play it safe and vote for Adele. I say that because voting for Beyoncé might imply agreeing with all of her forward-thinking opinions and voting for Sturgill would mean they'd be overlooking the incredible sales of 25.
Who I want to win: Although I really respect Sturgill and his desire to change the current state of the country music regime, I have to go with Beyoncé (as you could probably guess from my carefully chosen stock photo of a girl drinking lemonade). Don't get me wrong, I also love everything about Adele, and getting to see her live last year increased my affection for her. However, if you know me, you know that I'm all about the girl power, not to say Adele doesn't have her own brand of girl power, but Beyoncé's album is a an anthem for women's equality.
If we're thinking about message and growth in the entertainment industry, then Beyoncé should be the winner here. The fact that she created an entire album as well as a visual album, and both can stand as independent works of art is pretty groundbreaking. If you haven't seen the visual portion, I need you to find a way to do that ASAP. She melded sounds of pop, rock, r&b, rap, country and soul all into one album that makes sense, and that huge accomplishment shouldn't go unnoticed. (I would also like to add a quick factoid that Josh Tillman of Father John Misty and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend both wrote pieces of the song "Hold Up" off of this album. FJM is my favorite the fact that he contributed to this great collaboration of artists makes me giddy.) If you haven't taken the time to check out this album, I say to you, "GET IN FORMATION."