"OutKast will be this year’s Norah Jones. They win Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Now let’s see if Andre 3000 and Big Boi accept the awards together or separately."
——Lenny Beer


HITS’ Lenny Beer And Roy Trakin Share Their Two Cents On This Year’s Awards
It's time to take the focus off of Nipplegate and start theorizing as to who's going to win what at this Sunday's Grammys Awards. CBS is airing the telecast, so there's sure to be no nudity, no crotch-grabbing, no wardrobe malfunctions, and nothing to shock or outrage the FCC's Michael Powell. The same can't be said about Roy Trakin or Lenny Beer, who offer their thoughts, such as they are, on the 46th Grammys.

Trakin: It sure looks like this year’s Grammy Awards will be a coming-out party for OutKast, which is ironic, because, like with Clive Davis and Santana several years ago, the one person probably most responsible, L.A. Reid, is no longer at Arista. Everyone’s playing up this year’s show as a validation of rap as an artistic and commercial force.

Beer: No question. OutKast wins easy. Next...

Trakin: Grammy expert Paul Grein thinks Record of the Year is the one category that Coldplay wins for “Clocks” over OutKast for “Hey Ya!” I tend to agree with him. Do you see OutKast taking this category over them, Beyonce and Jay-Z, the Black Eyed Peas featuring Justin Timberlake and Eminem?

Beer: Yup. OutKast will be this year’s Norah Jones. They win Album of the Year and  Record of the Year. Now let’s see if Andre 3000 and Big Boi accept the awards together or separately.

Trakin: Song of the Year shapes up as a race between Christina Aguilera for “Beautiful” and Luther Vandross for “Dance with My Father.”

Beer:  I’m going for Luther. It’s an emotional, beautiful song that will win if you consider the sympathy factor. Call it a stroke of genius, but don’t quote me.

Trakin: I’m going with “Beautiful,” because of its positive self-image message to kids.  It feels like a real standard that will be covered for years to come, but the Luther sentiment can’t be underestimated. Best New Artist is tricky.  I thought 50 Cent was a shoo-in, but I’m not so sure now. I’m leaning towards Evanescence, who seem to have all the momentum going in, though Grein points out this category traditionally does not go to a band. Unless you count Taste of Honey, which I don’t.

Beer: I’m a little surer now, since they announced 50 Cent’ll be performing. And if he doesn’t win it this year for his debut album, maybe he will when he releases his sixth record five years from now, like Fountains of Wayne or Shelby Lynne.

Trakin:  It could be a complete shocker, like Heather Headley. Remember when Marc Cohn and Paula Cole won and flabbergasted people?

Beer: And where’s Jason Mraz? Best Female Pop Vocal goes to Christina Aguilera. In the Male Pop Vocal category, I’m going with a long shot, George Harrison. I love that song, I love that album, and why not give George a Grammy? He’s been dead longer than Warren Zevon.

Trakin: A battle of the posthumous, though I’d have to say Justin Timberlake is considered the favorite in this category. Wonder if someone will bare his breast on the telecast?

Beer: Great. Next. Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group. I’m going for Matchbox 20. I’m not crazy, I’m just a little “Unwell,” though some may argue with me.

Trakin: Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom” is my pick for the upset.

Beer: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals… Who cares? Next.

Trakin: How about Best Pop Vocal Album?  Will George Harrison win this one, too?

Beer: I’m picking George again. I thought his record was one of the great overlooked albums over the past few years. You might say I’m Brainwashed.

Trakin: Or not, as the case may be. Justin’s gonna be pretty disasppointed if that happens, like he was when he pulled off Janet’s bustier and there was nothing underneath.

Beer: F*** ‘em…

Trakin: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album is a category Tony Bennett has had a lock on in the past, and Bette Midler is going up against Rosemary Clooney with an album of Clooney songs.  Grein says this one goes to Rod Stewart, though, and that seems to be the consensus.

Beer: I agree. People seem to dig this record, and I have no idea why. I like the old Rod music better than the new old Rod music.

Trakin: Best Rock Album appears a lock for Evanscence since it’s also up in the major categories.

Beer: I’m going for Audioslave. It’s the best album.

Trakin: Best Alternative Music Album… This one’s all about the White Stripes.

Beer: Yeah, I agree.

Trakin: How about Best R&B Album? You’ve got Erykah Badu, Blu Cantrell, Aretha Franklin, the Isley Bros. and Luther…

Beer: Luther, Luther, Luther.

Trakin: That should make for one of the evening’s heartwarming moments. Think he’ll show?

Beer: I do. There’s also a big tribute to him on the show. He’s going to win Best R&B Song, too.

Trakin: Best Rap Album is a no-brainer. OutKast… Best Rap Song pits Eminem against 50 Cent.

Beer: “In Da Club” or “Lose Yourself,” definitely.

Trakin: “Lose Yourself” did win the Oscar.  Let’s see if it gets overshadowed by Eminem’s own protégé.

Beer: “Lose Yourself” should win here.

Trakin: How about Best Country Album? Faith Hill, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson & Ray Price, Shania Twain, Willie Nelson and a Louvin Brothers compilation… I’d have to say Faith Hill has the edge here.

Beer: Keep the Faith.

Trakin: Now, for Producer of the Year… Grammy faves Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Nigel Godrich for Radiohead, the Neptunes, The Matrix and OutKast.

Beer: OutKast, but I also love The Matrix and Lauren Christy, too.

Trakin: I’m wondering whether this isn’t going to be the Neptunes. They seem like they’re everywhere these days.

Beer: This is OutKast’s night…

He has a few thoughts. (6/23a)
See you in September. (6/22a)
Wit and wisdom from a renaissance man (6/22a)
Out and proud (6/22a)
An inspiring success story (6/22a)
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?

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