Archive for the ‘bruno mars’ Tag

58th Grammy Awards Nominations Predictions   Leave a comment

On December 7, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will be unveiling the nominees for the 58th Grammy Awards. The Grammy, currently considered as the top award in music, will be given in more than 70 different categories for the music eligibility period of October 1, 2014 up to September 30, 2015. I think Taylor Swift and The Weeknd will lead this year’s nominees. Here are my nominee predictions in 31 different categories.

GENERAL FIELD:

01 AOTY

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
“Sonic Highways” (Foo Fighters)
“To Pimp A Butterfly” (Kendrick Lamar)
“Traveller” (Chris Stapleton)
“1989” (Taylor Swift)
“Beauty Behind the Madness” (The Weeknd)

NEXT IN LINE: “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” (Florence + the Machine), “Sound and Color” (Alabama Shakes), “Black Messiah” (D’Angelo and the Vanguard), “Uptown Special” (Mark Ronson)

02 ROTY

RECORD OF THE YEAR:
“See You Again” (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth)
“Uptown Funk” (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)
“Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)
“Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)
“Can’t Feel My Face” (The Weeknd)

NEXT IN LINE: “Love Me Like You Do” (Ellie Goulding), “Lean On” (Major Lazer and DJ Snake), “FourFiveSeconds” (Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney), “Shut Up and Dance” (Walk the Moon)

03 SOTY

SONG OF THE YEAR:
“Girl Crush” (Little Big Town)
“Fight Song” (Rachel Platten)
“Uptown Funk” (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)
“Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)
“Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)

NEXT IN LINE: “Alright” (Kendrick Lamar), “Can’t Feel My Face” (The Weeknd),”See You Again” (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth), “Glory” (John Legend and Common)

04 BNA

BEST NEW ARTIST:
Leon Bridges
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly
Meghan Trainor
Walk the Moon

NEXT IN LINE: Hozier, Fetty Wap, CHVRCHES, FKA Twigs

POP FIELD:

05 Pop Solo

POP SOLO PERFORMANCE:
Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?”
Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do”
Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift, “Black Space”
The Weeknd,”Can’t Feel My Face”

NEXT IN LINE: Ariana Grande, “One Last Time”, Jason Derulo, “Want To Want Me”, Meghan Trainor, “Lips Are Movin”, Pharrell Williams, “Freedom”, Tori Kelly, “Should’ve Been Us”, Rachel Platten, “Fight Song”, Sia, “Alive”

06 Pop Group Collab

POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE:
Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, “See You Again”
Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds”
Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”
Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You”

NEXT IN LINE: Maroon 5, “Sugar”, Walk the Moon, “Shut Up And Dance (Acoustic)”, Sam Smith featuring John Legend, “Lay Me Down”, Major Lazer, DJ Snake featuring MO, “Lean On”, Ariana Grande featuring The Weeknd, “Love Me Harder”, Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink, “Worth It”

07 Pop Album

POP VOCAL ALBUM:
Jason Derulo, “Everything is 4”
Florence and The Machine, “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”
Mark Ronson, “Uptown Special”
Taylor Swift, “1989”
Meghan Trainor, “Title”

NEXT IN LINE: Carly Rae Jepsen, “E•MO•TION”, Kelly Clarkson, “Piece By Piece”, Lana Del Rey, “Honeymoon”, Tori Kelly, “Unbreakable Smile”

DANCE/ELECTRONICA FIELD:

08 Dance Recording

DANCE RECORDING:
Alesso featuring Tove Lo, “Heroes (We Could Be)”
The Chemical Brothers, “Go”
Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne, “Real Love”
Disclosure, “Bang That”
Skrillex & Diplo featuring Justin Bieber, “Where Are U Now”

NEXT IN LINE: Calvin Harris ft. John Newman, “Blame”, Royksopp & Robyn, “Monument”, Valentino Khan, “Deep Down Low”, Zedd featuring John Bellion, “Beautiful Now”

09 Electronic Album

DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM:
The Chemical Brothers, “Born In the Echoes”
Disclosure, “Caracal”
Jamie xx, “In Colour”
Royskopp, “The Inevitable End”
Skrillex & Diplo, “Skrillex and Diplo Present
Jack U”

NEXT IN LINE: Galantis, “Pharmacy”, Hot Chip, “Why Make Sense?”, Zedd, “True Colors”, Kaskade, “Automatic”

