The Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums in the alternative rock genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".
While the definition of "alternative" has been debated, the award was first presented in 1991 to recognize non-mainstream rock albums "heavily played on college radio stations". According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, the award is presented to "vocal or instrumental alternative music albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded music", defining "alternative" as a "non-traditional" genre that exists "outside of the mainstream music consciousness". In 1991, and from 1994 to 1999, the award was known as Best Alternative Music Performance. Beginning in 2001, award recipients included the producers, engineers, and/or mixers associated with the nominated work in addition to the recording artists.
As of 2012, Radiohead and The White Stripes share the record for the most wins in this category, having won three times each. Sinéad O'Connor is the only female solo artist to have won the award. With seven nominations to date, Radiohead holds the record for the most nominations in this category; Radiohead singer Thom Yorke was also nominated for the 2007 award for his solo album. Beck and Björk hold the record for the most nominations for a solo artist, with six nominations each. Björk has never received the award yet, holding also the record for the most nominations without a win. Beck and Coldplay have each received the award twice, the latter being the only group to win two years consecutively. American artists have been presented with the award more than any other nationality, though it has been presented to musicians or groups from the United Kingdom five times, from Ireland twice, and from France once.