The pop field is as competitive as ever. This year’s top contenders include: 6-time GRAMMY winner, with seven nods this time, Justin Timberlake –represented in three out of the four field categories–; New Zealand’s wunderkind Lorde; Bruno Mars who is also up for the general field; among others. Now, let’s take a closer look at each category.
Best Pop Solo Performance: One thing is certain here. We will definitely a brand new winner (since Adele was not even submitted). We might also have the first male winner; in a category that has definitely been dominated by females. Justin Timberlake, who was completely snubbed in the general field, is up for his eternal-love ballad “Mirrors”. The other strong candidate is Bruno Mars; whose song “Locked Out of Heaven” is in the race for both Song and Record of the Year.-The three female nominees are also likely winners. We’re talking about Lorde with “Royals”; Sara Bareilles for “Brave”, the out-of-the-blue nod for Album of the Year; and perennial nominee, Katy Perry, who is up with “Roar” and chasing for her first trophy.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: This category is featuring some of the best-selling songs of the year. If there’s one category that the average viewer would like to see being televised; it’s definitely this one. All of the nominees stand high chances. However, I’m opting out for “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk & Nate Ruess; they are also in for Song of the Year, performing this number on-stage, and NARAS are in love with this type of love-full collaborations. Pharrel Williams is represented twice: For “Get Lucky” alongside the EDM french duo Daft Punk –first-time nods out of the Dance/Electronica field–; and for “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke and T.I. –the latter holds 3 GRAMMYs in the rap field. On the other hand, Justin Timberlake re-appears with 17-time winner Jay-Z –who is also looking for his first GRAMMY outside the rap field–. Last but not least we find 6-time winner Rihanna with Mikky Ekko for “Stay”.
Best Pop Vocal Album: Since the category’s inception back in 1995; last year’s winner, Kelly Clarkson, became the only artist to win this category twice. Justin Timberlake is looking to match that record with The 20/20 Experience (The Complete Experience). Timberlake previously won in 2004 for his solo debut Justified. However, Bruno Mars could outlash Justin’s chances as he’s up to with Unorthodox Jukebox. Mars was nominated two years ago but lost to Adele. The rest of the nominees are first-timers: Lorde for her debut Pure Heroine could throw a curve; meanwhile, Lana del Rey’s Paradise and Robin Thicke’s self-titled album are darkhorses.
Best Pop Instrumental Album: None of this year’s nominees have won this category before; however, there are some legends. American famous trumpeter, Herb Alpert, seems to be the most likely choice. His last win dates back to 1979 for his number-one single “Rise” in (the now-extinct) Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The other likely winners are Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot for Summer Horns. The first two hold a couple of previous nods within this category; Though, Albright is the only with a previous win.