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GRAMMY PREDICTIONS: Jay-Z vs. Eminem for Record/Song of the Year?

Rapper Jay-Z signs copies of his book

Rapper Jay-Z signs copies of his book "Decoded" at Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. (Nov. 17, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

    This year's Grammy nominations come out Wednesday night (which we'll be live-blogging here, by the way) and are sure to offer some surprises thanks to a wonky 13-month eligibility year.

     The race for Song of the Year and Record of the Year should be dominated by a pair of hip-hop crossover duets.
     Eminem and Rihanna's “Love the Way You Lie” and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' “Empire State of Mind” both managed to top rule the streets and top the pop charts – no small feat.
Though the Eminem song would seem to have the edge because it is fresher in voters' minds, it also has the drag of controversial subject matter (domestic abuse) and video (burning down the house). The Jay-Z song has to overcome the fact that it was released so long ago it became the theme of the New York Yankees' World Series win in 2009 and the fact that it is so closely aligned to the Big Apple, turning off West Coast voters.
     Lady Gaga's “Bad Romance” also has to overcome its age, though it should still probably land a nomination in both categories, along with Lady Antebellum's crossover hit “Need You Now,” which has an outside chance of stealing a victory from the hip-hoppers. Sade's “Soldier of Love” probably won't be as lucky.
     The final slot will likely come down to Cee Lo Green's “Forget You” and Katy Perry's “Teenage Dream,” with Grammy voters probably splitting the difference by giving Cee Lo the nod in Song of the Year and giving Perry the Record of the Year nod. (Now that I've heard the “Glee” kids' version of “Teenage Dream,” that doesn't seem all that upsetting.) Also, depending on how Grammy voters feel about Kanye West, his “Power,” the only song eligible from his new album, could make a surprise appearance in the Song of the Year category. Other possibilities include Usher's “OMG” and Justin Bieber's “Baby.”

SONG OF THE YEAR
Eminem, “Love the Way You Lie”
Cee Lo Green, “Forget You”
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”
Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now”
Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Eminem, “Love the Way You Lie”
Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”
Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now”
Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream”

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