None of this year's nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album are nominated for Album of the Year this year. Therefore there is no clear frontrunner.
Last year, Kelly Clarkson made Grammy history becoming the first artist to win twice in this category's nineteen-year history for her album "Stronger." She previously won for "Breakaway" in 2005.
Justin Timberlake is the only previous winner nominated in this category this year. He won for his debut solo album "Justified" in 2003. Timberlake was first nominated in this category as a member of 'N Sync for their second album "No Strings Attached" in 2000. They lost to Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature." As a solo artist, he contended for his second solo album "Future Sex/Love Sounds" in 2006; he lost to John Mayer's "Continuum."
This year, Timberlake has a total of seven nominations, including a bid in this race. "The 20/20 Experience" was the best-selling album of 2013. But this disc is nominated with "The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2" which together are called "The 20/20 Experience - The Complete Experience." Part one was released in March 2013 and part two was released right before the Grammy eligibility cutoff last September. Timberlake is hoping that lightning strikes twice for him as it did for Clarkson last year.
Bruno Mars was nominated in 2011 but lost to Adele's "21." Mars returns with his sophomore album "Unorthodox Jukebox" which, in addition to Best Pop Vocal Album, is also nominated for Record and Song of the Year for "Locked Out of Heaven" and Best Pop Solo Performance for "When I Was Your Man."
The third male solo artist nominated in this category is Robin Thicke for "Blurred Lines." Thicke also contends for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Blurred Lines." Thus far, three has not been a lucky number for Thicke; he was nominated for three American Music Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards but failed to win any.
If you count Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, women have won Best Pop Vocal Album for the past six years.This year, there are two female artists nominated.
Lana Del Rey contends for her EP album "Paradise." She is also nominated for Best Song Written for a Visual Media for "Young and Beautiful" from the film "The Great Gatsby."
And, despite being snubbed for Best New Artist, Lorde received nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Royals." If the trend continues and a female artist wins, Lorde's "Pure Heroine" will likely prevail.
I believe this category is between Lorde and Mars. These two artists are going head to head in four categories: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance.