GRAMMY Awards 2017: Who Would Win If Fans Could Vote


***EDITOR’S NOTE: The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards® aired on Sunday, February 12, 2017.***

This Sunday night’s GRAMMY Awards® will be decided by the Recording Academy’s Voting Members. Will their choices agree with how consumers would vote, if they could?

Consumers “vote” every day through the songs they buy on sites like iTunes, and the videos they choose to watch/listen to on YouTube.

This article uses our own VideoAmigo Music Charts to tell you who should win GRAMMYs if the GRAMMY’s reflected true audience preferences. GRAMMY Awards® are given out in 80 categories. Nominees in the top 10 most popular categories alone have racked up more than 70 billion YouTube views. That’s a lot of votes.

Let’s look at three popular GRAMMY categories and see whom the fans would pick.


Possibly the most highly anticipated award and a critical moment in an artist’s career, the 2017 nominees for Best New Artist are:

  • The Chainsmokers
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Maren Morris
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Anderson .Paak

Publishing 56 videos in 2016, the EDM duo The Chainsmokers pumped out a ton of music and used social media to make it famous. The result? Two billion YouTube views, one billion alone from the massive hit Closer ft. Halsey.

When you rank all of the videos put out by these five nominees, all top five spots belong to The Chainsmokers. No contest here. The audience has spoken:

***The Recording Academy’s voting members played the odds and went for the (currently) less popular Chance the Rapper as Best New Artist. Time will tell if the industry experts know something the fans didn’t.***


Not short on superstars, the nominees for Record of the Year are:

  • Hello – Adele
  • Formation – Beyoncé
  • 7 Years – Lukas Graham
  • Work – Rihanna ft. Drake
  • Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots

The question is, why isn’t The Chainsmokers hit up for Record of the Year? Closer has significantly more fan support (views) than any other Record of the Year contender, except Hello. Which is why Adele is likely to add an 11th GRAMMY to her mantle. Hello blows all the other songs out of the water with 2 billion views. However, having been launched on October 23, 2015, it’s the second oldest song in the group, so it’s had the longest time to build a following.

So…let’s level the playing field, and account for staggered release dates. The chart above looks at each Record of the Year contender during the first 90 days of its upload. Still, Hello says “bye bye” to the other four:

Note: Beyonce released Formation in February 2016 and immediately attracted 50mm views, but then took her video private, likely allowing for an exclusivity window on TIDAL. She then uploaded a second, identical video in December, and that video has received 21mm views. The gap in Formation’s presence makes it hard to gauge consumer reaction. Twenty One Pilots’ Stressed Out, on the other hand, was a sleeper. Released on April 27, 2015, no one noticed it until nearly a year later. Therefore, Stressed Out registered very few views in its first 90 days.

***Hello from both sides. The fans and The Recording Academy’s voting members answered Adele’s call and awarded her Record of the Year.***


In the category that most directly relates to YouTube, the nominees for Best Music Video are:

  • Up & Up – Coldplay
  • Formation – Beyoncé
  • Upside Down & Inside Out – OK Go
  • Gosh – Jamie XX
  • River – Leon Bridges

Coldplay’s far-reaching, time-and-space splicing visual is stunning, and visuals win this race. At 111 million views, the video has far outperformed the other nominees.

However, if Up & Up represents the popular vote, Beyoncé’s Formation is the electoral college, with more of the votes that really matter: she received more likes per million than Chris and his crew. It’s a public endorsement of the content that signals a deep connection with the fans:

***No haters here. The fans and The Recording Academy’s voting members got into Formation with Beyoncé and awarded her Best Music Video.***

So…there you have it.

We’ll be watching the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards® this Sunday, February 12, 2017, at 8:00 PM (eastern) on CBS to see if the pros agree with the fans. Be sure to check out our VideoAmigo Music Charts to follow both signed and unsigned artists by genre, country, and language.