Handicapping the 2014 Grammy Nominations

CBS will announce this year's contenders in a primetime concert event.

(From left) Kacey Musgraves performs at  the CMA awards; Kanye West performs on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon; Lorde and Justin Timberlake perform.
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Because a person at a podium reading off a list of names simply isn't enough, CBS will announce the nominations for the 56th Grammy Awards in a primetime event Friday that will feature performances by Lorde, Macklemore, Keith Urban and Robin Thicke, among others, and the cringe-worthy hosting skills of LL Cool J (remember last year's #hashtag #bonanza?). Who should be expecting an invite to the January 26th awards ceremony?

New Competitors


With her cleverly subversive take on consumer pop culture, unique vocal delivery and enviable ability to pull off dark plum lipstick, Lorde came out of nowhere (well, New Zealand) this year with her hit "Royals" and its accompanying album, "Pure Heroine," the release of which just squeaked in under the Sept. 30 submission deadline.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

It feels like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been around for more than just a year, maybe because their music has been in just about every darn commercial. But their album "Heist" as well as the singles "Thrift Shift," "Can't Hold 'Em" and "Same Love" are all eligible for this year's awards, meaning the odds are very strong they'll be collecting nominations like fur coats from consignment shops.

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Kendrick Lamar

Rap's new kid on the block has been making the rounds on the awards circuit with his album "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City," which came out not long after last year's Grammy deadline. Look out for Lamar in the rap categories as well as the general competitions and best new artist.

Florida Georgia Line

"Cruise" is the epitome of a crossover country song, getting played not only on top 40 stations, but also bringing the hip hop cred of Nelly. Its wide appeal should secure Florida Georgia Line some nominations, and not just in the country categories.

Imagine Dragons

Their hit "Radioactive" made Imagine Dragons the breakout rock band this year. They are sure bets in the rock and new artist categories, but can they get the nod for song, record or album of the year?

Robin Thicke

Thicke isn't new, per se, but no one really cared about him -- Grammy voters included -- until his "Blurred Lines" took over the radio waves this summer. It's hard to imagine Thicke not getting his first Grammy nomination for it.

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Kacey Musgraves

The fresh faced country singer is currently taking over the world of country music, so Grammy domination could be next for the "Blowin Smoke" singer

Old Show Ponies

Justin Timberlake

"20/20" may have been a sonically pleasant snoozefest, but the music industry loves Justin Timberlake, who is sure to rake in the nominations.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift will no doubt get to show off her surprise face -- as well as her mesmerizing audience dancing abilities -- at the ceremony next year. Her blockbuster "Red" is eligible and a shoe-in for Grammy glory.

Kanye West

Unlike Swift, Timberlake and the other mainstays expected to make a splash in this year's nominations, Kanye is no industry pet, leaving a path of controversy and indignation wherever he goes. "Yeezus" deserves some nominations for its musical achievements, and having Kanye in the seats of the Staples Center will certainly make for some good TV,

Jay Z

The marketing campaign for "Magna Carta...Holy Grail" may have been more interesting than the album itself, but that might not matter anyway. He has been nominated every year since 2001, winning 17 times along the way.

Daft Punk

Daft Punk is an old dog -- a 20-year-old electronic dance act -- that taught everyone some new tricks with the album "Random Access Memories," which bred its digital sound with an old school funk feel and produced the song of the summer "Get Lucky."

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars practices the Justin Timberlake brand of pop, making pleasant, catchy music without ever risking offending anyone, so Grammy voters will likely give him the Justin Timberlake treatment as well.

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