Who's headed for Grammy gold?

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Who's headed for Grammy gold?

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57th Annual Grammy Awards

The ceremony will air live from Los Angeles at 8 p.m. Sunday on CBS.

EXPANDED GRAMMYS COVERAGE

Nobody covers Georgia’s booming music scene like Atlanta Journal-Constitution pop music critic Melissa Ruggieri. As Melissa heads to Los Angeles to cover this Sunday’s Grammy Awards, she brings with her 20 years of experience covering music. By her count, she has reviewed more than 2,000 concerts. This will be the 19th year she has covered the awards show. Look for Melissa’s interview with nominee Sharon Jones in this Sunday’s Living & Arts section. Follow her throughout the weekend as she posts updates from music events around L.A. on AJC.com’s Music Scene blog, Twitter and Facebook. Don’t miss her live coverage Sunday during the show. Join in the conversation on Twitter (@MRuggieriAJC, #Grammys) and the Music Scene blog. And come back to Monday’s print Living section and the AJCepaper for additional coverage.

EXPANDED GRAMMYS COVERAGE

Nobody covers Georgia’s booming music scene like Atlanta Journal-Constitution pop music critic Melissa Ruggieri. As Melissa heads to Los Angeles to cover this Sunday’s Grammy Awards, she brings with her 20 years of experience covering music. By her count, she has reviewed more than 2,000 concerts. This will be the 19th year she has covered the awards show. Look for Melissa’s interview with nominee Sharon Jones in this Sunday’s Living & Arts section. Follow her throughout the weekend as she posts updates from music events around L.A. on AJC.com’s Music Scene blog, Twitter and Facebook. Don’t miss her live coverage Sunday during the show. Join in the conversation on Twitter (@MRuggieriAJC, #Grammys) and the Music Scene blog. And come back to Monday’s print Living section and the AJCepaper for additional coverage.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will likely be about a boy — a British boy, to be specific.

Although Taylor Swift was the music story of 2014 — her “1989” has sold 4 million copies since October — the record came out a month too late for Grammy consideration this year.

But the first single, “Shake It Off,” squeaked in before the deadline, which is why it’s been nominated numerous times.

It’s usually tough to predict the Grammys a year in advance, but let’s go ahead and call it now: Taylor Swift will receive a TON of nominations for the 2016 ceremony.

That leaves Sam Smith as this year’s spotlight artist — and deservingly so. He’s an authentic singer and a humble young man.

He’s nominated for six awards, but he’s only the 10th artist in Grammy history to receive nominations in the four general field categories (record and song of the year, album of the year and best new artist). He’s also the second-youngest, at 22, to achieve this feat (Mariah Carey was a mere 20 when she hit the quad jackpot).

Since final voting ballots were due Jan. 16, a couple of weeks before it became public that Smith added Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne to the songwriters who contributed to his “Stay With Me” due to its apparent similarity to Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” the mild controversy won’t affect the outcome.

Sure, there will be some who voted for Smith who might now wish they could renege, but it sounds as if things were rectified smoothly, so most won’t hold any ill will toward the young singer.

Joining Smith in the six-pack club are Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams. Not far behind with four nods each are Iggy Azalea, Beck, Eric Church, engineer Tom Coyne, Drake, Gordon Goodwin, Jay Z, Miranda Lambert, Sia, Usher and Jack White.

Here’s a look at some of the nominees and who might take home a trophy or two.

Album of the year

“Morning Phase,” Beck

“Beyoncé,” Beyoncé

“x,” Ed Sheeran

“In the Lonely Hour,” Sam Smith

“Girl,” Pharrell Williams

Who will win: Grammy voters love Beyoncé and they might have loved her album much more than I did. If she isn’t rewarded for the ingenious manner that she dropped the album, the most coveted award of the night could go to Smith for his poignant balladry.

Who should win: Sheeran continues to show immense growth as a songwriter and singer and it is exemplified beautifully on “x.”

