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Grammy Preview: Big Four Awards Up for Grabs; Check Out Our Picks!

Taylor Swift is up for one of the big four awards, Album of the Year, for her album Red.

Taylor Swift is up for one of the big four awards, Album of the Year, for her album Red.

The big four Grammy Awards, “Album of the Year,” “Record of the Year,” “Song of the Year” and “Best New Artist” are up for grabs tonight (Jan. 26) when the music industry meets for its most prestigious pat on the back. Expect surprises and new names when the envelopes are opened.

The prestigious “Album of the Year” category contain the biggest eyebrow raisers, with four fresh names: Sara Bereilles, Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

They are joined by veteran winner Taylor Swift for her album Red.1

“Record of the Year” nominees also were cut from different cloth. They include Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams for “Get Lucky;” Imagine Dragons for “Radioactive;” Lorde for “Royals,” Bruno Mars for “Locked Out of Heaven” and Robin Thicke for his controversial song “Blurred Lines.”

Because Grammy voters, who must belong to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) tend to be older, the awards have traditionally skewed to older artists.


Click Here to Go to the Grammy Awards Live Stream; Watch all the Action!


But this year there is enough new talent to finally blunt some of that criticism. Indeed, a number of industry heavyweights missed the cut for the big four, including Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake, Eminem, Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake.

Jay-Z, however, has been nominated in the rap album category for his opus Magna Carta… Holy Grail2. Timberlake also won a nod for Best Pop Solo Album for The 20/20 Experience: The Complete Experience3.

The nominations were unveiled Friday (Dec. 6) at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Tonight’s show will reveal the winners. The 56th Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 26.

TheImproper will live stream the festivities so check back later. Until then, below are the major nominees, check out our handicapping and follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest Grammy updates.


2014 Grammy Nominees, Major Categories

Guide: ♣ Our Pick; ♥ Favorite; ♦ Front Runner; ♠ Dark Horse


ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Sara Bareilles – The Blessed Unrest
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories ♠
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist ♣ ♥ ♦
Taylor Swift – Red

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive” ♠
Lorde – “Royals” ♣
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams & T.I. – “Blurred Lines” ♥ ♦

SONG OF THE YEAR
Pink feat. Nate Reuss – “Just Give Me a Reason”
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven” ♠
Katy Perry – “Roar”
Lorde – “Royals” ♣ ♥
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – “Same Love” ♦

BEST NEW ARTIST
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar ♠
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ♣ ♥ ♦
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

POP MUSIC

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Lana Del Rey – Paradise ♠
Lorde – Pure Heroine ♣
Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines ♦
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience ♥

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Sara Bareilles – “Brave”
Lorde – “Royals” ♥ ♣
Bruno Mars – “When I Was Your Man” ♠
Katy Perry – “Roar”
Justin Timberlake “Mirrors” ♦

BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
Tony Bennett & Various Artist – Viva Duets ♥
Michael Buble – To Be Loved ♣ ♦
Gloria Estefan – The Standards
Cee Lo Green – Cee Lo’s Magic Moment
Dionne Warwick – Now ♠

BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky” ♠
Pink feat. Nate Reuss – “Just Give Me a Reason”
Rihanna feat. Mikky Eiko – “Stay”
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams & T.I. – “Blurred Lines” ♣ ♥
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z – “Suit & Tie” ♦

ROCK MUSIC

BEST ROCK ALBUM
Black Sabbath – 13
David Bowie – The Next Day ♣
Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull ♦
Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day
Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork ♥
Neil Young With Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill ♠

BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE
Alabama Shakes – “Always Alright”
David Bowie – “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” ♣
Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive” ♦
Led Zeppelin – “Kashmir” ♥
Queens of the Stone Age – “My God is the Sun”
Jack White – “I’m Shakin’” ♠

BEST ROCK SONG
Gary Clark Jr – “Ain’t Messin Round”
Paul McCartney – “Cut Me Some Slack” ♥
The Rolling Stones – “Doom and Gloom” ♣ ♦
Black Sabbath – “God Is Dead?”
Muse – “Panic Station” ♠

