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GREIN ON GRAMMYS: 2016 SCORECARD
The Grammy Whisperer Looks Back at the 2015 Grammys

I was pleased to get each of the "Big Four" awards right. The toughest category there was Album of the Year. A lot of people were talking up Kendrick Lamar or Alabama Shakes, but I stayed with Taylor Swift, which paid off.

In the 30 other categories I discussed, I got 21 right and nine wrong. Let's run through the ones I got wrong. In some of those cases, the wins were genuine upsets. In others, I just muffed it.

Best Pop Solo Performance:
 I went with The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face." The winner was Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud." I don't really regret this one. Sure, I knew "Thinking Out Loud" would win for Song of the Year, but The Weeknd's vocal performance is amazing. (Maybe the voters thought his vocal inflections were too derivative of Michael Jackson's style.)

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
 I went with Bob Dylan's Shadows in the Night. The winner was Tony Bennett's The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern (a collabo with jazz pianist Bill Charlap.) This was probably a bad call. This was Bennett's 13th win in the category. It's always safer to predict that he'll win than to forecast that he'll lose. But I thought the genre-crossing aspect of a rock legend tipping his hat to Frank Sinatra would appeal to more voters. (It's not that voters are adverse to the idea of a tribute album to Sinatra: An album titled Perfectly Frank took the 1992 award in this category. The artist? Tony Bennett.)

Best Metal Performance:
 I went with Slipknot's "Custer." The winner was Ghost's "Cirice." This was a genuine upset. Slipknot had won previously in the category. (Grammy voters are creatures of habit.) And Slipknot's album was nominated for Best Rock Album, which seemed to give it the inside track here.

Best Rock Album: I went with James Bay's Chaos and the Calm. The winner was Muse's Drones. This may have been a bum call. Muse's album reached #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. And Muse had previously won in this category. (What was I just saying about how Grammy voters are creatures of habit?) What can I say? Bay's album got rave reviews.

Best Traditional R&B Performance: I went with Tyrese's "Shame." The winner was Lalah Hathaway's "Little Ghetto Boy." This was easily my worst call of the year. Lalah Hathaway was covering a song which had been recorded by her father, the late, great Donny Hathaway.  That has an emotional tug that far exceeds the significance of the fact that Tyrese landed his first #1 album last year.

Best R&B Song: I went with "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)." The winner was "Really Love." The Weeknd's "Earned It" was a giant crossover hit and was nominated for both an Oscar and a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Still, "Really Love" by D'Angelo and The Vanguard was nominated for Record of the Year, which instantly elevated its stature with Grammy voters. (Without that nomination, the outcome here might well have been different.)

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: I went with "Glory" by Common and John Legend. The winner was "These Walls" by Kendrick Lamar featuring Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat. I had an inkling, which I expressed, that Lamar might well sweep the rap categories. But most winners in this category over the years have had well-known artists both as rappers and singers. Lamar's featured artists aren't yet that established. I was getting a little too clever for my own good. I should have just predicted a Lamar sweep.

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: I went with Fifty Shades of Grey. The winner was Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. This was a genuine surprise. I was far more worried about my runner-up choice, Empire: Season 1, because that's such a hot, buzzy TV show. Two tracks from the Campbell soundtrack won Grammys in the country field last year, so I figured voters had already conveyed their affection for him and for this project. Quite clearly, they weren't done expressing their affection.

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: I went with Dave Cobb. The winner was Jeff Bhasker. Cobb produced the winner for Best Americana Album (Jason Isbell's Something More Than Free) and co-produced the winner for Best Country Album (Chris Stapleton's Traveller). Even so, he lost to Bhasker, whose credits included co-producing a little something called "Uptown Funk!" (I figured the Record of the Year award would duly recognize him for that.)    

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