The 53rd Grammy Awards are upon us, and they bring with them dozens of artists competing in 109 different categories. The performers on the show — which airs live on Sunday, February 13 — include Eminem, Cee Lo Green, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Drake, Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, Miranda Lambert, Katy Perry, Muse, B.o.B, Usher, Bruno Mars, Jaden Smith and Janelle Monae. It promises to be one of the biggest nights in the history of music, and MTV News will be bringing you wall-to-wall coverage of the big event.
But the awards are the big draw, and just as the MTV Newsroom Blog does with the MTV Video Music Awards, here are a series of guides to some of the biggest categories on the docket. This time around: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
This year’s nominees for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance may be the most eclectic combination of names in all the categories. It’s a testament to the fact that the pop world is a proverbial big tent that welcomes in all sorts of music under the header of “pop.” There’s throwback crooner Michael Bublé (“Haven’t Met You Yet”), late R&B legend in Michael Jackson (“This Is It”), postmodern glam rocker Adam Lambert (“Whataya Want From Me”), new school soul sensation Bruno Mars (“Just the Way You Are”) and blues pop revivalist John Mayer (“Half of My Heart”).
No two of those artists are alike, which makes this an extremely difficult category to pick. The Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences would probably love to honor Jackson one more time, though by that same token, this category tends to be more about looking forward than looking back (which would make Mars or Lambert the favorites). However, Mayer is also a constant Grammy threat simply because he crosses so many genres (and he has also won this award four times before — a fifth victory would give him the most category wins of all time, passing Sting and Stevie Wonder). And there’s always Bublé, who sells a ton of albums and is ubiquitous among the slightly older crowd the Grammys sometimes focus on.
It’s a toss-up, really, but Mars has the slight edge. He’s a complete package and has been nominated a bunch, which means that the entire night could swing in his favor in a big way. However, don’t be surprised if Lambert or Mayer come up from behind and end up on top.
Notable Winners: Michael Jackson, Thriller (1984); Eric Clapton, “Tears in Heaven” (1993); Justin Timberlake, “Cry Me a River” (2004)
Notable Robberies: Sting won in both 2000 and 2001, and each time he should have lost to Marc Anthony’s “I Need to Know” (2000) and Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” (2001). Also, Prince’s “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” should have topped Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” in 1995.