James BluntWho will take home the gold gramophone statuettes for stellar musical achievement this year? The 49th Annual Grammy Awards Show is just a few nights away – Sunday, Feb. 11 – so, once again, it's time to take a look back at the best (or at least the most popular) recordings of the past year. The show will be broadcast from the Los Angeles STAPLES Center from 7-10:30 p.m. this Sunday night.

The 2005-2006 Grammy eligibility year (Oct. 1, 2005-Sept. 30, 2006) produced a wide range of music from new and old artists, and this year the full awards spectrum covers 108 categories.

Mary J. Blige tops the nominations with eight Grammy nods, most of them in the R&B category. Other multiple Grammy nominees include Red Hot Chili Peppers with six and James Blunt, Dixie Chicks, John Mayer, Danger Mouse, Prince, Rick Rubin, will.i.am and John Williams each with five nods. Beyoncé, Bryan-Michael Cox, Gnarls Barkley, Israel Houghton, T.I, and Justin Timberlake each received four nominations.

The awards TV show will feature a reunion performance from The Police , as well as performances by Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, the Dixie Chicks, Gnarls Barkley, John Legend, Ludacris, John Mayer, Corinne Bailey Rae, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake and Carrie Underwood.

The Grammy Awards cover everything from pop to polka to rap to classical to children's recordings, but in the interests of space, this year's Pop Stops Grammy checklist will focus on predictions in the Pop and Rock categories (with nods at R&B, Country and Video). For a complete listing of all 108 categories of awards, check out the Grammy web site at www.grammy.com.

This year, the list includes my best guess (noted by a black checkmark) of who will win the Grammies (not always who I wish would win!). Pull out your own pens and insert your own checkmarks before the show and see how your votes compare to mine.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've updated the original colum with red Xs to show who actually won the awards. My score in guessing was a little lower than last year - just shy of 40% right.]

 

RECORD OF THE YEAR

”Be Without You” – Mary J. Blige from the CD The Breakthrough

”You're Beautiful” – James Blunt from the CD Back To Bedlam

 X  ”Not Ready To Make Nice” – Dixie Chicks from the CD Taking The Long Way

”Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley from the CD St. Elsewhere

”Put Your Records On” – Corinne Bailey Rae from the CD Corinne Bailey Rae

 

Dixie ChicksAlbum Of The Year

 X  Taking The Long Way– Dixie Chicks

St. Elsewhere– Gnarls Barkley

Continuum – John Mayer

Stadium Arcadium – Red Hot Chili Peppers

FutureSex/LoveSounds – Justin Timberlake

 

Song Of The Year

”Be Without You” – Johnta Austin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox & Jason Perry, songwriters (performed by Mary J. Blige) from the CD The Breakthrough

”Jesus, Take The Wheel” – Brett James, Hillary Lindsey & Gordie Sampson, songwriters (performed by Carrie Underwood) from the CD Some Hearts

 X  ”Not Ready To Make Nice” – Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison & Dan Wilson, songwriters (performed by Dixie Chicks) from the CD Taking The Long Way

”Put Your Records On” – John Beck, Steve Chrisanthou & Corinne Bailey Rae, songwriters (performed by Corinne Bailey Rae) from the CD Corinne Bailey Rae

”You're Beautiful” – James Blunt, Amanda Ghost & Sacha Skarbek, songwriters (James Blunt) from the CD Back To Bedlam

 

James BluntBest New Artist

James Blunt

Chris Brown

Imogen Heap

Corinne Bailey Rae

 X  Carrie Underwood

 

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

 X  ”Ain't No Other Man” – Christina Aguilera from the CD Back To Basics

”Unwritten” – Natasha Bedingfield from the CD Unwritten

”You Can Close Your Eyes” – Sheryl Crow from the CD Sheryl Crow Artist's Choice Deluxe Edition

”Stupid Girls” – Pink from the CD I'm Not Dead

”Black Horse And The Cherry Tree” – KT Tunstall

 

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

”You're Beautiful” – James Blunt from the CD Back To Bedlam

”Save Room” – John Legend from the CD Once Again

 X  ”Waiting On The World To Change” – John Mayer from the CD Continuum

”Jenny Wren” – Paul McCartney from the CD Chaos And Creation In The Backyard

”Bad Day” – Daniel Powter from the CD Daniel Powter

 

Blackeyed PeasBest Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

 X  ”My Humps” – The Black Eyed Peas from the CD Monkey Business

”I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab For Cutie from the CD Plans

”Over My Head (Cable Car)” The Fray from the CD How To Save A Life

”Is It Any Wonder?” – Keane from the CD Under The Iron Sea

”Stickwitu” – The Pussycat Dolls from the CD PCD

 

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals

 X  ”For Once In My Life” – Tony Bennett & Stevie Wonder from the CD Duets: An American Classic

”One” – Mary J. Blige & U2 from the CD The Breakthrough

”Always On Your Side” – Sheryl Crow & Sting from the CD Wildflower

”Promiscuous” – Nelly Furtado & Timbaland from the CD Loose

”Hips Don't Lie” – Shakira & Wyclef Jean from the CD Oral Fixation Vol. 2

 

Best Pop Vocal Album

Back To Basics – Christina Aguilera

Back To Bedlam – James Blunt

The River In Reverse – Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint

 X  Continuum – John Mayer

FutureSex/LoveSounds – Justin Timberlake

 

