1-Minute Roundup: Record Of The Year
'2015 GRAMMY Nominees' album
RCA Records and The Recording Academy's GRAMMY Recordings will release the 2015 GRAMMY Nominees album on Jan. 20, in stores and via digital retailers. The 21st installment of the best-selling series features 21 chart-topping hits from a diverse array of this year's GRAMMY-nominated artists and songwriters. In conjunction with the album's release, music fans will have the opportunity to win trips to the 57th or 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
The 2015 GRAMMY Nominees album includes many of the year's prominent recordings and performers, highlighted by all of the nominated artists and songs in the high-profile Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Country Duo Or Group Performance categories. Artists featured on the collection include Iggy Azalea, Beck, the Band Perry, Beyoncé, Charli XCX, Eric Church, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Faith Hill, Hozier, Jay Z, Juicy J, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Pharrell Williams.
"The exceptional mix of recordings featured on this year's compilation not only represent a roster of incredibly talented artists but also provides a unique playlist showcasing some of this year's outstanding GRAMMY nominees," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "It is fitting that our 21st installment album contains 21 exciting selections which music fans are sure to enjoy. We are proud and excited to collaborate with RCA Records on this project and once again look forward to another successful GRAMMY nominees album."
"We are thrilled to work with The Academy on the 2015 GRAMMY Nominees album," said Tom Corson, president and COO, RCA Records. "This 21st installment highlights the amazing talent and hard work of this year's nominees and will delight music fans around the world. It's a true celebration of Music's Biggest Night."
RCA Records and The Recording Academy will offer two opportunities to attend Music's Biggest Night. First, when pre-ordering the 2015 GRAMMY Nominees album at GRAMMY.com/2015GRAMMYAlbum by Jan. 19, music fans can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 8. In addition, each 2015 GRAMMY Nominees album purchased in stores will include a special game piece featuring a unique code for a chance to play the GRAMMY Ticket Game. To participate, the code must be used at GRAMMY.com/2015GRAMMYAlbum for the opportunity to win a trip for two to the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016 or a second-place prize of an official GRAMMY Awards T-shirt.
The collection is made possible by a special arrangement with all of the major music distribution companies and rotates labels from year to year. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album benefits the year-round efforts of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation — two charitable organizations of The Recording Academy.
The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 8 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). For updates and breaking news, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
By now you've seen the full list of 57th GRAMMY nominees. But with 83 categories, it's a lot of information to absorb. We've dissected the list to bring you factoids about this year's nominees that are sure to make you the star attraction at your group GRAMMY viewing party. So dig in with our list of 57 Fun Facts About The 57th GRAMMY Nominees and mark your calendar for Music's Biggest Night on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 8–11:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Sam Smith is nominated for each of the "Big Four" awards — Album, Record and Song Of The Year and Best New Artist. At 22, he's the second youngest artist ever to achieve that feat. Mariah Carey was just 20 when she was nominated for all four awards 24 years ago.
Female artists account for four of the five Record Of The Year nominees. It's the first time in 16 years — and only the fourth time in GRAMMY history — that women have dominated the category to that degree.
"Fancy" by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX is just the second all-female collaboration to receive a Record Of The Year nomination. The first was "The Boy Is Mine," the 1998 smash by Brandy and Monica.
"Shake It Off" is Taylor Swift's third single to receive a Record Of The Year nomination. The sassy smash follows "You Belong with Me" (2009) and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (2012).
Sia's "Chandelier" is the year's only work to be nominated for both Record Of The Year and Best Music Video.
Pharrell Williams is competing with himself for Album Of The Year. He's nominated for his own album, Girl, and as a co-producer for both Beyoncé's Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran's X.
Beck is nominated for Album Of The Year for Morning Phase. He's the first artist to be nominated in this category in each decade from the 1990s through the 2010s. He was previously nominated for Odelay (1996) and Midnite Vultures (2000).
Beyoncé is nominated for Album Of The Year for the second time, for Beyoncé. She was nominated five years ago for I Am… Sasha Fierce. Beyoncé has amassed 53 GRAMMY nominations, more than any other female artist.
Ed Sheeran's sophomore album, X, has the shortest title of any Album Of The Year finalist in GRAMMY history. The old record was held jointly by James Taylor's JT, Peter Gabriel's So and Adele's 21.
Another album titled X, by Chris Brown, is nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Brown won the 2011 award for Best R&B Album for F.A.M.E.
Hozier, a Song Of The Year finalist for "Take Me To Church," was born in Bray County, Wicklow, Ireland. Other Irish songwriters that have been nominated for this top GRAMMY include Gilbert O'Sullivan and U2.
Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," which is nominated both for Record and Song Of The Year, is not the first GRAMMY-nominated song to celebrate a woman's "bass." Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" won for Best Rap Solo Performance for 1992.
Brandy Clark, who is nominated for Best New Artist and Best Country Album, received her first GRAMMY nomination a year ago for Best Country Song. She was a co-writer (with Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves) of Miranda Lambert's hit "Mama's Broken Heart."
Haim, comprising sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim, are the first sister trio to receive a Best New Artist nomination.
Two all-female collaborations — "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX and "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj — are competing for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Either would become the first all-female collabo to win in the Pop Field since "Lady Marmalade," the 2001 smash by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, and Pink.
Tony Bennett is vying for his 12th award in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category. He's nominated for Cheek To Cheek, a collaboration with Lady Gaga. Bennett is by far the most frequent winner in the category. Michael Bublé is second with four wins.
With Cheek To Cheek, Lady Gaga is vying to take best album honors in a third genre. She previously won for Best Electronic/Dance Album for The Fame (2009) and Best Pop Vocal Album for The Fame Monster (2010).
Johnny Mathis, nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Sending You A Little Christmas, received his first GRAMMY nomination in 1960, the third year of the awards. His classic rendition of "Misty" was nominated for Best Vocal Performance, Male — Single Or Track.
Miley Cyrus received her first GRAMMY nomination for Bangerz, which is a finalist for Best Pop Vocal Album. Her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, received a 1992 nomination for Best New Artist.
Coldplay, who are nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for Ghost Stories, have previously won for Best Alternative Music Album (twice) and Best Rock Album (once).
Katy Perry is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. This brings Perry's career total of nominations to 13. She is looking for her first win.
Deadmau5 is nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for the third time in the past four years. The Canadian musician is nominated for his seventh studio album, While (1
Mary J. Blige is nominated for Best Dance Recording as the featured artist on Disclosure's "F For You." The versatile singer has won nine GRAMMYs in four distinct genres: R&B, rap, pop, and gospel.
Slipknot, nominees for Best Metal Performance for "The Negative One," won the 2005 award in this category with "Before I Forget."
Two tracks from a tribute album to the late Ronnie James Dio are nominated for Best Metal Performance. They are Anthrax's "Neon Knights" and Tenacious D's "The Last In Line." Dio died in 2010.
The Black Keys, nominated for Best Rock Album for Turn Blue, won in that category two years ago with El Camino. Their album before that, Brothers, won the 2010 award for Best Alternative Music Album.
U2's 13th studio album, Songs Of Innocence, is nominated for Best Rock Album. All five of the band's studio albums since 1994, when this category was introduced, have been nominated for this award. U2 have amassed 46 GRAMMY nominations, more than any other group.
Jack White, nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for his second solo album, Lazaretto, won three times in this category with the White Stripes. If he wins again this year, he'll become the first four-time winner in the category's history.
St. Vincent is vying to become just the second female solo artist to win for Best Alternative Music Album. Sinéad O'Connor won the first-ever award in the category for her 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who rose to fame on "The Cosby Show," is nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance as a featured artist on Robert Glasper Experiment's "Jesus Children." (The track also features Lalah Hathaway.)
Love, Marriage & Divorce by Toni Braxton and Babyface is nominated for Best R&B Album. It's vying to become the second collaboration to win in that category. Wake Up! by John Legend and the Roots took the 2010 award.
Robert Glasper Experiment are vying for Best R&B Album for Black Radio 2. Their initial Black Radio won the 2012 award in this category.
Two tracks from Lecrae's seventh studio album, Anomaly, were nominated in very different categories. "All I Need Is You" is a finalist for Best Rap Performance. "Messengers," featuring For King & Country, is nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.
With The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem is vying to win Best Rap Album for the sixth time. Eminem's five previous wins make him the category leader. Kanye West is second with four wins.
Schoolboy Q was featured on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist, which was last year's winner for Best Rap Album. This year, the Los Angeles rapper is nominated in that category with his own album, Oxymoron.
Childish Gambino, nominated for Best Rap Album for Because The Internet, is the musical persona of actor Donald Glover, best known for his role on the TV series "Community."
Neil Patrick Harris received his first-ever GRAMMY nomination this year. The actor and frequent awards show host is nominated for Best Musical Theater Album for Hedwig And The Angry Inch.
Keith Urban, nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for "Cop Car," amassed four GRAMMYs for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in a six-year span (2005 through 2010).
"Meanwhile Back At Mama's" by Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill is nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. It's their sixth nomination for vocal performance as a team.
The Band Perry are vying to become the third artist to win a GRAMMY for a recording of "Gentle On My Mind." John Hartford (the song's composer) and Glen Campbell both won 1967 GRAMMYs for recordings of the song.
Paul Epworth is vying for his second award in the category of Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical. He won three years ago, chiefly for his work on Adele's 21. This year, his projects included Paul McCartney, Foster The People and FKA Twigs.
Swedish hit-maker Max Martin is nominated for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical for the first time. In addition, he's nominated for both Record and Song Of The Year for his work on Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off."
Current nominees Beck and Jack White are among the artists who will perform at the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute gala honoring Bob Dylan on Feb. 6.
Aloe Blacc received his first career nomination for Best R&B Album for Lift Your Spirit. Blacc is among the artists who will perform at Lean On Me: A Celebration Of Music And Philanthropy, the 17th Annual GRAMMY Foundation Legacy Concert taking place Feb 5.
Taylor Swift is the lone nominee who is the subject of a current exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum. Featuring personal photographs, handwritten lyrics, tour costumes, and more, The Taylor Swift Experience is on display through May 10.
Iggy Azalea is nominated for Best Rap Album for The New Classic. Should she win, Azalea would become the first female solo artist to take home the award.
Tom Petty's nod for Best Rock Album for Hypnotic Eye with the Heartbreakers is his 18th career nomination. Petty won his first GRAMMY for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for 1989 for Traveling Wilburys Volume One. The Traveling Wilburys featured Petty and, among others, George Harrison, who is one of this year's Special Merit Awards recipients.
Paramore's Hayley Williams and Taylor York are up for Best Rock Song for the group's "Ain't It Fun." This marks the second time the two musicians have received a nomination in a songwriting category. They were previously nominated for "Decode," which was a 2009 finalist for Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.
English rock group Bastille are among this year's nominees for Best New Artist. They are vying to become the first English collective to take home the honor since Sade won the award for 1985.
Former President Jimmy Carter is nominated for Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) for A Call To Action. If he takes the award, Carter will become the third former or future president with two GRAMMY wins, joining Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Carter is scheduled to present the award to Bob Dylan at the 2015 Person of the Year gala.
Gloria Gaynor's We Will Survive: True Stories Of Encouragement, Inspiration, And The Power Of Song is also nominated for Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling). At 35 years, Gaynor has the longest gap between nominations of any current nominee. Her last nominations were for 1979, including a win for Best Disco Recording for "I Will Survive."
Ziggy Marley and Anoushka Shankar are nominated for Best Reggae Album and Best World Music Album, respectively. Both artists' fathers — Bob Marley and Ravi Shankar — are GRAMMY winners and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
Kendrick Lamar's "I" is the lone song with a one-letter title to be nominated this year. It's up for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.
