As we continue our countdown to the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards, we’re predicting a category a day. Today, we look at best solo rock vocal performance. We picked this category for a very specific reason: we want to rant a little.

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance

“Run Back To Your Side,” Eric Clapton
“Crossroads,” John Mayer
“Helter Skelter,” Paul McCartney
“Silver Rider,” Robert Plant
“Angry World,” Neil Young


Good God, Clapton, McCartney, Plant and Young are legends and it’s great that they are still making vibrant, if not vital, music, but could we please nominate some artists who aren’t card-carrying members of the AARP?  Not that he’s much younger, but what happened to John Mellencamp in this category?

For whatever reason, there are very few solo rock males breaking through in any meaningful way right now. The music space is lousy with pop/R&B-leaning solo males, but most rocking males seem to prefer to be in groups right now rather than go it solo. In fact we just ran through Billboard’s current Rock Songs chart and there is not a single solo male in the Top 25.   Kid Rock’s “Born Free” album came out too late to be considered, but it seems like the first single was out by the Sept. 30 cutoff.  We imagine both Gregg Allman and Amos Lee, who are eligible next year, may show up in 2012.

[More after the jump...]


There’s another less obvious problem here that only careful Grammy watchers would note: There used to be a best rock solo male category as well as a best rock solo female category, but all our solo female rockers, other than Melissa Etheridge, have basically disappeared or don’t fit into what Grammy voters consider “rock.”

Having said all that, we also want to rail against live tracks: McCartney’s “Helter Skelter” is taken from his “Good Evening New York City” live set. They shouldn’t be eligible. If Grammy voters want to show them so much love create a Best Live Performance category.

Will Win: “Angry World”

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Previous 2011 Grammy Predictions

Best Pop Vocal Album

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Best Contemporary R&B Album

Best Short Form Music Video

Best Female Country Vocal Performance

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Best Alternative Music Album