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Adele | © Richard Isaac/REX/Shutterstock
Adele | © Richard Isaac/REX/Shutterstock
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Grammys 2017 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win, and the Trump Card

Picture of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor
Updated: 27 February 2017

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony takes place on Feb. 12, 8pm ET, and will feature performances from Beyoncé, Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, The Weeknd and Daft Punk, Chance The Rapper, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Sturgill Simpson, A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson .Paak, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, and more.

While Beyoncé leads the nominees list with nine potential trophies, you really never know who the voters will select as their champion, no matter the category. Below, we make our best predictions of who we think will win in the big four — Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist — as well as a few of the other major album competitions, the artists we believe are most deserving of the respective Grammy, and, because this is the world we live in, who President Donald Trump would pick to win each category, based on either real quotes from Trump or Trump-related details.

Album Of The Year

25 — Adele
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Views — Drake
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Who Should Win: Beyoncé

I might not believe that Beyoncé’s Lemonade was the best album of 2016 — I don’t even think it was the best Knowles album of 2016 — but I can’t argue that it wasn’t the biggest impact album of 2016. However, just like when Beck took her crown in 2015, I feel that history is about to repeat itself.

Who Will Win: Adele or Sturgill Simpson

Since 2012, Adele has been awarded eight Grammys. She was nominated in eight categories. In other words, when Adele is nominated, she wins. Even though 25 didn’t receive the same level of praise as 21, the album did sell a record-breaking 3.4 million copies in its first week (remember that the album didn’t appear on Spotify until seven months after its release). It’s hard to imagine the voters favoring anyone over her in any of the five categories she exists this year.

However, the Grammys also occasionally operate like heretics, and so when we see a name thrown into the ring that few predicted — Sturgill Simpson — there’s a good chance that artist could take home the trophy. Steely Dan did it in 2001, the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack did it in 2002, Herbie Hancock did it in 2008, and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss did it in 2009. Why not Simpson in 2017?

The Trump Card: Justin Bieber

“Justin’s a great kid. He liked one of my videos on Instagram, so I know he’s a fan. Journals is a very underrated album.”

Record Of The Year

“Hello” — Adele
“Formation” — Beyoncé
“7 Years” — Lukas Graham
“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

Who Should Win: Beyoncé

From her Super Bowl performance of “Formation” paying homage to the Black Panthers to the track’s high-volume meme-worthy video, everything about this track is one big slay-fest. Any song that manages to fit in the lyric, “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag” deserves at least one award.

Who Will Win: Adele

I repeat, when Adele is nominated, she wins.

The Trump Card: Peggy Lee “Is That All There Is?”

“My favorite record of all time, it should win every year. It’s a great song because I’ve had these tremendous successes and then I’m off to the next one. Because, it’s like, ‘Oh, is that all there is?‘”

Song Of The Year

“Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
“7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

Who Should Win: “Hello”

Sure, “Hello” charted at number one on nearly every chart it appeared throughout the world when it made its debut in late October 2015, and it was the first song to sell over a million digital copies in a week, but the true success of Adele’s single is that it made the flip phone popular again — dare we say, cool.

Who Will Win: “Hello”

Adele Adele Adele Adele Adele.

The Trump Card: “I Took A Pill In Ibiza”

I love Ibiza, very fun place. I used to hang out in Amnesia back in the ‘80s. But I don’t need any pills. As everybody knows, but the haters & losers refuse to acknowledge, I do not wear a “wig.”

Best New Artist

Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

Who Should Win: Anderson .Paak

It might not be a popular opinion, but Anderson .Paak’s Malibu was the best album released in 2016. Inarguably the coolest person alive at this moment, the only proof you need to know Paak is deserving of Best New Artist is his NPR Tiny Desk session. However, Paak also possessed the golden touch in 2016, turning his many, many features into hits. Chance The Rapper is equally deserving of this award, but his rise has been coming since his release of “Acid Rap” in 2013; no one made bigger waves from the calm than .Paak.

Who Will Win: The Chainsmokers

Because the voters like to reward things like the three number one singles The Chainsmokers achieved in 2016, and because there is no god, the self-embracing Nickelback of EDM will be called to the stage despite their questionable performance at last year’s show.

The Trump Card: The Chainsmokers

“The Chainsmokers are 17.34 combined inches, just like Donald Trump. Look at my hands, are they small hands? I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”

Best Pop Vocal Album

25 — Adele
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
Confident — Demi Lovato
This Is Acting — Sia

Who Should Win: Adele

Give me an “A”! Give me a “D”! Give me an “E”! Give me an “L”! Give me an “E”! …

Who Will Win: Adele

What does that spell? Adele!

