All eyes on British newcomer Sam Smith at Grammy Awards

Sun Feb 8, 2015 6:55pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In a sea of pop music's leading ladies at Sunday's Grammy Awards, all eyes are on British newcomer Sam Smith with six nominations amid speculation that he could emulate Adele's 2012 sweep at the ceremony.

"I don't think it takes a massive crystal ball to think that it's going to be Sam Smith's night," said Lyndsey Parker, editor of Yahoo Music.

Much like Adele, who swept the Grammys with six wins, Smith, 22, is nominated in the night's top three categories for record, album and song of the year, after his debut album "In The Lonely Hour" stormed the U.S. charts last year, led by his soulful song "Stay With Me."

Smith faces competition from some of pop's biggest names, namely R&B singer-producer Pharrell, who also has six nods including three for album of the year that includes his production work on Beyonce and Ed Sheeran's records.

But it's not all about the winners at the Grammy awards, as much of the show is dedicated to delivering high-octane and high-profile performances.

Smith and Pharrell will perform alongside a slew of chart-topping female singers including Ariana Grande and Rihanna, who will perform with Paul McCartney and Kanye West.

Grammy executive producer Ken Erhlich, credited with creating the concept of television divas through his work with singers such as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, said music since the mid-1990s has become "a man's world."

But the tide may be changing.   Continued...

Singer Sam Smith arrives at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni