Grammys: Who Will Win? And Who Should Win?

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Eminem / Arcade Fire's Win Butler / Cee Lo (Photo: Maciek Kobielski; Eminem, Marc Broussely/Redferns; Butler)
WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

Doing an office pool for this year's Grammy ceremony, which airs Sunday, Feb. 13, at 8:00 PM on CBS and features performances by Eminem, Arcade Fire, Cee Lo Green, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and many others? SPIN has a highly scientific guide to who's going home with the most trophies on music's biggest night. (Hint: we totally broke into the offices of the accounting firm that counts up the ballots. Sorry, Deloitte Touche!).

Below, check out our picks of the top Grammy categories, and tell us what you think in the comments.

  • ALBUM OF THE YEAR

    • Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
    • Eminem, Recovery
    • Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
    • Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
    • Katy Perry, Teenage Dream

    Who Will Win: Eminem. Grammy voters love him: the dude's won a total of 11 since releasing The Slim Shady LP in '99, but he's never clinched the biggest award of the night. Consider this his year. Plus, Recovery was the biggest-selling album of the five.

    Who Should Win: Suburbs is a prime example of why the album format still matters. Plus, an edgy Album of the Year pick would make up for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's Raising Sand beating out Radiohead's In Rainbows in 2009 and Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters shutting out Kanye West's Graduation the year prior.

  • SONG OF THE YEAR

    • Ray LaMontagne, "Beg Steal or Borrow"
    • Cee Lo, "F*** You"
    • Miranda Lambert, "The House The Built Me"
    • Eminem feat. Rihanna, "Love the Way You Lie"
    • Lady Antebellum, "Need You Now"

    Who Will Win: For a category that honors the craft of songwriting, Cee Lo's "F*** You" is the catchiest of the pack, and had the broadest appeal thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow's expletive-free cover of it on Glee.

    Who Should Win: Cee Lo. Dude deserves the Grammy for making us like Gwyneth Paltrow again.

  • RECORD OF THE YEAR

    • B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars, "Nothin' on You"
    • Eminem feat. Rihanna, "Love the Way You Lie"
    • Cee Lo, "F*** You"
    • Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, "Empire State of Mind"
    • Lady Antebellum, "Need You Now"

    Who Will Win: Rihanna and Eminem. The hook on "Love the Way You Lie" was so indelible, Rihanna even recorded a sequel to the original.

    Who Should Win: Cee Lo. No f***ing question.

  • BEST NEW ARTIST

    • Justin Bieber
    • Drake
    • Florence and the Machine
    • Mumford & Sons
    • Esperanza Spalding

    Who Will Win: Grammy voters will be turned off by the teen pop phenomenon surrounding Bieber, while Spalding, Mumford, and Florence haven't scored the sort of mainstream saturation of past winners like Carrie Underwood, Amy Winehouse, and Norah Jones. So give it to Drake.

    Who Should Win: Florence's blend of Tori Amos-style earth-mother-ness and catchy-as-hell pop were a welcome change of pace from the pants-less Gaga and exploding-bra-wearing Katy.

  • BEST ROCK ALBUM

    • Jeff Beck, Emotion & Commotion
    • Muse, The Resistance
    • Pearl Jam, Backspacer
    • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mojo
    • Neil Young, Le Noise

    Who Will Win: Muse. Grammy voters typically vote for younger acts in this category, which has only been around since '95. Green Day beat out U2's strong No Line on the Horizon and AC/DC's monster-selling Black Ice last year, while Foo Fighters shut out olds like Bruce Springsteen and Fogerty in '08. Plus, Young has tragically never won the category in the five times he's been nominated.

    Who Should Win: Young's Daniel Lanois-produced album is the guitar great's finest album since 2000's Silver & Gold.

  • BEST HARD ROCK PERFORMANCE

    • Alice in Chains, "A Looking In View"
    • Ozzy Osbourne, "Let Me Hear You Scream"
    • Soundgarden, "Black Rain"
    • Stone Temple Pilots, "Between the Lines"
    • Them Crooked Vultures, "New Fang"

    Who Will Win: With three generations of rock gods (Grohl! Homme! JPJ!), the Vultures will appeal to biggest swath of voters.

    Who Should Win: "Black Rain" was a five-and-a-half minute slab of Badmotorfinger-era awesomeness. Plus, Chris Cornell winning may discourage more of this. Consider it public service, NARAS.

  • BEST METAL PERFORMANCE

    • Iron Maiden, "El Dorado"
    • Korn, "Let the Guilt Go"
    • Lamb of God, "In Your Words"
    • Megadeth, "Sudden Death"
    • Slayer, "World Painted Blood"

    Who Will Win: Thrice-nominated Maiden paved the way for every other band in this category and have never won.

    Who Should Win: Iron Maiden-excepted, Megadeth paved the way for every band in this category and also have never won - they hold the record for most nominations without a win in this category - and "Sudden Death" is way more boss than Maiden's "El Dorado."

  • BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

    • Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
    • Band of Horses, Infinite Arms
    • Black Keys, Brothers
    • Broken Bells, Broken Bells
    • Vampire Weekend, Contra

    Who Will Win: The Suburbs - the only album in this category to get a nod for Album of the Year.

    Who Should Win: Arcade Fire. Or any of these records - just, please, change the name of the category already. Nothing alternative about an album debuting at No. 1 on the charts.

  • BEST RAP ALBUM

    • B.o.B., The Adventures of Bobby Ray
    • Drake, Thank Me Later
    • Eminem, Recovery
    • Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3
    • The Roots, How I Got Over

    Who Will Win: Eminem's Recovery outsold every other contender last year.

    Who Should Win: They may have a regular gig with Jimmy Fallon, but the Roots proved they were still hip-hop's hottest band with this set, which featured a brilliant reinvention of Monsters of Folk's "Dear God."

  • BEST RAP SONG

    • Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, Empire State of Mind
    • Eminem feat. Rihanna, Love the Way You Lie
    • Eminem, Not Afraid
    • Bruno Mars, Nothin' on You
    • Jay-Z, On to the Next One

    Who Will Win: Jay-Z's "Empire" for this boast alone: "Shit, I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can."

    Who Should Win: Let's hear it for Jay-Z!

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