LL Cool J hosts Grammys

Two-time Grammy winner LL COOL J returns as host of the 55th annual Grammy Awards, Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS.

CBS/Robert Voets

NEW YORK — Adele dominated last year’s Grammy Awards, but this year there isn’t a clear winner in sight.

That’s because a slew of acts are up for top prizes, from fun. to Frank Ocean to Mumford & Sons. Those performers are nominated for six trophies, as are Kanye West, Jay-Z and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.

Here are the Associated Press music writers’ predictions for the awards show, which airs live Sunday from the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. on CBS.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: “El Camino,” The Black Keys; “Some Nights,” fun.; “Babel,” Mumford & Sons; “channel ORANGE,” Frank Ocean; “Blunderbuss,” Jack White.

MESFIN FEKADU: This is The Black Keys’ year, and they’re deserving. The Ohio rockers have released back-to-back amazing albums and The Recording Academy can’t deny that. And they’ll want to reward it.

CHRIS TALBOTT: The Keys are going to win a major Grammy, just not this one. These Grammys will belong to either Ocean or fun., and to the victor goes this category.

RECORD OF THE YEAR: “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys; “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” Kelly Clarkson; “We Are Young,” fun. featuring Janelle Monae; “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye featuring Kimbra; “Thinkin Bout You,” Frank Ocean; “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Taylor Swift.

TALBOTT: If “Thinkin Bout You” wins here, there will be no doubt these are Ocean’s Grammys. And “Stronger” and “We Are Young” were nominated for song of the year as well, a sign voters pretty much universally loved them. But I’m going with something of an upset as The Black Keys horn in on Ocean’s fun.

FEKADU: The Black Keys are strong contenders, but this award has to go to Gotye, whose oddball pop song was last year’s biggest hit.

SONG OF THE YEAR (songwriters): “The A Team,” Ed Sheeran; “Adorn,” Miguel Pimentel; “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen, Tavish Crowe and Josh Ramsay; “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” Jorgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin and Ali Tamposi; “We Are Young,” Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess.

FEKADU: Call you to the stage Carly Rae? Maybe not. Miguel and Ed Sheeran, I’m happy to see your epic tracks get attention here, but it’s not likely that either of your songs will take the Grammy gold. Instead, fun. — whose anthemic song, “We Are Young,” has a great balance of edge and mainstream appeal — will be named song of the year.

TALBOTT: The real test for a song of the year winner is how it sounds 10 or 20 years from now. In “We Are Young,” Nate Ruess and bandmates have crafted one of those songs that frames an era perfectly, and voters clearly recognized that while mulling nominations.

NEW ARTIST: Alabama Shakes; fun.; Hunter Hayes; The Lumineers; Frank Ocean.

TALBOTT: There will be nothing surprising about this year’s winner because these are turning out to be the Frank Ocean Grammys.

FEKADU: Does anyone seriously think an R&B singer who revealed that his first love was a man — who also produces for top hip-hop acts and who is a talented singer-songwriter with one of last year’s best albums — wouldn’t win this?

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