ROCK AND ALTERNATIVE FIELD:

10 Rock Performance

ROCK PERFORMANCE:
Ryan Adams, “Bad Blood”
Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”
Foo Fighters, “Something From Nothing”
Hozier, “Someone New”
Mumford & Sons, “Believe”

NEXT IN LINE: Fall Out Boy, “Uma Thurman”, Muse, “Mercy”, Tame Impala, “Let It Happen”, Imagine Dragons, “I Bet My Life”, AC/DC, “Rock or Bust”

11 Rock Song

ROCK SONG:
Alabama Shakes, “Don’t Wanna Fight”
James Bay, “Hold Back the River”
Foo Fighters, “Something From Nothing”
Mumford & Sons, “Believe”
Muse, “Mercy”

NEXT IN LINE: Hozier, “Someone New”, Fall Out Boy, “Uma Thurman”, Florence and The Machine, “What Kind Of Man”, Tame Impala, “Let It Happen”

12 Rock Album

ROCK ALBUM:
Ryan Adams, “1989”
Foo Fighters, “Sonic Highways”
Hozier, “Hozier”
Imagine Dragons, “smoke + Mirrors”
Mumford & Sons, “Wilder Mind”

NEXT IN LINE: Muse, “Drones”, AC/DC, “Rock or Bust”, James Bay, “Chaos and the Calm”, Twenty One Pilots, “Bluryface”

13 Alternative Album

ALTERNATIVE ALBUM:
Alabama Shakes, “Sound & Color”
Björk, “Vulnicura”
Tame Impala, “Currents”
Sufjan Stevens, “Carrie & Lowell”
Wilco, “Star Wars”

NEXT IN LINE: FKA Twigs, “M3LL155X”, Beach House, “Depression Cherry”, Modest Mouse, “Strangers To Ourselves”, Father John Misty, “I Love You, Honeybear”

R&B FIELD:

14 RNB Performance

R&B PERFORMANCE:
Beyonce, “7/11”
D’Angelo and the Vanguard, “Really Love”
Miguel, “Coffee”
Rihanna, “Bitch Better Have My Money”
The Weeknd, “Earned It”

NEXT IN LINE: Omarion featuring Chris Brownand Jhene Aiko, “Post to Be”, Ciara, “I Bet”, Drake featuring PartyNextDoor, “Wednesday Night Interlude, Mark Ronson feat. Keyone Star, “I Can’t Lose”

15 Traditional RNB

TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE:
Leon Bridges, “Coming Home”
D’Angelo and the Vanguard, “Ain’t That Easy”
Lalah Hathaway, “Little Ghetto Boy”
Jill Scott, “Back Together”
Tyrese, “Shame”

NEXT IN LINE: Jazmine Sullivan, “Let it Burn”, Gary Clark Jr., “Our Love”, Babyface, “We’ve Got Love”, Charlie Wilson, “My Favorite Part of You”

16 RNB Song

R&B SONG:
D’Angelo and the Vanguard, “Really Love”
Empire Cast featuring Estelle & Jussie Smollett, “Conqueror”
Omarion feat. Jhene Aiko & Chris Brown, “Post to Be”
Tyrese, “Shame”
The Weeknd, “Earned It”

NEXT IN LINE: Rihanna, “Bitch Better Have My Money”, Leon Bridges, “Coming Home”, Babyface, “We’ve Got Love”

17 RNB Album

R&B ALBUM:
Mary J. Blige, “The London Sessions”
Leon Bridges, “Coming Home”
D’Angelo and the Vanguard, “Black Messiah”
Jill Scott, “Woman”
Jazmine Sullivan, “Reality Show”

NEXT IN LINE: Tyrese, “Black Rose”, Tamia, “Love Life”, Charlie Wilson, “Forever Charlie”, Gary Clark Jr., “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim”

18 Urban Contemporary

URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM:
Ciara, “Jackie”
The Internet, “Ego Death”
Miguel, “Wildheart”
The Weeknd, “Beauty Behind the Madness”
Tinashe, “Aquarius”

NEXT IN LINE: Chris Brown and Tyga, “Fan of a Fan: The Album”, Bilal, “In Another Life”, Lianne La Havas, “Blood”, Snoop Dogg, “Bush”

RAP FIELD:

19 Rap Solo

RAP PERFORMANCE:
Drake, “Energy”
Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen”
J. Cole, “Apparently”
Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, & Paul McCartney, “All Day”

NEXT IN LINE: Nicki Minaj feat. Drake & Lil Wayne, “Truffle Butter”, Eminem, “Phenomenal”, Big Sean featuring Drake, Kanye West, “Blessings”, Rae Sremmurd, “No Type”

20 Rap Sung Collab

RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION:
ASAP Rocky featuring Rod Stewart, Miguel and Mark Ronson, “Everyday”
Big Sean featuring Kanye West & John Legend, “One Man Can Change the World”
Common and John Legend, “Glory”
Kendrick Lamar featuring Bilal, Anna Wise, & Thundercat, “These Walls”
Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne, & Chris Brown, “Only”

NEXT IN LINE: Jidenna featuring Roman GianArthur, “Classic Man”, Wale featuring Usher, “The Matrimony”, Meek Mill ft. Chris Brown & Nicki Minaj, “All Eyes On You”, Chris Brown & Tyga , “Ayo”

21 Rap Song

RAP SONG:
Common and John Legend, “Glory”
Drake, “Energy”
Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
Nicki Minaj featuring Beyonce, “Feeling Myself”
Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom, & Paul McCartney, “All That”

NEXT IN LINE: Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen”, J.Cole, “Apparently”, Wale featuring Usher, “The Matrimony”, Big Sean featuring E-40, “I Don’t Fuck With You”

22 Rap Album

RAP ALBUM:
Drake, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”
Dr. Dre, “Compton”
J.Cole, “2014 Forest Hills Drive”
Kendrick Lamar, “To Pimp a Butterfly”
Nicki Minaj, “The Pinkprint”

NEXT IN LINE: Big Sean, “Dark Sky Paradise”, Fetty Wap, “Fetty Wap”, Drake & Future, “What A Time to be Alive”, A$AP Rocky, “At.Long.Last.A $AP”

COUNTRY FIELD:

23 Country Solo

COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE:
Sam Hunt, “Take Your Time”
Kacey Musgraves,”Dime Store Cowgirl”
Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”
Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break”
Keith Urban,”John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″

NEXT IN LINE: Luke Bryan, “Strip It Down”, Eric Church, “Talladega”, Blake Shelton, “Sangria”

24 Country Group Collab

COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE:
Don Henley featuring Dolly Parton, “When I Stop Dreaming”
Little Big Town, “Girl Crush”
Kacey Musgraves featuring Willie Nelson, “Are You Sure”
Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight”
Zac Brown Band, “Homegrown”

NEXT IN LINE: Luke Bryan featuring Karen Fairchild, “Home Alone Tonight”, Lady Antebellum, “Long Stretch of Love”, Florida George Line, “Sun Daze”

25 Country Song

COUNTRY SONG:
Luke Bryan, “Strip It Down”
Sam Hunt, “Take Your Time”
Little Big Town, “Girl Crush”
Kacey Musgraves,”Dime Store Cowgirl”
Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”

NEXT IN LINE: Zac Brown Band, “Homegrown”, Eric Church, “Talladega”, Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break”, Blake Shelton, “Sangria”

26 Country Album

COUNTRY ALBUM:
Sam Hunt, “Montevallo”
Little Big Town, “Painkiller”
Kacey Musgraves, “Pageant Material”
Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”
Zac Brown Band, “Jekyll + Hide”

NEXT IN LINE: Luke Bryan, “Kill the Lights”, Jason Aldean, “Old Boots New Dirt”, Garth Brooks, “Man Against Machine”, Ashley Monroe, “The Blade”

MUSIC VIDEO/FILM FIELD:

27 Soundtrack

SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA:
Common and John Legend, “Glory” (from Selma)
Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do” (from 50 Shades of Grey)
Lady Gaga, “Til It Happens to You” (from The Hunting Ground)
The Weeknd, “Earned It” (from 50 Shades of Grey)
Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, “See You Again”(from Furious 7)

NEXT IN LINE: Sam Smith, “The Writing’s on the Wall” (from Spectre), Jessie J, “Flashlight” (from Pitch Perfech 2), Coldplay, “Miracles” (from Unbroken), Pink, “Today’s the Day” (from Ellen), Empire Cast,”No Apologies” (from Empire)

