Music From the Row's 2016 Grammy Predictions

It’s music’s biggest night and country music’s biggest stars are invited to the party! The 58th annual Grammy Awards are quickly approaching. On Monday February 15 at 8PM EST, the best of the best from every genre of music will be in Los Angeles to crown the winners of music’s most coveted awards.

This year’s country categories are packed with talent like never before. Categories such as Best Country Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance are filled with some of the biggest country stars, as well as some fresh new faces. It’s hard to break down these categories and pick apart a winner, but I gave it a try.

Here are my predictions for country artists at the Grammy’s:

 

Album Of The Year

·      Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes

·      To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

·      Traveller, Chris Stapleton

·      1989, Taylor Swift

·      Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd

Unfortunately for Chris Stapleton, country music’s new obsession, I think Taylor Swift probably has this one on lock. Not only did Swift reinvent herself with the release of her first pop album, 1989, she also reinvigorated the music industry as a whole. Swift proved to the industry and the world that good music still has value, selling 1.287 million copies in the first week and over 5.5 million copies to date, just in the U.S.

 

Song Of The Year

·       “Alright,” Kendrick Lamar

·       “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift

·       “Girl Crush,” Little Big Town

·       “See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa feat Charlie Puth

·      “Thinking out Loud,” Ed Sheeran

This category is about has hard as it gets. All of these songs have ruled the radio for the past year, but I think LBT takes the crown on this one. “Girl Crush” has been everywhere, won almost every possible award and broke decade-old records in and outside of the country genre. The influence of this song is undeniable and thus it most deserves the title.

 

 

Best New Artist

·      Courtney Barnett

·      James Bay

·      Sam Hunt

·      Tori Kelly

·      Meghan Trainor

This is definitely a close race between Sam Hunt and Tori Kelly, two uber-talented artists who have crossed over between genres to create exponentially growing popularity. While Sam Hunt is one of our favorite up-and-comers, Tori Kelly may go home with the title. Her unique voice, lyrics and image have attracted the attention of a wide audience. Her music is playing in every TV show and commercial and climbing up the charts quickly.

 

Best Country Solo Performance

·      “Burning House,” Cam

·      “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton

·      “Little Toy Guns,” Carrie Underwood

·      “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” Keith Urban

·      “Chances Are,” Lee Ann Womack

“Burning House” was one of the most influential songs in the country genre in 2015. It’s uncommon for such a soft, powerful ballad to be so successful in radio, streaming and digital sales, but Cam hit the spot with this piece. “Burning House” is the kind of song that spreads country music beyond existing fans to a broader audience. The reach and impact of this song, as well as its beautiful artistry, make it our pick for Best Country Solo Performance.

 

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

·      “Stay A Little Longer,” Brothers Osborne

·      “If I Needed You,” Joey+Rory

·      “The Driver,” Charles Kelley, Dierks Bentley & Eric Palsay

·      “Girl Crush,” Little Big Town

·      “Lonely Tonight,” Blake Shelton feat Ashley Monroe

Once again, I think “Girl Crush” takes the cake on this one. Little Big Town ruled country music this past year with a single song. The band and this song deserve the highest recognition.

 

Best Country Song

·      “Chances Are,” performed by Lee Ann Womack

·      “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” performed by Tim McGraw

·      “Girl Crush,” performed by Little Big Town

·      “Hold My Hand,” Brandy Clark

·      “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton

I think this is a close run between Stapleton and Little Big Town, but in the end LBT will win out again. While Chris Stapleton’s sheer talent and writing are well known in the country industry, his reach was nowhere near as far as LBT with “Girl Crush.” Just based on the amazing songwriting and success of this song, “Girl Crush” takes home another award.

 

Best Country Album

·      Montevallo, Sam Hunt

·      Pain Killer, Little Big Town

·      The Blade, Ashley Monroe

·      Pageant Material, Kacey Musgraves

·      Traveller, Chris Stapleton

FINALLY: I think this is Chris Stapleton’s award. 2015 was a year full of so many amazing albums, but in this category Stapleton has the most well-rounded and well-received product. Traveller is a complete package full of artistry and storytelling. This album is what country music is all about.

 

 

 

For the full list of Grammy Nominees in 2016, visit: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/grammys/6785974/grammy-nominations-2016-full-list

 

 

 

 

 

-Kristin