A Guide To The Grammys

January 22, 2016

There is something special about every season.

Fall has Pumpkin Spice Lattes and cozy sweaters, winter brings us fresh snow and family gatherings, spring has lovely flowers and new beginnings, and summer has a multitude of outdoor activities to be enjoyed by all. However, my favorite season of all is awards season — and with awards season comes the night to be loved (and hated) by all – the Grammys.

A night full of wardrobe malfunctions, uncomfortable interview questions, interactions between celebrities who have had it out on social media, and camera pans to Taylor Swift dancing awkwardly in her seat — what’s not to love? The Grammys can be confusing for some, with terms like “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year” – how are they different? How are they the same? What exactly is the definition of “rock” music? All of these of these questions will unfold before our eyes on February 15, but to help you make it through, here is a guide to what the Grammys are really all about.


Fun fact: My predictions are starred — don’t judge me! These are my predictions, not desired winners. Side note: these are not all the categories, just the most popular/interesting. Sorry, Best Children’s Album — maybe next year.

Record Of The Year (Who Had the Roughest Year Emotionally and Paid People to Help Them Sing About It)

• “Really Love,” D’Angelo And The Vanguard
• “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
• “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran
• “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift
• “Can’t Feel My Face,” The Weeknd**

Album Of The Year (Who Had the Roughest Year Emotionally and Wrote About it Over and Over)
• “Sound & Color,” Alabama Shakes
• “To Pimp A Butterfly,” Kendrick Lamar
• “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton
• “1989,” Taylor Swift**
• “Beauty Behind The Madness,” The Weeknd

Song Of The Year (Who Had the Best Chorus)
• “Alright,” Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
• “Blank Space,” Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
• “Girl Crush,” Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)
• “See You Again,” Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth)
• “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)

Best New Artist (New Kid on the Block Who Didnt Make a Fool Out of Themselves)
• Courtney Barnett
• James Bay
• Sam Hunt
• Tori Kelly**
• Meghan Trainor

Best Pop Solo Performance (Best Singer in the Shower)
• “Heartbeat Song,” Kelly Clarkson
• “Love Me Like You Do,” Ellie Goulding
• “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran
• “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift
• “Can’t Feel My Face,” The Weeknd**

Best Rock Song (Wait, What is the Definition of “Rock” Again?)
• “Don’t Wanna Fight,” Alabama Shakes, songwriters (Alabama Shakes)**
• “Ex’s & Oh’s,” Dave Bassett & Elle King, songwriters (Elle King)
• “Hold Back The River,” Iain Archer & James Bay, songwriters (James Bay)
• “Lydia,” Richard Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)
• “What Kind Of Man,” John Hill, Tom Hull & Florence Welch, songwriters (Florence + The Machine)

Best Rock Album (Why Do They Keep Bringing This Up?)
• “Chaos And The Calm,” James Bay**
• “Kintsugi,” Death Cab For Cutie
• “Mister Asylum,” Highly Suspect
• “Drones,” Muse
• “.5: The Gray Chapter,” Slipknot

Best Rap Song (Which Song You Listened to Most at the Gym)
• “All Day,” Kanye West feat. Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney
• “Alright,” Kendrick Lamar
• “Energy,” Drake
• “Glory,” Common & John Legend
• “Trap Queen,” Fetty Wap**

Best Country Song (Best Song About a Truck and Back Roads)
• “Chances Are,” Hayes Carll, songwriter (Lee Ann Womack)
• “Diamond Rings And Old Barstools,” Barry Dean, Luke Laird & Jonathan Singleton, songwriters (Tim McGraw)
• “Girl Crush,” Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)**
• “Hold My Hand,” Brandy Clark & Mark Stephen Jones, songwriters (Brandy Clark)
• “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton, songwriter (Chris Stapleton)

Best Improvised Jazz Solo (Best Song for Those Who Like to Listen Intellectually)
• “Giant Steps,” Joey Alexander, soloist, who is 12, by the way**
• “Cherokee,” Christian McBride, soloist
• “Arbiters Of Evolution,” Donny McCaslin, soloist
• “Friend Or Foe,” Joshua Redman, soloist
• “Past Present,” John Scofield, soloist

Best Jazz Instrumental Album ( Best Song Without Words)
• “My Favorite Things,” Joey Alexander**
• “Breathless,” Terence Blanchard Featuring The E-Collective
• “Covered: Recorded Live At Capitol Studios,” Robert Glasper & The Robert Glasper Trio
• “Beautiful Life,” Jimmy Greene
• “Past Present,” John Scofield

Best Blues Album (Tastiest I –IV-V-I Chord Progression)
• “Descendants Of Hill Country,” Cedric Burnside Project
• “Outskirts Of Love,” Shemekia Copeland**
• “Born To Play Guitar,” Buddy Guy
• “Worthy,” Bettye LaVette
• “Muddy Waters 100,” John Primer & Various Artists

Best Song Written For Visual Media (Best Popular Music Also Played in a Movie)
• “Earned It,” Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville & Abel Tesfaye, songwriters (The Weeknd) (Fifty Shades of Grey)
• “Glory,” Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith & John Stephens, songwriters (Common & John Legend) (Selma)
• “Love Me Like You Do,” Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Tove Nilsson, Ali Payami & Ilya Salmanzadeh, songwriters (Ellie Goulding) (Fifty Shades of Grey)
• “See You Again,” Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth) (Furious 7)**
• “‘Til It Happens To You,” Lady Gaga & Diane Warren, songwriters (Lady Gaga) (The Hunting Ground)

That’s only a slice of what the Grammys award each year, but there you have it, folks.

Will someone drop an album? Will someone announce a pregnancy? And the ultimate question: Will someone fall? Tune in February 15 to find out.

To get the full list of nominees, click here.