The Grammy Awards (originally called the Gramophone Awards), presented by the Recording Academy (an association of Americans professionally involved in the recorded music industry) for outstanding achievements in the recording industry, is one of four major music awards shows held annually in the United States (the Billboard Music Awards, the American Music Awards, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, make up the rest). However, the Grammys, usually held in February, (last of what are considered the "big three" music awards shows, including the BMA and AMA shows) are considered the approximate equivalent to the Oscars, in the music world.


Like the Oscars, the Grammys, which currently have 108 categories within 30 genres of music such as pop, gospel, and rap, are voted upon by peers (voting members of the Recording Academy) rather than being based upon popularity like the AMAs or sales and chart achievements like the BMAs.




Grammy records



The awards are named for the trophy which the winner receives—a small gilded statuette of a gramophone, handcrafted by Billings Artworks. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the more prominent Grammys are presented in a widely-viewed televised ceremony.


Some feel that Grammys tend to go to either well-established artists or those being hyped by the recording industry. In fact, many popular artists such as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Garth Brooks, Pink Floyd, Kenny Rogers, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Van Halen, and Ozzy Osbourne have been awarded very few Grammys. Mariah Carey had only won two Grammy awards up until the awards of 2006; she now has won a total of five. Significant, long-lived rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, AC/DC, and Motley Crue have received none. On the other hand, U2 has received 22 awards to date.


Of the "big three" music awards shows, the Grammys are the highest rated.


Unlike the Academy Awards, for which the eligibility period begins January 1, the eligibility period for the Grammys begins October 1, which results in September being considered the Christmas sales period for the music industry (in which artists generally release big albums to qualify for the next year's Grammy). For example, John Lennon & Yoko Ono's album Double Fantasy was released in November, 1980, a month-and-a-half too late to qualify for the 1981 Grammys; it was entered for the 1982 awards and eventually won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.


The Grammys are currently broadcast on CBS. Prior to the first live Grammys telecast in 1971 on ABC (CBS bought the rights in 1973 after moving the ceremony to Nashville, Tennessee; the American Music Awards were created for ABC as a result), a series of taped annual specials in the 1960s called The Best on Record were broadcast on NBC.



Grammy records


The record for most lifetime Grammys is held by Sir Georg Solti, who was the conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for twenty-two years. He personally won 31 Grammys and is listed for 38 Grammys (6 went to the engineer and 1 to a soloist); he was nominated an additional 74 times before his death in 1997.


Pat Metheny and the Pat Metheny Group have won 17 Grammys in total, including seven consecutive awards for seven consecutive albums. Metheny held the record for Grammy wins in the most different categories as of the 2005 Grammy Awards:


  1. Best Jazz Fusion Performance (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1990)

  1. Best Instrumental Composition (1991)

  1. Best Contemporary Jazz Performance/Album (1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005)

  1. Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group (1998, 2000)

  1. Best Rock Instrumental Performance (1999)

  1. Best Jazz Instrumental Solo (2001)

Session drummer Hal Blaine played on six consecutive records which won Record of the Year:


  1. 1966 Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - "A Taste of Honey"

  1. 1967 Frank Sinatra - "Strangers in the Night"

  1. 1968 5th Dimension - "Up, Up and Away"

  1. 1969 Simon & Garfunkel - "Mrs. Robinson"

  1. 1970 5th Dimension - "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"

  1. 1971 Simon & Garfunkel - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"


Alison Krauss (as a solo artist, collaborator, producer and with Union Station) has taken home 20 Grammy Awards, the most of any female artist or any country artist. She is now tied for 7th on the all-time winners list.


Motown artist Stevie Wonder has won 24 awards, including 12 in the 1970s. Three of those awards were for Album of the Year for three consecutive albums.


Legendary Opera Diva Leontyne Price has won 18 awards.


Soul and R&B legend Aretha Franklin has won 11 awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, including 8 consecutive (and the first 8 ever awarded) awards in the category:


  • 1968 - "Respect"

  • 1969 - "Chain of Fools"

  • 1970 - "Share Your Love With Me"

  • 1971 - "Don't Play That Song"

  • 1972 - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

  • 1973 - Young, Gifted, and Black

  • 1974 - "Master of Eyes"

  • 1975 - "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing"

  • 1982 - "Hold On, I'm Comin'"

  • 1986 - "Freeway of Love"

  • 1988 - Aretha


The most Grammys won in a single night is eight -- a record shared by Michael Jackson (1983) and Carlos Santana (2000).


