This year's Grammy Awards features some intense competition in the various categories, most notably between Beyoncé and Adele — who are competing for four big trophies. Although we civilians tend to judge the nominees by our own likes and subjective criteria, trophies are earned by artists whose work has been considered by some 20,000 experts including engineers, writers, artists and trained musicians who are only allowed to vote in a finite number of categories.

One of those experts is Harvey Mason Jr., a seven-time Grammy winner who's written and produced for a lengthy list of megastars (Whitney, Britney, Timberlake), TV shows including Netflix's upcoming animated Motown show and films such as SING!, for which he was executive music producer. picked his brain on the likely winners — projections based not on his personal preference but how fellow voters are likely thinking. Who's gonna be making room on a shelf? Let's see!

Check out all of's 2017 Grammy coverage

Album Of The Year
25 — Adele
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Views -- Drake
A Sailor's Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Who will win: You probably didn't need an expert to tell you this is a tough one, but, yeah. It's a tough one. Still, Mason says this is likely Beyoncé for the win. Album of the year is, as it sounds, about which project best stands as a complete package of work and well, "She had an amazing year," Mason said. "She has the best chance of winning."
Who might win: Sturgill Simpson, Mason said, could be a dark horse.

Beyonce and AdeleBeyonce and Adele

Record Of The Year
"Hello" — Adele
"Formation" — Beyoncé
"7 Years" — Lukas Graham
"Work" — Rihanna Featuring Drake
"Stressed Out" — Twenty One Pilots

Who will win: Again, tough! But since this category considers overall production, writing, performance, mixing and other technical aspects, put your money on Adele. "'Hello' is such a big record, I could see that winning."
Who might win: Of course, Beyoncé is a strong contender. That said, if you consider for a moment "Formation" without Beyonce's charisma, the "Formation" video and the 2016 Super Bowl performance that made it a phenomenon, then it may have a hard time beating the powerful simplicity of "Hello."

Song Of The Year
"Formation" — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (performed by Beyoncé)
"Hello" — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (performed by Adele)
"I Took A Pill In Ibiza" — Mike Posner, songwriter (performed by Mike Posner)
"Love Yourself" — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (performed by Justin Bieber)
"7 Years" — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (performed by Lukas Graham)

Who will win: Songwriting, Mason reminds us, "goes to writers for the best written song — melody, lyrics, the song's progression" as well as its impact. Therefore, "it's probably [Adele's] "Hello" as far as what voting members will pick."
Who might win: Beyoncé, of course. ("She's having such a big year and that record had such an impact, I could see voters transferring their love into their vote.") But Mike Posner has a shot! "Pill in Ibiza — I could see why it's there. [Everyone] knows the EDM version but the song nominated is slower, more a singer-songwriter song. It's an interesting dilemma." Could there could be an upset? The drama!

Best New Artist
Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris

Who will win: Chainsmokers are likely, he said, owing to their impact on the industry with their success in various formats including Top 40 radio, streaming services and going viral. "I don't think anyone else on the list is having that impact." Kelsea and Maren will split country votes; Chance The Rapper and Anderson.Paak will split the urban vote. That said, Chainsmokers, who started as DJs, may cause some confusion among conservative voters who are uncertain on how to best classify the duo. Are they DJs? Artists? Producers? That could impact how people vote.
Who might win: Chance the Rapper

Best Pop Vocal Album
25 — Adele
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
Confident — Demi Lovato
This Is Acting — Sia

Who will win: Adele. "Everyone was blown away by her vocals; she's an amazing singer, a huge talent."
Who might win: The Biebs. "I hate that we haven't got into Justin," Mason said. "His record is great — a good collection of work. I wouldn't be surprised if he pops us and took an award or two. His record was impactful."

