Grammy Award for Album of the Year

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Grammy Award for Album of the Year
Awarded forquality vocal or instrumental recording albums
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded1959
Currently held byKacey Musgraves, Golden Hour (2019)

The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is presented 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, chart position, or critical reception."[1] Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys having been presented since 1st Grammy Awards in 1959. According to the 54th Grammy Awards description guide, the award is presented:

For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental recordings. Award to the artist(s), and to the album producer(s), recording engineer(s) and/or mixer(s), and mastering engineer(s) if other than the artist.[1]

Album of the Year is related to but is conceptually different from Record of the Year or Song of the Year:

  • Album of the Year is awarded for a whole album, and the award is presented to the artist, producer, recording engineer, and mastering engineer for that album. In this context, "album" means a recorded collection of songs (a multi-track LP, CD, or download package), not the individual songs or their compositions.
  • Record of the Year is awarded for a single or for one track from an album. This award goes to the performing artist, the producer, recording engineer and/or mixer for that song. In this sense, "record" means a particular recorded song, not its composition or an album of songs.
  • Song of the Year is also awarded for a single or individual track, but the recipient of this award is the songwriter who actually wrote the lyrics and/or melodies to the song. "Song" in this context means the song as composed, not its recording.

History and description[edit]

Although it was originally presented to the artist alone, the award is now presented to the main artist, the featured artist(s), the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer. In 1962, the award name was extended to Album of the Year (other than classical) but, in 1965, the shorter name returned. It was not until 1968, 1969, 1999, 2011, and 2014 that the award was won by a rock, country, hip hop, indie and electronic album respectively. As of 2012, classical albums are eligible for this award, with the award for Best Classical Album being discontinued (although no classical album has been nominated in this category since).

The honorees through its history have been:

  • 1959–1965: Artist only.
  • 1966–1998: Artist and producer.
  • 1999–2012: Artist, producer, and recording engineer or mixer.
  • 2002–2017: Artist, producer, mastering engineer, and recording engineer or mixer.
  • 2018–: Artist, producer, songwriter, mastering engineer, and recording engineer or mixer.

The category expanded to include eight nominees in 2019. [2]


Tom Coyne (as mastering engineer) is the biggest winner in this category with four wins. He is followed by Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Norah Jones (as performers), David Foster, Phil Ramone, Daniel Lanois, Ryan Tedder (as record producers), Bob Ludwig (as mastering engineer), Mike Piersante, Tom Elmhirst, Serban Ghenea & John Hanes (as engineers/mixers) with three victories each. Ludwig, Coyne, Ghenea, and Hanes are the only people to win the award three consecutive years. Paul McCartney leads all performers with nine nominations: five as a member of The Beatles, three for solo albums, and one as a member of Wings. Sinatra leads solo performers with eight nominations, seven for solo albums and one for a duet album. McCartney and Simon are the only artists with nominations in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s.

The first woman to win the award was Judy Garland in 1962, for Judy at Carnegie Hall. Taylor Swift and Adele are the only women to win the award more than once for their own albums (winning for Fearless and 1989 and 21 and 25, respectively; Swift was also nominated for Red). In addition, Lauryn Hill, and Alison Krauss are all tied with Swift and Adele with two wins overall, each winning as lead artist for their respective albums, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Come Away with Me and Raising Sand (Krauss' collaboration album with Robert Plant); Hill won her second as a producer of her collaboration on Santana's Supernatural (featured artists on non-soundtrack albums did not share in the award before 2008), while Krauss on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack). Technically, both Natalie Cole and Bonnie Raitt should be here as they were both featured on Genius Loves Company, which won Album of the Year. Also, for their own albums, besides Swift and Adele, only two female artists have received nominations after previously winning (Barbra Streisand nominated again for People, My Name Is Barbra, Color Me Barbra, Guilty and The Broadway Album, after winning previously for The Barbra Streisand Album, and Bonnie Raitt nominated again for Luck of the Draw and Longing in Their Hearts, after winning previously for Nick of Time).

Taylor Swift is also the youngest main artist to win in the category, winning for Fearless in 2010 at the age of 20, surpassing Alanis Morissette's win for Jagged Little Pill in 1996 when she was 21. The Peasall Sisters, Sarah, Hannah and Leah, are the category's youngest credited winners, winning for their contributions to the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack at the ages of 13, 9, and 7 respectively. Leah Peasall is the youngest winner of any Grammy in any category.[3] The youngest person to make an appearance on an Album of the Year is Stevie Wonder's daughter Aisha Morris who appeared on "Isn't She Lovely?" off the album Songs in the Key of Life as an infant. [4]

Christopher Cross is the first artist to receive the Grammy Award for Album of the Year as well as for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist in one ceremony. Adele is the first female artist to receive the award for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist, nonconsecutively. Only four artists have won both Album of the Year and Best New Artist in the same year: Bob Newhart in 1961, Christopher Cross in 1981, Lauryn Hill in 1999, and Norah Jones in 2003.

