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Grammys 2015: Predicting 'Best Urban Contemporary Album'

Gabi Duncan |
February 5, 2015 | 12:50 p.m. PST

Style Editor

Pharrell Williams (Alexander Tamargo/Getty)
Pharrell Williams (Alexander Tamargo/Getty)
Can you feel the anticipation?

The 57th Grammy Awards will be one unforgettable night with amazing performances, several notable first-time nominees (ahem, Sam Smith) and major comebacks from some of our favorite artists. One of the most competitive categories this Sunday is Best Urban Contemporary Album, which, let’s be honest, is basically a race between Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams.

READ MORE: Grammys 2015: Predicting 'Song Of The Year'

The Nominees:

Jhené Aiko, "Sail Out"

Beyoncé, "BEYONCÉ"

Chris Brown, "X"

Mali Music, "Mali Is..."

Pharrell Williams, "GIRL"

The Frontrunners:

Beyonce put us completely under her spell and made us “Drunk In Love” with her self-titled album and sexy single with husband Jay Z, making her a strong favorite in this category. But, while “BEYONCE” was a pop culture phenomenon, the album as a whole lacks the depth and range of her previous release, “4.” 

On the other hand, “GIRL” deserves a bit more recognition than it may have received. The production of this album was hands-down flawless (yup, we went there). It was classic Pharrell: energetic, cheerful and upbeat with unique rhythmic twists that drift effortlessly between pop and soul. Also, let’s not forget that blissful little tune, “Happy.”

The Others:

It’s nice to hear Chris Brown continue to deliver exceptional music. But, although "X" was edgy and emotional, it simply wasn't as memorable as the other nominees...or his controversial antics. Grammys newcomer Jhené Aiko's debut EP "Sail Out" sailed into our hearts with tight verses, soulful melodies and unapologetic honesty. We wouldn't be completely shocked if this underdog took the crown, but don't bet on it. On that same note, Mali Music received critical acclaim for his affecting gospel project, but he may not have enough mainstream appeal to contest with the other heavy-hitters in this category.

Who Should Win: 

Pharrell Williams, "GIRL"

Reach Style Editor Gabi Duncan here. Follow her on Twitter.



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