Before Grammy nominations were announced it was widely believed that Kendrick Lamar would win Album of the Year for “Damn,” challenging the recording academy’s longstanding bias against hip-hop artists in top categories. But when the nominees were unveiled the landscape changed. Lamar’s closest rival according to our predictions, Ed Sheeran (“Divide”) was snubbed from Album of the Year, but that didn’t help Lamar as much as we might have thought because the recording academy decided to honor another rap artist, Jay-Z, even more, including an Album of the Year bid for “4:44.” With two rappers in the race there’s the potential of vote-splitting. That opens the door unexpectedly for Bruno Mars (“24K Magic”).
Mars swept the general field with additional nominations for Record of the Year (the title song from “24K Magic”) and Song of the Year (“That’s What I Like”), which in addition to three R&B field nominations makes Mars one of the year’s most nominated artists with six bids. Jay-Z (eight) and Kendrick Lamar (seven) have more, but they both have vote-splitting to worry about in addition to the recording academy’s anti-rap bias. Mars is arguably the most pop-friendly artist in the running, except for maybe Lorde (“Melodrama”), but she has literally no other nominations this year. So many of our forum posters are wondering now if Mars will win by default.
Recently, fans had their say.
Xtina: “It’s a battle between Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars. Lamar is overdue for a win in the big one. Bruno Mars appeals more to older, white, conservative voter dudes. My heart is saying Kendrick, but reality is saying Mars. Bruno prevails by a hair.”
Sebaz De La Fontaine: “Bruno is winning this. Deservedly so. His album brought joy and happiness to millions of people across America and also the world. Keep in mind that the recording academy wants GOOD TV. Good moments to be remembered, and in all honesty, in a year so full of travesties and tragedies and all sorts of disasters, Bruno’s music was the GO-TO escape album.”
Alexandra: “Rap albums simply don’t win AOTY. Bruno is the ‘safe’ choice so he will probably win. The only other person I see possibly winning is Lorde but that would be a major upset as a result of vote-splitting.”
neverkneel: “It’s incredible. A minute before the announcement of nominations, Kendrick was the absolute frontrunner, and now he’s not. ‘Melodrama’ and ’24K Magi’c are the frontrunners.”
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