Tonight, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will announce Grammy nominations for the top musical artists of the year, a precursor to the 55th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10. To be eligible, an artist must have released a song between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012.
Here are a look at some of the artists who could appear in the four general categories:
Album of the Year
Last year, Adele's "21" picked up album of the year (along with a slew of other top awards), given to the performer and the production team of a full album. Overall influence and popularity are key factors in the decision to what might arguably be the Grammy's top honor. This year, two obvious picks include Frank Ocean's "Channel Orange" and "The Black Keys' "El Camino." Fun.'s "Some Nights", Nicki Minaj's "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," and Taylor Swift's "Red" could also be strong contenders. (But we're guessing that Lana Del Ray's "Born to Die" probably won't be).
Record of the Year
This award goes to the artist and production team behind a single track. Chances are good, therefore, that this pick will go to a popular, highly infectious song (But, as MTV notes, no rap song has ever won in this category). Our picks include the year's sing-along favorites: Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," Carly Rae Jepson's "Call Me Maybe," Fun.'s "We Are Young", and of course the K-pop viral hit "Gangnam Style." (If Psy wins, it would be Korea's first Grammy Award). And though unlikely, after seeing the Biebs sweep the AMA, "Girlfriend" could make it on the list.
Song of the Year
Unlike Record of the Year, Song of the Year goes to the actual songwriter, which means the honor could go to a more earthy, less manufactured-sounding song. Any of The Black Keys' soulful singles--we're not sure which--from their "El Camino" album are an obvious choice here. British rock band Mumford & Sons will probably also make it to the list for "I Will Wait," as will Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Pop perennials Bruno Mars and Jason Mraz could also make the cut with "Locked Out of Heaven" and "I Won't Give Up," respectively.
Best New Artist
This might be most exciting award, if only because it cements a newcomer permanently into the music scene. Breakthrough artists are still eligible even if they've had previous releases, which makes it a bit tougher to decide who should get this award. Carlie Rae Jepson and Gotye are obvious contenders here, but Gotye's duet partner Kimbra could make an appearance on the list, too. And soulful singer Ellie Goulding and rapper Kendrick Lamar are too talented not to get a nom.
Tune in tonight at 10 pm E.T. on CBS to see this year's "Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!"