With the date and venue for the 2024 Grammy Awards already set, most nominees and fans are already looking forward to it. The ceremony, which attracts viewers from around the world, continues to reach major milestones, one event at a time. However, despite its massive success, the Awards have not been short of shortcomings. Here are some interesting Grammy Awards facts that you probably didn’t know.
1. Grammy Awards Recognize Outstanding Achievements in the Music Industry
Held annually, the Grammy Awards seek to recognize and award outstanding achievements in the music industry. They were originally referred to the Gramophone Awards since the trophy resembles a gilded gramophone. Many often regard them as the best in the category.
2. The Recording Academy presents Grammy Awards
The Recording Academy consists of learned producers, recording engineers, musicians, and other professionals relevant to the music industry. It is a non-profit organization whose tasks are to preserve and educate about music history and significance. The academy also presents the prestigious Grammy Awards.
3. The First Grammy Awards Ceremony Was Held in 1959
The First Grammy Awards Ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to recognize and award the efforts of music performers for the previous year. Interestingly, two different ceremonies were held concurrently. The first was at the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City, while the second was at a Beverly Hills, California hotel.
4. Michael Jackson Won 8 Grammy Awards in a Night
In 1984, Michael Jackson set a record by winning 8 Grammy Awards in a night. Most of these were for his groundbreaking album, “Thriller,” which broke insurmountable records and brought the singer financial triumph. With his iconic sequined glove on, Michael Jackson moonwalked his way into history on that day. The only other nominee to achieve such fete is Carlos Santana.
5. Grammy Awards Could Be Having a Different Name
Popularly known as the Grammys today, shareholders contemplated naming it the ” Eddie ” award ceremony in honor of Thomas Edison, an American businessman and inventor credited with developing the phonograph. However, when the subject was placed into a mail-in contest, about 300 participants chose the name “Grammy;” that’s how it stuck.
6. There Is a Thorough Entry and Selection Process for Grammy Awards Nominees
With millions of songs and other musical aspects released around the world, the process of selecting and processing Grammy Awards nominees is usually long and thorough. It involves National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) members, relevant individuals, and media outlets. After the online making and submission of entries, the experts vote and vet who goes where (categorically).
7. Grammy Awards Underwent a Major Revamp in 2012
While there have been slight changes in the Grammy Awards structure and categories since the inaugural edition, 2012 saw the biggest reconstruction. In an April 6, 2011 announcement, the Recording Academy indicated they were cutting the number of categories from 108 to 78. However, the most significant change was removing the distinction between male and female soloists. Major music genres were affected as well.
8. The Big Four Grammy Awards Carry the Most Weight
Most Grammy Award nominees would take any type of win. However, winning any Big Four award category puts one a notch higher; they are more prestigious and aren’t restricted to any specific genre. The Big Four Grammy Awards are Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and Record of the Year.
9. There Are Grammy Award Certificates
While Grammy Award winners get trophies, those who are ineligible but contributed to the winning record can get Grammy Award Certificates. They are usually available weeks after the Grammy Awards celebrations.
10. The Second Grammy Awards Edition Was the First to Be Televised
Even though there were two separate events for the first Grammy Awards celebrations, none were televised. The second edition was the first to be televised but wasn’t aired live until 1971.
11. There Is a Latin Grammy Awards
While the original Grammy Awards primarily recognize music made in English, there is a Latin Grammy Award specially designed for songs made in Spanish or Portuguese. The Latin Grammy Awards concept was first developed in 1989. However, it took until 1997 for the Latin Recording Academy to be established and 2000 for the first edition to be held.
12. The COVID-19 Pandemic Affected the 2021 and 2022 Grammy Awards Editions
Since their inception, the Grammy Awards have been held annually without fail. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threatening people’s safety and health concerns led to the postponement of the 63rd and 64th Annual Grammy Awards. The venues also changed, with the 64th edition being moved to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas from the original Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
13. Grammy Awards Have Been Subject To Heavy Criticism
The Grammy Awards have undoubtedly been massively successful over the years. However, the organizers and the institution haven’t been free of criticism. They have come from commercialism to formatting and accusations of racial bias. They have also been criticized for their treatment of female artists.
14. Some Grammy Award Winners Have Been Stripped Off their Trophies
Recognized by the Guinness World Records, pop duo Milli Vanilli were stripped of their Grammy Awards trophy after discovering that they did not originally create the song they won for. Interestingly, they were miming a track from their album “Girl You Know It’s True” during a live performance when it started skipping, and they couldn’t keep up.
15. There Is a Grammy Hall of Fame
The Grammy Hall of Fame Awards recognizes any musical compositions and songs from famous artists. Industry professionals and music historians identify pieces of work worthy of the awards. Some prominent inclusions include “Dream On” by Aerosmith, “Hotel California” by the Eagles, and “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson.
16. Stevie Wonder Is One of the Biggest Grammy Awards Winners
An American singer-songwriter, record producer, and musician, Stevie Wonder is among the biggest Grammy Awards winners thanks to his diversity and longevity. While Beyoncé holds the record for the most awards, Stevie Wonder’s achievements cannot be underestimated given his circumstances. He is also a Lifetime Achievement Award holder.
17. There Was a Supposed Grammy Best New Artist Curse
There was a growing belief that winning Grammy’s Best New Artist Award was a curse. Some artists who won this trophy, especially from the late 70s and early 80s, found it difficult to replicate the previous year’s success.
18. Politicians Can Win Grammy Awards
In the past, politicians have had Grammy Awards even though they are mainly meant for musicians; categories such as the Grammy Award for Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling allow them to. Some notable figures who won the awards include Barack Obama, Everett Dirksen, Hillary Clinton, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
19. A Person Who Wins the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards Is An EGOT Winner
An EGOT winner is an individual who wins the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. American actor and musician Phillip Michael Thomas promised to win the award within five years. More than five years later, he hasn’t been nominated for any of them. Some notable EGOT winners include Richard Rodgers, Jonathan Tunick, Mel Brooks, and Jennifer Hudson.
20. Celine Dion Won Grammy Award for a Song She Didn’t Want to Be a Part Of
The Titanic hit song “My Heart Will Go On” is one of Celine Dion’s biggest hits; she won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. On the contrary, reports show that the legendary singer didn’t want anything to do with the track. It took her manager’s conviction for her to sing it, saying it benefited her career.