The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the first album by a rock and roll artist to win, Glen Campbell's By the Time I Get to Phoenix was the first by a country artist, Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill the first by a hip hop artist, Arcade Fire's The Suburbs the first by an indie rock artist, and Daft Punk's Random Access Memories the first by an electronic music artist.

Only two artists have won the award in two consecutive years, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. Sinatra had wins in 1966 and 1967 and Wonder followed with wins in 1974 and 1975. (Lauryn Hill also won as a producer in 2000, after winning previously in 1999 as an artist and producer; Bruno Mars won as an artist and producer in 2018, after winning previously in 2017 as a producer) Wonder and Sinatra both won the most Grammys for Album of the Year within a decade. Sinatra had wins in 1960, 1966 and 1967, while Wonder had wins in 1974, 1975 and 1977.

Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga are the only artists to receive three nominations for consecutive albums in this category. Gaga and West being the only solo artists to receive nomination for their first three albums. Additionally, The Beatles hold the record for most consecutive years being nominated for Album of the Year, with five.

To date, there have been four "live" albums to win the award: Judy at Carnegie Hall, The Concert for Bangladesh and two MTV Unplugged albums (Eric Clapton's and Tony Bennett's), which were performed in front of an intimate, live audience. One television soundtrack recording was also the very first recipient: The Music from Peter Gunn. Two comedy albums have also triumphed in this category: The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart and The First Family. There have been three soundtrack compilation albums that have been successful, as well: Saturday Night Fever, The Bodyguard (though only Whitney Houston won for it as an artist) and O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

As of 2019, only six artists have won Album of the Year more than once as the main credited artist: Frank Sinatra (1960, 1966, 1967), Stevie Wonder (1974, 1975, 1977), Paul Simon (1976, 1987), U2 (1988, 2006), Taylor Swift (2010, 2016), and Adele (2012, 2017). Sinatra and Wonder both won the award three times as the main credited artist.[5]


Members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences nominate their choices for album of the year. A list of the top twenty records is given to the Nominations Review Committee, a specially selected group of anonymous members, who then select the top five records to gain a nomination in the category in a special ballot.[6] The rest of the members then vote a winner from the five nominees.[7] In 2018, it was announced the number of nominated albums will be increased to eight [8]


