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Viewer’s guide to the 2015 Grammy Awards

By AMANDA AUBLE | February 5, 2015

Highlighting some of the most popular music of the year, the 57th Grammy Awards will return to CBS with host LL Cool J, airing Sunday at 8 p.m. Using information acquired from, The News-Letter has constructed a guide through all the must-watch moments of “Music’s Biggest Night.”

This year, the music industry roused the general listening population with some shocking new releases. From Beyoncé’s self-titled, secret album exploding onto the scene in December, to Sia’s hypnotically creepy “Chandelier” video going viral in May, artists tended to break from the expected industry norms. Even Taylor Swift, already having won seven Grammy awards, changed up her sound — losing the country twang completely — in her highly successful album 1989.

Newcomers like Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor and Iggy Azalea, however, also found their footing this year and now challenge the more established artists with their multiple nominations.

Presented and voted on by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the four Grammy award categories that are now considered the most important include Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. Here are the nominees as well as possible winners predicted by The News-Letter.

Record of the Year 

“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

“Chandelier” by Sia

“Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)” by Sam Smith

“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift

“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

Predicted winner: 

“Chandelier” by Sia

Unlike most categories, it’s notable that the 2015 Record of the Year category is dominated by female musicians. Although “Shake it Off” exploded onto radio stations and remains the paradigm of Swift’s new sound, Australian singer and songwriter Sia might take home the Grammy this year because of her unique vocal skills and crafted lyrics.

Album of the Year

Morning Phase by Beck

Beyoncé by Beyoncé

X by Ed Sheeran

In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith

Girl by Pharrell Williams

Predicted winner: Beyoncé 

After getting snubbed with no nominations for “Drunk In Love,” Queen Bey might get some recognition for her overall album as the NARAS adds style points for her stealthy drop. Close behind would be Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour and Ed Sheeran’s X, which both produced more than one song with heavy radio play. Although it seemed like Pharrell Williams dominated last year’s Grammy awards alongside Daft Punk, his album Girl doesn’t really stand up to this year’s strong competition.

Song of the Year

“All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor & Kevin Kadish

“Chandelier” by Sia Furler & Jesse Shatkin

“Shake It Off” by Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift

“Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)” by James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith

“Take Me to Church” by Andrew Hozier-Byrne

Predicted winner: “Chandelier” by Sia

Although receiving considerable recognition this year, Sia is no stranger to putting work in to create a successful song. She has actually been busy behind the scenes to help write songs for artists like Madonna, Rihanna, Ke$ha, David Guetta, Katy Perry and Britney Spears. Sia is also credited for writing “Pretty Hurts” for Beyoncé’s album. Hopefully Sia will take the Grammy home herself for “Chandelier.”

Best New Artist

Iggy Azalea


Brandy Clark


Sam Smith

Predicted winner: Sam Smith

Despite Iggy Azalea’s strong hold on popular music with her inescapable collaborations like “Fancy” and “Problem,” Smith’s vocal talent and sheer emotional tonality sends him soaring above the competitors as a truly break-out artist this year.

Although the annunciation and bestowal of awards provides a good portion of the night’s excitement, watching the live performances allows viewers fresher musical experiences.

This year, the Grammys plan to showcase more creative collaborations known as “GRAMMY Moments.” For instance, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, who also received a nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Cheek to Cheek, will perform. Despite their starkly different stage personas, this pair’s voices blend together in a classic, Old Hollywood fashion.

Hozier, nominated for his first Grammy, and Annie Lennox, winner of four Grammys and best known for her time in the Eurythmics, will perform together for the first time. This must-watch performance promises to be a strong and, most likely, dark musical collaboration as the two powerful singers combine their bluesy, haunting voices.

Perhaps the most important performance to watch at this year’s Grammys is Rihanna, Kanye West and Sir Paul McCartney making their debut performance of Rihanna’s new single “FourFiveSeconds.” McCartney and West have already generated buzz from their recent song “Only One,” so this unexpected collaboartion has the potential to stun.

Other collaborations featured include Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani, both coaches on NBC’s singing competition The Voice. The duo also worked together on their song “My Heart Is Open.” Another highlight will be Jessie J performing alongside Tom Jones. As for the solo performances scheduled for the night, viewers can tune in to see AC/DC, Eric Church, Common with John Legend, Ariana Grande, Miranda Lambert, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Usher and Pharrell Williams.

The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award will also honor beloved Beatles guitar legend George Harrison, blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy and pop trio the Bee Gees. CBS also plans to air “Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life — An All-Star Grammy Salute,” a televised tribute to the work of 25-time Grammy Award-winner and overall music legend Stevie Wonder on Feb. 16 at 9 p.m.

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