Feb 8, 2011

Billboard.com Grammy Predictions

Sunday's Grammy Awards are shaping up to be a close match, and certainly we all have our favorites. But who do the industry insiders predict will be this year's big winner? Billboard asked 20 music industry experts who they think should -- and will -- win Grammy Awards this year. Now, we present the results in the Awards' four biggest categories: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.

Agree or disagree with the experts? Cast your own vote in our polls and see what other readers think! And be sure to watch the Grammy Awards this Sunday to see which artists came out victorious.

"The Suburbs," Arcade Fire
"Recovery," Eminem
"Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
"The Fame Monster," Lady Gaga
"Teenage Dream," Katy Perry
SHOULD WIN: "Recovery"
WILL WIN: "Recovery"

COMMENTS FROM INDUSTRY EXPERTS: " 'Recovery' [is] a return to form by a true legend [and] another landmark album that was able to connect across multiple demos." "Arcade Fire winning would be such a great statement about the importance and relevance of indie music today."

THE BILLBOARD ANALYSIS: Four out of the five nominees debuted atop the Billboard 200, with only Lady Gaga's "The Fame Monster" missing the top (peaking at No. 5). It's the third year in a row where four-fifths of the category were chart-toppers. Last year, Taylor Swift's "Fearless" -- a No. 1 and 2009's top-selling set -- took home the trophy.

Can Eminem's "Recovery" -- 2010's best seller -- nab the win this year? The hip-hop king has been nominated in this category twice before but lost both times: first in 2001, with "The Marshall Mathers LP" famously losing to Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature," and then in 2003 with "The Eminem Show" bowing to Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me."

Despite the hip, left-of-center status associated with nominees in this category during the last several years -- including Gnarls BarkleyAmy WinehouseKanye WestOutKast and Lady Gaga -- Recording Academy voters tend to lean toward middle-of-the-road or veteran acts like U2,Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and Herbie Hancock. This year, the votes may be split among Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Eminem, possibly leaving the door open for Lady Antebellum.

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