"The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna is among the nominees for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. The two stars received a 2010 nomination in this category for "Love The Way You Lie."
"Weird Al" Yankovic and Louis C.K. each received nominations for Best Comedy Album. Each has previously won in the category: Yankovic for Poodle Hat (2003); Louis C.K. for Hilarious (2011).
With six GRAMMY wins, Carrie Underwood has the most GRAMMYs by an "American Idol" alumnus. She's up for two more this year: Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
What do Arcade Fire, Tony Bennett, Glen Campbell, Alison Krauss, Barbra Streisand, Taylor Swift, and U2 have in common? Besides all being current nominees, they've all released albums that have won Album Of The Year honors.
Nominations for the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced today by The Recording Academy and reflected an eclectic mix of the best and brightest in music over the past year, as determined by The Academy's voting members.
This year, Beyoncé, Sam Smith and Pharrell Williams top nominations, garnering six each. Iggy Azalea, Beck, Eric Church, recording engineer Tom Coyne, Drake, Gordon Goodwin, Jay Z, Miranda Lambert, Sia, Usher, and Jack White earn four nominations each.
"This year's nominees are a reflection of the music community's diversity and range of talent, and a testament to The Academy's voting process," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "The Recording Academy is pleased to celebrate this talented crop of artists, nominated to receive music's greatest honor for their contributions to their respective genres. The tone for Music's Biggest Night has undoubtedly been set, and we look forward to producing one of the most exciting telecasts in GRAMMY history."
The nominations were revealed on a rolling basis throughout the day, starting with four categories on "CBS This Morning," followed by a series of video announcements posted by a variety of artists and celebrities on Twitter. The day culminated with the unveiling of Album Of The Year nominations on the one-hour entertainment special "A Very GRAMMY Christmas," which featured performances of holiday classics and current pop songs.
Following are the nominations in the General Field categories:
Album Of The Year:
Morning Phase — Beck
Beyoncé — Beyoncé
X — Ed Sheeran
In The Lonely Hour — Sam Smith
Girl — Pharrell Williams
Record Of The Year:
"Fancy" — Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX
"Chandelier" — Sia
"Stay With Me" (Darkchild Version) — Sam Smith
"Shake It Off" — Taylor Swift
"All About That Bass" — Meghan Trainor
Song Of The Year:
"All About That Bass" — Kevin Kadish & Meghan Trainor, songwriters (Meghan Trainor)
"Chandelier" — Sia Furler & Jesse Shatkin, songwriters (Sia)
"Shake It Off" — Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
"Stay With Me" (Darkchild Version) — James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters (Sam Smith)
"Take Me To Church" — Andrew Hozier-Byrne, songwriter (Hozier)
Best New Artist:
Following is a sampling of nominations in the GRAMMY Awards' other 29 Fields:
For Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, the nominees are "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX; "A Sky Full Of Stars" by Coldplay; "Say Something" by A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera; "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj; and "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J.
The nominees for Best Dance Recording are "Never Say Never" by Basement Jaxx; "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne; "F For You" by Disclosure Featuring Mary J. Blige; "I Got U" by Duke Dumont Featuring Jax Jones; and "Faded" by Zhu.
The Best Rock Performance nominees are "Gimme Something Good" by Ryan Adams; "Do I Wanna Know?" by Arctic Monkeys; "Blue Moon" by Beck; "Fever" by the Black Keys; and "Lazaretto" by Jack White.
For Best Alternative Music Album, the nominees are This Is All Yours by Alt-J; Reflektor by Arcade Fire; Melophobia by Cage The Elephant; St. Vincent by St. Vincent; and Lazaretto by Jack White.
The nominees for Best Rap Performance are "3005" by Childish Gambino; "0 To 100/The Catch Up" by Drake; "Rap God" by Eminem; "I" by Kendrick Lamar; and "All I Need Is You" by Lecrae.