Best Dance Recording

”Suffer Well” – Depeche Mode

”Ooh La La” – Goldfrapp

”Get Together” – Madonna

”I'm With Stupid” – Pet Shop Boys

 X  ”Sexy Back” – Justin Timberlake & Timbaland

 

MadonnaBest Electronic/Dance Album

”Supernature” – Goldfrapp

 X  ”Confessions On A Dance Floor” – Madonna

”A Lively Mind” – Oakenfold

”Fundamental” – Pet Shop Boys

”The Garden” – Zero 7

 

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance

”Nausea” – Beck

 X  ”Someday Baby” – Bob Dylan from the CD Modern Times

”Route 66” – John Mayer from the CD Cars — Soundtrack (Various Artists)

”Saving Grace” – Tom Petty from the CD Highway Companion

”Lookin' For A Leader” – Neil Young from the CD Living With War

 

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

”Talk” – Coldplay from the CD X&Y

”How To Save A Life” – The Fray from the CD How To Save A Life

”Steady, As She Goes” – The Raconteurs from the CD Broken Boy Soldiers

 X  ”Dani California” – Red Hot Chili Peppers from the CD Stadium Arcadium

”The Saints Are Coming” – U2 & Green Day

 

WolfmotherBest Hard Rock Performance

”Crazy B****” – Buckcherry

”Every Day Is Exactly The Same” – Nine Inch Nails from the CD With Teeth

”Lonely Day” – System Of A Down from the CD Hypnotize

”Vicarious” – Tool from the CD 10,000 Days

 X  ”Woman” – Wolfmother from the CD Wolfmother

 

Best Rock Song

”Chasing Cars” – Nathan Connolly, Gary Lightbody, Jonny Quinn, Tom Simpson & Paul Wilson, songwriters (performed by Snow Patrol) from the CD Eyes Open

 X  ”Dani California” – Flea, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis & Chad Smith, songwriters (performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers) from the CD Stadium Arcadium

”Lookin' For A Leader” – Neil Young, songwriter (performed by Neil Young) from the CD Living With War

”Someday Baby” – Bob Dylan, songwriter (performed by Bob Dylan) from the CD Modern Times

”When You Were Young” – Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer & Ronnie Vannucci, songwriters (performed by The Killers)

 

Best Rock Album

”Try!” – John Mayer Trio

”Highway Companion” – Tom Petty

”Broken Boy Soldiers” – The Raconteurs

 X  ”Stadium Arcadium” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

”Living With War” – Neil Young

 

Best Alternative Music Album

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not – Arctic Monkeys

At War With The Mystics – The Flaming Lips

 X  St. Elsewhere – Gnarls Barkley

Show Your Bones – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

The Eraser – Thom Yorke

 

Best R&B Song

 X  ”Be Without You” – Johnta Austin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox & Jason Perry, songwriters (performed by Mary J. Blige) from the CD The Breakthrough

”Black Sweat” – Prince, songwriter (performed by Prince) from the CD 3121

”Déjà vu” – Shawn Carter, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Beyoncé Knowles, Makeba Riddick, Keli Nicole Price, Delisha Thomas & John Webb songwriters (performed by Beyoncé Featuring Jay-Z)

”Don't Forget About Us” – Johnta Austin, Mariah Carey, Bryan-Michael Cox & Jermaine Dupri, songwriters (performed by Mariah Carey) from the CD The Emancipation Of Mimi

”I Am Not My Hair” – Drew Ramsey, Shannon Sanders & India Arie Simpson, songwriters (performed by India.Arie) from the CD Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship

 

Best R&B Album

 X  The Breakthrough – Mary J. Blige

Unpredictable – Jamie Foxx

Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship – India.Arie

[Motown Records]

3121 – Prince

Coming Home – Lionel Richie

 

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals

 X  ”Who Says You Can't Go Home” – Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles from the CD Have A Nice Day

”Tomorrow Is Forever” – Solomon Burke & Dolly Parton from the CD Nashville

”Calling Me” – Kenny Rogers & Don Henley from the CD Water & Bridges

”Midnight Angel” – Rhonda Vincent & Bobby Osborne from the CD All American Bluegrass Girl

”Love Will Always Win" – Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks from the CD Jasper County

[MCA Nashville]

 

Best Country Song

”Every Mile A Memory” – Brett Beavers, Dierks Bentley & Steve Bogard, songwriters (performed by Dierks Bentley)

”I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today” – Matraca Berg & Jim Collins, songwriters (performed by Gretchen Wilson)

 X  ”Jesus, Take The Wheel” – Brett James, Hillary Lindsey & Gordie Sampson, songwriters (performed by Carrie Underwood) from the CD Some Hearts

”Like Red On A Rose” – Melanie Castleman & Robert Lee Castleman, songwriters (performed by Alan Jackson) from the CD Like Red On A Rose

”What Hurts The Most” – Steve Robson & Jeffrey Steele, songwriters (performed by Rascal Flatts) from the CD Me And My Gang

 

Best Country Album

 X  ”Taking The Long Way” – Dixie Chicks

”Like Red On A Rose” – Alan Jackson

”The Road To Here” – Little Big Town

”You Don't Know Me: The Songs Of Cindy Walker” – Willie Nelson

”Your Man” – Josh Turner

 

OK GoBest Short Form Music Video

”8th Of November” – Big & Rich

”When You Were Young” – The Killers

 X  ”Here It Goes Again” – OK Go

”Dani California” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

”Writing On The Walls” – Underoath