28 Soundtrack Album

COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK ALBUM:
50 Shades of Grey
Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1
Into the Woods
Music from Love & Mercy
Pitch Perfect 2

NEXT IN LINE: Home, Southpaw, Furious 7, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1, Beyond the Lights

29 Score Album

SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA:
Antman
Birdman
Jurassic World
Inside Out
Interstellar

NEXT IN LINE: Mad Max, Cinderella, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Fury

MUSIC VIDEO/FILM FIELD:

30 Music Video

MUSIC VIDEO:
Big Sean featuring Kanye West & John Legend, “One Man Can Change the World”
Kendrick Lamar, “Alright”
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
Sia, “Elastic Heart”
Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood”

31 Movie Film

MUSIC FILM:
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, “Cheek to Cheek”
Foo Fighters, “Sonic Highways”
Ed Sheeran, “Live at Wembley Stadium”
James Taylor, “There We Were: The Recording Of James Taylor’s “Before This World””
Neil Young, “The Monsanto Years”

NEXT IN LINE: Miley Cyrus, “Bangerz”, Nicki Minaj, “YMCMB & Beats By Dre Presents: The Pinkprint Movie”, Annie Lennox, “Nostalgia: An Evening With Annie Lennox”

Talk to me about your predictions by leaving a comment below or tweeting me: @nikowl

Advertisements

58th Grammy Awards Nominations Predictions: October 2015   Leave a comment

The Grammys’ eligibility period has already ended last September 30, which means no Frank Ocean, Kanye, and Adele for this year. But as we wait for the nomination announcement this December (though by now, expect Taylor Swift to dominate), let’s take a look at the potential top contenders in the Big 4 General categories with names ranging from Ed Sheeran to Sam Hunt and soundtracks from Selma to Furious Seven.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

While we’re not sure yet if the Grammys will easily reward Taylor Swift with an AOTY win #2 for 1989, chances are, it’s a lock for a nomination in this category already. Being the critical and commercial darling of the past eligibility period, there’s no doubt that the biggest story in music for the past year is Taylor’s domination and she’ll cap it with an AOTY nomination. Then there’s the breakout star The Weeknd (I know he’s been in the industry for a few years already), but the past year has been his biggest break churning out hits one after the other, so expect Beauty Behind the Madness to be in the conversation as well. Foo Fighters came close in 2012 sweeping all their nominations except for AOTY (losing to another juggernaut, Adele’s 21), so Sonic Highways might be their redemption bid. Despite getting some buzz the past few years, alternative genre still hasn’t followed up 2010 winner The Suburbs a representative here. This year, Sound & Color from Alabama Shakes seems like their strongest bid. Mark Ronson can clearly sweep the Big 3 category too, especially if the Academy falls in love with him so much that a Uptown Special nod is still possible.

Then there’s also comebacking artist D’Angelo, whose album Black Messiah, his first in 14 years, was critically well received, and if there’s one thing the Grammys love, it’s none other than a good ole comeback. While her breakout year five years ago didn’t translate to much Grammys, it’s never too late for Florence + the Machine to nab a nod in the top category with their latest release How Big Blue, How Blue, How Beautiful. Then what is an AOTY lineup without a country representative? Kacey Musgraves’ Pageant Material fits the bill even if there’s a group of country acts that can easily replace it too. Another act who enjoyed a big year is Kendrick Lamar which makes me feel confident about his nomination for To Pimp A Butterfly. Lastly, since this is the Grammys we’re talking about (basically the same group who nominated two versions of “How Do I Live” against each other in the same year), then maybe we can see a Ryan Adams version of 1989 competing against Taylor Swift’s version. That would certainly provide more coverage to their group (and it’s not as if Adams isn’t deserving to be nominated).

Current predictions:
“1989” (Taylor Swift)
“Beauty Behind the Madness” (The Weeknd)
“Black Messiah” (D’Angelo)
“Sonic Highways” (Foo Fighters)
“To Pimp a Butterfly” (Kendrick Lamar)

RECORD OF THE YEAR

We’re certain a Taylor Swift is gonna figure in this race, so it depends on what her team will submit, but it seems like “Blank Space” is the logical choice — it’s a huge hit that was well received by the critics. This category loves the Hot 100 #1 finishers, so aside from Swift, expect one to two more contenders from top charting hits like “Uptown Funk” from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, “See You Again” from Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, and The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” to figure in this race. Oh, and Justin Bieber’s sorta comeback can be rewarded as well with a nod for “Where Are U Now” (instead of his other hitWhat Do U Mean) simply because of the Skrillex and Diplo recognition.

