Surprising Grammy Facts and Trivia

by | February 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Music

Are you attending a Grammy-watching party this weekend? Wow your friends with the aid of the following bits of illuminating Grammy trivia.

The 54th annual Grammy Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live on Sunday, February 12 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

 

RECORDS

Classical conductor Sir Georg Solti holds the record for the most personal Grammy awards with 31, followed by producer Quincy Jones with 27.

Alison Krauss leads female artists with 27 Grammys, followed by opera singer Leontyne Price with 19, Aretha Franklin with 18 and Beyoncé with 16.

Classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz leads male performers with 25 Grammys, followed by Stevie Wonder with 22 and Bruce Springsteen, Henry Mancini and Vince Gill, all with 20.

Michael Jackson and Santana are tied for the most Grammys won in a single night with eight.

U2 have won the most Grammy awards of any group with 22. Coming in a distant second are The Beatles, Metallica and Take 6 with eight apiece.

Christopher Cross is the only artist ever to sweep the “Big Four” categories (Album, Song and Record of the Year and Best New Artist) in a single year. In fact, no other artist has won awards in all of those categories.

Quincy Jones is the most nominated artist of all time with 79. Eminem is fourth with 47, while hip-hop’s power couple, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, are tied for fifth with 42 nominations apiece.

And the record for the most nominations without ever winning a Grammy Award goes to Brian McKnight with 16.

 

HISTORY

The Grammys were originally called the Gramophone Awards, hence, the gilded gramophone statuettes.

The first Grammy Award ceremony was held on May 4, 1959. Perry Como and Ella Fitzgerald snagged the Best Male and Best Female honors.

The first Grammy for rock music was given in 1961 to Chubby Checker for “Let’s Twist Again.”

The first live Grammy telecast was in 1971.

The first Grammy for a Rap Performance was awarded to The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff in 1989.

The first Grammy ceremony consisted of 28 categories. Today, more than 100 Grammys are awarded, with the majority handed out prior to the televised portion.

 

RULES

Grammy nominees are voted on by the NARAS (the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), which consists of more than 20,000 musicians and music-industry professionals.

The eligibility period for a given year’s awards varies from year to year. Songs and albums eligible for the 53rd Grammy Awards were released between Sept. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2010.

Album of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a full album.

Song of the Year is awarded to the writers and composers who penned the year’s best song, while Record of the Year is awarded to the performers and producers of the year’s best recording.

Best New Artist is awarded to a performer who during the given time period released the first recording that established the artist’s public identity of that artist. It can be an artist’s debut album or, in Shelby Lynne’s case, a sixth album that was a long-waited breakthrough.

 

FACTS WITH WHICH TO WOW YOUR FRIENDS

U2 had songs from their album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” nominated in three consecutive years (2001-2003) thanks to the spacing of singles.

Both Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney have 13 Grammy awards, good only for ninth place on the all-time list.

In 1960, comedian Bob Newhart won both Album of the Year and Best New Artist categories. Only three other artists have achieved that feat: Christopher Cross in 1981, Lauryn Hill in 1999 and Norah Jones in 2003.

The Beatles won just eight Grammys in their career, while Elvis snagged just three.

Among the notable acts to never win a competitive Grammy are The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead and Bob Marley.

At 14 years old, LeAnn Rimes was the youngest person to receive a Grammy; George Burns was the oldest at 94.

Milli Vanilli are the only act to have a Grammy Award revoked; Sinéad O’Connor is the only artist to refuse a Grammy outright.