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2013 Grammy Predictions

No 1. Host L.L. Cool J will wear a Kangol hat. But will it be bucket-style or newsboy?


Photo: Michael Buckner / WireImage | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

This Sunday the music industry celebrates its biggest night of the year, when stars are made, legends honored, and douchebag R&B singers beat the shit out of their pop star girlfriends. So what can viewers expect? Well, in addition to L.L. Cool J re-upping as master of ceremonies, there will be performances by Jack White, Elton John, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and a load of others. That’s what sets the Grammys apart from other awards shows: it’s really an all-star concert with a few awards mixed in (in other words, you won’t be seeing “Best Contemporary Polka Record” on the broadcast.) There are actually hundreds of Grammy awards, only a small fraction of which will be shown. And that’s a good thing. Here are our predictions for who will win in the big four categories.

(projected winner in bold)

Record of the Year
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe, "We Are Young"
Gotye featuring Kimbra, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
Frank Ocean, "Thinkin' Bout You"
Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

Fun.’s run over the last year has been pretty incredible: they burst onto the scene during the 2012 Super Bowl, when a Chevy ad introduced the band’s now inescapable anthem to America. A year later, the same song turned up again at the Big Game as the soundtrack to a gang of randy geriatrics going hog-wild in a Taco Bell ad. The New York-based threesome is nominated all over the place, but this seems like the slot where they’ll take home the hardware.

Album of the Year
The Black Keys, El Camino
Fun., Some Nights
Mumford & Sons, Babel 
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
Jack White, Blunderbuss

The English folk-rockers are able to check off a number of categories that Grammy voters love: their sophomore album sold a shit-ton of copies, their old-timey sound appeals to old-timey, Dylan-head voters, but the fact that they seemingly came out of the indie-verse lends them some cool kid credibility. They also have history with the Grammys, having performed with Mr. Dylan in 2011, when they were also nominated for a couple of awards. This year they win.

Song of the Year
Ed Sheeran, "The A Team"
Miguel, "Adorn"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe, "We Are Young"

Either fun. or Kelly Clarkson could walk away with this one, but we’re going with the Canadian pixie’s infectious pop confection, which ruled the summer, and very nearly swamped YouTube. Love it or hate (in the Maxim offices, it goes either way), “Call Me Maybe” was an undeniable hit that seemed to come out of nowhere, and that could well be enough for the win.

Best New Artist
Alabama Shakes
Fun.
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

No artist captured the collective imagination of listeners like Ocean, whose story – he seemingly came out of the closet in a blog post the week his debut, Channel Orange, was released – was actually overshadowed by the critical acclaim he received. The fact that he got in a brawl with Chris Brown, and then declined to press charges, is just a bonus. Actually, fuck that. He really should press charges. Sorry, Team Breezy.

"Call Me Maybe" Gets a Grammy Nod for Song of the Year
Girls of the Grammys