EditorialFor the love of music


For when you’re feeling social


Craig Clemens

February 11, 2016

Nothing disinterests me more than watching an entire industry get together and let each other, and the general public, know how much money they made over the past year. The Grammy’s (and it’s Canadian counter-part, the Juno’s) meet annually at the crossroads of profitability and popularity to celebrate the artists and albums that were the ‘most successful’ over the past year. Polling those in the industry in “good standing,” the recording academy presents their annual white-washed version of the ‘best of the year’ and time and time again awards the highest grossing album or single with what is widely regarded as a horrible trophy. It’s a joke.

With this at the forefront of our minds, here is Playback’s 2016 Grammy Award predictions for 2016!


Record of The Year

Really Love – D’Angelo And The Vanguard
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Let’s start with the one that completely epitomizes the idea that the Grammy’s are a complete sham. This category basically represents the five highest grossing singles from the past year. Mark Ronson wins this one in a shocker only because by this point in the evening, the public expects The Weeknd to win something, but he doesn’t, he’s completely shut out.

Winner: Uptown Funk

Uptown Funk also takes Best Pop Duo/Group Performance ahead of Ship To Wreck – Florence + The Machine, Sugar – Maroon 5, Bad Blood – Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, and See You Again – Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth.

Actual Winner: Called it!

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

If Kanye is in the front row, Taylor Swift better wear a wet suit as she’ll be covered in all the brain and skull matter from his head exploding – Kendrick will lose to Taylor Swift and everybody will go crazy. Hashtags like #StandWithTaylor or #CulturallyAppropriateMyAss will be trending within 30 seconds. Taylor Swift will accept the award, thank God and her family, and return at the end of the evening to her hotel room where she will leave the trophy behind. The next morning it’ll be found by the maids. This adds gasoline to the hashtag war. We never hear the end of it.

Winner: Taylor Swift – 1989

Actual Winner: Oh yeah, his head exploded, and Taylor won

Song of The Year

Alright – Kendrick Lamar
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Girl Crush – Little Big Town
See You Again – Wiz Khalifa
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

First off, a country song is never going to win this category. The only thing that is going to come close is a cross-over artist that still has a little country left in them. Another thing that isn’t going to happen? Wiz Khalifa coming out of this with anything more than what he walked in with. Taylor Swift takes this one as well, but since the viewing public somehow thinks these things are fair, we expect Kendrick to take Album of the Year – but he doesn’t, and Kanye’s head explodes – we know this already. This happens right after Kendrick had just finished giving the greatest and most powerful performance of “Alright” anybody had ever seen. The camera pans to him, showing him walking right out the door as they announce Taylor Swift as the winner.

Winner: Blank Space – Taylor Swift

Actual Winner: Big surprise win for Ed Sheeran

Best New Artist

Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly
Meghan Trainor

Every once in a while this category is the feel-good winner of the evening. The one that never actually had a chance wins in a ‘true underdog story’ – see Esperanza Spalding circa 2011 – but it rarely ever happens. Past winners also include such over-produced hell-pop acts like Christina Aguilera, Evanescence, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band. Courtney Barnett deserves this one due to the quality of her LP, but she’ll leave empty handed as well.

Winner: Tori Kelly

Actual Winner: Somehow they gave it to somebody even worse than Tori Kelly, in Megan Trainor. How did I not see this one coming?

Best Pop Solo Performance

Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson
Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Remember when I said that The Weeknd was going to be shut out? By this point in the evening those following the proceedings feel like, “well, he’s gotta get this one right?” Nope, wrong. Taylor Swift takes this one as well.

She’s also taking Best Pop Vocal Album in a landslide over Kelly Clarkson, Florence + The Machine, Mark Ronson and James Taylor (James Taylor..?!)

Actual Winner: Another come outta nowhere win for Ed Sheeran! I really underestimated the Academy’s love for this guy. However, Taylor did take Best Pop Vocal Album – that one was not even close.