Frank Sinatra was the first two-time winner and three-time winner. He won in 1960, 1966 and 1967
Three-time winner Stevie Wonder won in 1974, 1975 and 1977
Three-time winner Paul Simon won twice as the main credited artist, in 1976 and 1987
U2 are the only group act to win twice, in 1988 and 2006
Taylor Swift is the youngest artist to win this award and was the first female act to win twice, in 2010 and 2016
Two-time winner Adele won in 2012 and 2017
Year[I] Winner(s) Work Nominees Ref.
1959 Henry Mancini The Music from Peter Gunn [9]
1960 Frank Sinatra Come Dance with Me! [10]
1961 Bob Newhart The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart [11]
1962 Judy Garland Judy at Carnegie Hall [12]
1963 Vaughn Meader
 · produced by Bob Booker & Earle Doud
The First Family [13]
1964 Barbra Streisand The Barbra Streisand Album [14]
1965 Stan Getz & João Gilberto Getz/Gilberto [15]
1966 Frank Sinatra
 · produced by Sonny Burke
September of My Years [16]
1967 A Man and His Music [17]
1968 The Beatles
 · produced by George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [18]
1969 Glen Campbell
 · produced by Al De Lory
By the Time I Get to Phoenix [19]
1970 Blood, Sweat & Tears
 · produced by James William Guercio
Blood, Sweat & Tears [20]
1971 Simon & Garfunkel
 · produced by Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon & Roy Halee
Bridge over Troubled Water [21]
1972 Carole King
 · produced by Lou Adler
Tapestry [22]
1973 George Harrison & Friends (Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton & Klaus Voormann)
 · produced by George Harrison & Phil Spector
The Concert for Bangladesh
1974 Stevie Wonder
 · produced by Stevie Wonder
Innervisions [24]
1975 Fulfillingness' First Finale [25]
1976 Paul Simon
 · produced by Paul Simon & Phil Ramone
Still Crazy After All These Years [26]
1977 Stevie Wonder
 · produced by Stevie Wonder
Songs in the Key of Life [27]
1978 Fleetwood Mac
 · produced by Fleetwood Mac, Ken Caillat & Richard Dashut
Rumours [28]
1979 Various Artists[A] Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack [29]
1980 Billy Joel
 · produced by Phil Ramone
52nd Street [30]
1981 Christopher Cross
 · produced by Michael Omartian
Christopher Cross [31]
1982 John Lennon & Yoko Ono
 · produced by Jack Douglas, John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Double Fantasy [32]
1983 Toto
 · produced by Toto
Toto IV [33]
1984 Michael Jackson
 · produced by Michael Jackson & Quincy Jones
Thriller [34]
1985 Lionel Richie
 · produced by James Anthony Carmichael & Lionel Richie
Can't Slow Down [35]
1986 Phil Collins
 · produced by Hugh Padgham & Phil Collins
No Jacket Required [36]
1987 Paul Simon
 · produced by Paul Simon
Graceland [37]
1988 U2
 · produced by Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois
The Joshua Tree [38]
1989 George Michael
 · produced by George Michael
Faith [39]
1990 Bonnie Raitt
 · produced by Don Was
Nick of Time [40]
1991 Quincy Jones (And Various Artists)
 · produced by Quincy Jones
Back on the Block [41]
1992 Natalie Cole
 · produced by Andre Fischer, David Foster & Tommy LiPuma
Unforgettable... with Love [42]
1993 Eric Clapton
 · produced by Russ Titelman
Unplugged [43]
1994 Whitney Houston[B]
 · produced by Babyface, BeBe Winans, David Cole, David Foster, L.A. Reid, Narada Michael Walden & Robert Clivillés
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album [44]
1995 Tony Bennett
 · produced by David Kahne
MTV Unplugged [45]
1996 Alanis Morissette
 · produced by Glen Ballard
Jagged Little Pill [46]
1997 Celine Dion
 · produced by Rick Hahn, Aldo Nova, Billy Steinberg, Dan Hill, David Foster, Humberto Gatica, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Jeff Bova, Jim Steinman, John Jones, Ric Wake, Rick Nowels, Roy Bittan & Steven Rinkoff
Falling into You [47]
1998 Bob Dylan
 · produced by Daniel Lanois
Time Out of Mind [48]
1999 Lauryn Hill
 · engineered/mixed by Chris Theis, Commissioner Gordon, Johnny Wydrycz, Ken Johnston, Matt Howe, Storm Jefferson, Tony Prendatt & Warren Riker
 · produced by Lauryn Hill
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill [49]
2000 Santana
 · engineered/mixed by Alvaro Villagra, Andy Grassi, Anton Pukshansky, Benny Faccone, Chris Theis, Commissioner Gordon, David Frazer, David Thoener, Glenn Kolotkin, Jeff Poe, Jim Gaines, Jim Scott, John Gamble, John Karpowich, John Seymour, Matty Spindel, Mike Couzzi, Steve Farrone, Steve Fontano, T-Ray, Tony Prendatt, Warren Riker & Tom Lord-Alge
 · produced by Alex González, Art Hodge, Dante Ross, Stephen M. Harris, Charles Goodan, Clive Davis, Dust Brothers, Fher Olvera, Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis, K. C. Porter, Lauryn Hill, Matt Serletic & Wyclef Jean
Supernatural [50]
2001 Steely Dan
 · engineered/mixed by Dave Russell, Phil Burnett, Elliot Scheiner & Roger Nichols
 · produced by Donald Fagen & Walter Becker
Two Against Nature [51]
2002 Various Artists[C] O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack [52]
2003 Norah Jones
 · engineered/mixed by Jay Newland & S. Husky Höskulds
 · master engineered by Ted Jensen
 · produced by Jay Newland, Arif Mardin, Craig Street & Norah Jones
Come Away with Me [53]
2004 OutKast
