Predicting the 2012 Grammy Awards: Album of the Year

Album of the Year is the last award presented on the Grammy Awards telecast for good reason: it”s the fairest award of them all and the one that every artist dreams of winning  Here are the contenders for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will air Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Album of the Year

“21,” Adele
“Wasting Light,”  Foo Fighters
“Born This Way,” Lady Gaga
“Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” Bruno Mars
“Loud,” Rihanna

This is a fine list, but if we were a one-woman nominating committee, we”d swap out “Loud” and “Born This Way” for Kayne West”s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and Paul Simon”s “So Beautiful Or So What.” But the Grammy voters love Lady Gaga…up to a point: all three of her albums have received album of the year nominations, although she”s never won. The Foos have been here before also. For Adele, Bruno Mars and Rihanna, this is their first invitation to the big dance. Adele”s “21” has just celebrated its 50th week in the Billboard 200 Top 10 and its third No. 1 single. There was a time when commercial sales didn”t mean squat when it came to predicting the best album winner, but when you combine “21”s” sales strength and its across-the-board appeal from hipsters and soccer moms alike, the award is Adele”s to lose.

Should Win: “21”

Will Win “21”

Check out our other predictions for record of the year, song of the year and best new artist.

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