Grammys 2013 Predictions: Pop, Dance/Electronica and Traditional Pop Fields

Paul Grein
Stop The Presses!

For the second year in a row, male and female pop artists are competing in the same Grammy category—Best Pop Solo Performance. And for the second year in a row, females are likely to take four of the five spots. Last year, Bruno Mars was the only male artist nominated in the category. This year, Ne-Yo may wind up as the only male artist in the finals for his smash “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself).”

On last year’s Grammy telecast, Maroon 5 participated in a tribute to the Beach Boys. (Adam Levine and his crew sang “Surfer Girl.”) This year, the two acts may be competing for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Maroon 5 has won twice in this category (for “This Love” and “Makes Me Wonder”). The Beach Boys, remarkably, have never won a Grammy in competition (though group mastermind Brian Wilson won for an instrumental performance on his 2004 album Smile.)

Nicki Minaj’s debut album Pink Friday was a finalist last year for Best Rap Album. Her follow-up, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, is in the running for a Best Pop Album nomination. (The Grammys’ placement of the new album reflects a general perception that Minaj is now primarily a pop artist.) Minaj has a good chance of making the Pop Album finals, though that is a very competitive category. The other artists with the best chance of making the finals are Rihanna, P!nk, Maroon 5 and Justin Bieber. (The Rihanna and P!nk albums are also serious contenders for Album of the Year nominations.)

Skrillex, who won Best Dance/Electronica Album last year for Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, is likely to be back in the finals with Bangarang. His chief competitors are expected to be Deadmau5’s >Album Title Goes Here< and The Chemical BrothersDon’t Think. The Chemical Brothers won in this category with 2005’s Push The Button and 2007’s We Are The Night.

Michael Buble, a three-time winner for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, will probably be nominated again for his smash album, Christmas. But he faces a serious challenge from Paul McCartney, who is likely to be nominated for his low-key album of standards, Kisses On The Bottom. McCartney has won in the pop and rock fields, but not yet in Traditional Pop. Complicating things for Buble: No Christmas album has ever won in this category.

The Grammy nominations will be announced on a live TV special on Dec. 5. The awards will be presented on Feb. 10.

Here are the five likely nominees (followed by some key alternates) in all of the categories in the Pop, Dance/Electronica and Traditional Pop fields.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Maroon 5, Overexposed

Rihanna, Talk That Talk

P!nk, The Truth About Love

Justin Bieber, Believe

Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded


Kelly Clarkson, Stronger

John Mayer, Born And Raised

.fun, Some Nights

The Beach Boys, That’s Why God Made The Radio

Imagine Dragons, Night Visions

Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials

Jason Mraz, Love Is A Four Letter Word

One Direction, Up All Night

Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas

Lana Del Rey, Born To Die

Best Pop Solo Performance

Adele, “Set Fire To The Rain” (Live)

Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”

Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”

Ne-Yo, “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)”

Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”


Lady Gaga, “You And I” (Live)

Jason Mraz, “I Won’t Give Up”

Katy Perry, “Wide Awake”

P!nk, “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”

Rihanna, “Where Have You Been”

Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”

Phillip Phillips, “Home”

Seal, “Let’s Stay Together”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

.fun featuring Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”

Gotye featuring Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used To Know”

Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, “Payphone”

Train, “Drive By”

The Beach Boys, “That’s Why God Made The Radio”


The Lumineers, “Ho Hey”

Coldplay featuring Rihanna, “Princess Of China”

One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”

The Wanted, “Glad You Came”

Florence + the Machine, “Shake It Out”

Best Pop Instrumental Album

Chris Botti, Impressions

Larry Carlton, Four Hands & A Heart Volume One

Dave Koz, Live At The Blue Note Tokyo

Gerald Albright & Norman Brown, 24/7

The Rippingtons, Built To Last


Hiroshima, Departure

Najee, The Smooth Side Of Soul

Best Dance/Electronica Album

Skrillex, Bangarang

Deadmau5, >Album Title Goes Here<

The Chemical Brothers, Don’t Think

Tiesto, Club Life Volume Two—Miami

Martin Solveig, Smash


Paul van Dyk, Evolution

Best Dance Recording

The Chemical Brothers, “Superflash”

Deadmau5 and Gerard Way, “Professional Griefers”

Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo, “Let’s Go”

Skrillex featuring Sirah, “Bangarang”

Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin, “Don’t You Worry Child”


Elton John vs. Pnau, “Good Morning To The Night”

Scissor Sisters, “Let’s Have A Kiki”

Martin Solveig, “The Night Out”

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Paul McCartney, Kisses On The Bottom

Michael Buble, Christmas

Michael Feinstein, The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life

Glenn Frey, After Hours

Carole King, A Holiday Carole


BeBe Winans, America America

Steve Tyrell, I’ll Take Romance

Billy Vera, Big Band Jazz

Barbara Cook, Loverman