Best Pop Solo Performance
"Hello" — Adele
"Hold Up" — Beyoncé
"Love Yourself" — Justin Bieber
"Piece By Piece (Idol Version)" — Kelly Clarkson
"Dangerous Woman" — Ariana Grande

Who will win: This is the nail-biter of the night, with the strength of "Hello" and "Hold Up" making it nearly impossible to pin a sure bet down. "The amazing visibility of 'Hello' and the popularity of Beyoncé is going to drive voters to one of those two votes." In the strictest interpretation of the category though, Adele leads and if history is an accurate judge (she's the leader in the category with "Someone Like You" in 2012 and "Set Fire to the Rain" in 2013) she'll win again.
Who might win: Beyoncé

Lady Gaga, who'll perform this year with Metallica, in her David Bowie tribute at the 2016<em> 58th Annual Grammy Awards</em>Lady Gaga, who'll perform this year with Metallica, in her David Bowie tribute at the 2016 58th Annual Grammy Awards

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
"Closer" — The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
"7 Years" — Lukas Graham
"Work" — Rihanna featuring Drake
"Cheap Thrills" — Sia featuring Sean Paul
"Stressed Out" — Twenty One Pilots

Who will win: The Chainsmokers, who may get passed over for Best New Artist for reasons mentioned above.
Who might win: Rihanna, who could nab this in lieu of the Best Urban Contemporary Album she won't win against Beyoncé.

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Ology — Gallant
We Are King — KING
Malibu — Anderson .Paak
Anti — Rihanna

Who will win: Beyoncé is a lock. "Rihanna had a great record, but Beyoncé made too much of an impact." While sales and airplay aren't supposed to be a consideration — just quality of work — "there's deductive reasoning that subconsciously takes place in almost any voter's mind."
Who might win: Let's not waste time pretending this isn't Beyoncé's.

Best Rap/Sung Performance
"Freedom" — Beyoncé featuring Kendrick Lamar
"Hotline Bling" — Drake
"Broccoli" — D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty
"Ultralight Beam" — Kanye West featuring Chance The Rapper, Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin & The-Dream
"Famous" — Kanye West featuring Rihanna

Who will win: "I could see Kanye's 'Ultralight Beam' walking away with that," Mason said. Which raises an elephant-sized question: Could controversy affect an artist's chances at a win? (Because Lord knows somebody on this list had plenty in 2016 and heaven help us all if he loses to anyone but Beyoncé.) "I think it definitely can," Mason said. "I think voters tend to vote with their hearts and emotions as well as their ears. If someone didn't agree with something they did, I can see that playing a part."
Who might win: Drake

Best Rock Performance
"Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)" — Alabama Shakes
"Don't Hurt Yourself" — Beyoncé Featuring Jack White
"Blackstar" — David Bowie
"The Sound Of Silence" — Disturbed
"Heathens" — Twenty One Pilots

Who will win: Buzzed-about Alabama Shakes, fronted by the fabulous Brittany Howard, are known for their ferocious performances and look poised to win here.
Who might win: Bowie

Best Rock Song
"Blackstar" — David Bowie, songwriter (performed by David Bowie)
"Burn the Witch" --Radiohead, songwriters (performed by Radiohead)
"Hardwired" — James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (performed by Metallica)
"Heathens" — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (performed by Twenty One Pilots)
"My Name Is Human" — Rich Meyer, Ryan Meyer & Johnny Stevens, songwriters (performed by Highly Suspect)

Who will win: Bowie. "I heard so many people in different rooms talk about Davie Bowie's record, how amazing it was," said Mason. "People were really excited about it."
Who might win: Radiohead or Metallica — both of which managed strong "comeback" albums.

Best Country Solo Performance
"Love Can Go To Hell" — Brandy Clark
"Vice" — Miranda Lambert
"My Church" — Maren Morris
"Church Bells" — Carrie Underwood
"Blue Ain't Your Color" — Keith Urban

Who will win: Maren Morris' "My Church" had heavy momentum.
Who might win: Keith Urban, who's status as a "legacy artist" will draw a lot of votes.

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
"Different for Girls" — Dierks Bentley featuring Elle King
"21 Summer" — Brothers Osborne
"Setting The World On Fire" — Kenny Chesney & P!nk
"Jolene" — Pentatonix featuring Dolly Parton
"Think Of You" — Chris Young with Cassadee Pope

Who will win: Dierks Bentley's sensitive and kinda-feminist musing gained a lot of attention, so it's a strong contender.
Who might win: Pentatonix's re-work of "Jolene" is not only novel but incorporates Queen Dolly herself — making this her 47th nom, a number second only to Beyoncé — which could edge them to a win.

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.

(Full disclosure: is owned by CBS.)