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A2IM Voter Guide: 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards

If you are a voting member of The Recording Academy, you should be receiving your GRAMMY ballot this week/early next week. We encourage you to VOTE INDEPENDENT and have created an A2IM member voting guide which we hope you will use as a reference to show your support for our community with your votes. Ballots are due January 13th.

Be sure to complete and return your ballot by Jan. 13, 2017!


Record Of The Year:

“Hello” — Adele (XL Recordings)

“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake (Westbury Road Entertainment)


Album of the Year:

25 – Adele (XL Recordings)


Best New Artist:

Kelsea Ballerini  (Black River entertainment)

Chance The Rapper (Chance The Rapper)

Anderson .Paak (Steel Wool)


Best Dance Recording:

“Tearing Me Up” — Bob Moses (Domino)

“Never Be Like You” — Flume Featuring Kai  (Mom+Pop Music/Future Classic)

“Drinkee” — Sofi Tukker (Sofi Tukker)


Best Dance/Electronic Album:

Skin — Flume (Mom+Pop Music/Future Classic)

Epoch — Tycho (Ghostly International)

Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII — Louie Vega (Vega Records)


Best Rock Album:

California — Blink-182 (BMG)


Best Rock Performance:

“Joe (Live From Austin City Limits)” — Alabama Shakes (ATO Records)


Best Rock Song

Burn The Witch – Radiohead, songwriters (Radiohead)  (XL Recordings)

Hardwired – James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica)


Best Metal Performance:

“Shock Me” — Baroness (Abraxan Hymns)

“The Price Is Wrong” — Periphery (Sumerian Records)


Best Alternative Music Album:

22, A Million — Bon Iver  (Jagjaguwar)

The Hope Six Demolition Project — PJ Harvey (Vagrant)

Post Pop Depression — Iggy Pop (Loma Vista Recordings)

A Moon Shaped Pool — Radiohead (XL Recordings)


Best R&B Album:

Lalah Hathaway Live — Lalah Hathaway (Entertainment One)

Velvet Portraits — Terrace Martin (Sounds of Crenshaw/Ropeadope)

Healing Season — Mint Condition (Mint Condition Music LLC)

Smoove Jones — Mya (Planet 9)


Best Urban Contemporary Album:


Malibu — Anderson .Paak (Steel Wool)

Anti — Rihanna (Westbury Road Entertainment)


Best R&B Song:

“Kiss It Better” — Jeff Bhasker, Robyn Fenty, John-Nathan Glass & Natalia Noemi, songwriters (Rihanna) (Westbury Road Entertainment)


Best R&B Performance:

“I Do” — Musiq Soulchild (Entertainment One)

“Needed Me” — Rihanna (Westbury Road Entertainment)


Best Traditional R&B Performance:
“The Three Of Me” — William Bell (Concord)
“Angel” — Lalah Hathaway (Entertainment One)


Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake (Westbury Road Entertainment)


Best Rap Performance:

“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz (Chance The Rapper)

Best Rap Song:

“All The Way Up” — Joseph Cartagena, Edward Davadi, Shandel Green, Karim Kharbouch, Andre Christopher Lyon, Reminisce Mackie & Marcello Valenzano, songwriters (Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared)  (RNG / EMPIRE)

“No Problem” — Chancelor Bennett, Dwayne Carter & Tauheed Epps, songwriters (Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz) (Chance The Rapper)


Best Rap Album:

Coloring Book — Chance The Rapper (Chance The Rapper)

And the Anonymous Nobody — De La Soul (AOI Records)


Best New Age Album:

Orogen — John Burke (John Burke)

Inner Passion — Peter Kater & Tina Guo (Peter Kater & Tina Guo)

White Sun II — White Sun (White Sun)


Best Jazz Instrumental Album:

Dr. Um — Peter Erskine (Fuzzy Music)

Sunday Night At The Vanguard — The Fred Hersch Trio (Palmetto Records)


Best Improvised Jazz Solo:

“Countdown” — Joey Alexander, soloist (Motema Music)

“We See” — Fred Hersch, soloist (Palmetto)


Best Jazz Vocal Album:

Sound Of Red — René Marie (Motema Music)

Harlem On My Mind — Catherine Russell (Jazz Village)


Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album:

Real Enemies — Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society (New Amsterdam Records)

Presents Monk’estra, Vol. 1 — John Beasley (Mack Avenue Records)

All L.A. Band — Bob Mintzer (Fuzzy Music)

Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom — Ted Nash Big Band  (Motema Music)


Best Latin Jazz Album:

Entre Colegas — Andy González (Truth Revolution Records)

Madera Latino: A Latin Jazz Perspective On The Music Of Woody Shaw — Brian Lynch & Various Artists (Hollistic MusicWorks)

Canto América  — Michael Spiro/Wayne Wallace La Orquesta Sinfonietta (Patois Records)

30 – Trio Da Paz (Zoho)

Tribute To Irakere: Live In Marciac — Chucho Valdés (Jazz Village)


Best Gospel Performance/Song:

“It’s Alright, It’s OK” — Shirley Caesar Featuring Anthony Hamilton; Stanley Brown & Courtney Rumble, songwriters (Entertainment One)

“You’re Bigger [Live]” — Jekalyn Carr; Allundria Carr, songwriter (Entertainment One)

“God Provides” — Tamela Mann; Kirk Franklin, songwriter (Tillymann Inc)

“Better” — Hezekiah Walker; Jason Clayborn, Gabriel Hatcher & Hezekiah Walker, songwriters (Entertainment One)


Best Gospel Album:

Fill This House — Shirley Caesar (Entertainment One)

A Worshipper’s Heart [Live] —Todd Dulaney (Entertainment One)

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:

Be One — Natalie Grant (Curb Records)


Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song:

“King Of The World” – Natalie Grant;  Natalie Grant, Becca Mizell & Samuel Mizell, songwriters (Curb Records)


Best Roots Gospel Album:

Nature’s Symphony In 432 — The Isaacs

God Don’t Ever Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson — (Various Artists) – Alligator Records


Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album:

Amor Supremo — Carla Morrison


Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano):

Generación Maquinaria Est. 2006  — La Maquinaria Norteña

Tributo A Joan Sebastian Y Rigoberto Alfaro — Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea


Best Tropical Latin Album:

Donde Están? — Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo (Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo)


Best American Roots Performance:

“Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time” — Blind Boys Of Alabama (Alligator Records)

“Wreck You” — Lori McKenna (Thirty Tigers)


Best American Roots Song:

“Alabama At Night” — Robbie Fulks, songwriter (Robbie Fulks) (Bloodshot)

“Gulfstream” — Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero, songwriters (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars) (Dba Octavia Records)

“Kid Sister” — Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers)  (Sugar Hill Records)

“Wreck You” — Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue, songwriters (Lori McKenna) (Thirty Tigers)


Best Americana Album:

The Bird & The Rifle — Lori McKenna (Thirty Tigers)

Kid Sister — The Time Jumpers (Rounder Records)

Best Country Song:

“Die A Happy Man” — Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett) (Big Machine Label Group)

“Humble and Kind” — Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw) (Big Machine Label Group)


Best World Music Album:

Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers — Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Ladysmith Black Mambazo)

Best Children’s Album:

Explorer Of The World — Frances England (Frances England)

Novelties — Recess Monkey (Recess Monkey)

Saddle Up — The Okee Dokee Brothers (Okee Dokee Music)


Best Bluegrass Album:

Original Traditional — Blue Highway  (Rounder Records)

North And South — Claire Lynch (Compass Records)

Coming Home — O’Connor Band With Mark O’Connor (Rounder Records)


Best Traditional Blues Album:

Can’t Shake The Feeling — Lurrie Bell (Delmark)

Live At The Greek Theatre — Joe Bonamassa (J&R Adventures LLC)

Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II) — Luther Dickinson (New West Records)

The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers — Vasti Jackson (Vasti Jackson / Vjm Records)

