2014 was a great year for pop music; thus making this field highly competitive with crossover hits, breakthrough artists, and new critically-acclaimed records from former nominees.
These are the predictions for the pop field:
Best Pop Solo Performance
- Pharrell Williams — Happy (Live)
- Sam Smith — Stay with Me
- Beyoncé — Pretty Hurts
- Sia — Chandelier
- John Legend — All of Me (Live)
This 3 year-old category have included only two female winners —Adele and Lorde. However, this year testosterone may take over as the two front-runners are Pharrell Williams and his newly released live version of “Happy”, and Sam Smith for his ballad “Stay with Me”. Females are also present, off course, with two socially charged songs accompanied by powerful vocals: Beyoncé for “Pretty Hurts”, and Sia for “Chandelier”. The darkhorse here is John Legend for the live version of his megahit “All of Me”.
Other notable submissions include: “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel; “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift; “West Coast” by Lana del Rey; “Not A Bad Thing” by Justin Timberlake; and “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
- A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera — Say Something
- MAGIC! — Rude
- Katy Perry & Juicy J. — Dark Horse
- Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX — Fancy
- Coldplay — A Sky Full of Stars
This category has been dominated more by featured collaborations than duos or groups. However, this year things seem to be eve. There are three of the most successful collaborations of the year, impossible to be ignored: A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera for their ballad “Say Something”; this year’s song of the summer, “Fancy”, by Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea and breakthrough British singer, Charli XCX; and Academy’s favourite, Katy Perry for her number-one hit “Dark Horse” with rapper Juicy J. The two groups that could make the cut are: Reggae fusion band MAGIC! for “Rude”; and 7-time GRAMMY winners Coldplay for their electropop number “A Sky Full of Stars”.
Other notable submissions include: “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake; “Maps” by Maroon 5; “Bang Bang” by Jessie J., Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea; “Problem” by Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande; “Cheek to Cheek” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.
Best Pop Album
- Sam Smith — In the Lonely Hour
- Katy Perry — Prism
- Lana del Rey — Ultraviolence
- Sia — 1000 Forms of Fear
- Ed Sheeran — X
The Best Pop Album category is clearly the most competitive in this field. Two albums are definite locks: Sam Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour; and Prism by Katy Perry —the best-selling pop album of the eligibility period. Last year’s nominee, Lana del Rey is also on the run with the Dan Auerbach-produced album, Ultraviolence. The critically-acclaimed 1000 Forms of Fear by Sia —also a darkhorse for Album of the Year. And the new R&B-oriented album, X by British singer and 2-time GRAMMY nominee, Ed Sheeran.
Other notable submissions include: V by Maroon 5; My Everything by Ariana Grande; Ghost Stories by Coldplay; Bangerz by Miley Cyrus; Artpop by Lady Gaga.
Best Traditional Pop Album
- Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga — Cheek to Cheek
- Barbra Streisand — Partners
- Barry Manilow — Night Songs
- Annie Lennox — Nostalgia
- Seth McFarlane — Holiday for Swing
The Traditional Pop Album category might feature only three nods, due to low number of submissions. Anyhow, there are two sure bets: Tony Bennett (11-time winner in this category) for his collaborative album, Cheek to Cheek with Lady Gaga; and Barbra Streisand for her most recent number-one album, Partners. The other possible nominees include former GRAMMY-winners, Barry Manilow for Night Songs and Annie Lennox for Nostalgia; as well as comedian Seth McFarlane for his latest swing record Holiday for Swing.