 · engineered/mixed by Chris Carmouche, Brian Paturalski, Darrell Thorp, Dexter Simmons, John Frye, Kevin Davis, Matt Still, Moka Nagatani, Neal H. Pogue, Padraic Kernin, Pete Novak, Reggie Dozier, Robert Hannon, Terrence Cash & Vincent Alexander
 · master engineered by Bernie Grundman & Brian Gardner
 · produced by André 3000, Big Boi & Carl Mo
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below [54]
2005 Ray Charles & Various Artists
 · engineered/mixed by Al Schmitt, Ed Thacker, Joel W. Moss, John Harris, Mark Fleming, Pete Karam, Robert Fernandez, Seth Presant & Terry Howard
 · master engineered by Doug Sax & Robert Hadley
 · produced by Don Mizell, Herbert Waltl, John R. Burk, Terry Howard & Phil Ramone
Genius Loves Company [55]
2006 U2
 · engineered/mixed by Carl Glanville, Greg Collins, Simon Gogerly, Flood, Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper & Steve Lillywhite
 · master engineered by Arnie Acosta
 · produced by Brian Eno, Chris Thomas, Daniel Lanois, Flood, Jacknife Lee & Steve Lillywhite
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb [56]
2007 Dixie Chicks
 · engineered/mixed by Chris Testa, Jim Scott & Richard Dodd
 · master engineered by Richard Dodd
 · produced by Rick Rubin
Taking the Long Way [57]
2008 Herbie Hancock
 · featuring Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Luciana Souza, Corinne Bailey Rae & Tina Turner
 · engineered/mixed by Helik Hadar
 · master engineered by Bernie Grundman
 · produced by Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein
River: The Joni Letters [58]
2009 Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
 · engineered/mixed by Mike Piersante
 · master engineered by Gavin Lurssen
 · produced by T Bone Burnett
Raising Sand [59]
2010 Taylor Swift
 · featuring Colbie Caillat
 · engineered/mixed by Nathan Chapman & Justin Niebank
 · master engineered by Hank Williams
 · produced by Nathan Chapman & Taylor Swift
Fearless [60]
2011 Arcade Fire
 · engineered/mixed by Arcade Fire, Markus Dravs, Mark Lawson & Craig Silvey
 · master engineered by George Marino
 · produced by Arcade Fire & Markus Dravs
The Suburbs [61]
2012 Adele
 · engineered/mixed by Andrew Scheps, Beatriz Artola, Dan Parry, Fraser T. Smith, Greg Fidelman, Ian Dowling, Jim Abbiss, Mark Rankin, Philip Allen, Ryan Tedder, Steve Price & Tom Elmhirst
 · master engineered by Tom Coyne
 · produced by Adele Adkins, Dan Wilson, Fraser T Smith, Jim Abbiss, Paul Epworth, Rick Rubin & Ryan Tedder
21 [62]
2013 Mumford & Sons
 · engineered/mixed by Robin Baynton, Ruadhri Cushnan & Matt Lawrence
 · master engineered by Bob Ludwig
 · produced by Markus Dravs
Babel [63]
2014 Daft Punk
 · featuring Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon, Todd Edwards, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams & Pharrell Williams
 · produced by Thomas Bangalter, Julian Casablancas, Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, DJ Falcon & Todd Edwards
 · engineered/mixed by Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta, Guillaume Le Braz & Daniel Lerner
 · master engineered by Antoine "Chab" Chabert & Bob Ludwig
Random Access Memories [64]
2015 Beck
 · produced by Beck Hansen
 · engineered/mixed by Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Florian Lagatta, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano
 · master engineered by Bob Ludwig
Morning Phase [65]
2016 Taylor Swift
 · produced by Jack Antonoff, Nathan Chapman, Imogen Heap, Max Martin, Mattman & Robin, Ali Payami, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Ryan Tedder & Noel Zancanella
 · engineered/mixed by Jack Antonoff, Mattias Bylund, Smith Carlson, Nathan Chapman, Serban Ghenea, John Hanes, Imogen Heap, Sam Holland, Michael Ilbert, Brendan Morawski, Laura Sisk & Ryan Tedder
 · master engineered by Tom Coyne
1989 [66]
2017 Adele
 · produced by Danger Mouse, Samuel Dixon, Paul Epworth, Greg Kurstin, Max Martin, Ariel Rechtshaid, Shellback, The Smeezingtons & Ryan Tedder
 · engineered/mixed by Julian Burg, Austen Jux Chandler, Cameron Craig, Samuel Dixon, Tom Elmhirst, Declan Gaffney, Serban Ghenea, John Hanes, Emile Haynie, Jan Holzner, Michael Ilbert, Chris Kasych, Greg Kurstin, Charles Moniz, Liam Nolan, Alex Pasco, Mike Piersante, Ariel Rechtshaid, Rich Rich, Dave Schiffman, Joe Visciano & Matt Wiggins
 · master engineered by Tom Coyne & Randy Merrill
25 [67]
2018 Bruno Mars
 · produced by Shampoo Press & Curl
 · engineered/mixed by Serban Ghenea, John Hanes & Charles Moniz
 · songwritten by Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence & Bruno Mars
 · master engineered by Tom Coyne
24K Magic [68]
2019 Kacey Musgraves
 · produced by Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves & Daniel Tashian
 · engineered/mixed by Craig Alvin & Shawn Everett
 · songwritten by Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves & Daniel Tashian
 · master engineered by Greg Calbi & Steve Fallone
Golden Hour [69]

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.




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  • "Grammy Awards: Album of the Year". Rock on the Net. Retrieved July 12, 2010.


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External links[edit]