Michael Jackson:

  • Record of the Year - Beat It

  • Album of the Year - Thriller

  • Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male - Thriller

  • Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male - Beat It

  • Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male - Billie Jean

  • Best Rhythm & Blues Song - Billie Jean

  • Best Recording For Children - E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

  • Producer Of The Year (Non-Classical)



  • Record Of The Year - Smooth

  • Album Of The Year - Supernatural

  • Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal - Maria Maria

  • Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals - Smooth

  • Best Pop Instrumental Performance - El Farol

  • Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal - Put Your Lights On

  • Best Rock Instrumental Performance - The Calling

  • Best Rock Album - Supernatural


The record for most Grammmys (5) won in a single night by a female artist is held by four artists: Beyoncé Knowles 2004, Norah Jones 2003, Alicia Keys 2002, Lauryn Hill 1999



  • Best Female R&B Vocal Performance:

Beyoncé for "Dangerously In Love 2"

  • Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals

Luther Vandross & Beyoncé for "The Closer I Get to You"

  • Best R&B Song

Shawn Carter, Rich Harrison, Beyoncé Knowles & Eugene Record for "Crazy in Love" performed by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z

  • Best Contemporary R&B Album

Beyoncé for Dangerously in Love

  • Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z for "Crazy In Love"



Norah Jones:

  • Record of the Year

Norah Jones for "Don't Know Why"

  • Album of the Year

Norah Jones for Come Away With Me

  • Best New Artist

Norah Jones

  • Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Norah Jones for "Don't Know Why"

  • Best Pop Vocal Album

Norah Jones for Come Away With Me



Alicia Keys:

  • Song of the Year

Alicia Keys for "Fallin'"

  • Best New Artist

Alicia Keys

  • Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

Alicia Keys for "Fallin'"

  • Best R&B Song

Alicia Keys (songwriter) for "Fallin'"

  • Best R&B Album

Alicia Keys for Songs in A Minor



Lauryn Hill:

  • Album of the Year

Lauryn Hill for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

  • Best New Artist

Lauryn Hill

  • Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

Lauryn Hill for "Doo Wop (That Thing)"

  • Best R&B Song

Lauryn Hill (songwriter) for "Doo Wop (That Thing)"

  • Best R&B Album

Lauryn Hill for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill



Christopher Cross (Grammy Awards of 1981) is the only artist to receive the "Big Four" (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist) in a single ceremony. As a side note, Norah Jones (Grammy Awards of 2003) won Record of the Year, Album of the Year; that same year her guitarist, Jesse Harris, won the Song of the Year for writing 'Don't Know Why'. Although Norah sang the song, she did not receive the Song of the Year Grammy because it is a songwriter's award.


Béla Fleck has been nominated in more categories than any other musician, namely country, pop, jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk, and spoken word, as well as composition and arranging.



Award categories


Bold ones, known 'The Big Four', are the most prestigious awards of all.


  • Record of the Year

  • Album of the Year

  • Song of the Year

  • Best New Artist

  • Grammy Hall of Fame

  • Grammy Legend Award

  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Grammy Tech Award

  • Grammy Trustees Award



  • Best Alternative Music Album



  • Best Traditional Blues Album

  • Best Contemporary Blues Album



  • Best Album for Children

  • Best Musical Album for Children

  • Best Spoken Word Album for Children



  • Best Orchestral Performance

  • Best Classical Vocal Performance

  • Best Classical Performance, Operatic or Choral

  • Best Opera Recording

  • Best Choral Performance

  • Best Classical Performance - Instrumental Soloist or Soloists (with or without orchestra)

  • Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra)

  • Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra)

  • Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without conductor)

  • Best Chamber Music Performance

  • Best Classical Contemporary Composition

  • Best Classical Album

  • Best Classical Crossover Album

  • Best New Classical Artist



  • Best Comedy Album

  • Best Spoken Comedy Album


Composing and arranging

  • Best Instrumental Composition

  • Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (now in the "Film/TV/Media" field)

  • Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (now in the "film/TV/media" field)

  • Best Arrangement

  • Best Instrumental Arrangement

  • Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)

  • Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices



  • Best Female Country Vocal Performance

  • Best Male Country Vocal Performance

  • Best Country Performance, Duo or Group - Vocal or Instrumental

  • Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal

  • Best Country Collaboration with Vocals

  • Best Country Instrumental Performance

  • Best Country & Western Recording

  • Best Country & Western Single

  • Best Country Song

  • Best Country Album

  • Best Bluegrass Album

  • Best New Country & Western Artist



  • Best Dance Recording (previously in "Pop")

  • Best Electronic/Dance Album



  • Best Disco Recording



  • Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media

  • Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (previously in the "composing and arranging" field)

  • Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (previously in the "composing and arranging" field)



  • Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording

  • Best Traditional Folk Album

  • Best Contemporary Folk Album

  • Best Native American Music Album

  • Best Hawaiian Music Album



  • Best Gospel Performance

  • Best Gospel Song

  • Best Gospel Performance, Traditional

  • Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary

  • Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Female

  • Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Male

  • Best Gospel Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus

  • Best Soul Gospel Performance

  • Best Soul Gospel Performance, Traditional

  • Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary

  • Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female

  • Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male

  • Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male or Female

  • Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus

  • Best Inspirational Performance

  • Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album

  • Best Rock Gospel Album

  • Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album

  • Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album

  • Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album

  • Best Gospel Choir or Chorus Album



  • Best Historical Album



  • Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female

  • Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male

  • Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group

  • Best Jazz Instrumental Solo

  • Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

  • Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

  • Best Jazz Fusion Performance

  • Best Original Jazz Composition

  • Best Jazz Vocal Album

  • Best Contemporary Jazz Album

  • Best Latin Jazz Album



  • Best Latin Recording

  • Best Latin Pop Album

  • Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album

  • Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album

  • Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album

  • Best Tejano Album

  • Best Salsa Album

  • Best Merengue Album

  • Best Salsa/Merengue Album


Musical Show

  • Best Musical Show Album

  • Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast From a Motion Picture or Television


Music Video

  • Best Short Form Music Video

  • Best Long Form Music Video

  • Best Concept Music Video

  • Best Performance Music Video

  • Video of the Year


New Age

  • Best New Age Album


Packaging and notes

  • Best Album Cover

  • Best Album Cover - Classical

  • Best Album Cover - Other Than Classical

  • Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts

  • Best Album Cover, Photography

  • Best Recording Package

  • Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

  • Best Album Notes

  • Best Album Notes - Classical



  • Best Polka Album



  • Best Vocal Performance, Female

  • Best Vocal Performance, Male

  • Best Performance by a Vocal Group

  • Best Performance by a Chorus

  • Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus

  • Best Instrumental Performance

  • Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

  • Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

  • Best Contemporary (R&R) Solo Vocal Performance - Male or Female

  • Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal

  • Best Contemporary Performance by a Chorus

  • Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals

  • Best Performance by an Orchestra - for Dancing

  • Best Performance by an Orchestra or Instrumentalist with Orchestra - Primarily Not Jazz or for Dancing

  • Best Pop Instrumental Performance

  • Best Pop Instrumental Performance with Vocal Coloring

  • Best Contemporary Song

  • Best Pop Vocal Album

  • Best Pop Instrumental Album


Production and engineering

  • Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

  • Best Engineered Album, Classical

  • Best Engineered Recording - Special or Novel Effects

  • Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

  • Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

  • Producer of the Year, Classical

  • Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical



  • Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

  • Best Male R&B Vocal Performance

  • Best R&B Solo Vocal Performance, Male or Female

  • Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals

  • Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance

  • Best R&B Instrumental Performance

  • Best Urban/Alternative Performance

  • Best Rhythm & Blues Recording

  • Best R&B Song

  • Best R&B Album

  • Best Contemporary R&B Album



  • Best Rap Performance

  • Best Rap Solo Performance

  • Best Female Rap Solo Performance

  • Best Male Rap Solo Performance

  • Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group

  • Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • Best Rap Song

  • Best Rap Album



  • Best Reggae Album



  • Best Female Rock Vocal Performance

  • Best Male Rock Vocal Performance

  • Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo

  • Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal

  • Best Rock Instrumental Performance

  • Best Hard Rock Performance

  • Best Metal Performance

  • Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental

  • Best Rock Song

  • Best Rock Album


Surround Sound

  • Best Surround Sound Album



  • Best Spoken Word Album

  • Best Spoken Comedy Album


Traditional Pop

  • Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album



  • Best World Music Album

  • Best Traditional World Music Album

  • Best Contemporary World Music Album





BRIT Awards, official page

Grammy Awards official site

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