The 2016 Grammy Awards Complete Preview


Make sure to join Saving Country Music for the Grammy Awards LIVE blog.


When: 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific on CBS.

Where: The Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Host: LL Cool J

Pre-Telecast: Streaming at Starts at 3 PM Eastern.



  • Best Americana Album – Jason Isbell for Something More Than Free
  • Best American Roots Song  – Jason Isbell for “24 Frames”
  • Best American Roots Performance – Mavis Staples for “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”
  • Best Bluegrass Album – The SteelDrivers for The Muscle Shoals Recordings
  • Best Folk Album – Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, self-titled
  • Best Country Solo Performance – Chris Stpleton for “Traveller”
  • Best Country Duo/Group Performance – Little Big Town for “Girl Crush”
  • Best Country Song – Songwriters of “Girl Crush” Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose, and Lori McKenna
  • Alabama Shakes won for Best Rock Song “Don’t Wanna Fight”
  • Buddy Guy also won for Best Blues Album with Born to Play Guitar



” More country than in previous years. Though this is not necessarily reflected in the performances, the general consensus is the Grammy Awards this year could be a big night for country music. With Chris Stapleton up for Album of the Year, Little Big Town up for Song of the Year, and other high-profile and important nominations, this is one of the few years country music could come out on top.

” Chris Stapleton up for Album of the Year. For country fans, this will be the biggest intrigue of the night. If Stapleton walks away with the biggest prize, it could meaning the launching of a bona fide superstar. And even if Stapleton doesn’t win, his name recognition will soar simply from the opportunity. The frontrunners are considered Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift. But after Stapleton’s meteoric rise after the CMA Awards in November, he has to be considered a serious candidate, especially since his rise occurred when voters were filling out their ballots. Or, Stapleton could potentially be the dark horse as votes get split between Swift and Lamar, similar to how Beck walked away with the top prize last year.

” Sam Hunt up for Best New Artist. Similarly to how a win for Album of the Year for Stapleton could cement his soaring stature in music, a win by Sam Hunt could do the same for the country/not country star. He faces stiff competition.

” Pre-telecast awards. The majority of the awards that will be of most interest to many traditional and independent country fans will happen in the pre-telecast. This is when the Americana, roots, bluegrass, blues, and many of the song awards for country will be handed out. Stay tuned to Saving Country Music through social network on this preview, and the LIVE blog as we fill you in on the winners. Usually the last award of the pre-telecast is for Producer of the Year, which Dave Cobb is up for.



” Chris Stapleton will perform in a tribute to B.B. King with Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt.

” Little Big Town will likely perform “Girl Crush,” which is up for two awards, including Song of the Year.

” Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt will perform a duet.

” Luke Bryan will sing with John Legend, Demi Lovato, and Meghan Trainor in a tribute to Lionel Richie.

Surviving Eagles Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Timothy B. Schmit, and Joe Walsh, along with Jackson Browne, will perform a tribute to Glen Frey.

” Alabama Shakes will also perform.



” Taylor Swift will open the presentation

” Adele

” Joey Alexander

” James Bay and Tori Kelly

Justin Bieber and Jack Ü (Diplo and Skrillex)

” Andra Day and Ellie Goulding

” “Hamilton” Broadway cast

” Hollywood Vampires (Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry)

” Lady Gaga will pay tribute to David Bowie

Kendrick Lamar


” Pitbull, Travis Barker and Robin Thicke


The Weeknd


Cam is the only country presenter.

Other presenters include Stephen Colbert, Common, James Corden, Kaley Cuoco, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Ice Cube, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Anna Kendrick, Seth MacFarlane, Ryan Seacrest, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and Earth Wind & Fire will honor member Maurice White by presenting the Grammy for Album of the Year.



Read Saving Country Music’s Observations and Predictions on Nominees

(First four categories will be part of televised broadcast. The others will be handed out pre-telecast.)

Album of the Year

  • Sound & Color Alabama Shakes
  • To Pimp A Butterfly Kendrick Lamar
  • Traveller Chris Stapleton
  • 1989 Taylor Swift
  • Beauty Behind The Madness The Weeknd


Song of the Year

  • “Alright” Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
  • “Blank Space” Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
  • “Girl Crush” Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)
  • “See You Again” Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
  • “Thinking Out Loud” Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)


Best New Artist

  • Courtney Barnett
  • James Bay
  • Sam Hunt
  • Tori Kelly
  • Meghan Trainor


Best Country Album

  • Montevallo Sam Hunt
  • Pain Killer Little Big Town
  • The Blade Ashley Monroe
  • Pageant Material Kacey Musgraves
  • Traveller Chris Stapleton


Best Country Song

  • “Chances Are” Lee Ann Womack, writer Hayes Carll
  • “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” Tim McGraw, Barry Dean, Luke Laird & Jonathan Singleton, songwriters
  • “Girl Crush” Little Big Town, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters
  • “Hold My Hand” Brandy Clark, Brandy Clark & Mark Stephen Jones songwriters
  • “Traveller” Chris Stapleton, Chris Stapleton songwriter


Best Americana Album

  • The Firewatcher’s Daughter Brandi Carlile
  • The Traveling Kind Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
  • Something More Than Free Jason Isbell
  • Mono The Mavericks
  • The Phosphorescent Blues Punch Brothers


Best Country Solo Performance

  • Lee Ann Womack “Chances Are”
  • Cam “Burning House”
  • Chris Stapleton “Traveller”
  • Carrie Underwood “Little Toy Guns”
  • Keith Urban ” John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”³


Best Country Duo/Group Performance

  • Brothers Osborne “Stay A Little Longer”
  • Joey + Rory “If I Needed You”
  • Charles Kelley (with Eric Paslay & Dierks Bentley)- “The Driver”
  • Little Big Town “Girl Crush”
  • Blake Shelton with Ashley Monroe “Lonely Tonight”


Best American Roots Performance

  • “And Am I Born To Die” Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
  • “Born To Play Guitar” Buddy Guy
  • “City Of Our Lady” The Milk Carton Kids
  • “Julep” Punch Brothers
  • “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” Mavis Staples


Best American Roots Song

  • “All Night Long” The Mavericks Raul Malo, songwriter (The Mavericks)
  • “The Cost Of Living” Don Henley & Merle Haggard Don Henley & Stan Lynch, songwriters
  • “Julep” Punch Brothers Chris Eldridge, Paul Kowert, Noam Pikelny, Chris Thile & Gabe Witcher, songwriters
  • “The Traveling Kind” Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell Cory Chisel, Rodney Crowell & Emmylou Harris, songwriters (Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell)
  • “24 Frames” Jason Isbell Jason Isbell, songwriter (Jason Isbell)


Best Bluegrass Album

  • Pocket Full Of Keys Dale Ann Bradley
  • Before The Sun Goes Down Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley
  • In Session Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • Man Of Constant Sorrow Ralph Stanley & Friends
  • The Muscle Shoals Recordings The Steeldrivers


Best Folk Album

  • Wood, Wire & Words Norman Blake
  • Béla Fleck And Abigail Washburn   Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
  • Tomorrow Is My Turn Rhiannon Giddens
  • Servant Of Love Patty Griffin
  • Didn’t He Ramble Glen Hansard


Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Dave Cobb is nominated in this category for: Delilah (Anderson East), Little Neon Limelight (Houndmouth) Smoke (A Thousand Horses) Something More Than Free (Jason Isbell), Southernality (A Thousand Horses), 3 (Honeyhoney), Traveller (Chris Stapleton)

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