Porcupine Meat — Bobby Rush (Rounder Records)


Best Contemporary Blues Album:

Love Wins Again — Janiva Magness (Blue Elan Records)

Bloodline — Kenny Neal (Cleopatra Records)

Give It Back To You — The Record Company (Concord Records)

Everybody Wants A Piece — Joe Louis Walker (Provogue)


Best Folk Album:

Silver Skies Blue — Judy Collins & Ari Hest (Cleopatra Records)

Upland Stories — Robbie Fulks (Bloodshot Records)

Weighted Mind — Sierra Hull (Rounder Records)

Undercurrent — Sarah Jarosz (Sugar Hill Records)


Best Regional Roots Music Album:

Broken Promised Land — Barry Jean Ancelet & Sam Broussard (Swallow Records)

It’s A Cree Thing — Northern Cree (Canyon Records)

E Walea — Kalani Pe’a (Kelani Pe’a Music)


I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax In The Evangeline Country — (Various Artists)


Best Reggae Album:

Sly & Robbie Presents… Reggae For Her – Devin Di Dakta & J.L (Taxi Records)

Rose Petals — J Boog (Washouse Music Group)

Ziggy Marley — Ziggy Marley (Tuff Gong Worldwide)

Everlasting — Raging Fyah (VP Records)

Falling Into Place — Rebelution (87 Music / Easy Star Records)



Best Comedy Album:

…America…Great… — David Cross (Liberal Jewrun Media Productions)

American Myth — Margaret Cho (Clownery Records)

Boysih Girl Interrupted — Tig Notaro (Secretly Canadian)

Talking For Clapping — Patton Oswalt (ASpecialThing Records)



Best Musical Theater Album:

Bright Star — Carmen Cusack, principal soloist; Jay Alix, Peter Asher & Una Jackman, producers; Steve Martin, composer; Edie Brickell, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast) – Ghostlight

The Color Purple — Cynthia Erivo & Jennifer Hudson, principal soloists; Stephen Bray, Van Dean, Frank Filipetti, Roy Furman, Scott Sanders & Jhett Tolentino, producers (Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell & Allee Willis, composers/lyricists) (New Broadway Cast)

Fiddler On The Roof — Danny Burstein, principal soloist; Louise Gund, David Lai & Ted Sperling, producers (Jerry Bock, composer; Sheldon Harnick, lyricist) (2016 Broadway Cast)

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media:

The Revenant — Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, composers

Stranger Things Volume 1 — Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers

Stranger Things Volume 2 — Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, composers



Best Instrumental Composition:

“The Expensive Train Set (An Epic Sarahnade For Big Band)” — Tim Davies, composer (Tim Davies Big Band)

“Flow” — Alan Ferber, composer (Alan Ferber Nonet)

“Spoken At Midnight” — Ted Nash, composer (Ted Nash Big Band) (Motema Music)


Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella:

“Ask Me Now” — John Beasley, arranger (John Beasley) (Mack Avenue Records)

“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” — John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa)

“We Three Kings” — Ted Nash, arranger (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis) (Blue Engine Records)

“You And I” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)


Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals:

“Flintstones” — Jacob Collier, arranger (Jacob Collier)

“I’m A Fool To Want You” — Alan Broadbent, arranger (Kristin Chenoweth)  (Concord Records)



Best Recording Package:

Anti (Deluxe Edition) — Ciarra Pardo & Robyn Fenty, art directors (Rihanna)

Human Performance — Andrew Savage, art director (Parquet Courts) (Rough Trade Records)

Sunset Motel — Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds, art directors (Reckless Kelly)

22, A Million — Eric Timothy Carlson, art director (Bon Iver) (Jagjaguwar)


Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package:

Edith Piaf 1915-2015 — Gérard Lo Monaco, art director (Edith Piaf)

Paper Wheels (Deluxe Limited Edition) — Matt Taylor, art director (Trey Anastasio) (ATO Records)

Tug of War (Deluxe Edition) — Simon Earith & James Musgrave, art directors (Paul McCartney) (Concord Records)



