Grammys 2013 Predictions: R&B Field

Paul Grein
Stop The Presses!

Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, which is likely to receive a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year, is also the front-runner to win for Best Urban Contemporary Album. This will be the first time the latter award will be presented. It’s an adaptation of an old category, Best Contemporary R&B Album, which was presented from 2003 through 2011.

Ocean’s competition is likely to include Chris Brown, who won last year for Best R&B Album; Usher, a two-time winner for Best Contemporary R&B Album; Mary J. Blige, who won both Best R&B Album and Best Contemporary R&B Album; and Trey Songz, who has yet to win a Grammy.

Boyz II Men, which won the first Grammy ever presented for Best R&B Album for 1994’s II, has a chance of returning to the finals in that category for its 20th anniversary album, Twenty. The other likely nominees are Monica’s New Life, R. Kelly’s Write Me Back, Eric Benet’s The One and Anthony Hamilton’s Back To Love.

Whitney Houston, who died the day before the 2012 Grammy ceremony, has a chance at two nominations. “Celebrate,” a collaboration with Jordin Sparks from their remake of the 1976 movie, Sparkle, is vying for Best R&B Performance. “I Look To You,” a coupling with R. Kelly, is vying for Best Traditional R&B Performance. The latter song was the title track of Houston’s final studio album, which was released in 2009.

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 R&B field.

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

Mary J. Blige, My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act 1)

Chris Brown, Fortune

Usher, Looking 4 Myself

Trey Songz, Chapter V


Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream

Melanie Fiona, The MF Life

Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man In The Universe

Emeli Sande, Our Version Of Events

Best R&B Album

Monica, New Life

R. Kelly, Write Me Back

Eric Benet, The One

Anthony Hamilton, Back To Love

Boyz II Men, Twenty


Angie Stone, Rich Girl

Lalah Hathaway, Where It All Begins

Bettye La Vette, Thankful N’ Thoughtful

SWV, I Missed Us

Tamia, Beautiful Surprise

Lenny Williams, Still In The Game

Best R&B Performance

Frank Ocean, “Thinkin’ Bout You”

Miguel, “Adorn”

Usher, “Climax”

Mary J. Blige featuring Beyonce, “Love A Woman”

Rihanna, “Birthday Cake”


Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks, “Celebrate”

Boyz II Men, “One More Dance”

Chris Brown, “Don’t Judge Me”

Eric Benet featuring India Benet, “Muzik”

Anthony Hamilton, “Pray For Me”

Ciara, “Sorry”

R. Kelly, “Feelin’ Single”

Ne-Yo, “Lazy Love”

Trey Songz, “Heart Attack”

Monica, “Without You”

Best Traditional R&B Performance

Beyonce, “Love On Top”

Cee Lo Green, “I’m A Man”

Whitney Houston & R. Kelly, “I Look To You”

R. Kelly, “Share My Love”

Bobby Womack, “Please Forgive My Heart”


Randy Crawford & Joe Sample, “Street Life”

Larry Graham & Graham Central Station featuring Prince, “Raise Up”

Anita Baker, “Lately”

Roberta Flack, “In My Life”

Ann Nesby, “Alright!”

John Legend, “Woke Up This Morning”

Melanie Fiona, “Wrong Side Of A Love Song”

Betty Wright & The Roots, “Old Songs”

Eric Benet, “News For You”

Bobby Caldwell, “What About Me”

Ryan Shaw featuring the Soul Survivors, “Evermore”

Lenny Williams, “Where Did Our Time Go”

Best R&B Song

“Thinkin Bout You” (Frank Ocean), Frank Ocean & Shea Taylor, songwriters

“Adorn” (Miguel), Miguel Pimentel

“Climax” (Usher), Sean Fenton, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Usher Raymond IV & Ariel Rechtshaid

“Heart Attack” (Trey Songz), Richard Butler, Benjamin Levin & Tremaine Aldon Neverson

Celebrate (Whitney Houston & Jordin Sparks), R. Kelly


“Birthday Cake” (Rihanna), E. Clark, Robyn Fenty, T. Nash & M. Palacios

“I’m A Man” (Cee Lo Green), Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, Charlie Gambetta, Waynne Nugent & Kevin Risto

“Please Forgive My Heart” (Bobby Womack), Bobby Womack