El Vaquero Staff Picks the 2016 Grammy Winners

Melody Shahsavarani, Staff Writer

The 58th annual GRAMMY Awards will once again bring all music superstars and newcomers together for a night to celebrate music when it airs Feb. 15 on CBS at 8 p.m.

Nominations for all 83 categories were announced early December. This year’s nominees were selected from more than 21,000 submissions. To be eligible, albums must have been released between Oct. 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2015. The GRAMMY nominees are selected by the Academy of the Recording Arts, which consists of recording artists, songwriters, producers and engineers.

Kendrick Lamar leads the pack with 11 nominations, followed by Taylor Swift and The Weeknd with seven nominations each.

The album of the year nominees are: “Sound & Color” by Alabama Shakes, “To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar, “Traveller” by Chris Stapleton, “1989” by Taylor Swift, and “Beauty Behind the Madness” by The Weeknd.

The predicted winner is “To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar. When Lamar lost the best rap album category for “good kid, m.A.A.d city” in 2014 to Macklemore’s “The Heist”  it truly rattled the world as both had seven nominations and Lamar went home with no awards. But he came stronger than ever with this thought provoking record. Lamar takes us through his world from his downfalls and his strengths, and becomes the voice of hope. His lyrics spoke great truths and mended well with the uprise of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Top tracks include “Alright,” “King Kunta” and President Obama’s favorite “How Much A Dollar Cost.”

Th record of the year nominees are: “Really Love” by D’Angelo and The Vanguard, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd.

The predicted winner is “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd. The Canadian made his mark on the charts and world with this pop smash. His vocals pierce through the ’80s-esque, upbeat tempo record. The Weeknd’s soothing melodies are different from the other prominent pop artists in this category, having resemblance to pop legend Michael Jackson.

The song of the year nominees are “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town, “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.

The predicted winner is “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar. Lamar pushed the envelope with this thought-provoking track. With a year filled with the uproar of BlackLivesMatter, “Alright” became the anthem nationwide during protests and marches. It sheds light on the matter that through the challenges faced, we will survive, we will conquer and rise above.

The best new artist nominees: Courtney Barnett, James Bay, Sam Hunt, Tori Kelly, and Meghan Trainor.

The predicted winner is Meghan Trainor. Trainor was signed to her first major label at 18 and three years later penned her first GRAMMY nominated hit single released in 2014 “All About That Bass.” At just 22 years old her debut album “Title” gained worldwide recognition, featuring top hits “Lips are Moving” and “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” featuring John Legend. Trainor creates perpetual hits and she is a notable nominee for best new artist.

The best pop duo/group performance nominees are “Ship to Wreck” by Florence + the Machine, “Sugar” by Maroon 5, “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar, and “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth.

The predicted winner is “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar. Two of the most prominent artists of 2015 collaborated on a chart- topping hit. The song rumored to be about an friendship turning sour between Swift and pop star Katy Perry, gained worldwide attention when Swift debuted the star-studded music video.  The original version of “Bad Blood” lacks what this remix has, passion. Lamar brings rhythm with his eccentric rap verses and the addition of the bass lines truly embarks this collab into a GRAMMY-winning track.

The 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards is sure to be one memorable night as each category outdoes itself with nominees.