The Grammys are a time for platinum-selling artists to be rewarded for a job very well done. This year, insurgent country artist Sturgill Simpson -- a man plenty of mainstream radio listeners might not know much about -- could upset one of the biggest awards shows of the year.
Up against critically lauded and commercially successful albums from Adele, Justin Bieber, Drake and Beyonce, for Album of the Year, Simpson's A Sailor's Guide to Earth, his major label debut, is unquestionably the underdog. But should the 38-year old Kentucky native claim the night's top prize, the ruckus that will ensue will dwarf that of lesser upsets such as in 2105 when Beck's gorgeously folky Morning Phase beat out Beyonce's stellar self-titled album for the big award.
While the Album of the Year Grammy is the main event, there are plenty of worthy battles to be fought on the undercard, including Dallas-Fort Worth woman Maren Morris' quest to nab an armload of trophies including the coveted Best New Artist prize.
Here's a quick rundown of what we think will, and should, happen with some of the Grammy's biggest categories.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
25 by Adele, Lemonade by Beyonce, Purpose by Justin Bieber, Views by Drake, A Sailor's Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson.
Who will win: Even more so than her powerhouse co-nominees in this category, Adele combines commercial success with critical acclaim. The competition is strong in all of her categories, and this is where the Recording Academy gives Adele her due.
Who should win: Lemonade was initially released as a "visual album" after her divisive Super Bowl halftime appearance, which is cool enough on its own. And no other album this year created the kind of stir Lemonade did on a pop-culture level. It's important to note, though, that had the album not been the modern masterwork it is, the conversation around the record would've died quickly.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
"Hello" by Adele, "Formation" by Beyonce, "7 Years" by Lukas Graham, "Work" by Rihanna featuring Drake, "Stressed Out" by Twenty One Pilots.
Who will win: Similar to the album it's on, "Formation" is a culturally relevant touchstone that happens to be a killer tune as well. Grammy voters love that combo. Of course, as will be the case with any category that Beyonce and Adele share, this award is likely a toss-up between the two.
Who should win: See above (plus, Beyonce rewarding her man with Red Lobster for good lovin' is all kinds of awesome).
BEST NEW ARTIST
Kelsea Ballerini, The Chainsmokers, Chance the Rapper, Maren Morris, Anderson.Paak
Who will win: Morris is on a roll bigger than any other in this category, which has been one of the more unpredictable ones in years past. With a single racing up the charts and her high-profile appearances and awards in the very recent past, it all seems to be working out just fine for her. She likely won't win the Country Album prize, so this could be her best shot.
Who should win: No offense to Morris, but Chance the Rapper has literally changed the Grammy game and deserves the recognition for it. His Coloring Book album is the first ever streaming-only record to be nominated for any Grammy awards, and his indie approach to packing in massive crowds across the country has people taking extreme notice.
POP VOCAL ALBUM
25 by Adele, Purpose by Justin Bieber, Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande, Confident by Demi Lovato, This is Acting by Sia.
Who will win: This one is Adele's. Probably. We admit we're hedging our bets a little here in the event Adele doesn't win the main Album of the Year award. It's difficult to imagine her being shut out of one of the two big album awards.
Who should win: With an impressive range of tempos and styles, Ariana Grande made a massive leap with this record, and though we wouldn't suggest it's an overall Album of the Year winner, this category is ripe for this kind of statement.
BEST RAP ALBUM
Coloring Book by Chance the Rapper, And the Anonymous Nobody by De La Soul, Major Key by DJ Khaled, Views by Drake, Black Face by Schoolboy Q, The Life of Pablo by Kanye West.
Who will win: Drake is nominated for too many of the bigger awards to not nab this one.
Who should win: Here's where Kanye should get his due. We won't complain if Coloring Book takes this one, but aside from Lemonade, 25 and probably David Bowie's Blackstar, there wasn't another album all year that generated so much discussion while also doing well commercially and succeeding artistically in a rather tremendous manner.
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Big Day in a Small Town by Brandy Clark, Full Circle by Loretta Lynn, Hero by Maren Morris, A Sailor's Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson, Ripcord by Keith Urban.
Who will win: Since it's highly doubtful Simpson will take the top prize, this is his to lose. It's a little comical that of his three solo records, this one is by far his least traditionally country sounding one, for whatever that's worth.
Who should win: Simpson should win this one, but let's dig deeper. Aside from Urban, we can see a legit case to be made for any of these getting the nod and being relatively cool with it. It's all about perspective, we suppose. Had Margo Price and Eric Church not been shunned here, things would be much more interesting than they already are.