- The competition is tight in the major four categories at the Grammys
- Frank Ocean, Fun. and Mumford & Sons are expected to win top prizes
- The Grammy Awards will air on CBS Sunday at 8 p.m. ET
After Adele's (rightly deserved) sweep at the Grammys last year, this year's show is poised to be a bit less predictable.
It'll be a boys' club on CBS Sunday with a six-way tie among Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, Fun., Kanye West, Jay-Z and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach for lead nominee, each receiving six nods apiece.
In between acceptance speeches, the three-and-a-half hour ceremony will be filled with performances from Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Sting, the Black Keys, Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean, the Lumineers, Fun., Mumford & Sons, Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert, and Jack White.
But when it comes down to it, there are only four categories that count as the big fish. Check out some predictions below. Who do you think will win big this weekend?
Best new artist
This category is tough to call because it's crowded with possibilities, from industry favorite Frank Ocean to don't-count-'em-out contenders the Lumineers and Fun. The Alabama Shakes and Hunter Hayes also scored nods here, but the prevailing sentiment is that they're in the "it's just an honor to be nominated" part of the group.
Both the Lumineers and Fun. have a mainstream commercial advantage over Ocean, but the "Channel Orange" artist is beloved by critics and has had a meteoric rise this year. It'll be a tight race, but it looks like it's Ocean's prize to take.
Record of the year
Remember that this honor extends to the production team in addition to the artist. The contenders here had some of the hottest tracks of the past year: Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," the Black Keys' "Lonely Boy," Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," Fun.'s "We Are Young" and Frank Ocean's "Thinkin' Bout You."
Ocean and Fun. are again two acts that we'd like to think are frontrunners, but the dominating prediction is that this is really a race between Gotye and the Black Keys. If you go with what's most popular with the listeners of Spotify, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" will be crowned record of the year on Sunday. Still, we're going with "Lonely Boy."
Song of the year
Here's where the recording academy zeroes in on songwriters, which in this case often overlap with performers. We're looking at "The A Team" from Ed Sheeran, "Adorn" from Miguel, "Call Me Maybe" from Carly Rae Jepsen, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" from Kelly Clarkson and "We Are Young" from Fun., with a feature spot from Janelle Monáe.
It's an interesting mix because, as both HitFix and MTV critique, it's a less competitive category than some of the others. Miguel's "Adorn" deserves the attention, and there's no denying what a juggernaut of a single "Call Me Maybe" continues to be. But from the lay of the land, this is Fun.'s title to lose.
Album of the year
It's the biggest honor of the night, and each nominee this year would be a solid choice to win the Grammy. In competition are the Black Keys' "El Camino," Fun.'s "Some Nights," Mumford & Sons' "Babel," Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" and Jack White's "Blunderbuss."
While White's album was a welcomed surprise to this category, the odds aren't in his favor. Among critics, it's coming down to Frank Ocean, the Black Keys and Mumford, with Fun. being somewhat of an outlier.
One theory is that with all of the rockers in competition, they'll cancel each other out and clear a path for Ocean. But with Mumford being the safer bet and a fantastic album to boot, all eyes are on them to win.