Entertainment

Grammys 2015: Beyoncé album could be surprise winner

The release of Beyoncé's latest album was an innovative, fresh and risky approach to an album launch in an ever-changing industry suffering from lower album sales, yet continuously growing in the streaming business.

Most nominated female artist at Grammys has never won best album

The release of Beyoncé's latest album was an innovative, fresh and risky approach to an album launch in an ever-changing industry suffering from lower album sales, yet continuously growing in the streaming business.

She caused a frenzy, set records and reached new heights. Beyoncé not only marked a moment in pop culture, it is part of music history.

The icon, who is most nominated female in Grammy history, could continue with history-winning moments at Sunday's awards show, where Beyoncé is nominated for album of the year.

"She's never won album of the year. I don't know how that's possible. What is going on in the world where Beyoncé hasn't won album of the year?" asked Ryan Tedder, a producer on Beyoncé.

"I don't understand — so I'm hoping this is her year," he added.

Though Beyoncé's chances are strong, so are her competitors.

Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran strong contenders

Sam Smith, the crooning darling who stole hearts with his piercing voice and breathtaking ballads, is also nominated for album of the year. Smith and Beyoncé — along with fellow album of the year nominee, Pharrell — lead the awards with six nominations each.

British singer Ed Sheeran's 'X' was the most streamed album on Spotify last year. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/Associated Press)

Ed Sheeran's X, the most streamed album on Spotify last year, is also up for the top prize along with Beck's Morning Phase.

"I've lost many, many times, so I'm very acclimated to losing," Beck said in an interview. "But I'm definitely in the camp of a nomination is good enough; you know, just getting to be there, just being part of it."

While the race for album of the year is hotly anticipated, the performances at the Staples Center will dominate the next day's conversation. Rihanna will perform her new single, FourFiveSeconds, with Kanye West and Paul McCartney; Madonna is set to the hit the stage; and other performances range from AC/DC to Ariana Grande, Herbie Hancock and Lady Gaga with Tony Bennett.

Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Pharrell, Sia, John Mayer and Mary J. Blige are also part of the all-star lineup of performers.

Iggy Azalea up for 4

Smith, who will also perform, will compete for best pop vocal album for In the Lonely Hour and best pop solo performance, song and record of the year for Stay With Me. He scored nominations in all four top categories, including best new artist, where he will go head-to-head with Haim, Bastille, Brandy Clark and Iggy Azalea, who is nominated for four awards.

Iggy Azalea, who is nominated for four awards. Her debut album,'The New Classic,' is nominated for best rap album. (Chris Pizzello/ Associated Press)

Azalea's debut album, The New Classic, is nominated for best rap album, where she will compete with Eminem and Common, among others. Fancy, the Australian performer's breakthrough hit, is nominated for record of the year and best pop duo/group performance.

Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass and Sia's Chandelier are nominated for both record and song of the year. Hozier's haunting Take Me to Church rounds out the list of song of the year nominees.

Gwen Stefani, Miranda Lambert, Usher and Annie Lennox will also perform at the Grammys, to be hosted by LL Cool J.

Beyoncé's other nominations include best R&B song and performance for Drunk In Love with Jay Z.

Canadian contenders

Toronto rap superstar Drake is leading the Canadian contingent with three nominations — even though this was a year in which the 28-year-old didn't release an album.

Toronto's Drake leads the Canadian contingent with three nominations even he didn't release an album this year. (Owen Sweeney/Associated Press)
He's in the running for best rap song and best rap performance (both for his rousing anthem 0 to 100/The Catch-Up), as well as best rap/sung collaboration for his light-hearted verses on I Love Makonnen's hypnotic Tuesday.

Montreal's Arcade Fire is up in two categories: best alternative music album (for their sprawling experiment Reflektor) and best music video for their equality-minded We Exist clip, which starred Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield.

Deadmau5, the Ontario-born electronic music producer and DJ, is up for best dance/electronic album for While(1<2).

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards show kicks off at the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight with the red carpet arrivals starting 8 p.m. ET on CBS and Citytv.

      1 of 0

      With files from CBC News and The Canadian Press

      Comments

      To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

      By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.