Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Over the course of several hours this Sunday night, The Record Academy will hand out about 100 awards for contributions to music in 2016. Below is a look at UPI's predictions on who will win prizes for the top five categories.
Our predictions are based on how popular these artists' works were in 2016, how the nominees in each category compare to one another and a look at who has the best betting odds to win.
Best New Artist
Chance The Rapper Our projected winner
Historically, winning the Grammy for Best New Artist has been a harbinger of great work to come. Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris both had huge country hits in 2016, and Ballerini's two hits that topped the Billboard country charts give her an edge. The Chainsmokers overcame the silliness factor of their 2014 track "Selfie" to conquer pop radio with the Halsey collaboration "Closer," and Anderson .Paak continued his ascent with sophomore album Malibu. If there's a favorite, it's got to be Chance the Rapper, who has been all over television and radio all year, and whose third mixtape, Coloring Book, was the first digital-only record release to crack the Billboard Top 10.
Record Of The Year
"Hello" -- Adele
"Formation" -- Beyoncé
"7 Years" -- Lukas Graham
"Work" -- Rihanna Featuring Drake Our projected winner
"Stressed Out" -- Twenty One Pilots
Lukas Graham and Twenty One Pilots got a lot of airplay in 2016. They sold a lot of records and racked up lots of streams. But with Beyoncé, Adele and Rihanna in the category, they might as well not be nominated. "Formation" was a big deal song in 2016 for obvious and good reason, the inescapable lead-off single from Adele's comeback album is also obvious, and Rihanna and Drake on "Work" is Rihanna and Drake doing what they do best. Someone's going to be disappointed that two of those three didn't win Record of the Year, but it won't be because the one who gets it doesn't deserve it.
Song Of The Year
"Formation" -- Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)
"Hello" -- Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
"I Took A Pill In Ibiza" -- Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
"Love Yourself" -- Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
"7 Years" -- Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham) Our projected winner
There's a theory across the Internet that "Formation" is too "political" to win a Grammy, especially Song of the Year, which, if true, is a shame, "I Took A Pill in Ibiza" is "I Took A Pill in Ibiza," and then there's Justin Bieber. That leaves two most likely potential winners: Lukas Graham's "7 Years," a sentimental song about growing up, and Adele's "Hello," a sentimental song about lost love.
Album Of The Year
25 -- Adele
Lemonade -- Beyoncé Our projected winner
Purpose -- Justin Bieber
Views -- Drake
A Sailor's Guide To Earth -- Sturgill Simpson
Of those up for Album of the Year, the one that was talked about the most, for the most deserving reasons, through most of 2016, Lemonade, should win the Award. It stands head and shoulders above the others, but social relevance isn't the Grammy's gig -- for nominations, yes, and Beyoncé has nine, but often not for awards. Adele's comeback album, 25, didn't receive reviews as glowing as its predecessor, but it certainly lived up to its fans expectations, sold a lot copies and filled seats in arenas around the country. Drake had a huge year too with Views, and Justin Bieber is Justin Bieber, but there are two thoughts about Album of the Year this year: Give the award to one of the big voices, Beyoncé and Adele, or give it to the one who is not like the others -- a la Beck in 2010 -- and hand the trophy to Sturgill Simpson.
Best Music Video
"Formation" -- Beyoncé
"River" -- Leon Bridges Our projected winner
"Up & Up" -- Coldplay
"Gosh" -- Jamie XX
"Upside Down & Inside Out" -- OK Go
OK Go has built their career on making videos that look like commercials, and not in the way all music videos are arguably commercials for artists. They look like ads for Target or Old Navy, not that there's anything wrong with that. On "Gosh" and "Up & Up," Jamie XX and Coldplay have videos that look cool, but not advertising cool. In a category like this, though, shouldn't the video do more than just look cool? "Formation" got people's attention, even before the Super Bowl. And Leon Bridges' video for "River" kicks the search for respite in the song's lyrics up a few notches with a somewhat stunning set of matching visuals. If Beyonce wasn't guaranteed to go home with at least multiple Grammy statues, this would be a toss-up. Since she is, Bridges should own this by a mile.
The 2017 Grammy Awards will air on CBS Sunday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. ET, with James Corden serving as host.