For Best Rap Album, the nominees are The New Classic by Iggy Azalea; Because The Internet by Childish Gambino; Nobody's Smiling by Common; The Marshall Mathers LP2 by Eminem; Oxymoron by Schoolboy Q; and Blacc Hollywood by Wiz Khalifa.
The Best Urban Contemporary Album nominees are Sail Out by Jhené Aiko; Beyoncé by Beyoncé; X by Chris Brown; Mali Is…by Mali Music; and Girl by Pharrell Williams.
The nominees for Best Country Duo/Group Performance are "Gentle On My Mind" by the Band Perry; "Somethin' Bad" by Miranda Lambert With Carrie Underwood; "Day Drinking" by Little Big Town; "Meanwhile Back At Mama's" by Tim McGraw Featuring Faith Hill; and "Raise 'Em Up" by Keith Urban Featuring Eric Church.
The Best Country Album nominees are Riser by Dierks Bentley; The Outsiders by Eric Church; 12 Stories by Brandy Clark; Platinum by Miranda Lambert; and The Way I'm Livin' by Lee Ann Womack.
This year's Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominations go to Paul Epworth, John Hill, Jay Joyce, Greg Kurstin, and Max Martin.
This year's GRAMMY Awards process registered more than 20,000 submissions over a 12-month eligibility period (Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014). GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on Dec. 17 to The Recording Academy's voting members. Ballots are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 16, 2015, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the 57th GRAMMY Awards telecast.
The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Feb. 8, 2015, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). For updates and breaking news, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
Danish author Hans Christian Andersen once famously said, "Where words fail, music speaks." But what happens when you pair powerful lyrics with equally potent music? You get songs that fill fans' hearts and minds with stories of love, loss, recovery, and redemption.
These topics and more are highlighted in songs nominated for the 57th GRAMMY Awards. Below we dive into 10 tunes that carry an important message underneath the music, from Meghan Trainor's positive body image anthem and the heartbreak of "Say Something" by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera, to Sam Smith's vulnerable "Stay With Me" and Glen Campbell's poignant "I'm Not Gonna Miss You."
A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera, "Say Something"
A Great Big World's Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino found themselves with a surprise hit when their breakup ballad "Say Something" featuring Christina Aguilera soared to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 after the trio performed the song on an episode of "The Voice." But before it earned a nod for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, the song served as a method of healing for Vaccarino and Axel, who were both struggling with heartbreak while writing the song. "There was this girl in my life … for three years and it was unreciprocated," said Axel during an interview with Ryan Seacrest in 2014. "I think about it now and I get the chills because it's so crazy that that's the [song] that's connecting to everybody because we felt so alone … and now it's like a healing song and people are listening to it and it's helping them."
Arcade Fire, "We Exist"
"We were in Kingston, and we … met some gay Jamaican kids and just kind of talked to them and realized that they were constantly under the threat of violence," Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler told The Advocate about the inspiration for "We Exist." "For me, just meeting these kids in Jamaica and then imagining this conversation between a son and his father, that was the emotional kernel." The song's video, which is up for Best Music Video, highlights the journey of a transgender teen (played by Andrew Garfield) who ultimately triumphs in joining Arcade Fire onstage at Coachella to roaring approval. "We Exist" is featured on the band's fourth studio album, Reflektor, which earned a nod for Best Alternative Music Album.
Glen Campbell, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You"
Nominated for Best Country Song and Best Song Written For Visual Media, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" is the final song Campbell says he will ever record, due to his battle with Alzheimer's disease. The song is more than just a solemn country ballad — illustrating, in detail, the heartbreaking experience of losing one's memory. "I'm still here but yet I'm gone," sings Campbell in the song's opening, as the accompanying video highlights footage of his early career to his present-day life. By the time the song reaches its chorus, it sounds as if Campbell has reluctantly accepted his disease: "You're the last person I will love/You're the last face I will recall/And best of all/I'm not gonna miss you."