The other collaboration that I see the Academy going for is the triumvirate of Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney with “FourFiveSeconds” especially with the name involved (and the love it received when they performed it at the Grammys earlier this year). Ed Sheeran is a General Field favorite figuring in the last three years with SOTY, BNA, and AOTY nominations respectively. He has yet to be nominated for Record of the Year, but “Thinking Out Loud” seems like a good bet to break in here. Two other crossover hits of the previous year were Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance“, so they’re certainly in the race too. For the random last spot, I’m leaning to Major Lazer’s “Lean On” as it was a huge hit as well as the FIFA World Cup theme song for 2017. Plus I won’t be surprised if an electronic song finally breaks it to the main categories.

Current predictions:
“Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)
“Can’t Feel My Face” (The Weeknd)
“Lean On” (Major Lazer)
“Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)
“Uptown Funk” (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)

SONG OF THE YEAR

Song of the Year has a great correlation with Record of the Year so chances are, the same songs vying for that category can also figure out here such as Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space“, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud“, and Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars collaboration “Uptown Funk.” There isn’t any assurance of which The Weeknd song will be submitted here, but anything between “Can’t Feel My Face”, “Earned It“, or my predicted “The Hills” can be nominated here. For now, let’s call it as The Weeknd spot. If the Academy considers Kendrick Lamar to be a big factor in this race, then we won’t be surprised if “Alright” finds its way into the top five.

Oscar winning classics have been a mainstay in this category too, so this bodes well for current winner “Glory” from John Legend and Common. Working for it is that it’s more than just an Oscar winning song, as it’s been a statement and a powerful one at that. Working against it is that lately, Grammy isn’t much open to Oscar winning tunes in the General Field just like Adele’s “Skyfall” or the gigantic hit “Let It Go” from last year. That said, there’s the other hit soundtrack in contention: “See You Againwhich is also one of the year’s biggest hits. From classics such as Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” to fluffs such as Katy Perry’s “Roar“, Song of the Year has also been the home of inspirational anthems. This year, Rachel Platten can be in the conversation for her uplifting “The Fight Song” even if the record was more low-key than those that got nominated here. As for that country representative, Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” is viable but we expect “Girl Fight” from Little Big Town to be the bigger contender.

Current predictions:
“Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)
“Girl Crush” (Little Big Town)
“The Hills” (The Weeknd)
“See You Again” (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth)
“Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)

Image courtesy of: billboard.com

BEST NEW ARTIST

Always the trickiest to predict, with all the eligibility rules changing every now and then, to say that Best New Artist predictions is a daunting task can be considered as an understatement. With his great chart performance the past year, one can count Fetty Wap a contender this year, regardless of how we personally feel about him. This is the same group that nominated Iggy Azalea last year, so there are literally no excuses.  Sure girl groups are rare, but the chances of them getting nominated is rarer (Haim got in last year but we have to go back to 1998 when Dixie Chicks got in). Maybe Fifth Harmony can join the elusive list? The country contingent is really strong in this particular category. In the last nine years, we have Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, The Band Perry, Hunter Hayes, Kacey Musgraves, and Brandy Clark. The name to be remembered this year is Sam Hunt. Leon Bridges meanwhile reminds me of that new artist whom the Academy really just roots for to happen. It also doesn’t hurt that his song “Coming Home” achieved some sort of a viral status. Swedish singer Tove Lo is also picking up traction, so don’t be surprised if you hear her name come nomination morning.

It’s also hard to go against the Academy’s liking for up and coming young female singer/songwriters especially in a year as wide as this one so expect Tori Kelly figuring in this race. English musician James Bay can also get in just like the other English James — Blake that is — in 2013. Then there’s also that new artist who gets in for that one huge hit they have, which bodes well for Walk the Moon‘s chances. However, it can also be a case of “A Thousand Miles” or “Call Me Maybe” picking up ROTY and/or SOTY nods but the artist is nowhere to found in the BNA category. Stitches is peaking at the right time, so it will help Shawn Mendes‘ chances even though he has to overcome the aversion of this category to young stars (well unless you’re as big as Justin Bieber circa 2010). Lastly, there’s always a reserved slot for that artist who has already been nominated earlier but surprisingly wasn’t eligible for this category because of the Academy’s weird rules. This caused Ed Sheeran’s nominated two years ago, and this year’s recipient is likely last year’s ROTY & SOTY nominee Meghan Trainor or Take Me to Church singer Hozier. 

