Grammy Award for Best R&B Album

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Grammy Award for Best R&B Album
Awarded forquality R&B music albums
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded1995
Currently held byJohn Legend, Bigger Love (2021)

The Grammy Award for Best R&B Album is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards,[1] to recording artists for quality works on albums in the R&B music genre. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by The Recording Academy 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".[2]

According to the category description guide for the 54th Grammy Awards, the award is reserved for albums "containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded contemporary R&B vocal tracks" which may also "incorporate production elements found in rap music".[3]

From 2003 to 2011, a separate category was formed, the Best Contemporary R&B Album, meant for R&B albums that had modern hip-hop stylings to them, while more traditional and less electronic-styled R&B music still fell under the Best R&B Album category. After the 2011 Grammy season, the Best Contemporary R&B Album category was discontinued and recordings that previously fell under this category were shifted back to the Best R&B Album category. This was part of a major overhaul of the Grammy Award categories.[4] In 2020, a sister category titled Best Progressive R&B Album was debuted.

The award goes to the artist, producer and engineer/mixer, provided they are credited with at least 50% of playing time on the album. A producer or engineer who are responsible for less than 50% of playing time, as well as the mastering engineer, can apply for a Winners Certificate.[5]

Alicia Keys is the biggest recipient in this category with three wins. R&B group TLC and singers John Legend and D'Angelo have won the award twice. Mary J. Blige holds the record for the most nominations, with five in total. In 2015, Norwegian singer Bern/hoft became the first non-American artist to be nominated.


Three African-American men sitting next to each other on a black stage. They are all wearing caps with jeans and sneakers.
Boyz II Men were the first recipients of the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album in 1995.
An African-American female with a black afro strumming on a guitar in front of a microphone.
For her work on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album as well as Album of the Year.
An African-American man singing into a microphone. He is wearing a black hat and a sleeveless leather jacket.
Two-time recipient D'Angelo.
An African-American female singing into a microphone on a stand. She is wearing large hoop earrings and a silver sleeveless shirt.
2002, 2005 and 2014 award winner, Alicia Keys
Three-time nominee and 2003 award winner India.Arie
A picture of an African-American man in a suit playing the piano.
To date, John Legend has earned eleven Grammy Awards for his work, including three for Best R&B album.
A black women with dark brown hair talking into a microphone. She is wearing a green satin dress with a with necklace.
2009 award winner Jennifer Hudson
2012 award winner Chris Brown
Year[I] Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
1995 Boyz II Men II [6]
1996 TLC CrazySexyCool [7]
1997 Tony Rich Words [8]
1998 Erykah Badu Baduizm [9]
1999 Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill [10]
2000 TLC FanMail [11]
2001 D'Angelo Voodoo [12]
2002 Alicia Keys Songs in A Minor [13]
2003 India.Arie Voyage to India [14]
2004 Luther Vandross Dance with My Father [6]
2005 Alicia Keys The Diary of Alicia Keys [15]
2006 John Legend Get Lifted [16]
2007 Mary J. Blige The Breakthrough [17]
2008 Chaka Khan Funk This [18]
2009 Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson [19]
2010 Maxwell BLACKsummers'night [20]
2011 John Legend and The Roots Wake Up! [21]
2012 Chris Brown F.A.M.E. [22]
2013 Robert Glasper Experiment Black Radio [23]
2014 Alicia Keys Girl On Fire [24]
2015 Toni Braxton & Babyface Love, Marriage & Divorce [25]
2016 D'Angelo & The Vanguard Black Messiah [26]
2017 Lalah Hathaway Lalah Hathaway Live [27]
2018 Bruno Mars 24K Magic [28]
2019 H.E.R. H.E.R. [29]
2020 Anderson .Paak Ventura [30]
2021 John Legend Bigger Love

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

Artists with multiple wins[edit]

Artists with multiple nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


  • "Past Winners Search". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  1. ^ "Grammy Awards at a Glance". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  2. ^ "Overview". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on January 3, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  3. ^ "54th Grammy category: Best R&B Album". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "Full Category List". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  5. ^ Grammy Blue Book (edition 2021)
  6. ^ a b "Past Winners Search". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  7. ^ "List of Grammy nominees". CNN. January 4, 1996. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  8. ^ Kot, Greg (January 8, 1997). "Pumpkins A Smash With 7 Grammy Nominations". Chicago Tribune. p. 12. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  9. ^ "Complete List of Academy Voter Picks". Los Angeles Times. January 8, 1998. p. 15. Archived from the original on July 1, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  10. ^ Kot, Greg (January 6, 1999). "10 Nominations Put Lauryn Hill Atop Grammy Heap". Chicago Tribune. p. 10. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  11. ^ "Santana Tops List With 10 Grammy Nominations". The Seattle Times. January 5, 2000. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  12. ^ "43rd Grammy Awards". CNN. February 21, 2001. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  13. ^ "Complete List Of Grammy Nominees". CBS News. January 4, 2002. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  14. ^ "Complete list of Grammy nominees; ceremony set for Feb. 23". San Francisco Chronicle. January 8, 2003. p. 3. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  15. ^ "Grammy Award nominees in top categories". USA Today. December 7, 2004. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  16. ^ "Complete list of Grammy Award nominations". USA Today. December 8, 2005. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  17. ^ "Winners and Nominees: Major Categories". People. February 9, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  18. ^ "2008 Grammy Award Winners and Nominees". The New York Times. February 9, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  19. ^ "Grammy 2009 Winners List". MTV. Viacom. February 8, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  20. ^ Bruno, Mike (May 15, 2011). "Grammy Awards 2010: The winners list". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  21. ^ "Grammy Nominees 2011". AOL Music. Archived from the original on February 6, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  22. ^ "2011 - 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees And Winners: R&B Field". The Recording Academy. November 30, 2011.
  23. ^ List of 2013 nominees Archived 2012-02-01 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ 2014 Nominees
  25. ^ List of Nominees 2015
  26. ^, 7 December 2015
  27. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (6 December 2016). "Here Is the Complete List of Nominees for the 2017 Grammys". Billboard. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  28. ^ Lynch, Joe (November 28, 2017). "Grammys 2018: See the Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  29. ^, 7 December 2018
  30. ^, 22 November 2019
  31. ^ 2021 Nominations List

External links[edit]