Justin Timberlake, Lorde, Kanye West
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards (Sunday, 8/7c, CBS) features an impressive number of A-listers competing for music's top honors, but they might need to watch out. There's a fierce group of new contenders nipping at their heels. So can Kendrick Lamar beat Kanye West? Will Lorde continue her "Royals" reign? Check out our predictions below and tell us your picks for the big prizes.
See the 2014 Grammy nominees
Record of the Year
Will win: "Get Lucky," Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams
Daft Punk had an incredible comeback this year, riding the EDM trend right to the top but also adding their own retro flair.
Watch out for: "Royals," Lorde
Though the song has been criticized for its alleged racist undertones, "Royals" is generally applauded as a clever critique of consumption. It's possible voters will want to pat Lorde — and themselves — on the back for being above such things as good teeth, Grey Goose and trippin' in the bathroom.
Album of the Year
Will win: The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The Grammys are typically hesitant to give Album of the Year to a rap album (only Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below have won), which makes Kendrick Lamar's deserved win unlikely. But The Heist has enough cross-genre appeal and cultural cache to make it.
Watch out for: The Blessed Unrest, Sara Bareilles
Many were surprised when Bareilles was even nominated, but the singer's underrated record could result in a major upset. Plus: She could also pull votes away from Taylor Swift's Red, who would be only the fourth female artist to win the award twice following Hill, Norah Jones and Alison Krauss.
Song of the Year
Will win: "Royals," Lorde
While the 17-year-old has killer vocals, what really made "Royals" such a hit is its smart lyrics -- and this category rewards the songwriters. Should Lorde, who co-wrote the tune, win any of her four nominations, she would be the third youngest Grammy winner ever after 14-year-old champs LeAnn Rimes and Luis Miguel.
Watch out for: "Same Love," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Social message songs have a mixed record at the Grammys, but there's a chance this pro-equality song can make it to the top.
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Best New Artist
Will win: Kacey Musgraves
The Grammys have a history of rewarding solo female artists in this category (half of its 48 awards have gone to the single ladies). And since Lorde was oddly snubbed, country star Musgraves might surprise everyone by taking home the honor.
Watch out for: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The duo has major mainstream appeal and ruled both the radio and Grammy nominations — they have seven nods — this year. But overexposure could hurt them.
Best Pop Vocal Album
Will win: Pure Heroine, Lorde
Lorde's debut has earned her favorable comparisons to Adele's Rolling in the Deep, which won this honor in 2012. It's likely the Kiwi import will follow in the Brit's footsteps.
Watch out for: The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake
Timberlake's comeback was a major letdown for most, but the performer still has enough good will going for him to possibly earn a win. He would join Kelly Clarkson as the category's only two-time victors.
Best Pop Solo Performance
Will win: "Mirrors," Justin Timberlake
"Mirrors" is the best thing to come out of Timberlake's never-ending 20/20 Experience and it's hard to imagine JT, a six-time winner and seven-time nominee this year, going home empty-handed.
Watch out for: "Royals," Lorde
"Royals" turned a New Zealand unknown into a bonafide pop star, and there seems to be no stopping this song.
Best Rap Album
Will win: Yeezus, Kanye West
The fact that Yeezus wasn't nominated for Album of the Year is a travesty. Hopefully, Kanye can settle for a Best Rap Album win. He would tie Eminem with a record-setting five wins in the category.
Watch out for: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Kendrick Lamar
The high-profile names he's up against may prove insurmountable, but Lamar's been building fairly strong buzz of his own.
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Best Rap Performance
Will win: "Swimming Pools (Drank)," Kendrick Lamar
With seven nominations this year, Lamar is not to be ignored. He also boasts strong support from the hip-hop community, which has earned 40 Grammy nominations (and 13 wins) over the past two years.
Watch out for: "Started from the Bottom," Drake
Drake has had a solid year and it's possible the Grammys will throw him a bone in this category. After months of countless pop culture references to this catchy anthem, the ubiquitous nature of the record could also work in his favor.
Best Country Album
Will win: Same Trailer, Different Park, Kacey Musgraves
Musgraves is giving T. Swift a run for her money when it comes to being country's young darling, especially since Swift has been abandoning her roots as of late in favor of more pop-influenced tracks.
Watch out for: Red, Taylor Swift
History teaches us to never count Swift out at an awards show. Prepare for Surprise Face No. 35738.
Best Rock Album
Will win: The Next Day, David Bowie
The Grammys has its pick of the godfathers of rock in this category between Bowie, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young, so the Kings of Leon or Queens of the Stone Age could sneak through if the vote splits. But we'll tip to Bowie, who has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence this year, even appearing on Arcade Fire's album.
Watch out for: Psychedelic Pill, Neil Young with Crazy Horse
The Grammys have warmed up to Young in recent years, giving the singer his first solo award in 2010. And it might be lucky No. 7 for the rocker too: Young holds the record for the most losses (six) without a win in this category.
The Grammy Awards airs Sunday at 8/7c on CBS. Who do you think will win?
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