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FEKADU: I think the real competition is between “Just Give Me a Reason” and “Same Love.” Pink’s duet with Nate Ruess, who won this award for “We Are Young” with fun. last year, is a rousing number and a win like this for Pink is deserving after she’s impressed us year after year. “Same Love,” though, was a social anthem and more than a year after it was released, it still provides the chills when Macklemore begins his verse. Who am I kidding? “Same Love” wins this.

TALBOTT: History tells us sometimes the hits win. Sometimes the winner has become an anthem in some way. And sometimes it’s a right-field entry you may not have expected. I think this is where The Recording Academy shows its love for progressive, open-hearted messages and rewards Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for a song that was a lot of all three.


NEW ARTIST: James Blake; Kendrick Lamar; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Kacey Musgraves; Ed Sheeran.

TALBOTT: This category is and always has been baffling. This is a strong group, but how could Lorde not be nominated? Historically best new artist has been impossible to predict, and this year’s nominees are all over the board. While I personally feel Kendrick Lamar has the best long-term prospects among these entries, I think voters are focused on Macklemore and Lewis and their dazzling year and will give the nod to the Seattle rap duo.

FEKADU: If Ed Sheeran released a sophomore album this year as gratifying as his 2011 debut, this would be his trophy. But you’re right about Macklemore and Lewis winning this.


POP SOLO PERFORMANCE: “Brave,” Sara Bareilles; “Royals,” Lorde; “When I Was Your Man,” Bruno Mars; “Roar,” Katy Perry; “Mirrors,” Justin Timberlake

FEKADU: Oh wait, Justin is nominated for something? It’s crushing how he didn’t earn any top nominations this year - it almost makes you wonder who he irritated? Anyhow, it will be a cat fight full of roars: While Bareilles deserves to win here - her copycat, Katy Perry - will take home her first Grammy Award.

TALBOTT: Ah, the positive pop song. Even in today’s raunch-obsessed music scene, there’s nothing quite as powerful as an empowering song like “Roar.” The problem for Perry, though, is Lorde stole her growl.


ROCK ALBUM: “13,” Black Sabbath; “The Next Day,” David Bowie; “Mechanical Bull,” Kings of Leon; “Celebration Day,” Led Zeppelin; “… Like Clockwork,” Queens of the Stone Age; “Psychedelic Pill,” Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

TALBOTT: This category makes me feel old - and conflicted. Do we go with the four beloved legacy acts who didn’t put out the best albums of their careers but sure get credit for trying? Or do we go with the more current acts who are certainly deserving of their own moments? I’m thinking Zeppelin, Sabbath, Bowie and Young cancel each other out and voters already feel like they’ve rewarded the Kings. So I’m picking the true long shot here, and the band that put out the year’s best rock album: Queens of the Stone Age.

FEKADU: I just hope that David Bowie shows up when he wins this award. Don’t want him to become the Maggie Smith of awards shows.


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