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And the Grammy goes to …

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STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
rockmusicmenu@hotmail.com

The 57th annual Grammy Awards take place Sunday night, and for rock fans, it’s already looking to be a major disappointment.
At press time, only one major rock ’n’ roll artist was scheduled to perform: AC/DC. The rest of the show is populated with the likes of Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Usher and Sia. That’s not all bad, but you’d think the organizers could cobble together a few more guitar-driven acts.
Let’s hope that Sunday’s event from the Staples Center in Los Angeles isn’t a complete bore. Until then, here are some “will win/should win” predictions for the show:
Best New Artist
Will win: Sam Smith
Should win: Bastille
Why: There’s a line of thought that the Grammys might avoid letting Smith own the night because of the controversy surrounding his hit, “Stay with Me,” sounding too much like Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Thing is, that whole issue has been settled, with Petty and co-writer Jeff Lynne now getting royalties. How to further diffuse it? Have Petty come out with Smith and perform a medley of the two tracks. Then Smith wins the night in more ways than one.
Best Rock Song
Will win: The Black Keys — “Fever”
Should win: Jack White — “Lazaretto”
Why: It’s a classic battle here between two artists who don’t really like each other all that much. Look for the Keys to take this round.
Best Rock Album
Will win: Tom Petty & The Heart Breakers — “Hypnotic Eye”
Should win: The Black Keys — “Turn Blue”
Why: Petty has showed nothing but class in the whole Sam Smith episode, which leads me to believe he’ll land the Best Rock Album on that alone. But the Black Keys are the most rock ’n’ roll band on here. Dark horse of the night may very well be Ryan Adams. Keep an eye on him.
Best Metal Performance
Will win: Motorhead — “Heartbreaker”
Should win: Slipknot — “The Negative One”
Why: Not nearly as clear cut as last year when Black Sabbath had zero chance to lose. Motorhead wins because the Recording Academy never knows what to do with this category. Slipknot was the metal comeback of the year though, but the committee doesn’t know that. They could very well pick Mastodon because they like the name.
Best Alternative Music Album
Will win: Arcade Fire — “Reflektor”
Should win: St. Vincent — “St. Vincent”
Why: The Grammys made waves by giving Arcade Fire Album of the Year in 2011 when the masses were still pretty much in the dark about the band. They will probably stick to their guns from back then by giving the Canadians the award in this category.
Song of the Year
Will win: Sia — “Chandelier”
Should win: Sia — “Chandelier”
Why: Sia has long been a behind-the-scenes writer for other artists like Rihanna, never getting the spotlight on her own songs. This year, that changes.
Record of the Year
Will win: Sia — “Chandelier”
Should win: Sia — “Chandelier”
Why: Same reason as above. Sia deserves the win more than anyone else nominated — certainly more than hit-making machine Max Martin, who this year is nominated for helping propel Taylor Swift with “Shake it Off.”
Album of the Year
Will win: Sam Smith — “In the Lonely Hour”
Should win: Sam Smith — “In the Lonely Hour”
Why: Petty controversy aside, and whether you think he’s too overplayed, Smith’s album as a whole is worthy of Album of the Year. The only possible contender is Ed Sheeran, unless the Academy wants to go full-on artsy and give it to Beck.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to rockmusicmenu@hotmail.com. Also check out his blog at  our sister publication www.delcotimes.com

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