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Here are my Top Five, but I reserve the right to change my mind in the coming weeks. 1) Coldplay, 2) Alicia Keys, 3) Plant-Krauss, 4) Eagles, 5) Jack Johnson, with Duffy a close #6.

LENNYBEERBLOG: HITS' TWO LOUTS AND THEIR GRAMMY TOUTS

With the Deadline Over, Our Own Beer and Trakin Sally Forth with Some Prognostications, Leaving Lots of Wiggle Room
Beer: This week, it's time to start noodling about our favorite subject, the Grammy Award nominations, so I've asked my not-so-esteemed colleague Mr. Roy Trakin, music pundit extraordinaire and HITS Senior Editor, to help with the proceedings. Let's begin with the major categories… Best Album, Best New Artist and Song/Record of the Year.
Trakin: Sounds good to me...
Beer:  I'm thinking Coldplay, Plant-Krauss and Alicia Keys are the three leading candidates, with the other two slots up for grabs.
Trakin:  Good place to start... I have to agree with you so far. Call me crazy, but I think Lil' Wayne has a definite shot at one of 'em.
Beer: You’re crazy.  I definitely do not... He's not even on my list of possibilities.
Trakin:  Best-selling album of the year, multiple hits, no real competition in the rap category. This is one for the vetting committee… the year's OutKast/Kanye pick, just for some sort of street credibility.
Beer:  Too down and dirty…I don't think this one scores on artistic merit. Let me throw out some others for you. Eagles... 3m sold, multiple Adult and Country radio hits, well thought of album, and, don’t forget, a band that could play the show.
Trakin:  If anyone had actually heard the album, maybe. I think that hurts it. But it does make a lot of sense. People are going to want to start sucking up to Irving now.
Beer:  Also, how about Jack Johnson? One of the year's biggest sellers, consistently under the radar…maybe it's his time.
Trakin:  Guess that’s why you get the big bucks, Beer. That would make sense... He's certainly got Grammy credibility. Anyone else you think has a shot before I weigh in?
Beer:  Duffy/Leona Lewis...the two most interesting newcomers. Does one of them catch the Amy Winehouse magic?
Trakin:  Best New Artist contenders fo' sure... Did you realize that Jennifer Hudson is also eligible? Album came out on Sept. 30.Could set up an interesting battle between two of Clive's divas come Feb. 8.
Beer:  Mmmmm. I still think it will be too late to get attention. My other potentials include Chris Brown, MJ Blige, Ne-Yo, Usher, Radiohead, Jason Mraz and Kid Rock.
Trakin: Right. Sheryl Crow's always a Grammy favorite. Al Green + celeb duets=Grammy? Don't think both Coldplay and Radiohead will get a nod, but they certainly deserve it. Ne-Yo’s an interesting possibility, a long shot.
Beer:  Here are my Top Five, but I reserve the right to change my mind in the coming weeks. 1) Coldplay, 2) Alicia Keys, 3) Plant-Krauss, 4) Eagles, 5) Jack Johnson, with Duffy a close #6.
Trakin: I'm gonna stick with Lil Wayne... the Grammys trying to be hip. And I'm gonna disagree with you on Duffy. I think she sneaks in, but I'm down with you on Coldplay, Keys and Krauss/Plant...
Beer:  Duffy could well knock out either the Eagles or Jack. OK, let's move to Best New Artist, always the most controversial of categories.
Trakin:  Big question here is, will either Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus make it in this field?
Beer:  I say no, but I don't rule out Jonas sneaking in.
Trakin:  They've been doing all the right Recording Academy benefits, like that concert for City of Hope. Could be Grammy wants to be tween-friendly.
Beer:  Doubt it. I 'll take Duffy, Leona and Colbie Caillat as locks.
Trakin: Agree with you on Duffy and Leona Lewis, but Jennifer Hudson could sneak in, too. Only rock band I can think of is Vampire Weekend. Maybe TV on the Radio. They're critical faves, with a sales breakthrough.
Beer:  I still think it's too late for Jennifer, kinda like Colbie, who was breaking at Grammy nom time last year and rolled into this year. It also makes me cautious about Adele, who is exploding as we speak. I agree on Vampire and pick them as my fourth.
Trakin:  Estelle’s another long-shot. I like "American Boy" in the Record/Song category.
Beer:  My contenders for the last slot include Adele, Estelle, Katy Perry (girls are everywhere), Jordin Sparks, MGMT and the Airborne Toxic Event
Trakin:  Ting Tings seem to have some support, M.I.A., too.
Beer:  Also, I forgot Secondhand Serenade, who is doing well with his second album and is a contender in the come-to-prominence part of the category.
Trakin:  There can always be a sleeper in this category, like last year's Ledisi, who came out of nowhere. My Top Five is: Leona Lewis, Duffy, Vampire Weekend, Katy Perry, Jonas Bros.
Beer I'll take Duffy, Leona, Colbie, Vampire and Estelle or Adele (since they rhyme, they only get one slot). Remember that Colbie is the biggest seller by far, the first Internet-to-mass appeal winner and has ties to the Grammy family. For Song, I like Coldplay's “Viva,” Leona's “Bleeding” and Duffy's “Mercy.”
Trakin:  Had no idea Leona was bleeding, but I am in total agreement with those three. I like Estelle's “American Boy” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar” a lot, too. And Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" could be a dark horse, no?
Beer:  The last slot for me is between him, a Rihanna song and Chris Brown's “Forever.”
Trakin:  Rihanna’s “Disturbia,” right.  How about OneRepublic's "Apologize"?
Beer:  Definitely a goodie, but I just don't think it makes it in the big category.... minor categories for sure
Trakin:  "I Kissed a Girl"?  Or too much of a novelty...?
Beer:  I think Katie gets edged into the minor categories as well, but one cannot rule it out.
Trakin:  Give me your final winners in Album, Best New Artist, Song...
Beer:  Coldplay, Duffy and “Viva la Vida.”
Trakin:  I'll go with Coldplay, Leona Lewis and "Bleeding Love," but I like “Mercy.” Think it’s got a good shot.
Beer: Me, too. That's it for now, reader(s), hit us and tell us what you think at [email protected].

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ON THE COVER:
MO OSTIN
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It's the one you didn't see coming.
RAID AT MAR-A-LAGO
"Who took my passports?"
HITS' 36TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
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