Predicting the big winners at the Grammy Awards is often a fool’s errand. Unlike the Oscars, which arrive after an endless succession of smaller awards ceremonies, there is no real Grammy bellwether, no way to take the temperature of likely voters. Even trying to read the tea leaves during the ceremony itself can be precarious, as many an artist will seem to be steamrolling through the genre categories during the afternoon’s pre-telecast awards ceremony, only to come up short when the biggest prizes are announced in primetime.
That said, here are some of the biggest matchups, tightest races, and most interesting categories to watch for on Sunday.
The Main Event
In spite of the above caveat against odds-making, it’s hard to see the competition for this year’s top three categories – song, record, and album of the year – coming down to anyone other than Beyonce or Adele. Both are nominated in all three, and the two were unquestionably the biggest names in music during this year’s eligibility period, with Adele’s “25” smashing seemingly unbreakable sales records, and Beyonce’s “Lemonade” standing as arguably the year’s most socio-politically significant piece of music.
The two are unlikely rivals: both have been effusive in their praise of the other, and both have experienced no shortage of Grammy attention. Adele is one of only two artists to have won all of the Grammys’ so-called “Big Four” general field statuettes (album, record, and song of the year, plus best new artist), and she has a total of 10 to her name. Beyonce has 20 Grammys, the second-highest total for a female artist. Adele and Beyonce also share the record for most Grammys won by a female artist in a single night, with six.
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