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As the Feb. 10 55th annual Grammy Awards edge closer, we’re analyzing a category a day. Today, we look at Best R&B Performance.
Best R&B Performance Nominees:
Estelle - "Thank You"
Robert Glasper Experiment feat. Ledisi -"Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)
Luke James - "I Want You"
Miguel - "Adorn"
Usher - "Climax"
THE PLAYERS: Robert Glasper Experiment is the critical darling here, but that will only get “Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)” so far, despite it being a beautiful, jazzy track. Estelle’s “Thank You” is slinky and sassy, but not exceptional. Luke James is a newcomer who looks like he has a great future ahead of him if “I Want You” is any indication. Usher’s “Climax” is a beautiful, heartbreaking song about a couple who has passed their shelf life. Miguel’s sultry, sexy “Adorn” is the marathon runner of the bunch.
THE ODDS: The odds are “Adorn,” at least 20-1. Twenty is the number of weeks the song has topped Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, setting a record for the tally. The song appeals to a wide demo, which will also help in the voting. Plus, Miguel’s nominations in the general categories will also give him a boost. The wildcard? If people reflexively vote for Usher because they like him and like “Climax.”
THE WINNER: Miguel, “Adorn.”