Current predictions:
Leon Bridges
Fetty Wap
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly
Meghan Trainor

Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl

MTV Video Music Awards 2013 Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards is just right around the corner, and this one is shaping up to be a good one for MTV’s biggest night. Now celebrating it’s 30th year of the awards ceremonies, appearances and performances by the likes of Katy Perry, One Direction, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, and Robin Thicke to name a few. Also, aside from leading up the nominations this year, Justin Timberlake is this year’s recipient of the Video Vanguard award, and a rumored N*SYNC reunion performance is in the books this year. I know you’re excited for Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick. Anyway, here are my predictions on the major categories on who will end up with moonmen on Sunday’s ceremony:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

* Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”
* Robin Thicke, TI, Pharell, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: Between the Video Vanguard award, the rumored N*SYNC performance, and his huge comeback this year, MTV is setting this up to be JT’s big night, and it won’t be complete if he doesn’t end up with the highest honor for that night. Plus, he still hasn’t won here yet, and it’s a great video to represent him here.
RUNNER UP: Taylor Swift. This is still a fan-voted format and Taylor is campaigning the hell for a win this year. Besides, the last six winners here are solo female popstars and Swift fits that bill.
MY CHOICE:  JT. Probably the one that stands out the most, thought that’s not saying a lot.

BEST MALE VIDEO

* Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pool (Drank)”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Ed Sheeran, “Lego House”
* Robin Thicke, TI, Pharell, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: JT easily. It will be one of those sweep wins for his big night. This win will also put him on a tie with Eminem as the most rewarded act in the history of this category with three wins apiece.
RUNNER UP: 
Robin Thicke. Turning out to be the song of the year by far, they can easily throw him a bone here.
MY CHOICE:  
Ed Sheeran. Let’s throw him a vote come on guys. 🙂

 

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* Demi Lovato, “Heart Attack”
* Pink (featuring Nate Ruess), “Just Give Me A Reason”
* Rihanna (featuring Mikky Ecko), “Stay”
* Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”

WHO WILL WIN: Taylor Swift. It will probably be an easy win for Taylor as she’s sure to end up with a moonman on Sunday. The only scenario I see that lets her lose here is if she wins Video of the Year inside.
RUNNER UP: 
Miley Cyrus. This song is peaking at the right time, and her legion of fans will propel this to a win.
MY CHOICE:  
Rihanna. Probably the best video in this bunch. Simple and effective.

ARTIST TO WATCH

* Iggy Azalea, “Work”
* Austin Mahone “What About Love”
* Twenty One Pilots, “Holding Onto You”
* The Weeknd, “Wicked Games”
* Zedd (featuring Foxes), “Clarity”

WHO WILL WIN: Austin Mahone. Catering the left over conservative Bieber fanbase and opening for Taylor Swift can propel him to a win here.
RUNNER UP: 
Zedd. Clarity is the biggest hit in this group and he can benefit from that.
MY CHOICE:  
Maybe Zedd. But where’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis here? This would have been an easy win for them.

BEST POP VIDEO

* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* fun., “Carry On”
* Selana Gomez, “Come and Get It”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: Miley Cyrus. I think she has better chance here than in Female since her fans are the most active among this bunch unless…
RUNNER UP:
this is still part of the Timberlake sweep so he can easily take this one too.
MY CHOICE:  
fun I guess. I’m not a fan of most of the videos here.

BEST ROCK VIDEO

* 30 Seconds to Mars, “Up in the Air”
* Fall Out Boy, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”
* Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
* Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”
* Vampire Weekend, “Diane Young”

WHO WILL WIN: No idea, but the combo of recent rise to popdom and being the most recent here, I’m thinking Imagine Dragons.
RUNNER UP: 
Jared Leto is on the show as a presenter, so that’s one assured nominee who’ll show up so maybe 30 Seconds to Mars?
MY CHOICE:  
Vampire Weekend probably since they’re the ones I like the most in this group.

BEST HIPHOP VIDEO

* A$AP Rocky, “Fuckin’ Problems”
* J.Cole, “Power Trip”
* Drake, “Started From the Bottom”
* Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools”
* Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, “Can’t Hold Us”

WHO WILL WIN: As a result of their good breakout year and as the other most nominated act (aside from Justin that is), this is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to lose.
RUNNER UP: 
Probably Drake since he’s still 0 in terms of VMA wins.
MY CHOICE:  
Can’t Hold Us is one of my favorite jams this year.

BEST COLLABORATION VIDEO

* Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding, “I Need Your Love”
* Pink/Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me A Reason”
* Pitbull/Christina Aguilera, “Feel This Moment”
* Robin Thicke/Pharell/TI, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake/Jay Z, “Suit and Tie”

WHO WILL WIN: With the VMAs being held in Jay Z’s place this year, there’s no better way to give back to Jay than by giving him the moonman adding up to JT’s domination on Sunday, so I say Suit and Tie wins.
RUNNER UP: 
Blurred Lines since it’s the biggest hit in this line up.
MY CHOICE:  
I’d probably throw Pink and Nate a bone here and give them my vote.

BEST VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE

* Beyonce, “I Was Here”
* Kelly Clarkson, “People Like Us”
* Macklemore and Ryan Lewis/Mary Lambert, “Same Love”
* Miguel, “Candles in the Sun”
* Snoop Lion, “No Guns Allowed”

WHO WILL WIN: An easy win for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Plus, it talks about a hot topic that’s really rampant right now.
RUNNER UP: 
Beyonce just to make this more ridiculous as she wins for a live video. Oh and remember we’re in Brooklyn.
MY CHOICE:  
Same Love is the best song here and the only one deserving of a win.

blurred lines

BEST SONG OF THE SUMMER

* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”
* Selena Gomez, “Come and Get It”
* Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding, “I Need Your Love”
* One Direction, “Best Song Ever”
* Robin Thicke/Pharell/TI, “Blurred Lines”

WHO WILL WIN: Two words: BLURRED LINES.
RUNNER UP: 
Maybe Miley comes closest to Blurred Lines here. Though she’s far and away a distant runner up.
MY CHOICE:  
Daft Punk and VMA only happens once in a blue moon, so why not grab the chance to vote for it?

There you have it! Are you excited for the 30th VMAs? Don’t forget to watch the show on Sunday!

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

MTV Video Music Awards 2011   2 comments

This is a pretty late post, but since it’s raining and there seems to be the obligatory VMA review, I’ll dedicate a post to this year’s VMA. A for starters, this is a big improvement from last year’s snoozefest. While there are no hosts assigned for the night, they still managed to went overtime again. I still have this theory that the reason why Best Direction wasn’t given at the red carpet was because it was really supposed to be at the main show and will serve as Adele’s moment (which she deservingly won). However, due to time constraints, they decided to just skip it altogether. Screw you, MTV.

Also, Katy Perry won the much coveted Video of the Year, so for the fifth year in a row, a female artist has won the top award (Cue: Beyonce’s Run the World). Rihanna, Britney Spears, Beyonce, and Lady GaGa has won the same moonman for the last four ceremonies. As a sidebar, Madonna got hers on 1998, Lauryn Hill in 1999, Christina Aguilera in 2001, and Missy Elliott in 2003.

Moving on to the main event, I’ll just share a few thoughts here and there about the performances from last night. They ranged from excellent to good actually. Specifically, here’s my grade sheet for last Sunday’s VMAs.

Lady GaGa : You & I

I decided that I’ll grade this performance based on the start of her performance. I’ll voluntarily skip her opening monologue which, as seen from the audience, looks ridiculous as it can gets. GaGa tries so hard to maintain this creative, innovative persona but what she lacks during the monologue is the music. If that wasn’t GaGa doing that shitty man alter ego, I bet that person will be trashed instantly. But since it’s GaGa, she gets free pass. This isn’t even creative. This is bothering. As for her performance, no doubt that she really has the talent to pull it off. Her vocals is always on point, and she gets to have Queen’s Brian May as a special guest. Now, that is genius. Anyway, bottom line is, she could have done the song without that alter ego thing going on, and it would have been much better.

Grade: B

Jay Z and Kanye West : Otis

This isn’t one of my favorite songs from Watch the Thrones so I would have wanted another song to be performed. But, of course this is the current single. Even I couldn’t resist the star power that these two rap powerhouses exude so while this is in no way outstanding, this is also not disappointing.

