The 56th Grammy Awards aren't until January, but I thought I'd make some early predictions at the contenders for the general field. I've ranked who is likely to get nominated, in my opinion, for the four main categories. Check back on the blog closer to nomination time for my final guesses.
Album of the Year
1. Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
What's in its favor: Timberlake is one of the most beloved pop stars of this era and after a long break from music, he delivered an album that not only exceeded expectations, but nearly sold 1 million in its first week.
What might work against it: Not much actually. If there were any backlash against the album, it would have happened already. As of now, 20/20 is about the closest thing to a lock.
2. Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox
What's in its favor: Despite being released early in the eligibility period, having two #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 ("Locked Out Of Heaven" and "When I Was Your Man") has helped keep up its momentum.
What might work against it: While I'm very high on Mars' chances, I won't feel completely confident until his latest single, "Treasure," cracks the top 10.
3. Taylor Swift - Red
What's in its favor: Swift has the kind of starpower that the Grammys love to have on their show. Add to that, 1.23 million sold in her first week, solid reviews and a Record of the Year nod for "We Are Never Getting Back Together," Swift is still one of the most bankable artists around.
What might work against it: Speak Now also sold a million in its first week with decent reviews, but was shut out of the general field.