Hunter Hayes, "Invisible"
This Best Country Solo Performance-nominated song brings to light the bullying the self-described nerd Hayes says he experienced in high school. While "Invisible" opens on a somber note — "Crowded hallways are the loneliest places/For outcasts and rebels" — the anti-bullying anthem wraps with lyrics that are full of hope: "There's so much more to life than what you're feeling now/And someday you'll look back on all these days/And all this pain is gonna be invisible." Featured on 2014's Storyline, the single peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, proving Hayes' powerful message has been seen and heard by many.
Kendrick Lamar, "I"
Rapper Lamar's uplifting Top 40 ode to self-respect has earned him lots of love, including two GRAMMY nominations for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song (with co-writer Columbus Smith); Rolling Stone ranked "I" the No. 10 song of 2014. While the anthem has resonated with a larger audience, Lamar revealed in an interview with New York radio station WQHT-FM that he wrote "I" for prison inmates and suicidal teenagers. "I wrote a record for the homies that [are] in the penitentiary," said the Compton, Calif., native. "And I also wrote a record for these kids that come up to my show, with these slashes on their wrist, saying they don't want to live."
Lecrae, "All I Need Is You"
One of two tracks from Lecrae's seventh studio album, Anomaly, to earn a GRAMMY nomination this year, "All I Need Is You" is more than a song about love and hip-hop, it's Lecrae's positive take on healthy, monogamous relationships, which he believes hasn't always been a focal point in hip-hop songs. "When you see Jay Z and Beyoncé, [you think], OK, marriage is cool now. They set a trend and I think that's healthy," said Lecrae about the Best Rap Performance-nominated song during a 2014 interview with MTV.com. "It's just continuing with that trend of — what if we're monogamous? … What if we love somebody and we're not afraid to say it in a hip-hop song? You've gotta continue to set trends and be different."
With its airy instrumentation and soaring chorus, Sia's "Chandelier" sounds like the perfect club anthem on first listen. However, the lyrics crystallize the dark portrait of a party girl in the midst of an epiphany. "Sun is up, I'm a mess/Gotta get out now, gotta run from this," sings a troubled Sia. As it turns out, "Chandelier" is a first-person account of the Australia native's personal struggles with alcoholism and prescription drugs. Originally intended for Rihanna, Sia decided to keep the spellbinding song for herself when she "realized it was personal, and that I was attached to it somehow." The Top 10 hit earned Sia GRAMMY nominations for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year (with co-writer Jesse Shatkin), Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Music Video.
Sam Smith, "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)"
Smith's quadruple-platinum smash, which earned GRAMMY nods for Record and Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, isn't the first song about loneliness and unrequited love. But it has emerged as an anthem for the brokenhearted, particularly for those within the gay community due to the first-time GRAMMY nominee's willingness to sing openly about his love for another man. Smith's unapologetic ballad about a one-night stand and heartache has caught on with listeners worldwide, climbing to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the charts in several countries, including the UK, Israel and South Africa.
Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
The first single from Swift's 2014 hit album, 1989, "Shake It Off" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and punctuated her official foray into pop music. But the track is more than just a catchy earworm — it's Swift's jovial dismissal of the "haters." "I've had every part of my life dissected," the GRAMMY winner said in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone. "When you live your life under that kind of scrutiny, you can either let it break you, or you can get really good at dodging punches. And when one lands, you know how to deal with it. And I guess the way that I deal with it is to shake it off." Co-written by Swift, Max Martin and Shellback, "Shake It Off" is nominated for Record and Song Of The Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass"
Trainor not only brought booty back, she shook her boom boom to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. "All About That Bass" creatively combines the right musical "junk in all the right places," including a bouncy bass line and a sugary refrain, with a lyric that promotes a positive self-image message: flaunt your "bass" proudly, no matter your size. The anti-treble smash earned Trainor her first career GRAMMY nominations for Record and Song Of The Year (with co-writer Kevin Kadish). "It's scary going out there with a song like this," Trainor told GRAMMY.com. "But seeing the reaction really helps me being confident. It's a song that has helped so many people, and me included."