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: Record of the Year.
Among Grammy voters, Record of the Year is considered the biggest award handed out over the course of the show, even though many people don’t really understand the difference between this prize and Song of the Year. (The difference is that Song of the Year is a performance award, while Record of the Year congratulates producers, mixers and engineers.) Though the public gravitates more toward Album of the Year and Song of the Year, Record of the Year is an important and prestigious award.
This year’s category is ruled by Bruno Mars, who is nominated twice as a member of the writing and production team the Smeezingtons. They crafted both B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You” and Cee Lo Green’s “F— You,” both of which are up for Record of the Year. The rest of the field features Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind,” Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie” and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.”
While logic would dictate that Mars’ two tracks would split his vote, it seems like the Grammys really want to reward the Smeezingtons for the incredible year that they had. With that in mind, “F— You” really should be the winner (of the two). Of course, Jigga’s “Empire State of Mind” is exactly the kind of track that would win Record of the Year, as it’s just stately enough to sound legendary.
Notable Winners: Simon & Garfunkel, “Mrs. Robinson” (1969); Roberta Flack, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (1974); Tina Turner, “What’s Love Got to Do With It” (1985); Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On” (1999); Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody” (2010)
Notable Robberies: If there was ever an award that M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” should have won, it was most certainly the Record of the Year prize that Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s “Please Read the Letter” took home in 2009. Also, R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” totally got robbed by Shawn Colvin’s “Sunny Came Home” in 1998.