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The Grammy Awards: And the winners will be....

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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The Grammy Awards are never easy to handicap.

Once in awhile the sweeps are evident -- Michael Jackson in 1984 for "Thriller," or Adele in 2012. But most of the time it's a proverbial crap shoot, with the leading nominees never guaranteed to take home the greatest number of trophies -- and, in fact, seldom doing so.

So who will be carting the heavy metal when the 58th Annual Grammy Awards are presented Monday, Feb. 15, in Los Angeles? With Adele ineligible because her single "Hello" and new album "25" came out after this year's deadline, there's no sure-fire pick. So we chose to handicap the top nominees and predict how they'll fare when the envelopes are open:

* Kendrick Lamar: "Straight Outta Compton" might have been snubbed by the Oscars but this Compton rapper leads the Grammy stakes with 12 nominations -- the most ever for an MC in one ceremony (beating Eminem) and second only to Jackson's 12 nods in '84. Expect Lamar to prevail in his share of Rap categories, but Monday will most likely belong to...

* Taylor Swift: She may be a distant (tied for) second with seven nominations, but Swift's a proven Grammy commodity (seven trophies already) and her "1989" album was a juggernaut that set all sorts of records until Adele came along last fall. The industry voters will not have forgotten, so if anybody's going to dominate on Monday it will be her.

* The Weeknd: Equaling Swift's seven nods, the enigmatic and extravagantly coiffed Canadian singer is up against her in far more categories than he'd like. He can't feel his face, and he likely won't be feeling many trophies, either.

* Max Martin: Five of the Swedish producer-writer's six nominations are for his work with Swift and The Weeknd -- including with each of them in the Album and Record of the year category. #dudecannotlose.

* Tom Coyne: Another behind-the-scenes force, the New York-based mastering engineer is one of five artists (including drake and Florence and the Machine) with five nominations each. His work with Swift and The Weeknd and on Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" make him the post potent of the pack.

* Detroit in da House: It's not a huge year for the home team, but over the course of Monday's pre-show and telecast ceremonies, we'll be watching for: Big Sean, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration; Karen Clark Sheard, Best Gospel Album; Dorinda Clark-Cole, Best Gospel Album; Bettye LaVette, Best Blues Album; Jack White, Best Boxed or LImited Edition Package; and Patti Smith, Best Spoken Word Album.

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards

8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15..

CBS (WWJ-TV, Channel 62 in Detroit)

Performances: Glenn Frey tribute featuring the Eagles, Bernie Leadon and Jackson Browne; Adele; Kendrick Lamar; the Weeknd; Justin Bieber, Diplo and Skrillex; Rihanna; David Bowie tribute featuring Lady Gaga and Nile Rodgers; Lemmy Kilmister tribute featuring the Hollywood Vampires; B.B. King tribute featuring Bonnie Raitt, Chris Stapleton and Gary Clark, Jr.; Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt; Nicki MInaj and Ariana Grande; Gwen Stefani; the cast of "Hamilton;" Little Big Town; Lionel Richie tribute featuring Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor and John Legend; Pitbull, Robin Thicke and Travis Barker; Tori Kelly and James Baby; Ellie Goulding and Andra Day.

Host: LL Cool J

Also: The pre-telecast ceremony and red carpet arrivals will be webcast at Grammy.com.

Web Site: www.Grammy.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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