The Trump Card: Ariana Grande

“Such a nasty woman!”

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Skin — Flume
Electronica 1: The Time Machine — Jean-Michel Jarre
Epoch — Tycho
Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future — Underworld
Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII — Louie Vega

Who Should Win: Tycho

As both a multi-instrumental musician and graphic designer, there’s always been something about Tycho’s Scott Hansen’s music that exceeds the limited auditory experience that most artists craft. Tyco’s two previous albums were filled with the similar mixtures of ambient rock and downtempo production, but Epoch finds him at his most dynamic.

Who Will Win: Flume

Unfortunately, Tycho doesn’t have the name recognition to take home some gold, and so the clear winner is Flume. To be fair, the young Australian producer’s album is filled with enrapturing moments, partly in thanks to an all-star cast of features, but mostly due to Flume’s dedication to his craft.

The Trump Card: Xurious

“Great guy Richard Spencer introduced me to Xurious. Rise of the Alt-Right is a great, great album. Very proud of what I helped him accomplish.”

Best Rock Album

California — Blink-182
Tell Me I’m Pretty — Cage The Elephant
Magma — Gojira
Death Of A Bachelor — Panic! At The Disco
Weezer — Weezer

Who Should Win: Gojira

The Grammys have been out of touch with rock for a long time now (all genres, really) and so the groups that should be here — The Hotelier, Pinegrove, White Lung, American Football, Car Seat Headrest, Balance & Composure, Jimmy Eat World, etc. — aren’t. And yet, French metal outfit Gojira somehow managed to secure a spot on this list, and their sixth studio album is by far the best option provided.

Who Will Win: Blink-182

Unfortunately, there’s no way the voters are going to pick a progressive metal band, and so out of the rest of this underwhelming lineup, Blink-182 will probably be the most common selection based on name recognition and the highly publicized split with Tom DeLonge.

The Trump Card: 3 Doors Down

Best Alternative Music Album

22, A Million — Bon Iver
Blackstar — David Bowie
The Hope Six Demolition Project — PJ Harvey
Post Pop Depression — Iggy Pop
A Moon Shaped Pool — Radiohead

Who Should Win: Bon Iver

It’s always difficult to say how albums will age. Fads come and go, and 22, A Million, brimming with vocal manipulations and heavy use of effects faces this dilemma more so than the group’s preceding works. But in 2016, Bon Iver’s experimental return is a bullseye.

Who Will Win: David Bowie

David Bowie has forever been snubbed by the Grammys, but a posthumous award feels almost guaranteed, and Blackstar is more than deserving.

The Trump Card: Iggy Pop

The face of Donald Trump spotted in the torso of Iggy Pop

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Lemonade — Beyoncé
Ology — Gallant
We Are King — KING
Malibu — Anderson .Paak
Anti — Rihanna

Who Should Win: Anderson .Paak

Sorry Beyoncé, but we’re giving this one to Paak.

Who Will Win: Beyoncé

Sorry Paak, but Beyoncé is taking this one, and it won’t be nearly enough to make up for her Album of the Year snub.

The Trump Card: Everyone

“I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

Best Rap Album

Coloring Book — Chance The Rapper
And the Anonymous Nobody — De La Soul
Major Key — DJ Khaled
Views — Drake
Blank Face LP — ScHoolboy Q
The Life of Pablo — Kanye West

Who Should Win: Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book was an all-out gospel jubilee that so many of us needed in 2016. While the album’s content is strong enough to prove him as the most deserving, Chance’s “Coloring Book” has taken his independent (and digital) revolution to a level that no other artist has been able, nor daring enough, to achieve.

Who Will Win: Drake

Kanye certainly won’t win any Grammys for his continued remarks and refusal to attend this year’s ceremony, and so the trophy will go to Drake, if not just for the “One Dance” memes.

The Trump Card: Kanye West

Kanye’s a good man. I delete tweets all the time. We’ve been friends for a long time.”

Best Country Album

Big Day In A Small Town — Brandy Clark
Full Circle — Loretta Lynn
Hero — Maren Morris
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson
Ripcord — Keith Urban

Who Should Win: Sturgill Simpson

While Simpson is a dark horse when it comes to Album of the Year, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is indeed a wonderful body of work, and he’s exactly the “anti-bro” leader the genre desperately needs.

Who Will Win: Sturgill Simpson

I mean, is he really going to be the only one in this category nominated for Album of the Year and then lose Best Country Album?

The Trump Card: Keith Urban

“Keith Urban is is excellent on American Idol—great touch, solid guy!”