This year’s line-up for Record of the Year is, by far, the weakest. None of the contenders are legendary songs that scream ‘Record of the Year’. Instead, they are mainstream pop hits that impressed more the general public than music experts.
With the exception of Taylor Swift —who’s been nominated thrice in this category, the rest of the nominees are newbies: Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, Meghan Trainor, and Sam Smith are contending their first GRAMMYs ever. Sia, however, is making her first appearance in the general field.
Now let’s take a look at the odds for each of the nominees. They are listed in order of likelihood of winning:
01. Sam Smith — Stay with Me (Darkchild Version)
All odds are in favour of 6-time nominee, Sam Smith. “Stay with Me” (Darkchild Version) sounds a bit more gospel and mellow than the original version and it is the type of melancholic ballad that have been named ‘Record of the Year’ before (i.e. Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” or Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”). If Smith wins, he will be the sixth new artist to do so.
Also, among the producers/engineers/mixers of this song there are three former GRAMMY receipts: Tom Coyne and Steve Price who worked on Adele’s 21 —Album of the Year winner in 2012; and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins who won the Best R&B Song back in 2000 for Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name”.
02. Taylor Swift — “Shake It Off”
7-time GRAMMY winner, Taylor Swift proved to be one of NARAS’ sweetheart by scoring three nods without an eligible album (1989 was released three weeks after the eligibility period ended). Despite her seven awards, Swift is yet to win Record of the Year. She was nominated twice before —in 2010 for “You Belong with Me” and in 2013 for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. On both occasions, she lost to ‘alternative’ songs. This year her biggest thread is, as mentioned above, Sam Smith.
03. Sia — “Chandelier”
The third favourite to win the prize is Australian singer/songwriter, Sia. “Chandelier” is an unusual addition to the Record of the Year line-up. A dance pop song with reggae influences have never been nominated before. Predictors say that it is her powerful vocals what could lead her to victory. And there’s also a nationality factor: No Aussie has lost this category. And if she wins she will be the third Australian to do so after Olivia Newton-John in 1975 and Gotye in 2013.
This is Sia’s first appearence in the general field. She’s been previously nominated in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category in 2013 for “Wild Ones” featuring Flo-Rida.
04. Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX — “Fancy”
And we have another Australian in contention: Iggy Azalea, and if she loses, she’ll be the first Aussie to do so. And she alongside featured artist, Charli XCX do have more chances of losing than winning as all the odds are against “Fancy”: No hip-hop track has ever won, and winning collaborations usually feature a veteran rather than two debuting artists.
“Fancy” was probably only nominated for being the ‘Song of the Summer’. Just like last year, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” received the nod.
05. Meghan Trainor — “All About that Bass”
Trainor’s “All About that Bass” was this year’s surprise nominee. Many critics even claim that this type of song is too radio-friendly to be included among the nominees and lacks credibility to the awards. The truth is that “All About that Bass” happened to chart in the right time —just before the end of the eligibility period, and all the buzz surrounding this track reached the Academy’s voters. For Trainor, this nomination is her award.