Best new artist

Bastille

Iggy Azalea

Brandy Clark

Haim

Sam Smith

Who will win: Smith. He defines this category. Between his platinum debut album and mainstream likability (teens AND grandmas love him!), the suave, soulful Brit is like a sweeter George Michael.

Who should win: Smith is a worthy choice, but Clark, the most unconventional of the bunch, is a long-overlooked talent. At least she has a CMA for co-writing Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow.”

Record of the year

“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX

“Chandelier,” Sia

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

“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift

“All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor

Who will win: Smith and Swift will duel to the death in both song and record of the year categories (song drops the lightweight fun of “Fancy” for the brooding soul of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” — neither will win). Let’s tag Smith for the win here.

Who should win: “All About That Bass,” of course! Oh, wait, this isn’t the best novelty song category? Never mind.

Song of the year

“Chandelier,” Sia

“All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor

“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift

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

“Take Me to Church,” Hozier

Who will win: If Smith snags the record of the year trophy, the songwriter’s category will lean toward Swift. There might not be much lyrical depth to “players gonna play, play, play and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate,” but Swift will be rewarded for the message she’s promoting in the song — as well as its “sick beat.”

Who should win: Look, haters, are you really going to deny that “Shake It Off” isn’t catchy, fun and sly? Let Swift start clearing her shelf space off now.

Best rap song

“Anaconda,” Nicki Minaj

“Bound 2,” Kanye West & Charlie Wilson

“i,” Kendrick Lamar

“We Dem Boyz,” Wiz Khalifa

“0 to 100/The Catch Up,” Drake

Who will win: Lamar has deftly straddled the line between critical adoration and street credibility from the start of his career. He loves himself in this song and he should — it’s a vigorous statement.

Who should win: Wouldn’t it be a hoot to see Uncle Charlie snag his first Grammy and it’s from a collaboration with West?

Best alternative music album

“This Is All Yours,” alt-J

“Reflektor,” Arcade Fire

“Melophobia,” Cage the Elephant

“St. Vincent,” St. Vincent

“Lazaretto,” Jack White

Who will win: White, primarily because he won the category three previous times with the White Stripes and Grammy voters like familiarity. If White wins, he’ll have the distinction of being the only artist to win the category four times.

Who should win: St. Vincent’s quirky self-titled album is playful and bizarrely intoxicating.

Best rock album

“Ryan Adams,” Ryan Adams

“Morning Phase,” Beck

“Turn Blue,” the Black Keys

“Hypnotic Eye,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

“Songs of Innocence,” U2

Who will win: Beck is a perennial favorite, and given that it’s his first album since 2008 and a companion of sorts to 2002’s “Sea Change,” voters will see it fit to reward his longevity and continued creativity.

Who should win: The outcry against the audacity of U2 to present free music (while millions of people are busy stealing music from artists who don’t have the bankroll of Apple backing them) overshadowed the fact that this is a sinewy record and easily the band’s most personal.

Best country album

“Riser,” Dierks Bentley

“The Outsiders,” Eric Church

“The Way I’m Livin’,” Lee Ann Womack

“12 Stories,” Brandy Clark

“Platinum,” Miranda Lambert

Who will win: All of those who gripe about country getting soft should take a listen or 30 to Church’s “The Outsiders.” Here’s a guy who has fused country and rock and manages to make it sound timeless and fresh simultaneously.

Who should win: Church is a deserving victor, but Lambert’s “Platinum” is an excellent collection as well — and her career continues to expand.

Best pop vocal album

“Ghost Stories,” Coldplay

“Bangerz,” Miley Cyrus

“My Everything,” Ariana Grande

“Prism,” Katy Perry

“x,” Ed Sheeran

“In the Lonely Hour,” Sam Smith

Who will win: This is the perfect category to award someone other than Smith and, since Sheeran isn’t a front-runner for the more prestigious album of the year category, look for him to grab this one.

Who should win: It’s hard to look past the looniness of Cyrus, but once you’ve gotten there, you can’t help but be enamored by her robust melodies and earworm hooks.

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