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2016 Grammy Awards: Will Taylor Swift win?

Swift is set to perform at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 15, but will she win such prizes as the album of the year award? Critics say it's not a sure thing as she goes up against acts like Kendrick Lamar and Alabama Shakes.

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    Taylor Swift performs during the Shanghai portion of her '1989' concert in Shanghai in 2015.
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Pop star Taylor Swift will be one of the acts performing at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Swift will join such artists as Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Stapleton, Rihanna, and the Weeknd as performers at the ceremony, which will take place on Feb. 15. The cast of the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton” will also be part of the telecast. 

Swift is nominated for several Grammy Awards this year, including the album of the year prize for her work “1989” and record of the year for her song “Blank Space.”

The singer has been a dominant presence at the Grammy Awards over the past several years and became the youngest-ever winner of the album of the year prize with her 2008 album “Fearless.” 

Swift is competing in the album of the year category this year against such acts as Alabama Shakes, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Stapleton, and The Weeknd. 

Between them, the acts represent a wide range of genres. The group Alabama Shakes are often cited as a rock act, while Swift, after working early on in country, announced recently that she is now a pop act. Lamar is a hip-hop artist and Stapleton is a country artist, while The Weeknd’s songs are rooted in R&B and pop. 

This range of genres being represented has gotten critics’ attention, with USA Today reporter Patrick Ryan writing that the album of the year category “is more refreshingly diverse than in years past,” while Los Angeles Times writer Randy Lewis noted that “Lamar’s politically charged album is nominated in an especially diverse category.”

But who will take that particular big prize? Some critics are saying Swift may not receive the prestigious album of the year award. Ryan wrote that “based on critical reviews and sheer popularity alone, it seems as if Lamar and Swift are most likely to duke it out,” but Ryan noted that an act like Alabama Shakes could slip in. Billboard writers Jody Rosen and Carl Wilson agreed, with Rosen picking Lamar as the likely winner and Wilson writing that “despite its significance to the industry, Swift’s ‘1989’ probably has crossed the overexposure threshold… still, in the album category, we can never discount… voters’ tendency to snub the populist pick, as with Beyonce last year. Alabama Shakes could benefit.”

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