2016 Grammy Award Nominations

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Record of the Year

Taylor Swift - Blank Space
Taylor Swift - "Blank Space". Courtesy Big Machine
  • D'Angelo and the Vanguard - "Really Love"
  • Mark Ronson - "Uptown Funk" featuring Bruno Mars
  • Ed Sheeran - "Thinking Out Loud"
  • Taylor Swift - "Blank Space"
  • The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face"

The big surprise in this category to most observers is D'Angelo's nomination for "Really Love." The  song struggled to a #43 peak on the R&B chart. However, it was the lead single from the critically acclaimed Black Messiah album, D'Angelo's first in 14 years. His last album Voodoo won 2 Grammy Awards including Best R&B Album.

Record of the Year likely comes down to a 3-way battle between Mark Ronson, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd. This is Taylor Swift's fourth nomination for Record of the Year. She has not yet won the award. 

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Album of the Year

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly. Courtesy Interscope
  • Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
  • Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
  • Chris Stapleton - Traveller
  • Taylor Swift - 1989
  • The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness

Taylor Swift is a previous winner in this category. Her album Fearless was a controversial Album of the Year winner in 2010. Now, nearly 30 nominations and 6 more awards later, she is having the last laugh as one of the favorites to take the award home again. She faces stiff competition from Kendrick Lamar who received an Album of the Year nomination in 2014 for his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d cityA dark horse is Chris Stapleton who recently took home the Country Music Association's awards for Album of the Year and New Artist of the Year.

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Song of the Year

Little Big Town Girl Crush
Little Big Town - "Girl Crush". Courtesy Capitol Nashville
  • Kendrick Lamar - "Alright"
  • Taylor Swift - "Blank Space"
  • Little Big Town - "Girl Crush"
  • Wiz Khalifa - "See You Again" featuring Charlie Puth
  • Ed Sheeran - "Thinking Out Loud" 

"Blank Space" is Taylor Swift's third nod for the year's top songwriting award. She faces stiff competition from the country arena with Little Big Town's achingly beautiful "Girl Crush" and newcomer Charlie Puth helping write the massive hit farewell ballad "See You Again." Ed Sheeran earns his second nomination in this category following 

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Best New Artist

Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor. Photo by Bennett Raglin / Getty Images
  • Courtney Barnett
  • James Bay
  • Sam Hunt
  • Tori Kelly
  • Meghan Trainor

Have you heard of Australia's Courtney Barnett? After the 2016 Grammy Awards you will. She is a critically acclaimed rock singer-songwriter, and her nomination for Best New Artist is well deserved. However, she will face stiff competition from Meghan Trainor and her four consecutive top 40 pop hits as well as the powerful voice of rising pop star Tori Kelly.

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Best Pop Solo Performance

The Weeknd Can't Feel My Face
The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face". Courtesy Republic
  • Kelly Clarkson - "Heartbeat Song"
  • Ellie Goulding - "Love Me Like You Do"
  • Ed Sheeran - "Thinking Out Loud"
  • Taylor Swift - "Blank Space"
  • The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face"

Kelly Clarkson is the veteran in this category and she won it back in 2006 when the genders were separated out and she took home the female prize for her classic "Since U Been Gone." Three years ago she was nominated in this category for "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." Ed Sheeran has to be considered a strong contender as well as Taylor Swift and The Weeknd.

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Best Pop Duo / Group Performance

Wiz Khalifa - See You Again featuring Charlie Puth
Wiz Khalifa - "See You Again" featuring Charlie Puth. Courtesy Atlantic
  • Florence and the Machine - "Ship To Wreck"
  • Maroon 5 - "Sugar"
  • Mark Ronson - "Uptown Funk" featuring Bruno Mars
  • Taylor Swift - "Bad Blood" featuring Kendrick Lamar
  • Wiz Khalifa - "See You Again" featuring Charlie Puth 

If voters are feeling sentimental, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth could ride to victory with their sentimental "See You Again." However, "Uptown Funk" was a huge event record for Mark Ronson. His collaborator Bruno Mars has earned 18 Grammy Award nominations in the past. 

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Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Josh Groban Stages
Josh Groban Stages. Courtesy Reprise
  • Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap - The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern
  • Bob Dylan - Shadows In the Night
  • Josh Groban - Stages
  • Seth MacFarlane - No One Ever Tells You
  • Barry Manilow - My Dream Duets

This category seems to get more interesting as each year goes by. 89-year-old Tony Bennett, a six time winner in this category, put together a loving tribute to Broadway legend Jerome Kern, Bob Dylan took on songs recorded by Frank Sinatra, and animation legend Seth MacFarlane flexes his vocal muscles for his second nomination in this category. Barry Manilow has previously been nominated four times in this category and Josh Groban has been nominated once before. This year's competition is stiff.

of 08

Best Pop Vocal Album

Florence and the Machine How Big How Blue How Beautiful
Florence and the Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Courtesy Republic
  • Kelly Clarkson - Piece By Piece
  • Florence and the Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Mark Ronson - Uptown Special
  • Taylor Swift - 1989
  • James Taylor - Before This World 

The smart money in this category would seem to be on Taylor Swift, but Florence and the Machine could be a dark horse with their second nomination in this category. The sentimental vote would go to James Taylor who previously won this award in 1998 with his album Hourglass.

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Your Citation
Lamb, Bill. "2016 Grammy Award Nominations." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, thoughtco.com/grammy-award-nominations-3245278. Lamb, Bill. (2016, August 22). 2016 Grammy Award Nominations. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/grammy-award-nominations-3245278 Lamb, Bill. "2016 Grammy Award Nominations." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/grammy-award-nominations-3245278 (accessed November 19, 2017).