Best Album Notes:

Ork Records: New York, New York — Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, album notes writers (Various Artists) 

Sissle And Blake Sing Shuffle Along — Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, album notes writers (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle)



Best Historical Album:

Ork Records: New York, New York — Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, compilation producers; Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice, mastering engineers (Various Artists)



Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical:

Are You Serious — Tchad Blake & David Boucher, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Andrew Bird) – Loma Vista Recordings

Dig In Deep — Ryan Freeland, engineer; Kim Rosen, mastering engineer (Bonnie Raitt)

Hit N Run Phase Two — Booker T., Dylan Dresdow, Chris James, Prince & Justin Stanley, engineers; Dylan Dresdow, mastering engineer (Prince)

Undercurrent — Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Sarah Jarosz) (Sugar Hill Records)


Producer Of The YearNon-Classical:

Benny Blanco


Best Remixed Recording:

“Cali Coast (Psionics Remix)” — Josh Williams, remixer (Soul Pacific)

“Heavy Star Movin’ (staRo Remix)” — staRo, remixer (The Silver Lake Chorus) (Six Degrees Records)

“Only” (Kaskade X Lipless Remix)— Ryan Raddon, remixer (Ry X) (Loma Vista Recordings)

“Tearing Me Up (RAC Remix)” — André Allen Anjos, remixer (Bob Moses) (Domino Recording)



Best Surround Sound Album:

Dutilleux: Sur La Mêe Accord; Les Citations; Mystère De L’Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement — Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, surround mix engineers; Dmitriy Lipay, surround mastering engineer; Dmitriy Lipay, surround producer (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

Johnson: Considering Matthew Shephard — Brad Michel, surround mix engineer; Brad Michel, surround mastering engineer; Robina G. Young, surround producer (Craig Hella Johnson & Conspirare)

Maja S.K. Ratkje: And Sing … — Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Maja S.K. Ratkje, Cikada & Oslo Sinfonietta)

Primus & The Chocolate Factory — Les Claypool, surround mix engineer; Stephen Marcussen, surround mastering engineer; Les Claypool, surround producer (Primus) – ATO Records

Reflections — Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)



Best Engineered Album, Classical:

Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles — Mark Donahue & Fred Vogler, engineers (James Conlon, Guanqun Yu, Joshua Guerrero, Patricia Racette, Christopher Maltman, Lucy Schaufer, Lucas Meachem, LA Opera Chorus & Orchestra)

Dutilleux: Sur La Mêe Accord; Les Citations; Mystère De L’Instant & Timbres, Espace, Mouvement — Alexander Lipay & Dmitriy Lipay, engineers (Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony)

Reflections — Morten Lindberg, engineer (Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene)

Shadow of Sirius — Silas Brown & David Frost, engineers; Silas Brown,

Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 — Shawn Murphy & Nick Squire, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Andris Nelsons & Boston Symphony Orchestra) – Naxos


Producer of the Year, Classical:

Blanton Alspaugh

David Frost

Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin

Judith Sherman

Robina G. Young



Best Orchestral Performance:

Bates: Works For Orchestra — Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)

Ibert: Orchestral Works — Neeme Järvi, conductor (Orchestre De La Suisse Romande)

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 In B-Flat Major, Op. 100 — Mariss Jansons, conductor (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)

Rouse: Odna Zhizn; Symphonies 3 & 4; Prospero’s Rooms — Alan Gilbert, conductor (New York Philharmonic)

Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 & 9 — Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)


Best Opera Recording:

Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles — James Conlon, conductor; Joshua Guerrero, Christopher Maltman, Lucas Meachem, Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer & Guanqun Yu; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (LA Opera Orchestra; LA Opera Chorus)

Handel: Giulio Cesare — Giovanni Antonini, conductor; Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl & Anne-Sofie von Otter; Samuel Theis, producer (Il Giardino Armonico)

