By Michelle Stanton
Trying to predict the Grammys is a mug’s game: There are so many dang awards, the October-to-September eligibility period makes zero sense, and you’re never sure when the voters will just say, “Screw it” and hand an award to a bunch of old white guys whose band broke up 30 years ago.
Which is what makes it fun! In a year when most of the eventual Oscar winners have been locked in since December, it’s fun to watch an awards show where nobody has any idea what’s going to happen. This year, as in all years, there’s only one guarantee: The winners will make people mad. But which ones will make people maddest? Read our predictions below to see & sound off in comments!
Beyonce, Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith lead the pack of nominees this year with six nods each, including album of the year. Iggy Azalea, Beck, Eric Church, engineer Tom Coyne, Drake, Gordon Goodwin, Jay Z, Miranda Lambert, Sia, Usher and Jack White are not far behind with four nominations each.
Beyonce makes history this year by becoming the most-nominated female artist in Grammy history. U2 is now the most-nominated group in history — as the Irish band will be competing for best rock album for “Songs of Innocence.” Miley Cyrus, meanwhile, is in the running for her first Grammy — “Bangerz” is up for best pop vocal album. And the late Joan Rivers posthumously received a nod for best spoken word album for “Diary of a Diva.”
Buzz is building around some of the major categories for Music’s Biggest Night, including best new artist, which features some of the hottest top-notch talent to make it big this past year: Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Bastille, Haim and Brandy Clark.
But who’s it going to be?
SEE ALSO: 2015 Grammy Nominees: The Full List
Spotify compiled global data on the top streamed songs, albums and artists in each of the categories and came up with predictions based on number of streams and virality (shares). The team there expects Smith to take the category thanks to the success of his hit songs “Stay With Me” and “I’m Not the Only One.”
“He had an incredible breakthrough year last year with a fantastic album and a number of songs that Spotify listeners absolutely adored,” said Shanon Cook, Spotify’s trends expert.
Still, Cook says — don’t count out Bastille. “They had a massive song last year called ‘Pompeii.’ It started out as a big hit in the U.K. and it crossed over the Atlantic to the U.S.,” she said.
A couple of the same artists appear in the record of the year category: “Fancy,” Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX; “Chandelier,” Sia; “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith; “Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift; “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor.
All these songs are pretty great (and quite catchy we might add), but this category appears to come down to Sia, Swift and Smith. Spotify, for one, expects Sia to win for “Chandelier” based on its criteria.
But Julie Cunningham, SiriusXM Entertainment Weekly radio host, tells CBS News she thinks Smith could take the category.
The song of the year category — another big award (which goes to the songwriter) — features the following nominees: “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish; “Chandelier,” Sia and Jesse Shatkin; “Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift, Max Martin and Shellback; “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips; “Take Me to Church,” Hozier.
Both Smith and Sia have a strong chance of winning song of the year. But it’s really anyone’s guess at this point in the game.
“x” – Ed Sheeran”Beyonce” – Beyonce”Morning Phase” – Beck”In the Lonely Hour” – Sam Smith”Girl” – Pharrell Williams
And finally, there’s a range of acts competing for the night’s most coveted award: album of the year.
Beck is up for “Morning Phase,” Beyonce is in the running for her self-titled album, Ed Sheeran is nominated for “x,” and Smith will compete with his “In the Lonely Hour” set.
Some signs are pointing to Beyonce for the big win, but Spotify predicts Sheeran will take home the big prize.
“His album ‘Multiply’ was the biggest album we had last year. It got over more than 400 million streams. It was just a gorgeous album,” said Cook.
“You would think this would be Taylor Swift’s year. She’s rising so high right now with ’1989′ but that’s actually not the case,” said Cunningham, who noted that Swift’s “1989″ album wasn’t released in time to be considered for the nominations – thought the single “Shake It Off” was.
Swift will, though, take a turn as a presenter, alongside many other stars, including Dierks Bentley, James Corden, Jamie Foxx, Barry Gibb, Dave Grohl, Jennifer Hudson, Enrique Iglesias, Nick Jonas, Anna Kendrick, Shia LaBeouf, Katharine McPhee, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pentatonix, Smokey Robinson, Nile Rodgers, Gina Rodriguez, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, Keith Urban, The Weeknd and Stevie Wonder.
The ceremony will feature a host of performances and plenty of collaborations, too. Brandy Clark, AC/DC, Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock, Hozier, ELO, Jessie J, Tom Jones, Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert, Common, John Legend, Ariana Grande and Beck are all on the bill — and there will likely be a few surprises.
Madonna is reportedly going to kick off the evening with a few of her new songs.
And Sia is another performer to watch.
“She has a tendency to perform with her back to the audience or her face obscured…So I’m really excited to see how she executes this performance,” said Cook. “Are we going to actually see her?”
Super Bowl halftime performer Katy Perry will also take the stage. One question: How will she top those dancing sharks?
LL Cool J will keep the show moving as he’s hosting the ceremony once again, marking his fourth consecutive year as emcee.
“I think it’s admirable of them to have an African-American hosting the biggest music show in the world,” LL Cool J told CBS News.
So, as you see — some of the hottest stars in music will be honored at the 57th annual Grammy Awards. The show kicks off Sunday, February 9th at 8 p.m. ET –and airs live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS.