Grammys history and winners through the years
In May 1959, at a star-studded banquet in the Beverly Hilton, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences handed out 28 Grammys. The academy, founded two years earlier, was a relative latecomer to the awards game, with the first Oscars having been handed out 30 years earlier and the first Emmys 10 years prior. The number of Grammy categories once grew to more than 100, but now stands at 83. Explore our reverse chronology below, with key winners highlighted for each year.
Taylor Swift took home her second best album honor for “1989,” while Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” won the award for best record. Meghan Trainor was named best new artist. And Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” won for best song. In the performances, Adele sounded less-than-stellar and “Hamilton” measured up to the hype, but Kendrick Lamar’s fiery set was the show-stealer and overshadowed much of the night.
Record: “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
Album: “1989,” Taylor Swift
Song: “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)
New artist: Meghan Trainor
Sam Smith, a 22-year-old British singer-songwriter who was virtually unknown outside his native England a year earlier, took home three of the four top awards. He became the first openly gay artist to win record of the year. Beck’s surprise win for his widely lauded “Morning Phase” album led Kanye West to approach the stage at the start of Beck’s acceptance speech; later, West blasted the win, saying the award should have gone to Beyonce.
Record: “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith
Album: “Morning Phase,” Beck
Song: “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith (Sam Smith)
New artist: Sam Smith
Electronic duo Daft Punk took home honors for album and record of the year, plus two more awards, during a long but visually and musically dazzling ceremony. The Grammy stage also saw the mass marriage of 33 couples, including several same-sex partners, to the music of hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ gay-rights anthem “Same Love.”
Record: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
Album: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk
Song: “Royals,” Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
New artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
British roots music band Mumford and Sons took the top honor for “Babel” on a night that distributed honors broadly to an array of younger generation acts including New York indie trio Fun., Australian electronic pop artist Gotye, rapper-R&B singer Frank Ocean and Akron, Ohio, rock group the Black Keys.
Record: “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye featuring Kimbra
Album: “Babel,” Mumford and Sons
Song: “We Are Young,” Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe)
New artist: Fun.
LL Cool J plays host for the second-highest-rated Grammys telecast in history, with an audience of 39.9 million viewers. However, the death of Whitney Houston the day before the ceremony casts a pall over the proceedings. A hastily organized tribute features Jennifer Hudson singing “I Will Always Love You.”
Record: “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele
Album: “21,” Adele
Song: “Rolling in the Deep,” songwriters Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth
New artist: Bon Iver
The Grammys may often be written off as a popularity contest, but this year indie favorite Arcade Fire takes home album of the year, making it the first indie act to pull that off. In another category, a 27-year-old jazz bassist named Esperanza Spalding beats out chart-topping acts Justin Bieber and Drake for best new artist.
Record: “Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum
Album: “The Suburbs,” Arcade Fire
Song: “Need You Now,” songwriters Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott
New artist: Esperanza Spalding
It’s a good night for ladies. Beyoncé becomes a record breaker when she takes home six Grammys for her album “I Am … Sasha Fierce.” That outdoes the previous record for awards won by a female performer in a single night. Taylor Swift wins four awards, including album of the year.
Record: “Use Somebody,” Kings of Leon
Album: “Fearless,” Taylor Swift
Song: “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” songwriters Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash, & Christopher Stewart
New artist: Zac Brown Band
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are the night’s big award winners, but the biggest drama of the 2009 ceremony doesn’t take place on stage. Earlier that day, two of the show’s biggest stars, Chris Brown and Rihanna, get into a physical altercation resulting in facial damage to Rihanna and Brown turning himself in to LAPD. Neither performer attends the Grammys and Brown later pleads guilty to felony assault. The incident becomes the hot topic of conversation in the media and by attendees of the show that night.
Record: “Please Read the Letter,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Album: “Raising Sand,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Song: “Viva la Vida,” songwriters Guy Berryman, Jonathan Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
New artist: Adele
The Grammys celebrate 50 years with a series of performances linking past and present. Alicia Keys performs a duet with a recording of Frank Sinatra, Beyoncé sings with Tina Turner, Rihanna and the Time perform and the first-ever Grammy winner, Keely Smith, plays with Kid Rock. Amy Winehouse wins five awards, but due to visa troubles, she’s unable to attend the ceremony.
Record: “Rehab,” Amy Winehouse
Album: “River: The Joni Letters,” Herbie Hancock
Song: “Rehab,” songwriter Amy Winehouse
New artist: Amy Winehouse
After enduring much criticism for singer Natalie Maines’ comments criticizing President George W. Bush, the Dixie Chicks appear to be forgiven by winning five awards, including album of the year and record of the year for “Taking the Long Way.” “I think people are using their freedom of speech tonight with all these awards,” Maines says.
Record: “Not Ready to Make Nice,” Dixie Chicks
Album: “Taking the Long Way,” Dixie Chicks
Song: “Not Ready to Make Nice,” songwriters Emily Robison, Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, & Dan Wilson
New artist: Carrie Underwood
Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone makes his first live stage appearance since 1987. He appears midway through a performance of the group’s hit “I Want to Take You Higher,” surprising the audience with his appearance: a blond mohawk, sunglasses and a silver lamé suit. After singing a bit, he leaves the stage before the number is over. U2 is the night’s top winner, with five awards, including album of the year for “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.”
Record: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” Green Day
Album: “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” U2
Song: “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own,” songwriters Adam Clayton, David Evans, Larry Mullen Jr. & Paul Hewson
New artist: John Legend
The ceremony is dedicated to Ray Charles, who died the previous year at age 73. Charles ends up the evening’s biggest winner, however, with his final album, “Genius Loves Company” winning eight awards, including record of the year and album of the year. Charles’ five personal wins is a posthumous record. An all-star tribute to the Beatles includes Bono, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Alicia Keys and Steven Tyler, among others.
Record: “Here We Go Again,” Ray Charles & Norah Jones
Album: “Genius Loves Company,” Ray Charles & various artists
Song: “Daughters,” songwriter John Mayer
New artist: Maroon 5
OutKast’s “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” becomes the first pure hip-hop project to win album of the year honors. Beyoncé Knowles wins five awards. But the biggest name of the night doesn’t win any awards or even attend; following her infamous wardrobe malfunction at the 2003 Super Bowl halftime show, Janet Jackson is uninvited from the ceremony and then re-invited on condition she apologizes. Jackson declines, but her halftime costar Justin Timberlake apologizes for the incident while accepting his award for best male pop performance.
Record: “Clocks,” Coldplay
Album: “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” OutKast
Song: “Dance With My Father,” songwriters Richard Marx, Luther Vandross
New artist: Evanescence
The Grammys return to Madison Square Garden in New York, with New Yorkers hosting the ceremony to mark the city’s resilience after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Norah Jones dominates the awards, taking five trophies including album of the year for “Come Away With Me.” Bruce Springsteen and the Dixie Chicks tie for second-most wins, with three each.
Record: “Don’t Know Why,” Norah Jones
Album: “Come Away With Me,” Norah Jones
Song: “Don’t Know Why,” songwriter Jesse Harris
New artist: Norah Jones
Alicia Keys wins five Grammys, including best new artist and song of the year. “I’d like to dedicate this to just thinking outside the box and not being afraid of who you are no matter what you do,” Keys says. U2 takes four awards, and lead singer Bono marvels that the group could “survive commerce, being broke, not being broke, some really lousy haircuts, the ‘80s.” The soundtrack to the Coen brothers film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” takes five Grammys, beating out Bob Dylan’s “Love and Theft” and OutKast’s “Stankonia” for top album.
Record: “Walk On,” U2
Album: “O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack,” various artists
Song: “Fallin’,” songwriter Alicia Keys
New artist: Alicia Keys
Steely Dan, U2, Dr. Dre and Faith Hill each win three awards but are overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Eminem’s lyrics, at times deemed violent and homophobic. Eminem, who also wins three awards, and Elton John team up to perform a show-stopping rendition of the rapper’s single “Stan,” and they embrace after the performance. CBS runs three anti-hate and anti-domestic violence public service announcements during the telecast, including one from Judy Shepard, mother of slain gay teen Matthew Shepard.
Record: “Beautiful Day,” U2
Album: “Two Against Nature,” Steely Dan
Song: “Beautiful Day,” songwriters Adam Clayton, David Evans, Larry Mullen Jr. & Paul Hewson
New artist: Shelby Lynne
Carlos Santana ties Michael Jackson’s eight-Grammy record with his comeback album “Supernatural” and its single “Smooth” –- the most-played song of 1999. The award comes after Santana was largely written off by the music industry. “Music is the vehicle for the magic of healing,” he says as he accepts the award for album of the year. Other winners include Christina Aguilera, TLC, Shania Twain and Sting, beating out the Backstreet Boys and Ricky Martin.
Record: “Smooth,” Santana featuring Rob Thomas
Album: “Supernatural,” Santana
Song: “Smooth,” songwriters Itaal Shur, Rob Thomas
New artist: Christina Aguilera
After a two-year stint in New York, the Grammys are back in L.A., where Lauryn Hill takes album of the year, best new artist and three more trophies. She begins an acceptance speech with the 40th Psalm and thanks her children “for not spilling anything on Mommy’s outfit.” Rap album winner Jay-Z boycotts the show because two of the three rap categories aren’t included in the televised ceremony. Winners include Madonna, Alanis Morissette, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow and the Dixie Chicks.
Record: “My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from ‘Titanic’),” Celine Dion
Album: “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” Lauryn Hill
Song: “My Heart Will Go On,” songwriters James Horner, Will Jennings
New artist: Lauryn Hill
After decades of Grammy neglect, Bob Dylan takes three Grammys at Radio City Music Hall. His son Jakob Dylan wins two. During a Bob Dylan performance, a dancer with “Soy Bomb” written on his torso rushes the stage and gyrates wildly before being escorted off. Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard interrupts Shawn Colvin’s song of the year speech to argue that the Clan should have won for rap album (Puff Daddy won). And Paula Cole flips her middle finger during her performance of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”
Record: “Sunny Came Home,” Shawn Colvin
Album: “Time Out of Mind,” Bob Dylan
Song: “Sunny Came Home,” songwriters Shawn Colvin, John Leventhal
New artist: Paula Cole
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton wins a Grammy for her recorded reading of her child-rearing book “It Takes a Village,” beating out the likes of Garrison Keillor, Lauren Bacall, Martin Landau and Gregory Peck. Other key winners include Eric Clapton, Babyface, Celine Dion and 14-year-old newcomer LeAnn Rimes. The ceremony is held in New York’s Madison Square Garden, drawing criticism that the venue is too cavernous.
Record: “Change the World,” Eric Clapton
Album: “Falling into You,” Celine Dion
Song: “Change the World,” songwriters Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick & Tommy Sims
New artist: LeAnn Rimes
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences revamps its selection process to highlight younger, edgier artists, including Coolio, Pearl Jam, TLC, Nirvana and Alanis Morissette. Morissette wins four trophies, including album of the year for her record “Jagged Little Pill” and accepts her award “on behalf of anybody who’s ever written a song from a very pure place, a very spiritual place,” she says.
Record: “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal
Album: “Jagged Little Pill,” Alanis Morissette
Song: “Kiss From a Rose,” songwriter Seal
New artist: Hootie & the Blowfish
Bruce Springsteen’s poignant “Streets of Philadelphia” –- about a man struggling with AIDS –- wins four Grammys, including song of the year, best rock song, best song written for a motion picture and best male rock vocal. The song is the first to sweep the Grammy and Oscar song competitions. Accepting the first award, Springsteen thanks “the folks … who have lost their sons or their lovers or their friends to AIDS and said that the song meant something to them.”