COUNTRY MUSIC

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Jason Aldean – Night Train
Tim McGraw – Two Lanes of Freedom ♠
Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer, Different Park
Blake Shelton – Based on a True Story
Taylor Swift – Red ♣ ♥ ♦

BEST COUNTRY SONG
Taylor Swift – “Begin Again” ♥ ♦
Lee Brice – “I Drive Your Truck” ♠
Miranda Lambert – “Mama’s Broken Heart” ♣
Kacey Musgraves – “Merry Go Round”
Blake Shelton – “Mine Would Be You”

BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE
Lee Price – “I Drive Your Truck” ♠

Hunter Hayes – “I Want Crazy” ♣
Miranda Lambert – “Mama’s Broken Heart” ♥ ♦
Darius Rucker – “Wagon Wheel”
Blake Shelton – “Mine Would Be You”

BEST COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
The Civil Wars – From This Valley ♣
Kelly Clarkson feat. Vince Gill – “Don’t Rush” ♥
Little Big Town – “Your Side of the Bed”
Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban – “Highway Don’t Care” ♦
Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton – “You Can’t Make Old Friends” ♠

R&B MUSIC

BEST R&B ALBUM
Faith Evans – R&B Divas
Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire ♣ ♥
John Legend – Love in the Future ♦
Chrisette Michele – Better ♠
TGT – Three Kings

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
Tamar Braxton – Love and War
Fantasia – Side Effects of You ♠
Salaam Remi – One: In the Chamber
Rihanna – Unapologetic ♣ ♥ ♦
Mack Wilds – New York: A Love Story

BEST R&B PERFORMANCE
Tamar Braxton – “Love and War” ♠
Anthony Hamilton – “Best of Me” ♣ ♥
Hiatus Kaiyote feat. Q-Tip – “Nakamarra”
Miguel feat. Kendrick Lamar – “How Many Drinks?” ♦
Snark Puppy with Lalah Hathaway – “Something”

BEST R&B SONG
Anthony Hamilton – “Best of Me” ♠
Tamar Braxton – “Love and War”
PJ Morton feat. Stevie Wonder – “Only One”
Justin Timberlake – “Pusher Love Girl” ♣ ♦
Fantasia feat. Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliot – “Without Me” ♥

HIP-HOP RAP MUSIC

BEST RAP ALBUM
Drake – Nothing Was the Same
Jay Z – Magna Carta… Holy Grail ♣
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist ♥ ♦
Kanye West – Yeezus ♠

BEST RAP SONG
ASAP Rocky feat. Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar – “F***in’ Problems”
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail” ♥ ♦
Kanye West – “New Slaves” ♠
Drake – “Started From the Bottom”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Thrift Shop” ♣

BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
Drake – “Started From the Bottom”
Eminem – “Berzerk” ♣
Jay Z – “Tom Ford” ♠
Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz – “Thrift Shop” ♥ ♦

BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
J. Cole feat Miguel – “Power Trip”
Jay Z feat. Beyonce – “Part II (On the Run)” ♥ ♦
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail” ♠
Kendrick Lamar feat. Mary J. Blige – “Now or Never” ♣
Wiz Khalifa feat. The Weeknd – “Remember You”

DANCE MUSIC

BEST DANCE RECORDING
Duke Dumont feat. AME & MNEK – “Need U”
Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing” ♣ ♥
Kaskade – “Atmosphere” ♠
Armin Van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie – “This Is What It Feels Like”
Zedd feat. Foxes – “Clarity”

BEST DANCE ALBUM
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories ♣ ♥ ♦
Disclosure – Settle
Calvin Harris – 18 Months
Kaskade – Atmosphere
Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun ♠

SOUNDTRACKS

BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Coldplay – “Atlas” from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ♣ ♦
Jessie J – “Silver Lining” from Silver Linings Playbook
Adele – “Skyfall” from Skyfall ♥
Colbie Caillat feat. Gavin DeGraw – “We Both Know” from Safe Haven
Lana Del Rey – “Young and Beautiful” from The Great Gatsby ♠
Regina Spektor – “You’ve Got Time” from Orange Is the New Black

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