When the 56th annual Grammy Awards take place on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. on CBS, it’ll be a battle between the ladies and the robots in the major categories. With her wild breakout success in 2013, her immense crossover appeal and because she’s so dang likable, 17-year-old Lorde is a frontrunner in her four nominations. Not one used to losing awards, Taylor Swift is a known Grammy darling with her name in the running for album of the year. And Daft Punk’s big summer return could finally fix the Grammys’ unfortunate aversion to electronic dance music. Looking at past Grammy decisions, critics’ reviews and our own gut feeling, we estimated each nominee’s chances of winning on Sunday.
Record of the Year
Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky” 35 percent Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive” 15 percentLorde – “Royals” 40 percent Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven” 5 percent Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams – “Blurred Lines” 5 percent
With industry respect and a number of nominations this year, it’s a close call between Daft Punk and Lorde for record of the year.
Album of the Year
Sara Bareilles – The Blessed Unrest 10 percentDaft Punk – Random Access Memories 35 percent Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City 10 percent Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist 10 percentTaylor Swift – Red 35 percent
It wouldn’t be an award show featuring Taylor Swift if the artist didn’t leave with a suitcase full of awards. But Daft Punk’s critically-loved summer hit is a tough contender to the Swift machine.
Song of the Year
Pink feat. Nate Ruess – “Just Give Me a Reason” 5 percent Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven” 5 percent Katy Perry – “Roar” 5 percentLorde – “Royals” 80 percent Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Same Love” 5 percent
Lorde’s breakout international hit has charmed the world and the Grammys will be its next target.
Best New Artist
James Blake 10 percent Kendrick Lamar 15 percentMacklemore & Ryan Lewis 55 percent Kacey Musgraves 5 percent Ed Sheeran 15 percent
Relentlessly in the spotlight in 2013 and recognized throughout the Grammys, Macklemore & Ryan should expect this one, though it would be nice to see Lamar or Blake pull off the upset.
Best Pop Vocal Album
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience 20 percentLorde – Pure Heroine 40 percent Lana Del Rey – Paradise 5 percent Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines 5 percent Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox 30 percent
Unless the tried-and-true pop acts unseat her, this category is Lorde’s to lose.
Best Dance/Electronica Album
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories 45 percent Disclosure – Settle 25 percent Calvin Harris – 18 Months 10 percent Kaskade – Atmosphere 10 percent Pretty Lights – A Color Map Of The Sun 10 percent
Daft Punk’s most promising category could only be taken away by the young newcomers, Disclosure.
Best Rock Album
Black Sabbath – “13? 10 percentDavid Bowie – The Next Day 40 percent Kings of Leon – “Mechanical Bull” 5 percent Led Zeppelin – “Celebration Day” 10 percent Queens Of The Stone Age – “…Like Clockwork” 20 percent Neil Young With Crazy Horse – “Psychedelic Pill” 15 percent
“The Next Day,” David Bowie’s heralded return after a 10-year break, should win its only nomination at the Grammys.
Best Alternative Music Album
Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You: 10 percent The National – Trouble Will Find Me: 20 percent Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks: 15 percent Tame Impala – Lonerism: 10 percentVampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City: 45 percent
With its second nomination in the category, this is looking to be Vampire Weekend’s first Grammy win. But maybe the time has come for the National’s long-overdue success at the award show.
Best Rap Album
Drake – Nothing Was The Same: 15 percentJay Z – Magna Carta…Holy Grail: 25 percent Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City: 20 percent Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist: 15 percentKanye West – Yeezus: 25 percent
One of the year’s most contentious categories, rap saw excellent releases from the genre’s biggest acts, but the final decision will come down to the two superstars.
Best Country Album
Jason Aldean – Night Train: 10 percent Tim McGraw – Two Lanes Of Freedom: 10 percent Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park: 10 percent Blake Shelton – Based On A True Story: 10 percentTaylor Swift – Red: 60 percent
Could Swift become the first female solo artist to win for best country album twice? If anyone can do it, she can.