Adele is the rare star who doesn’t need multiple magazine covers, a cosmetics contract or a clothing line to sell albums. She does it all based on the strength of that sumptuous voice and those stirring songs.
That’s a rarity in today’s pop world, where artists are overexposed and their music often comes second to what they’re promoting in tandem with it.
Adele scored an unlikely critical and commercial triumph with "21," last year’s best-selling album, all based off the artistry of songs like "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You." And she’ll be richly rewarded come Sunday, when the Grammys hand out their trophies at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. While Kanye West is the lead nominee with seven, Adele, who’s up for six, will be the act who dominates — well, at least that’s what we think.
Here’s how the AP predicts the trophies will shake out Grammy night.
Album of the Year: "21," Adele; "Wasting Light," Foo Fighters; "Born This Way," Lady Gaga; "Doo-Wops & Hooligans," Bruno Mars; "Loud," Rihanna.
Moody: The Grammys are famous for ignoring the shoo-in for some underdog in the top category, leading to a big shocker. That’s just not gonna happen this year, though. None of these other albums can really even make the critical argument that they’re better than "21," Adele’s phenomenal and phenomenally successful album. This will be the topper on Adele’s coronation on Grammy night.
Fekadu: So let’s talk about who definitely won’t win: Sorry Gaga, Bruno and Rih Rih. Foo Fighters, who strongly represent rock ‘n’ roll in a pop/dance-dominated music world, has a chance. Well, no they don’t. In one year Adele’s "21" has sold more than six million copies and changed many lives, and I’m sure some of those people are members of The Recording Academy. She better give her ex a shout-out in her victory speech!
Record of the Year: "Rolling In the Deep," Adele; "Holocene," Bon Iver; "Grenade," Bruno Mars; "The Cave," Mumford & Sons; "Firework," Katy Perry.
Fekadu: The real competition here is between Adele and Mumford & Sons — whose songs are the best two of the bunch. But Adele not only had the record of the year, she had the best voice of the year, the best live performance of the year and the best everything of the year. She even had (one of the) best styles of the year (all black works, man!) If she doesn’t win, I sure hope Kanye West jumps onstage and yells: "Adele had the best record of all-time. OF ALL-TIME!"
Moody: Technically Adele has competition in this category, but really folks? None. As big as "Grenade" and "Firework" were, they are no match for Adele’s smoldering performance, and Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver should split the bearded-hipster-indie cred vote. Adele takes home the trophy.
Song of the Year (songwriters): "All of the Lights," Jeff Bhasker, Stacy Ferguson, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West; "The Cave," Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston; "Grenade," Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt; "Holocene," Justin Vernon; "Rolling In the Deep," Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth.
Moody: Vernon is the only one to write a song without any help in this category, but as hauntingly beautiful as "Holocene" is, it’s a little too obscure to really win here. "Rolling in the Deep" would be the obvious choice — a little too obvious, perhaps. It’s a risk, but I’m betting that Grammy voters finally give Kanye a little love after wrongly dissing him for album of the year — just when he’s starting not to care anymore.
Fekadu: She’s wrong. I’m a Kanye supporter — well sometimes I am — but he shouldn’t win this for a number of reasons. No.1, "All of the Lights" should NOT be the first rap song to earn this award. No. 2, the song is catchy, but is it great enough to be nominated here? He should have won this honor years ago for "Jesus Walks." But, Halle Berry did win the Oscar for "Monster’s Ball" instead of "Losing Isaiah." OK, back to the music. Oh yeah, this will be going to Mumford & Sons.
Pop Vocal Performance: "Someone Like You," Adele; "You and I," Lady Gaga; "Grenade," Bruno Mars; "Firework," Katy Perry; "(Expletive) Perfect," Pink.
Moody: This marks the first year that the men and women are duking it out for vocal performance, and judging by the list of nominees, Grammy voters aren’t too impressed with male vocals this year. So despite his nomination, Mars won’t likely win this battle with the ladies. Out of the girl-power clique, no one really has the power of Adele (though Pink comes close). Combine that with the heartbreaking emotion that she conveys, and you’ve got your winner. Adele, yet again.
Fekadu: What she said.