Grammy predictions 2017: #I HEART PRINCE Tribute

 

A slew of mainstream favorites including Drake, Rihanna and Twenty One Pilots are vying for top prizes at Sunday's Grammy Awards (CBS, 8 ET/5 PT), but it's the diva showdown between Beyoncé and Adele that will have us on the edges of our seats. USA TODAY picks the likely winners in major categories and who we're rooting for in each:

Album of the year

Who will and should win: Beyoncé, Lemonade 

The Recording Academy historically has been capricious in awarding its highest honor to an R&B/hip-hop album. In fact, the only two to manage that feat in the last two decades have been OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2004 and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1999. But even with stiff competition from Adele's pop steamroller 25 and Sturgill Simpson's country-rock opus A Sailor's Guide to Earth — both of which should play well with older, more conservative voters — we still think Beyoncé is going to win the gramophone.

With its searing narrative of infidelity, forgiveness and empowerment, a lyrical one-hour visual and genre-spanning track list, no one album captured the zeitgeist quite like Lemonade in 2016. It would be a long-overdue album-of-the-year win for the 20-time Grammy champ, whose similarly ambitious self-titled effort was contentiously passed over in 2015 for Beck's Morning Phase. We don't think Adele would feel short-changed, either. After all, she already earned the accolade in 2012 for her superior album, 21, and has repeatedly professed her love for Lemonade in interviews and on tour.

Adrian Long

Adrian Long

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