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Here's who will -- and should -- win at the Grammys

Entertainment Weekly forecasts who will — and should — win in 21 categories at the Feb. 8 ceremony

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Outkast
Outkast: Matthias Clamer/Corbis Outline

Outkast | WHO WILL WIN OutKast. Admit it. You're singing it in your head right now, aren't you?
Image credit: Outkast: Matthias Clamer/Corbis Outline
WHO WILL WIN OutKast. Admit it. You’re singing it in your head right now, aren’t you?

Album

of the Year

Who’ll win the Album of the Year Grammy?

Who deserves to win OutKast. An all-too-rare hip-hop album with stylistic breadth and artistic vision.

Beyonce Knowles | PREDICTION We've all fallen crazy in love with Beyonce (above), but it's OutKast who will win this award
Image credit: Beyonce: Dave Martin/AP/Wide World
PREDICTION We’ve all fallen crazy in love with Beyonce (above), but it’s OutKast who will win this award

Record

of the Year

Who’ll win the Record of the Year Grammy?

Who deserves to win Beyoncé. Voters would have to be nuts not to show love to the most boisterous, frisky, uplifting single of the past 12 months.

Eminem | PREDICTION Vandross will be the Academy's choice, despite the broader appeal of Eminem (above)
Image credit: Eminem: Salifu Idriss/Redfern/Retna
PREDICTION Vandross will be the Academy’s choice, despite the broader appeal of Eminem (above)

Song

of the Year

Who’ll win the Song of the Year Grammy?

Who deserves to win Eminem. A rap anthem fit for Rocky.

Fountains of Wayne | PREDICTION Fountains of Wayne (above) are the critics' darlings, but 50 Cent's phenomenal debut album sales pretty much guarantee him this award
Image credit: Fountains of Wayne Photograph by Michael Lewis/Corbis Outline
PREDICTION Fountains of Wayne (above) are the critics’ darlings, but 50 Cent’s phenomenal debut album sales pretty much guarantee him this award

Best

New Artist

Who’ll win the Best New Artist Grammy?

Who deserves to win FOW. If Shelby Lynne can win after six albums, we won’t grumble if the Grammys give it to Fountains a scant three CDs into their career.

Avril Lavigne | PREDICTION Though the vocals of the young Lavigne (above) are impressive, Aguilera's ''Beautiful'' struck a winning chord
Image credit: Avril Lavigne: Kwaku Alston/Corbis Outline
PREDICTION Though the vocals of the young Lavigne (above) are impressive, Aguilera’s ”Beautiful” struck a winning chord

Best

Female Pop Vocal Performance

Who’ll win the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy?

Who deserves to win Lavigne. Voters might consider Avril too immature for a trophy, but admit it: She nailed this yearning ballad.

Avril Lavigne | WHO WILL WIN Timberlake may want to dedicate his win to a few rock veterans -- because he's going to beat them all
Image credit: Justin Timberlake: Tony Duran/Corbis Outline
WHO WILL WIN Timberlake may want to dedicate his win to a few rock veterans — because he’s going to beat them all

Best

Male Pop Vocal Performance

Who’ll win the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy?

Who deserves to win Justin. Youth beats experience with this infectious ode to love gone wrong. Thanks, Britney!

Annie Lennox | PREDICTION Cry Annie Lennox (above) a river, because Timberlake's ''Justified'' will prevail over her underheard but lovely ''Bare''
Image credit: Annie Lennox: Theo Wargo/Wireimage.com
PREDICTION Cry Annie Lennox (above) a river, because Timberlake’s ”Justified” will prevail over her underheard but lovely ”Bare”

Best

Pop Vocal Album

Who’ll win the Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy?

Who deserves to win Lennox. About the only Grammy category left uninstituted is Best Divorce Album. Sans that, Lennox’s ”Bare” gets our vote here.

Lucinda Williams | PREDICTION If more people knew who she was, Williams (above) would win, but instead, it'll be Branch
Image credit: Lucinda Williams: Michael Halsband/Landov/Camera Press/Retna
PREDICTION If more people knew who she was, Williams (above) would win, but instead, it’ll be Branch

Best

Female Rock Vocal Performance

Who’ll win the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy?

Who deserves to win Lucinda. A sexy vocal, risqué lyrics, and a John Coltrane reference add up to a surefire trifecta.

Dave Matthews | WHO WILL WIN As the only performer in this category with proven album sales this year, Matthews will take home the prize
Image credit: Dave Matthews: Matthias Clamer/Corbis Outline
WHO WILL WIN As the only performer in this category with proven album sales this year, Matthews will take home the prize

Best

Male Rock Vocal Performance

Who’ll win the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy?

Who deserves to win Matthews. His mood-indigo vocal imbues this meditation on mortality with a chilling authority.

Thom Yorke | PREDICTION Despite interesting competition from Radiohead (above) and others, Zevon and Springsteen's duet is a benchmark voters will want to commemorate
Image credit: Radiohead: Jason Bell/Camera Press/Retna
PREDICTION Despite interesting competition from Radiohead (above) and others, Zevon and Springsteen’s duet is a benchmark voters will want to commemorate

Best

Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Who’ll win the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals Grammy?

Who deserves to win Zevon and the Boss, who bring a ton of ‘tude and revved-up humor to this raucous rocker.