Record: “All I Wanna Do,” Sheryl Crow
Album: “MTV Unplugged,” Tony Bennett
Song: “Streets of Philadelphia,” songwriter Bruce Springsteen
New artist: Sheryl Crow
Whitney Houston’s smash hit “I Will Always Love You” yields her three Grammy Awards, including record of the year. Times writer Paul Grein says it has a “can’t-miss aura.” “Her smash ballad from ‘The Bodyguard’ is brimming with traits that Grammy voters prize in a record of the year,” he writes. “It’s immaculately crafted, dramatic and anthemic and was a huge hit in a variety of radio formats.” Other winners are Meat Loaf, Dr. Dre, Ray Charles, Ozzy Osbourne, Maya Angelou and George Carlin.
Record: “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston
Album: “The Bodyguard,” Whitney Houston
Song: “A Whole New World (Aladdin’s Theme),” songwriters Alan Menken, Tim Rice
New artist: Toni Braxton
Eric Clapton, who is nominated for nine Grammys, wins six including song of the year for “Tears in Heaven.” Arrested Development is the first rap group to win best new artist and also wins for rap performance by a duo or group for “Tennessee.” Janet Jackson presents her brother Michael Jackson the Grammy Legend Award.
Record: “Tears in Heaven,” Eric Clapton
Album: “Unplugged,” Eric Clapton
Song: “Tears in Heaven,” songwriters Eric Clapton, Will Jennings
New artist: Arrested Development
The awards go east to Radio City Music Hall in New York, and Whoopi Goldberg hosts. Natalie Cole, whose father Nat King Cole received a Lifetime Achievement Award last year, wins three Grammys with covers of her father’s music on “Unforgettable … With Love.” Lisa Fischer and Patti LaBelle tie for female R&B vocal performance, and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns wins best spoken word or non-musical album and best traditional folk album for “The Civil War.” The Grammy for best world music is also presented for the first time.
Record: “Unforgettable,” Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole
Album: “Unforgettable … With Love,” Natalie Cole
Song: “Unforgettable,” songwriter Irving Gordon
New artist: Marc Cohn
Mariah Carey’s debut nabs her five nominations, and she wins best new artist. Quincy Jones wins six awards, including album of the year for “Back on the Block.” Times critic Robert Hilburn feels that the academy shows signs of age by failing to nominate Sinead O’Connor for album, writing it’s likely “the voters just didn’t recognize the difference between the artistry of O’Connor and the minimal pop vision of the actual nominees, including Phil Collins, Wilson Phillips, M.C. Hammer and Mariah Carey.” The MusiCares Person of the Year is awarded to David Crosby.
Record: “Another Day in Paradise,” Phil Collins
Album: “Back on the Block,” Quincy Jones & various artists
Song: “From a Distance,” songwriter Julie Gold
New artist: Mariah Carey
Bonnie Raitt takes home four Grammys for her album “Nick of Time.” Paul McCartney, Dick Clark, Miles Davis, Vladimir Horowitz and Nat King Cole receive Lifetime Achievement Awards. Danny Elfman’s score for Tim Burton’s “Batman” gets him the instrumental composition award. Milli Vanilli, who wins best new artist, has its Grammy revoked shortly after Times writer Chuck Philips confirms neither member sang any of the lyrics on the hit “Girl You Know It’s True.” “The last two years of our lives have been a total nightmare,” Rob Pilatus, one-half of the pop group Milli Vanilli, tells Philips later that year.
Record: “Wind Beneath My Wings,” Bette Midler
Album: “Nick of Time,” Bonnie Raitt
Song: “Wind Beneath My Wings,” songwriters Larry Henley, Jeff Silbar
The burgeoning rap genre gets its own category and DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith a.k.a. the Fresh Prince win the award for “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Even so, Smith boycotts going to the ceremony because the award presentation isn’t televised. Tracy Chapman wins three awards, including best new artist and female pop vocal performance. Jesse Jackson picks up best spoken word or non-musical recording for “Speech by Rev. Jesse Jackson.”
Record: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” Bobby McFerrin
Album: “Faith,” George Michael
Song: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” songwriter Bobby McFerrin
New artist: Tracy Chapman
U2, whose fifth album “The Joshua Tree” sold 4 million copies in the U.S. alone, wins two Grammys, beating out Prince’s “Sign o’ the Times,” “Whitney” and Michael Jackon’s “Bad” for album of the year. Despite losing, “Bad” still takes home a Grammy for best engineered recording (non-classical). Whitney Houston and Sting win the pop vocal performance categories. Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt win for country performance by a duo or group with vocal for “Trio.”
Record: “Graceland,” Paul Simon
Album: “The Joshua Tree,” U2
Song: “Somewhere Out There,” songwriters James Horner, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
New artist: Jody Watley
Given the success of “We Are the World” from the previous year’s Grammys, it’s no suprise that “That’s What Friends Are For” from the “Nightshift” soundtrack wins song of the year. The Jim Henson-assisted “Alphabet Song” from “Sesame Street” wins best recording for children. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis take home producer of the year (non-classical) for Janet Jackson’s “Control.”
Record: “Higher Love,” Steve Winwood
Album: “Graceland,” Paul Simon
Song: “That’s What Friends Are For,” songwriters Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager
New artist: Bruce Hornsby and the Range
The collaborative all-star song project “We Are the World,” which raised funds for famine relief in Africa, wins big. Whitney Houston receives her first Grammy for her song “Saving All My Love for You,” and Whoopi Goldberg’s Broadway show earns her best comedy recording. Times writer Dennis Hunt thinks the 1986 Grammy Awards missed the mark when the judges failed to nominate Madonna, who rose to stardom in 1985. Other notable winners include Phil Collins, the Commodores and Dire Straits.
Record: “We Are the World,” USA for Africa
Album: “No Jacket Required,” Phil Collins
Song: “We Are the World,” songwriters Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie
New artist: Sade
Tina Turner, who hadn’t won a Grammy since 1972, wins record of the year and female pop vocal performance for “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” the song of the year, plus another. Prince wins best R&B song for his work on Chaka Khan’s “I Feel for You.” He also picks up best album of original score written for a motion picture and best rock performance by a group for “Purple Rain,” which Times critic Robert Hilburn calls one of the “most distinguished collections of 1984.” Black Uhuru receives the first Grammy for reggae recording.
Record: “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” Tina Turner
Album: “Can’t Slow Down,” Lionel Richie
Song: “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” songwriters Graham Lyle, Terry Britten
New artist: Cyndi Lauper
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” wins the most awards in a single night in Grammy history, and the 26th Grammy Awards are the most watched Grammys yet with 43.8 million viewers. Los Lobos wins the first award for Mexican/Mexican-American performance for “Anselma,” and Eddie Murphy’s brash humor gets him best comedy recording.
Record: “Beat It,” Michael Jackson
Album: “Thriller,” Michael Jackson
Song: “Every Breath You Take,” songwriter Sting
New artist: Culture Club
Los Angeles rock group Toto and its album “Toto IV” win six Grammys. Olivia Newton-John’s biggest hit “Physical” wins best video of the year, although the track originally came out in 1981. Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” nabs him two awards, and the “Rocky III” theme song — Survivor’s “Eye of Tiger” — wins best rock performance by a duo or group. Composer John Williams completes a six-year streak of winning Grammy Awards for his movie scores.
Record: “Rosanna,” Toto
Album: “Toto IV,” Toto
Song: “Always on My Mind,” songwriters Johnny Christopher, Mark James & Wayne Carson
New artist: Men at Work
Soul crooner Al Green switches to gospel and lands the award for best traditional soul gospel performance for “The Lord Will Make a Way.” Richard Pryor returns to the Grammys with a comedy recording win. Dolly Parton wins two country Grammys and Quincy Jones wins producer of the year.
Record: “Bette Davis Eyes,” Kim Carnes
Album: “Double Fantasy,” John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Song: “Bette Davis Eyes,” songwriters Donna Weiss, Jackie DeShannon
New artist: Sheena Easton
Newcomer Christopher Cross takes all the major awards at the 23rd Grammy Awards, including best new artist and album of the year. John Williams continues his winning streak and picks up album of original score written for a motion picture or television special for “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.” Other Grammys are handed out to notable acts like Bill Evans, George Benson, the Police and Pat Benatar.
Record: “Sailing,” Christopher Cross
Album: “Christopher Cross,” Christopher Cross
Song: “Sailing,” songwriter Christopher Cross
New artist: Christopher Cross
After continued success on the music charts, disco gets its own category, which Gloria Gaynor wins for her hit “I Will Survive.” This is the only year this award is given. Michael Jackson picks up his first Grammy as a solo artist for his performance on “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough” and John Williams’ scores continue to garner him more Grammys — he wins two Grammys for his work on “Superman.” Other notable winners include Robin Williams, Paul McCartney and Wings, the Police and Kenny Rogers.
Record: “What a Fool Believes,” The Doobie Brothers
Album: “52nd Street,” Billy Joel
Song: “What a Fool Believes,” songwriters Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald
New artist: Rickie Lee Jones
John Denver reprises his role as host. The “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack — which heavily features the Bee Gees — brings disco to the Grammys and wins album of the year. Jim Henson wins best recording for children for his work on the album “The Muppet Show.” Frank Sinatra wins the Trustees Award. Other notable winners include Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Tito Puente; Earth, Wind & Fire; and Barry Manilow.
Record: “Just the Way You Are,” Billy Joel
Album: “Saturday Night Fever,” Bee Gees & various artists
Song: “Just the Way You Are,” songwriter Billy Joel
New artist: A Taste of Honey
Folk artist John Denver hosts the 20th Grammy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” and Barbra Streisand’s “Love Theme from ‘A Star Is Born’ (Evergreen)” tie for song of the year. Composer John Williams wins best instrumental composition and album of original score written for a motion picture or a television special for his work in “Star Wars.”
Record: “Hotel California,” Eagles
Album: “Rumours,” Fleetwood Mac
Song: Tie between “Love Theme From ‘A Star Is Born’ (Evergreen),” songwriters Barbra Streisand, Paul Williams, and “You Light Up My Life,” songwriter Joe Brooks
New artist: Debby Boone
Richard Pryor completes his three-year winning streak for comedy recording. Stevie Wonder and his double album “Songs in the Key of Life” are nominated for seven Grammys and win four, including album of the year and producer of the year. Since Wonder is traveling in Africa, he accepts the awards via satellite broadcast. After several technical issues, host Andy Williams blurts out to the blind musician, “Stevie, can you see us now?”
Record: “This Masquerade,” George Benson
Album: “Songs in the Key of Life,” Stevie Wonder
Song: “I Write the Songs,” songwriter Bruce Johnston
New artist: Starland Vocal Band
Paul Simon wins album of the year for “Still Crazy After All These Years” and thanks Stevie Wonder, “who didn’t release an album this year.” Jim Ladwig wins the best album package award for the cover of the Ohio Players’ “Honey.” Jazz legend Nat King Cole’s daughter Natalie Cole picks up the best new artist award.
Record: “Love Will Keep Us Together,” Captain and Tennille
Album: “Still Crazy After All These Years,” Paul Simon
Song: “Send in the Clowns,” songwriter Stephen Sondheim
New artist: Natalie Cole
Marvin Hamlisch wins best new artist as well as song of the year for his songwriting work on Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were.” Stevie Wonder wins album of the year for the second year in a row with “Fulfillingness’ First Finale.” Richard Pryor wins best comedy recording for his groundbreaking album “That … Crazy.”
Record: “I Honestly Love You,” Olivia Newton-John
Album: “Fulfillingness’ First Finale,” Stevie Wonder
Song: “The Way We Were,” songwriters Marilyn Bergman, Alan Bergman & Marvin Hamlisch
New artist: Marvin Hamlisch
Stevie Wonder starts a string of Grammy album wins with “Innervisions,” and takes home four overall this year. Roberta Flack is the first artist to win back-to-back record of the year honors, a rarefied feat only equaled decades later by U2.
Record: “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” Roberta Flack
Album: “Innervisions,” Stevie Wonder
Song: “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” songwriters Norman Gimbel, Charles Fox
New artist: Bette Midler
Roberta Flack wins song and record (and vocal group performance with Donny Hathaway) honors. In the R&B section, the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” takes the song, group vocal performance and instrumental performance awards. (Ceremony held at Tennessee Theater, Nashville, Tenn.)
Record: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” Roberta Flack
Album:“The Concert for Bangladesh,” George Harrison & Friends (Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton & Klaus Voormann)
Song: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” songwriter Ewan MacColl
New artist: America
Carole King takes home four Grammys and, along with Isaac Hayes and Kris Kristofferson, is the most nominated artist as well. Elvis Presley receives the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Ike and Tina Turner turn heads winning the R&B vocal performance award for “Proud Mary.” (Ceremony held at Felt Forum, N.Y.)
Record: “It’s Too Late,” Carole King
Album: “Tapestry,” Carole King
Song: “You’ve Got a Friend,” songwriter Carole King
New artist: Carly Simon
Though James Taylor, Ray Stevens and Miles Davis receive the most nominations, this is the year of Simon & Garfunkel. They sweep the major categories. A highlight of the show, which is broadcast live for the first time, is the 5th Dimension singing the record of the year award presentation.
Record: “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Simon & Garfunkel
Album: “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Simon & Garfunkel
Song: “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” songwriter Paul Simon
New artist: The Carpenters
Blood, Sweat & Tears’ self-titled album gets a hard-fought win against legendary competition: “Crosby, Stills & Nash,” “Johnny Cash at San Quentin,” the 5th Dimension’s “The Age of Aquarius” and the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Tammy Wynette’s soon-to-be country anthem “Stand by Your Man” wins for female country vocal performance. Held at the Century Plaza.
Record: “Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In,” The 5th Dimension
Album: “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” Blood, Sweat & Tears
Song: “Games People Play,” songwriter Joe South
New artist: Crosby, Stills & Nash
Otis Redding is posthumously awarded two Grammys for his hit “(Sitting on the) Dock of the Bay,” and the show itself is memorable for a performance at the Century Plaza put on by the Los Angeles cast of the musical “Hair” featuring songs from the next year’s record of the year: the 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In.” Other ceremonies occur in New York, Nashville and Chicago.
Record: “Mrs. Robinson,” Simon & Garfunkel
Album: “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” Glen Campbell
Song: “Little Green Apples,” songwriter Bobby Russell
New artist: Jose Feliciano
The 5th Dimension wins for record and song of the year, but can’t overcome Bobbie Gentry as best new artist. Also awarded this year is instant classic “Respect” by Aretha Franklin in multiple R&B categories, and an award for best sacred performance (“How Great Thou Art”) by Elvis Presley. The awards are handed out in Chicago, Nashville, New York and at the Century Plaza in L.A.
Record: “Up, Up and Away,” The 5th Dimension
Album: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” The Beatles
Song: “Up, Up, and Away,” songwriter Jimmy Webb
New artist: Bobbie Gentry
Sinatra takes home three Grammys, and the Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Duke Ellington. No best new artist is awarded, despite debut albums from recognizable names such as the Monkees, the Young Rascals, the Statler Brothers, Buffalo Springfield and Jefferson Airplane.
Record: “Strangers in the Night,” Frank Sinatra
Album: “A Man and His Music,” Frank Sinatra
Song: “Michelle,” songwriters John Lennon, Paul McCartney
New artist: not awarded
Frank Sinatra not only wins album of the year but is also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Bemoaning the 47 categories that the Grammys go through while comparing “oranges to lemons and tangerines,” the L.A. Times’ Charles Champlin writes that there were all of these choices, “yet nary a single one for Bob Dylan,” whom he calls the most influential musician of the last year.
