Most Controversial Grammys Wins and How They’ve Aged
The 2021 Grammy Awards, originally slated for Jan. 31, have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the ceremony tentatively rescheduled for March 14.
Some of the most coveted awards include Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
Since the ceremony began in 1959, then hosted at the Beverly Hilton, it’s been considered among the most important awards in music. That first year rewarded the likes of iconic stars Frank Sinatra, the Kingston Trio, Count Basie, and Ella Fitzgerald. Since then, many other outstanding artists—considered by critics and fans to be among the best of all time—have also found acclaim. Stevie Wonder won 25 Grammys, Beyoncé has gotten 24, U2 and Jay-Z each won 22, Kanye West received 21, Bruce Springsteen won 20, and Yo-Yo Ma has snagged 18.
However, while many of the winning artists have been deserving and their legacies have stood the test of time, the Grammy Awards have had their fair share of controversies.
Music fans have complained that the voting system tends to reward those with top-selling records rather than the best music, divorcing winners from the reality of what’s happening in the industry. Some undeniably iconic artists, such as Diana Ross and Jimi Hendrix, never won awards throughout their vaunted careers. What’s more, certain winners beat out superior artists (or at least artists that fans or critics insisted were better). In a few cases, artists were nominated in categories that made no sense for their style of music.
So, what are the most controversial wins in Grammy history?