Why should you care about the Grammy Awards? Very valid question. But let’s face it: as the Writer’s Strike threatens to shut down more and more red carpet events, the 50th Annual Grammies may be the only constant in this year’s lagging awards season. In that light, the following is the thirteenth installment in my three-week countdown to February 10. Read below for my picks & pans in one of ’08’s many Grammy categories.
The award: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
Past five winners: Christina Aguilera (“Ain’t No Other Man”); Kelly Clarkson (“Since U Been Gone”); Norah Jones (“Sunrise”); Christina Aguilera (“Beautiful”); Norah Jones (“Don’t Know Why”)
“Candyman,” Christina Aguilera
“Big Girls Don’t Cry,” Fergie
“Say It Right,” Nelly Furtado
“Rehab,” Amy Winehouse
Who’s Missing: Pink. Pop music’s rebel sweetheart released two huge tracks in 2007: “Who Knew” — about being alone in love — and “U + Ur Hand” — about, well, love when you’re alone. Neither one made this list, despite “U + Ur Hand” being a better kiss-off than “Before He Cheats” (three nominations) and “Who Knew” beating “Since U Been Gone” at its own game (which won this category in 2005). Also missing: Colbie Caillat for “Bubbly.”
Who Shouldn’t Be There: Fergie. She’s questionably female and without question the least talented performer in this group. “Big Girls” does nothing more than prove that when Fergie isn’t rapping about her humps, she’s singing about her grumps.
Who Should Win: Nelly Furtado. Last year, Nelly got completely shut out for Loose — the chart-topping CD that spawned “Promiscuous,” “Maneater” and “Say It Right.” Her last chance to win is in this category, and she more than deserves it for her half-80s/half-futuristic vocal in “Say It Right.”
Who Will Win: Amy Winehouse. The latest media reports say that Winehouse won’t make it to the Grammies; if in fact she doesn’t, there will be a whole host of folks accepting awards on her behalf. “Rehab” is the kind of track that makes things easy for Grammy voters: on one hand, it sounds just like something they would have cranked out of their AM radios back in the 60s; on the other hand, it achieved enough commercial success in this day and age to make a Grammy vote seem “hip.” And on top of all that, Winehouse’s voice on the track is about ten times bigger than her drug problem. Enough said.