The 2014 GRAMMY Awards: Album Of The Year Predictions

The nominees for the 56th annual GRAMMY awards are almost here: could one these picks be Album Of The Year?

Friday, December 6th is a big day to add in your calendars: the 56th annual GRAMMY Award nominees will be announced by LL Cool J himself! The epic GRAMMY awards ceremony, airing January 26th live from Los Angeles, will showcase the world's best artists, musicians, songwriters and performers getting together to celebrate music's biggest night. One of the most coveted GRAMMY awards is always the Album Of The Year, so we thought we'd delve deep into the albums released over the past year that could potentially qualify for the title.

We're breaking down our choices for the nominees in four different categories, sort of like betting on sports teams: who's a shoe-in to be nominated, who's got a good chance at making it, who's the underdog, and finally the ones who would make it if it was only by a long shot.

Shoe Ins:

  • Taylor Swift — Red
→ There's just no way that the GRAMMYs will leave out country-pop darling Taylor Swift. Releasing one of the biggest albums of the past year, spawning hit single after hit single, we honestly think TayTay could take the award for Album Of The Year. Why do we even bother with the rest of these potential nods?

→ Leave it to the ex member of NSYNC to create one of the most cohesive, progressive soul-pop records of the year! There's no doubt that everybody adores JT's smooth, yet bouncy blend of music that only he & Timbaland can produce, and we think it could be up for AOTY.

→ If you look at many major publications best-of lists, Vampire Weekend's latest album is either in the top 5 or even nabbing the no.1 spot. VW's signature quirky alternative pop-rock strikes a chord with so many listeners, and we're going to guess the GRAMMYs team loves it as well.

→ We're up all night to assume Daft Punk's epic RAM is nominated for AOTY! Since the notoriously private electronica duo released this mix of robotic sounds with 70s and 80s prog-rock, their name has been on everybody's lips. We think they deserve a GRAMMY for sure!

→ Critics all over the globe are in love with Macklemore's socially-conscious brand of rapping, so we won't be surprised if The Heist is nominated for a GRAMMY award. "Thrift Shop", "Can't Hold Us", and "Same Love" were some of the biggest songs of the year, and we think these independent artists will be awarded at the 2014 GRAMMYs.

Good Chance:

→ Since Drake's NWTS was released so close to the cutoff date when it came to GRAMMY nods, it might not be considered by the judging panel. However, the GRAMMYs always love Drake and his famous balance of flow and singing, so there's a good chance he'll be nominated for AOTY.

→ Listeners were shocked when Kanye West threw out this sudden album of experimental hip-hop music, and it might not be very commercially successful, but because Kanye is such a "genius", he definitely might grab this award.

→ Once again, the GRAMMY judges LOVE Bruno! And we won't lie, this album spawned some of 2013's biggest smash hits, so the singer/songwriter definitely has a shot at nabbing Album of The Year.

→ Folk duo The Civil Wars released a self-titled collection of unreleased songs this year, and they're totally gorgeous. Seeing as the GRAMMYs committee has a thing for beautiful folk music, who knows? The Civil Wars could be nominated!

→ Hip-hop's most buzzed-about up-and-comer deserves at least a nod for his debut LP. Talk about amazing delivery from the young rapper!

Sleeper Picks:

→ As one of our personal fave pop records, we really hope RiRi gets a nod at the 2014 GRAMMYs for AOTY. We'd say she's got about a 50/50 shot.

→ The king of experimental pop/rock released a new album this year, and it's absolutely flawless. The Next Day is a collection of amazing, straight-forward rock n' roll hits that could have came right out of the 70s. Again, we hope Bowie gets a nomination!

→ This may be considered a bit of a pipe dream, but seeing as we think QOTSA released one of the best rock albums of the year, they're worthy of an AOTY nomination.

→ She's just a girl and she hopes she wins a GRAMMY! The awards committee is a huge fan of Alicia Keys, and her album Girl On Fire really showcased the diva's true talent.

→ Breakout country star Kacey Musgraves has the potential to be a huge sweeper at the 2014 GRAMMYs. With a melancholic voice and deep lyrics about growing up, the judges could consider putting her up for AOTY.

Long Shots:

→ The GRAMMYs usually love country artists a lot, but because there are so many amazing albums up for the AOTY title, Jason Aldean might not make the cut. Sorry, country lovers!

→ 1D's second album may have been HUGE, but because of the lack of substance, the GRAMMYs might not be such a fan. Apologies, Directioners!

→ Again, country artists this year have released huge albums, case in point Luke Bryan's Crash My Party, but the country niche could make it hard for Bryan to gain a nod.

→ The American Idol winner could definitely be one of the most talented contestants from the show ever, and his album definitely proves it. But the lacking buzz factor might not help him qualify for an AOTY nod.

→ Country hit makers Lady Antebellum are always adored by the GRAMMYs, but because their debut single "Need You Now" was so successful, it might have diminished their ability to rise about it! :(

Tune into the GRAMMY Nominations Concert on Friday, December 6th, at 10pm EST / 6pm PST on CBS:

What do you think of our picks? We want to hear which albums you think have a chance at being nominated for Album Of The Year at the 2014 GRAMMY Awards!