Today, I'm looking at Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The nominees are:
"Me, Myself And I," Beyonce
"Heaven Sent," Keyshia Cole
"Spotlight," Jennifer Hudson
"Superwoman," Alicia Keys
"Need U Bad," Jazmine Sullivan
This is a tough one with several wildcards, but we're dismissing Beyonce's "Me, Myself & I." It's from her 2003 solo album, "Dangerously in Love." Yes, this version is from her 2007 "The Beyonce Experience Live" DVD, but it's a little bit of a cheat to us. The other contenders include three past No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hop-Hop Songs chart --"Heaven Sent," "Spotlight" and "Need U Bad."-and Keys' ode to female empowerment, "Superwoman," which peaked at No. 12 on the chart. Sullivan is also nominated for best new artist (Hudson, surprisingly, did not get a new artist nod), but we think Hudson is the stronger singer of the two. Plus, given her personal tragedy, she may get the sympathy vote. But it's hard to rule out Keys. Cole's is having a great run with her latest album, but this isn't her year. Despite the fact that the Grammy voters ignored her this year in the album of the year category, Keys is a Grammy go-to girl and I think some folks will reflexively mark their ballot for her on name value alone. Quite honestly, none of the songs are that remarkable, it pains me to say.
Winner: Alicia Keys, "Superwoman"