Posted in GRAMMY Awards, Song of the Year

56th GRAMMYs: Odds for Song of the Year


The Grammy Award for Song of the Year is usually the least ‘mainstream’ of the big four categories. However this year’s line-up turned out to be filled with radio-friendly songs. Most of the nominees are actually first-timers in this category and they all fall in the same genre: Pop (“Same Love” included). No wonder why there is no award for Best Pop Song.

Just like at Album of the Year, there is no clear favourite to win this songwriter’s award. Contenders here are listed in order of likelihood of winning:


“ROYALS” by Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Conner (aka Lorde) (Lorde)

  • Field / Genre: Pop / Minimal music
  • Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (for 9 weeks)
  • GRAMMY Record: First-time nominees
  • GoldDerby Odds: 6/1

Among the rest of the nominees, “Royals” could be NARAS’ most likely choice for the songwriters’ award. It has a simple melody, socially-charged lyrics, and happened to chart at the right time. It is also one of only two songs (the other being Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven”) nominated for Record of the Year. And while both awards usually go hand in hand. This arty pop song lacks of live instrumentation thus preventing the kiwi teenager to trigger a double-win. Both Lorde and her producer, Joel Little, are first-time nominees at the Grammys. This song received the 2013 APRA Silver Scroll Award, New Zealand’s top award for songwriting.


“JUST GIVE ME A REASON” by Jeff Bhasker, P!nk and Nate Ruess (P!nk Featuring Nate Ruess)

  • Field / Genre: Pop / Adult Contemporary
  • Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (for 3 weeks)
  • GRAMMY Record: Jeff Bhasker (3 / 10) P!nk (3 / 13) Nate Ruess (2 / 8)
  • GoldDerby Odds: 16/1

Both Jeff Bhasker and Nate Ruess are the returning champions for last edition’s Song of the Year award while 3-time GRAMMY winner P!nk is making her first appearance in a songwriter’s award. “Just Give Me A Reason” is the kind of powerballad that every often takes this prize. NARAS also love collaborations, specially when they come from their favourite artists and the fact that this song managed to grab a nod long after radio airplay drop-off definitely boosts its chances. P!nk and Ruess are promising to give an earth-shattering performance so don’t be surprised if you see them getting the award afterwards.


“LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN” by Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars (Bruno Mars)

  • Field / Genre: Pop / Pop-Rock
  • Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (for 6 weeks)
  • GRAMMY Record: Philip Lawrence (0 / 16), Ari Levine (0 / 16), Bruno Mars (1 / 19)
  • GoldDerby Odds: 9/2

This songwriting team, actually known as The Smeezingtons, have been present in this category no less than three times in this category in the past four years. Unfortunately, they have not been very successful when it comes to winning; only Mars holds one Grammy for a vocal category. This year, they have a few things in favour: the track is also up for Record of the Year; has soulful beats; and a powerful instrumentation.


“SAME LOVE” by Ben Haggerty (aka Macklemore), Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert)

  • Field / Genre: Rap / Hip-Hop
  • Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11
  • GRAMMY Record: First-time nominees
  • GoldDerby Odds: 5/1

Though everyone predicted this song to grab a nod. Its chances of winning are rather slim. “Same Love” is only the fifth hip-hop (more like hip-pop) song to be nominated for Song of the Year. One more thing against this song is that it samples the 1965 song “People Are Ready”, a song inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame, that even raised concerns over its eligibility. On the other hand, this song has definitely become a LGBT anthem meaning it will stay around for several years so the voters would probably want to give it a wider recognition by giving them the award. All of the writers for this song are first-time nominees. Interestingly, it was this year’s only Song of the Year-nod not to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


“ROAR” by Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Herry Walter (Katy Perry)

  • Field / Genre: Pop / Power pop
  • Billboard Hot 100 peak: 74 / 100
  • GRAMMY Record: Lukasz Gottwald (0 / 4), Max Martin (0 / 4), Katy Perry (0 / 11), Bonnie McKee (first-time), Herry Walter (first-time)
  • GoldDerby Odds: 25/1

For the second year in a row, the Academy is throwing a cheesy pop for the Song of the Year-lineup. However, unlike “Call Me Maybe” which featured a disco-esque tune that appealed the traditional voters. “Roar” has been labelled as a fraud, as it’s been accused for ripping-off Sara Bareilles’ “Roar” and The Lumineer’s “Ho Hey”. But nobody seems to be fighting that. Perry has also been criticized for her vocal abilities. All in all, if this song wins it will take off some credibility from the awards. Neither of the songwriters had ever win a Grammy. On the other hand, Lukasz Gottwald, aka Dr. Luke, and Max Martin have been awarded the ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year a couple of times.

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