Best Dance Recording

We’re All We Need – Above & Beyond Featuring Zoë Johnston
Go – The Chemical Brothers
Never Catch Me – Flying Lotus Featuring Kendrick Lamar
Runaway (U & I) – Galantis
Where Are Ü Now – Skrillex And Diplo With Justin Bieber

Okay! Something finally a little off the beaten track where we can really find a deserving candidate. Something that isn’t going to illustrate the complete corruption of the voting process. Awesome!.. Nope. Just kidding.

Winner: Skrillex And Diplo With Justin Bieber

Actual Winner: Called it!

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Our Love – Caribou
Born In The Echoes – The Chemical Brothers
Caracal – Disclosure
In Colour – Jamie XX
Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack Ü – Skrillex And Diplo

Why do people think that this process is somehow fair? It’s because of categories like this. With Skrillex and Diplo winning best track, how could they lose best album? Well, it’s because Disclosure weren’t nominated for best track. Caracal wins this one in what amounts to one of the biggest snubs of the night, over Jamie XX’s In Colour.

Winner: Caracal – Disclosure

Actual Winner: Somehow I gave the Grammy’s more credit than they deserved. Jack Ü took this one as well.

Best Rock Performance

Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes
What Kind Of Man – Florence + The Machine
Something From Nothing – Foo Fighters
Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King
Moaning Lisa Smile – Wolf Alice

Alright! You forced Dave Grohl to show up to the red carpet by nominating him. Well done! That’ll go over well with the networks broadcasting the pre-show. With no chance of him really taking this (having released probably the worst record of his career) do you give it to the breakout stars in Alabama Shakes or Wolf Alice? No way! Give to Rob Schneider’s daughter. Think of the reality shows possibilities that could spin-off from just this night alone.

Winner: Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King

Actual Winner: Alabama Shakes, thank Christ.

Best Rock Song

Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes
Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King
Hold Back The River – James Bay
Lydia – Highly Suspect
What Kind Of Man – Florence + The Machine

Commercially viable, but still somehow an underdog, “Lydia” pulls this one out because Academy voters can’t stomach giving Elle King more than one award. James Bay cries on camera and people are realizing that Alabama Shakes could feasibly leave without a single award.

Winner: Lydia – Highly Suspect

Actual Winner: Alabama Shakes! Wow. A deserving double-Grammy winner. I’d never…

Best Alternative Music Album

Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
Vulnicura – Björk
The Waterfall – My Morning Jacket
Currents – Tame Impala
Star Wars – Wilco

Tame Impala rolls over the success they had with 2014’s Lonerism with a win for Currents. Nobody is really surprised with this one, but Kevin Parker mumbles an acceptance speech that nobody can understand.

Winner : Tame Impala – Currents

Actual Winner: …and probably the biggest surprise of the night, Alabama Shakes pulling in their third.

Best R&B Album

Coming Home – Leon Bridges
Black Messiah – D’Angelo And The Vanguard
Cheers To The Fall – Andra Day
Reality Show – Jazmine Sullivan
Forever Charlie – Charlie Wilson

Leon Bridge’s is primed for an upset here, but this category is basically set up so that D’Angelo doesn’t go home empty handed. Too bad he didn’t show up and the award is accepted by some suit from RCA Records.

Winner : Black Messiah – D’Angelo And The Vanguard

D’Angelo also takes Best R&B Song with “Really Love”

Actual Winner: D’Angelo took ’em both

Best Rap Album
2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole
Compton – Dr. Dre
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake
To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
The Pinkprint – Nicki Minaj

First off: how the hell is The Pinkprint nominated here? Were there no other deserving candidates from the last year, so we had to make sure Nicki Minaj showed up? Future? A$AP Rocky? Earl Sweatshirt? None of these artists were worthy so we gave The Pinkprint a nomination? What a joke!

Kendrick wins this one. Academy had to give him something.

