2015 Grammy Nominations: The Final Predictions

Expect a big day for Beyonce, Sam Smith & many more when the nominations are announced on Friday.

Friday is officially the beginning of Grammys season, as the nominations for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards -- as well as a boatload of snubs, some expected and others shocking -- will be doled out beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET. At Billboard.com, we've been speculating about this year's Grammy nominees ever since the eligibility period ended two months ago, trying to figure out which artists will have the best shots at the four big categories (album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist) on Feb. 8, 2015. It's a wide-open field of songs, albums and artists this year, but we've done our best to read the tea leaves ahead of tomorrow's big announcements.

Grammys 2015: News & Predictions

Check out Billboard.com's final predictions for the major Grammy categories, and check back on Friday to see how well we did:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Beyonce, Beyonce
Jack White, Lazaretto
Ed Sheeran, x
Eric Church, The Outsiders
Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour



Sia, Pharrell Williams, Miranda Lambert or Coldplay might sneak into the albums category, but look for Beyonce's universally acclaimed self-titled album, Jack White's second solo effort, Ed Sheeran’s breakout sophomore LP, Eric Church's star-making country opus and Sam Smith's big-hearted debut to secure the nods. Surrounded by male artists, Queen Bey would be considered the front-runner here.

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RECORD OF THE YEAR
Beyonce feat. Jay Z, "Drunk in Love"
Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"
Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
Pharrell Williams, "Happy" (live version)
Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, "Problem"



Taylor Swift's blockbuster 1989 album isn't eligible this year, but its lead single is able to shake up this songs category and try to convince Grammy voters that this… sick… beat is worthy of a record of the year win. Elsewhere, a live version of "Happy" keeps Pharrell (and his hat) eligible in 2015, and Ariana Grande, who's performing on the A Very Grammy Christmas event Friday night, should score her first major Grammy nod after being snubbed for best new artist last year. And hey, look at that, Beyonce and Sam Smith! Expect those names to pop up a bunch of times this year.

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SONG OF THE YEAR
John Legend, "All of Me" (live version)
Beyonce feat. Jay Z, "Drunk in Love"
Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"
Sia, "Chandelier"
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, "Fancy"



First things first: Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX are good bets to get nominated in the songwriting category, joining -- you guessed it -- Bey and Sam. John Legend's Hot 100-topping "All of Me" is eligible in 2015 thanks to a submitted live version, and Sia should fittingly receive a songwriting nod, this time for a song of her own. Don't count out Ed Sheeran for "Sing" or Idina Menzel for "Let It Go," though.

BEST NEW ARTIST
Sam Smith
Iggy Azalea
HAIM
Bastille
FKA Twigs



We've outlined the best new artist category in depth here, and from our vantage point, Iggy Azalea, Sam Smith, Bastille and HAIM are still sitting in the driver's seat. Vance Joy and Hozier each have a great shot at sneaking in thanks to the recent success of "Riptide" and "Take Me to Church," respectively, but our money's on blog darling FKA Twigs -- whose debut album, LP1, is currently littering year-end lists -- to make the short list. For those keeping score at home, we predict Sam Smith will earn nominations in all four major categories, making the U.K. crooner the first artist to do so since Fun. two years ago.

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