Grammy Predictions: The Pop & Dance Categories

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Look for Justin Timberlake to clean up when the Grammy nominations are announced on Friday. The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience is almost certain to be nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. Timberlake is also likely to be in the running for Best Pop Solo Performance (for "Mirrors") and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (for "Suit & Tie," a collabo with Jay Z).

Here are the likely nominees and runners-up for Best Pop Vocal Album and in the two performance categories in the pop field. I also show the likely nominees and runners-up in the Dance/Electronica and Traditional Pop fields.

The eligibility year closed on Sept. 30. The awards will be presented on Jan. 26 at Staples Center.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Timberlake is vying to become only the second artist to win twice in this category. His solo debut, Justified, took the 2003 award. Kelly Clarkson became the first repeat winner last year when she won for Stronger. Her hit-laden sophomore album, Breakaway, took the 2005 award.

Likely nominees:

Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience

Bruno Mars's Unorthodox Jukebox

Lorde's Pure Heroine

Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines

Lana Del Rey's Paradise

Also possible: John Mayer's Paradise Valley, Avicii's True, Cher's Closer to the Truth, Donald Fagen's Sunken Condos, HAIM's Days Are Gone, Phillip Phillips's The World From the Side of the Moon, Ariana Grande's Yours Truly, Elton John's The Diving Board, Emeli Sande's Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Best Pop Solo Performance


won this award the last two years, but she's not entered this year (despite having cracked the top 10 with "Skyfall"). Lorde is this year's frontrunner. If she wins, women will have taken this award in all three years since the formerly separate male and female vocal performance categories were combined.

Likely nominees:

Lorde's "Royals"

Bruno Mars's "When I Was Your Man"

Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors"

Katy Perry's "Roar"

Lady Gaga's "Applause"

Also possible: Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball," Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful," Kelly Clarkson's "Catch My Breath," Pink's "Try," Sara Bareilles's "Brave," Phillip Phillips's "Gone, Gone, Gone," Ed Sheeran's "Lego House," Anna Kendrick's "Cups (When I'm Gone)," John Mayer's "Paper Doll," Bonnie McKee's "American Girl."

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

One-time collaborations have competed with ongoing groups and duos in this category the last two years. Both times, a collabo has won (Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse and Gotye featuring Kimbra). The trend is likely to continue. This year, all five of the likely finalists are collabos.

Likely nominees:

Pink featuring Nate Ruess's "Just Give Me A Reason"

Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko's "Stay"

Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell, "Blurred Lines"

Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z, "Suit & Tie"

Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams, "Get Lucky"

Also possible: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton's "Can't Hold Us," Drake featuring Majid Jordan's "Hold On, We're Going Home," Avicii with Aloe Blacc's "Wake Me Up," Maroon 5's "One More Night," theLumineers' "Stubborn Love," HAIM's "Don't Save Me," Capital Cities' "Safe And Sound," Mariah Carey featuring Miguel's "#Beautiful," the Civil Wars' "Dust to Dust," Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)," Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller's "The Way," A Great Big World's "Say Something," the Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather," & Britney Spears's "Scream & Shout," Bastille's "Pompeii," One Direction's "Best Song Ever," Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran's "Everything Has Changed."

Notes: Avicii has sole billing on "Wake Me Up," but the Grammys gave Aloe Blacc a featured credit. That moved its eligibility from the solo performance category to the duo/group performance category. A Great Big World's record was released late in the eligibility year. The collabo version with Christina Aguilera (which is a big hit) was released after the eligibility year ended.

Best Dance/Electronica Album

Daft Punk

, which won in this category for 2008 with Alive 2007, is sure to be back in the running with Random Access Memories. The album reached #1 on the Billboard 200, a rarity for a dance album.

Likely nominees:

Daft Punk's Random Access Memories

Calvin Harris's 18 Months

Pet Shop Boys's Electric

Zedd's Clarity

Krewella's Get Wet

Also possible: Rudimental's Home, Kaskade's Atmosphere.

Best Dance Recording

The year's two biggest dance hits, "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Avicii's "Wake Me Up," were both slotted in the pop field, which opens up two slots in this category.

Likely nominees:

Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch's "Sweet Nothing"

Krewella's "Alive"

Avicii vs. Nicky Romero's "I Could Be the One"

Zedd featuring Foxes' "Clarity"

Baauer's "Harlem Shake"

Also possible: Linkin Park & Steve Aoki's "A Light That Never Comes," Yoko Ono featuring Dave Aude's "Hold Me," Martin Garrix's "Animals," Kaskade's "Atmosphere," Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie's "This is What it Feels Like."

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Three past winners for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album may well vie for the prize: Tony Bennett, who has won a record 11 times in the category; Michael Buble, who has won three times; and Rod Stewart, who has won once.

Likely nominees:

Tony Bennett & Various Artists' Viva Duets

Andrea Bocelli's Passione

Michael Buble's To Be Loved

Gloria Estefan's The Standards

Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby

Also possible: Pentatonix's PTXMAS, CeeLo Green's CeeLo's Magic Moment, Placido Domingo's Songs, Steve Tyrell's It's Magic: The Songs of Sammy Cahn, Dionne Warwick's Now, Michael Feinstein's Change of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn, Audra McDonald's Go Back Home, Brian Stokes Mitchell's Simply Broadway.

Who and what do you think will be nominated? Weigh in below.