Winner : To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick also pulls in best Rap Song, Rap Performance and Music Video for “Alright” as well as Rap/Sung Collab for “These Walls”.

Actual Winner: This one was easy – Kendrick ALL. DAY.

Here’s the rest of our predictions (** notates ones that we predicted correctly):

R&B Performance – “Planes” – Jeremih (Feat. J. Cole)
Actual Winner: “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” – The Weeknd

Traditional R&B** – “Little Ghetto Boy” – Lalah Hathaway

Remixed Recording, Non-Classical – Say My Name (RAC Remix)
Actual Winner: “Uptown Funk” (Dave Audé Remix)

Urban Contemporary AlbumWildheart – Miguel
Actual Winner: Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

Country Solo Performance**, Best Country Song, and Best Country Album – “Traveller” (song and LP) – Chris Stapleton
Best Country Song Actual Winner: “Girl Crush” – Little Big Town

Best Country Duo/Group Performance – “If I Needed You” – Joey+Rory
Actual Winner: “Girl Crush” – Little Big Town

Best Jazz Solo and Jazz Instrumental Album – “Giant Steps” – Joey Alexander

Actual Winner: “Cherokee” – Christian McBride

Jazz Vocal AlbumJamison – Jamison Ross
Actual Winner: For One to Love – Cécile McLorin Salvant

Large Jazz Ensemble AlbumCuba: The Conversation Continues – Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Actual Winner: The Thompson Fields – Maria Schneider Orchestra

Latin Jazz Album – “Impromptu” – The Rodriguez Brothers
Actual Winner: Made in Brazil – Elaine Elias

Producer of the Year – Diplo

Actual Winner: Jeff Bhasker

Gospel Performance/Song – “Worth Fighting For” – Brian Courtney Wilson
“Wanna Be Happy?” – Kirk Franklin

Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song – “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” – Crowder
Actual Winner: “Holy Spirit” – Francesca Battistelli

Gospel AlbumOne Place – Tasha Cobbs
Actual Winner: Covered: Alive in Asia [Live] (Deluxe) – Israel & Newbreed

Contemporary Christian Music AlbumHow Can It Be – Lauren Daigle
Actual Winner: This Is Not a Test – TobyMac

Best Roots Gospel AlbumDirections Home (Songs We Love, Songs You Know) – Point Of Grace
Actual Winner: Still Rockin’ My Soul – The Fairfield Four

Best Music Film**Amy – Amy Winehouse

Latin Pop AlbumSirope – Alejandro Sanz
Actual Winner: A Quien Quiera Escuchar (Deluxe Edition) – Ricky Martin

Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album**Hasta La Raíz – Natalia Lafourcade

Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)Mi Vicio Mas Grande – Banda El Recodo De Don Cruz Lizarraga
Actual Winner: Realidades – Deluxe Edition – Los Tigres del Norte

Tropical Latin AlbumPresente Continuo – Guaco
Actual Winner: Son de Panamá – Rubén Blades with Roberto Delgado & Orquesta

American Roots Performance – “City Of Our Lady” – The Milk Carton Kids
Actual Winner: “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” – Mavis Staples

American Roots Song and Americana Album – “Julep” & The Phosphorescent Blues – Punch Brothers
Actual Winner: “24 Frames” – Jason Isbell

Bluegrass AlbumMan Of Constant Sorrow – Ralph Stanley & Friends

Actual Winner: The Muscle Shoals Recordings – The SteelDrivers

Blues AlbumWorthy – Bettye LaVette
Actual Winner: Born to Play Guitar – Buddy Guy

Folk Album**Self-Titled – Béla Fleck And Abigail Washburn

Regional Roots Music Album**Go Go Juice – Jon Cleary

Reggae Album – “Branches Of The Same Tree” – Rocky Dawuni
Actual Winner: Strictly Roots – Morgan Heritage


Overall Prediction record: 14 – 28