How many other award shows get their own star-packed concert spectacular just for the announcement of their nominees? The Grammys will be revealing the candidates for music's biggest (in terms of viewership, anyway) honors tonight, in a big-ass special hosted by LL Cool J and featuring performances by Rihanna, Lady Gaga, The Band Perry, Jason Aldean, Sugarland, and even LL himself in a multi-generational tribute to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message." ("White Lines" would have been funnier.) Impressive showing for sure, but it's still the nominees that should take center stage, and we're here to break down what they're likely to be, with help from official predictions from ThisGoesIn, and HitFix.


Adele, 21

Tony Bennett, Duets II

Lady Gaga, Born This Way

Taylor Swift, Speak Now

Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Everyone seems to agree about Adele, Taylor and Kanye being shoo-ins for this category, but the last two spots are a little dicier. Lady Gaga will be dueling with "Telephone" co-star Beyonce and her 4 album for one of the final slots, and Tony Bennett may see some competition from Paul Simon's So Beautiful or So What for the token oldster slot. ThisJustIn also views Bon Iver's self-titled album as being in the mix—and after last year's shocking Arcade Fire upset in this category, anything's possible—but we just don't see it this time around.


Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"

Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

Bruno Mars, "Grenade"

Katy Perry, "Firework"

Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse, "Body and Soul"

Adele again here is a no-brainer, as are the similarly safe smash hits by Bruno Mars and Katy Perry. We think the Grammy-heavy-hitter coupling of Bennett and Winehouse will make the somewhat mediocre "Body and Soul" undeniable for this category, and we're going a little off the board with our fifth pick, Lil Wayne's explicitly award-show-baiting "How to Love." Other possibilities for this category include Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera's "Moves Like Jagger," Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" (in a perfect world, certainly) and any number of Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift or Kanye West songs.


Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"

Beyoncé, "I Was Here"

Bruno Mars, "Grenade"

Katy Perry, "Firework"

Taylor Swift, "Back to December"

The Adele-Bruno-Katy troika stays strong for Song of the Year (which, you remember, awards the songwriters as opposed to the producers and performers), though the old Tony song drops out, as does the somewhat flimsy "Moves Like Jagger." The Swift-composed "Back to December" is a strong choice here, as is Beyonce's annual I Have an Awesome Voice and Write Emotional Songs contribution "I Was Here." Once again, Lady Gaga could contend with several songs (perhaps most notably her more traditional "You and I"), and Lady Antebellum could be a dark horse candidate with "Just a Kiss."


The Band Perry

Bon Iver

Foster the People


Nicki Minaj

The consensus choices here are The Band Perry (who by bizarre Grammy logic are not eligible for Song/Record/Album of the Year with "If I Die Young" due to it being nominated in the Country categories last year, but still count as a New Artist), Foster the People (who were basically invented for this category) and Nicki Minaj. Bon Iver seems a more likely fit here than for Album of the Year (though again, not really new) and LMFAO...well, they deserve some kind of Big Four recognition for "Party Rock," don't they? Look out for the sneaky-popular Hot Chelle Rae and Royal Wedding-approved songstress Ellie Goulding in this category too...and dare we dream for some Tyler, the Creator recognition? (Probably not.)

Nominees announced at 10:00 tonight on CBS. Feel free to contribute your own prediction in the comments for potential future bragging rights.