Record: “A Taste of Honey,” Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
Album: “September of My Years,” Frank Sinatra
Song: “The Shadow of Your Smile,” songwriters Paul Francis Webster, Johnny Mandel
New artist: Tom Jones
Though Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto’s “The Girl From Ipanema” is a runaway hit, this is the beginning of a British invasion. Grammy voters may not have noticed, though. The Beatles win for performance by a vocal group for “A Hard Day’s Night” but don’t win for record of the year for “I Want to Hold Your Hand” or for song of the year.
Record: “The Girl From Ipanema,” Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto
Album: “Getz/Gilberto,” Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto
Song: “Hello, Dolly!,” songwriter Jerry Herman
New artist: The Beatles
Some 550 members gather at the Beverly Hilton, and others gather in Chicago and New York. Barbra Streisand is honored for her “unorthodox vocalizing,” The Times writes, winning Grammys for album of the year and female vocal performance. The Swingle Singers are recognized for their swing interpretation of “Bach’s Greatest Hits.”
Record: “Days of Wine and Roses,” Henry Mancini
Album: “The Barbra Streisand Album,” Barbra Streisand
Song: “Days of Wine and Roses,” songwriters Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer
New artist: Ward Swingle
Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald lock in vocal performance awards while winners are announced at dinners in New York, Chicago and in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton. Elsa Lanchester accepts an award for her late husband Charles Laughton for best documentary or spoken word recording for “The Storyteller.” And the JFK-spoof comedy album “The First Family” wins for album of the year.
Record: “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” Tony Bennett
Album: “The First Family,” Vaughn Meader
Song: “What Kind of Fool Am I?,” songwriters Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley
New artist: Robert Goulet
Producer Henry Mancini takes home the most awards for his “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” film score and song, “Moon River,” after his two Oscar wins one month earlier. Ceremonies are held in Chicago, L.A. and New York. Judy Garland’s legendary night at Carnegie Hall produces the album of the year winner.
Record: “Moon River,” Henry Mancini
Album: “Judy at Carnegie Hall,” Judy Garland
Song: “Moon River,” songwriters Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer
New artist: Peter Nero
About 400 people attend the black-tie dinner held at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the third ceremony. Emcee Mort Sahl, referencing the infamous Nikita Kruschev shoe-banging incident, cracks that “that fellow in Russia should be voted for the best solo of the year.” Bob Newhart takes home awards for his comedy album “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart.”
Record: “Theme From ‘A Summer Place,’” Percy Faith
Album: “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” Bob Newhart
Song: “Theme From Exodus,” songwriter Ernest Gold
New artist: Bob Newhart
The show is telecast for the first time, on an episode of NBC’s “Sunday Showcase.” Frank Sinatra — who was largely snubbed in the first ceremony but won for an album cover he didn’t design — collects the first of his three album of the year awards, for “Come Dance With Me!” The awards are presented at the Beverly Hilton and the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Record: “Mack the Knife,” Bobby Darin
Album: “Come Dance with Me!,” Frank Sinatra
Song: “The Battle of New Orleans,” songwriter Jimmy Driftwood
New artist: Bobby Darin
Paul Weston, president of the recording academy’s L.A. chapter, emcees the inaugural banquet and hands out 28 awards at the Beverly Hilton honoring music from 1958. “The Chipmunk Song” wins three awards, which triggers widespread fury among music critics because the industry does not recognize rock ‘n’ roll and substitutes the Chipmunks to represent music by young people.
Record: “Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu (Volare),” Domenico Modugno
Album: “The Music From Peter Gunn,” Henry Mancini
Song: “Volare,” songwriter Domenico Modugno
Sources: Times research
Credits: Noelene Clark, Patrick Kevin Day, Maloy Moore, Jevon Phillips, Nardine Saad, Aaron Williams