Higdon: Cold Mountain — Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Emily Fons, Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard & Jay Hunter Morris; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra; Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program For Singers) Mozart: Le Nozze De Figaro — Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Thomas Hampson, Christiane Karg, Luca Pisaroni & Sonya Yoncheva; Daniel Zalay, producer (Chamber Orchestra Of Europe; Vocalensemble Rastatt)

Szymanowski: Król Roger — Antonio Pappano, conductor; Georgia Jarman, Mariusz Kwiecień & Saimir Pirgu; Jonathan Allen, producer (Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House; Royal Opera Chorus)


Best Choral Performance:

Himmerland — Elisabeth Holte, conductor (Marianne Reidarsdatter Eriksen, Ragnfrid Lie & Matilda Sterby; Inger-Lise Ulsrud; Uranienborg Vokalensemble)

Janáček: Glagolitic Mass — Edward Gardner, conductor; Håkon Matti Skrede, chorus master (Susan Bickley, Gábor Bretz, Sara Jakubiak & Stuart Skelton; Thomas Trotter; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Bergen Cathedral Choir, Bergen Philharmonic Choir, Choir Of Collegium Musicum & Edvard Grieg Kor)

Lloyd: Bonhoeffer — Donald Nally, conductor (Malavika Godbole, John Grecia, Rebecca Harris & Thomas Mesa; The Crossing)

Steinberg: Passion Week — Steven Fox, conductor (The Clarion Choir)  – Naxos


Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance:

Fitelberg: Chamber Works — ARC Ensemble

Reflections — Øyvind Gimse, Geir Inge Lotsberg & Trondheimsolistene

Serious Business — Spektral Quartet

Steve Reich — Third Coast Percussion

Trios From Our Homelands — Lincoln Trio


Best Classical Instrumental Solo:


Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway — Zuill Bailey; Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor (Nashville Symphony) (Naxos)

Dvorák: Violin Concerto & Romance; Suk: Fantasy  —Christian Tetzlaff; John Storgårds, conductor (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra)

Mozart: Keyboard Music, Vols. 8 & 9 — Kristian Bezuidenhout

1930’s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2 — Gil Shaham; Stéphane Denève, conductor (The Knights & Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra)


Best Classical Solo Vocal Album:

Monteverdi — Magdalena Kožená; Andrea Marcon, conductor (David Feldman, Michael Feyfar, Jakob Pilgram & Luca Tittoto; La Cetra Barockorchester Basel)

Mozart: The Weber Sisters — Sabine Devieilhe; Raphaël Pichon, conductor (Pygmalion)

Schumann & Berg — Dorothea Röschmann; Mitsuko Uchida, accompanist

Verismo — Anna Netrebko; Antonio Pappano, conductor (Yusif Eyvazov; Coro Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia; Orchestra Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia)


Best Classical Compendium:

Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway; American Gothic; Once Upon A Castle — Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer (Naxos)

Gesualdo — Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor; Manfred Eicher, producer

Vaughan Williams: Discoveries — Martyn Brabbins, conductor; Andrew Walton, producer

Wolfgang: Passing Through — Judith Farmer & Gernot Wolfgang, producers


Best Contemporary Classical Composition:

Bates: Anthology Of Fantastic Zoology — Mason Bates, composer (Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Daugherty: Tales Of Hemingway — Michael Daugherty, composer (Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony) (Naxos)

Higdon: Cold Mountain — Jennifer Higdon, composer; Gene Scheer, librettist

Theofanidis: Bassoon Concerto — Christopher Theofanidis, composer (Martin Kuuskmann, Barry Jekowsky & Northwest Sinfonia)

Winger: Conversations With Nijinsky — C. F. Kip Winger, composer (Martin West & San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)



Best Music Video:

“Gosh” — Jamie XX (Young Turks)

“Upside Down & Inside Out” — OK Go (Ok Go)


Best Music Film:

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead — Steve Aoki

The Music Of Strangers — Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble

American Saturday Night: Live From The Grand Ole Opry — (Various Artists)



If you have any questions about the A2IM Indie Voter guide, please email Alexandra Rosen!


About A2IM:
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.

Learn more about A2IM here.
For information about how to join our community, see here.