The 54th Annual Grammy Awards are only 9 days away, Feb. 12. As they approach, I’ll be predicting the winners in key categories. Adele is the frontrunner for every award she is nominated for, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t expect some surprises along the way.

First up is Record of the Year, which is one of the “Big Four” awards, which also includes Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist. These are the general awards, which are voted on by all 12,000 or so members of the Recording Academy and they are open to artists of all genres.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

“Rolling In The Deep”
Adele
Paul Epworth, producer; Tom Elmhirst & Mark Rankin, engineers/mixers

“Holocene”
Bon Iver
Justin Vernon, producer; Brian Joseph & Justin Vernon, engineers/mixers

“Grenade”
Bruno Mars
The Smeezingtons, producers; Ari Levine & Manny Marroquin, engineers/mixers

“The Cave”
Mumford & Sons
Markus Dravs, producer; Francois Chevallier & Ruadhri Cushnan, engineers/mixers

“Firework"
Katy Perry
Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen & Sandy Vee, producers; Mikkel S. Eriksen, Phil Tan, Sandy Vee & Miles Walker, engineers/mixers


A lot of folks are understandably confused about the difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Record of the Year goes to the artist, producer and engineer/mixer, while Song of the Year goes to the writer. So think about it this way: Record of the Year is all about how the song sounds, how well the artist sings and what the production is like.

All five of these records sound great and each production, while wildly different, serves the song well, whether it’s the haunting quiet that surrounds “Holocene” or the subtle urgency that builds in “Grenade.”

Having said that, and having stated above that Adele is not necessarily a slam dunk in every category, she is absolutely a lock for this award. The song is both critically acclaimed and a huge commercial smash: the biggest crossover tune in 25 years. It even charted on Billboard’s Latin charts, no kidding.  Paul Epworth’s production is flawless from the thumping opening to the cascading keyboards, handclaps and girl-group backing vocals. And, of course, it all pivots around Adele’s breathtaking, soulful, take-no-prisoners delivery.

Who will win: “Rolling in the Deep”

Who should win: “Rolling in the Deep”

 

Agree? Disagree? Put your own predictions on a ballot and, if you're right, you may ***WIN*** a SONY 32GB Tablet. Click here to play HitFix's Grammy Awards predictions game.

Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitFixMelinda