GRAMMY Nominations: Hits, Misses and Surprises

The 2015 GRAMMY nominations prove the Recording Academy still has a soft spot for a weepy ballad, with Sam Smith racking up five nominations for his breakout year. Consider our picks for Dark Horse, Hideous Snub and more

(BEImages/BEImages/KEYSTONE Press)

Sam Smith, future GRAMMY winner (BEImages/BEImages/KEYSTONE Press)

The Frontrunner
British balladeer Sam Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour, with its sob-inducing single “Stay With Me,” is GRAMMY gold. “Stay With Me” was nominated for the prestigious Record of the Year and Song of the Year awards, along with Best Pop Solo Performance. In the Lonely Hour was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and, the ultimate prize, Album of the Year. He will compete against Beyonce’s Beyonce, Ed Sheeran’s X, Pharrell Williams Girl, and, most unexpectedly, Beck’s Morning Phase.

The Dark Horse
The GRAMMYs clearly love Australian singer/songwriter Sia’s “Chandelier”: they tapped it for four nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. However, the absence of her album 1000 Forms of Fear from the Album of the Year category suggests they prefer the elusive singer to stick to the light fixtures.
Also: Everyone else up for  Record of the Year against Smith—Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea and Meghan Trainor (seriously!)

The Shockeroo

We aren’t the only ones ready to let it go. The Frozen soundtrack, which was released during this year’s GRAMMY eligibility period, lived up to its name, getting frozen out from all the mainstream categories. Disney will just have to make do with nominations for soundtrack, song (“Let It Go”) and score, and, of course, their bajillion dollars at the box office.
Also: Double nods for Community’s Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, for Rap Performance of the Year and Rap Album of the Year for because the internet, an album his label was reluctant to even release.

Related: Our Dream Grammys: A Minute-by-Minute Guide

The Hideous Snub
What was supposed to be the Year of Bey was the Year of Nay! Beyoncé’s sneak attack release Beyoncé—a critically acclaimed, highly personal album hailed as her artistic pinnacle— did snag an Album of the Year nom but was left out of major categories like Song of the Year and Record of the Year, while zeitgeist track “Drunk in Love” is relegated to Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song. But don’t shed a tear for Houston’s finest—her nominations were enough for her to surpass Dolly Parton as the most GRAMMY-nominated woman of all time. In addition, Beyoncé was nominated for Urban Album of the Year and Best Surround Sound Album, so whoop dee doo.|
Also: “Fancy” for Video of the Year (um, hello, Clueless).

The Hometown Heroes
When it comes to the GRAMMYs, let’s just say it’s not going to be the Winter Olympics for the Canadian contingent. Previous Album of the Year winners Arcade Fire squeaked in with an Alternative Album of the Year nomination for Reflektor and a Video of the Year nomination for “We Exist.” Drake has the most horses in the race, with Rap Performance of the Year and Rap Song of the Year, alongside Torontonian collaborator Noah “40” Sheibe for “0 to 100 / The Catch Up,” as well as Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Tuesday” with I Love Makonnen. But competition from Kendrick Lamar and Eminem is strong, meaning the most likely Canadian to win on February 8? EDM icon deadmau5, who’s nominated for Dance Album of the Year for While 1<2.

 Watch The 57TH Annual GRAMMY Awards, Sunday February 8 at 8pm ET/PT on City