Foo Fighters | PREDICTION Evanescence's avid fan base will ensure a win, even though the Foo Fighters (above) did their best work this year
Image credit: Foo Fighters: John McMurtrie/Retna
PREDICTION Evanescence’s avid fan base will ensure a win, even though the Foo Fighters (above) did their best work this year

Best

Rock Album

Who’ll win the Best Rock Album Grammy?

Who deserves to win Foo Fighters. Renaissance man Dave Grohl continues to front rock’s most galvanizing group, marrying amped-up energy, sharp songwriting, and lyrical smarts.

The White Stripes | WHO WILL WIN Ironically, it's the most mainstream band that usually wins here: This year, that's the White Stripes
Image credit: The White Stripes: Luca Del Pia/Vanit/Retna
WHO WILL WIN Ironically, it’s the most mainstream band that usually wins here: This year, that’s the White Stripes

Best

Alternative Music Album

Who’ll win the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy?

Who deserves to win The White Stripes. The stripped-down duo dragged the underground into the mainstream (or vice versa) without changing their stripes.

Erykah Badu | PREDICTION Beyonce's sizzling solo debut will win, but Badu (above) deserves it
Image credit: Erykah Badu: Arnold Turner/Wireimage.com
PREDICTION Beyonce’s sizzling solo debut will win, but Badu (above) deserves it

Best

Female R&B Vocal Performance

Who’ll win the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy?

Who deserves to win Badu. Her nonsensical soul jam is just the right balance of retro sentiment and futuristic funk.

R. Kelly | PREDICTION This will be Vandross' year for recognition in this category, but the talented Kelly (above) scored big in sales
Image credit: R.Kelly: Jon Caraetta/AP/Wide World
PREDICTION This will be Vandross’ year for recognition in this category, but the talented Kelly (above) scored big in sales

Best

Male R&B Vocal Performance

Who’ll win the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Grammy?

Who deserves to win R. Kelly. Despite Kelly’s, ahem, personal problems, his ode to hitting the dance floor is soul music at its sweet, seductive best.

Floetry | PREDICTION People like celebrity duets, like this year's collaboration between Beyonce and Vandross, so they'll probably beat their toughest competitor: Floetry (above)
Image credit: Floetry: John Ricard/Retna
PREDICTION People like celebrity duets, like this year’s collaboration between Beyonce and Vandross, so they’ll probably beat their toughest competitor: Floetry (above)

Best

R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Who’ll win the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals Grammy?

Who deserves to win Floetry. A lovely, languorous love jam.

Anthony Hamilton | PREDICTION Beyonce will win here, despite well-rounded albums from Hamilton (above) and others
Image credit: Anthony Hamilton: Pieter Van Hattem/CPI
PREDICTION Beyonce will win here, despite well-rounded albums from Hamilton (above) and others

Best

Contemporary R&B Album

Who’ll win the Best Contemporary R&B Album Grammy?

Who deserves to win R. Kelly. His album’s cascading melodies, slinky production, and sheer exuberance can’t be denied.

50 Cent | PREDICTION 50 Cent (above) is more popular, but look out for an OutKast sweep here
Image credit: 50 Cent: Kevin Knight/Corbis Outline
PREDICTION 50 Cent (above) is more popular, but look out for an OutKast sweep here

Best

Rap Album

Who’ll win the Best Rap Album Grammy?

Who deserves to win OutKast. The Atlanta duo made the year’s strangest — and best — rap album.

Shania Twain | PREDICTION You'd think it would be Twain (above), but the Academy loves Lovett
Image credit: Shania Twain: Gilbert Flores/Celebrityphoto.com
PREDICTION You’d think it would be Twain (above), but the Academy loves Lovett

Best

Country Album

Who’ll win the Best Country Album Grammy?

Who deserves to win The Louvins. You can’t beat the cumulative force of the legends who showed the Louvins some ”Lovin’.”

Toby Keith, Willie Nelson | PREDICTION Jimmy Buffett on a country record? ''It's Five O'Clock Somewhere'' has to win, even though Keith and Nelson (above) sang a great duet
Image credit: Keith & Nelson: Gus Ruelas /LADN/Wireimage.com
PREDICTION Jimmy Buffett on a country record? ”It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” has to win, even though Keith and Nelson (above) sang a great duet

Best

Country Song

Who’ll win the Best Country Song Grammy?

Who deserves to win Emerick and Keith. Even teetotaling leftists might concede that they proved vigilantism and alcohol do mix.

Warren Zevon | WHO WILL WIN The Academy will use this award to pay tribute to the late Zevon
Image credit: Warren Zevon: BJ Papas/Retna
WHO WILL WIN The Academy will use this award to pay tribute to the late Zevon

Best

Contemporary Folk Album

Who’ll win the Best Contemporary Folk Album Grammy?

Who deserves to win Zevon. Lucinda’s CD made us verklemmt. But we teared up even more at Zevon’s wryly tender swan song.

Sean Paul | WHO WILL WIN Grammy performer Paul will get voters moving
Image credit: Sean Paul: Jonathan Mannion
WHO WILL WIN Grammy performer Paul will get voters moving

Best

Reggae Album

Who’ll win the Best Reggae Album Grammy?

Who deserves to win Sean Paul. He led dancehall reggae’s 2003 crossover comeback by deftly mixing pop accessibility with a sticky batch of hip-grinding riddims.