Grade: B

Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Nayer : Give Me Everything

I don’t get why they were given a performance slot that night. This song is too old by the time they performed it. However, the song is still undeniably catchy. Everyone is still jamming in the crowd and even the people watching at home. This is a similar performance like what they did on The Voice. I’m bothered by how Ne-Yo is so hitting on that woman performer as if he’s so dying to f*ck her right after they went off stage. LOL.

Grade: C+

Adele : Someone Like You

Oh boy, hands down, the best performance of the night. Ballads are rarely performed during the VMAs especially since it’s one big party after all. If they work, they really do get to stand out (Christina Aguilera, Hurt (2006)), but if they don’t, they’ll be overshadowed (Taylor Swift, Innocent (2010)). Fortunately, Adele rocked her performance. Everyone was just cheering while she’s singing. I personally had goosebumps while watching it. Plus, she got a standing ovation at the end. it goes to show that all you don’t need too many gimmicks to stand out. This goes down as one of the best VMA performances ever.

Grade: A+

Chris Brown : Yeah3x, The Beautiful People

It is really difficult to follow up Adele’s performance. So, the best way to do it is by giving a fully entertaining performance. Chris Brown might be lipsynching throughout the whole performance, but who cares? He’s flying all over the Nokia Theater. That is so awesome. It’s so sad that he got overshadowed with all the woman beater and homophobe accusations against him, because he, indeed, is one hell of a performer. He might not be singing at all, but this is the perfect follow up to Adele’s vocally challenging performance. Oh can I say that I died that Jessie J followed this performanc eby singing “No Scrubs”?

Grade: A-

Britney Spears tribute

First, I’m glad that all the speculations that Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, and Janet Jackson (of all people, really?!?!?!?) giving a tribute to Britney isn’t true. That would have been a disaster in the vein of her Gimme More performance. I’m glad that MTV is giving her the tribute by people who won’t upstage Britney, but when you reward her with a Video Vanguard, the least they could have done is to include all of her videos, and not just chosen ones. All in all, a decent performance but what I didn’t like was that they used her as a segue to introduce the next performer.

Grade: B-

Beyonce : Love on Top

I’m not the biggest Beyonce fan on earth (god knows how “creative” she is) but this is probably one of my favorite Beyonce numbers ever. She’s just glowing the moment she sang the first line of the song. Also, she made a good choice of singing a song that suits her emotions that moment. I love when she said “I want you to feel the love inside me.” There are parts where she wasn’t singing (she had prepared version) and she’s singing it simultaneously with the recorded version, but I won’t complain. Also, love how the audience was so into the song. Adele was even singing. Love the shot of her in the audience. But more so, the finale shot when she rubbed her tummy, and everyone from Gaga to Tony Bennett, Kanye to Jay Z were just jumping with joy. Very memorable performance!

Grade: A-

Young the Giant : My Body

I know that you’re thinking “Who?” but for a VMA debut performance, this is an awesome performance. I know how big of a deal getting a slot at the main show is for some indie band who doesn’t have a solid fanbase yet. But, heck, I enjoyed the performance, and here’s hoping they’ll get a bigger break after this. How I wish Foster the People were asked to perform as well.

Grade: B

Bruno Mars : Amy Winehouse tribute, Valerie

At first, I was hesitant. Why him? Really, of all people?!?!? Bruno Mars?!?!? But boy, did he really deliver! This is a good performance of Valerie, and for what its worth, he gave justice to the song. I love the “clap your hands for Amy part”. The video of Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse opening this performance made it bittersweet. Seeing Amy’s pop-art photos while Bruno is performing is so very touching. I guess I’m a big Amy fanboy because I was in tears near-the-end. Adele was so sad, and so is Russell Brand. Anyway, really good performance that I’m sure Amy was very proud up there. 🙂

Grade: A

Lil’ Wayne : How To Love, John

For years now, the VMAs always end their show with a rap act (Jay Z in 09, Kanye last year) and while Lil’ Wayne was good in his How to Love part, he suddenly went crazy during the John part. This is an okay performance but everyone’s just oh so excited to go home or rest already. LOL. This is a good promotion for his album (which will debut at number one next) though.

Grade: B-

That’s it. The VMAs, while it wasn’t able to reach its peak years anymore, still provided one hell of an entertaining show this year. Til next year folks! =)