Grammy Award for Record of the Year
|Grammy Award for Record of the Year|
|Awarded for||quality vocal or instrumental recording tracks|
|Presented by||National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences|
|Currently held by||Adele, "Hello" (2017)|
The Grammy Award for Record 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 sales or chart position." The Record of the Year award is one of the four most prestigious categories at the awards (alongside Best New Artist, Song of the Year and Album of the Year) presented annually since the 1st Grammy Awards in 1959.
According to the 54th Grammy Awards description guide, the award is presented "for commercially released singles or tracks of new vocal or instrumental recordings. Tracks from a previous year's album may be entered provided the track was not entered the previous year and provided the album did not win a Grammy. Award to the artist(s), producer(s), recording engineer(s) and/or mixer(s) if other than the artist." Since the 55th Grammy Awards in 2013, mastering engineers are considered nominees and award recipients in this category.
Record of the Year is related to but is conceptually different from Song of the Year or Album of the Year:
- 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. Thus, "song" in this context means the song as composed, not its recording.
- 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. So, 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.
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.
- 2013–: Artist, producer, mastering engineer, and recording engineer or mixer.
Paul Simon holds the record for most wins in this category as an artist at three ("Mrs. Robinson" in 1969, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in 1971, and "Graceland" in 1988). Tom Elmhirst has won three times as an engineer/mixer (2008, 2012 and 2017); Tom Coyne has won three times as a mastering engineer (2015, 2016 and 2017).
Roberta Flack was the first artist to win Record of the Year in two consecutive years for the years 1973 ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face") and 1974 ("Killing Me Softly With His Song"). This happened again when the group U2 won for the years 2001 ("Beautiful Day") and 2002 ("Walk On"), the only occurrence of an artist winning the award two consecutive years with records from the same album.
Other artists to receive two Grammys for Record of the Year are Henry Mancini ("Moon River", "Days of Wine and Roses"); Art Garfunkel ("Mrs. Robinson", "Bridge Over Troubled Water"); The Fifth Dimension ("Up, Up And Away", "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"); Eric Clapton ("Tears in Heaven", "Change the World"); Norah Jones ("Don't Know Why", "Here We Go Again"); Mark Ronson ("Rehab", "Uptown Funk"); and Adele ("Rolling in the Deep", "Hello").
Frank Sinatra has the most nominations for Record of the Year for an artist and a male artist with seven nominations; he won the award once in 1967 for "Strangers In The Night". The Beatles have the most Record of the Year nominations for a group; they had four nominations ("I Want to Hold Your Hand", "Yesterday", "Hey Jude", and "Let It Be") but never won the award. Barbra Streisand and Beyoncé have the most Record of the Year nominations amongst female artists with five nods. Streisand has been nominated ("Happy Days Are Here Again", "People", "Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", (with Neil Diamond) and "Woman In Love") but has never received the award. Beyoncé was nominated for "Say My Name" as part of Destiny's Child and four times as a solo act with "Crazy in Love", "Irreplaceable", "Halo", and "Formation".
During the first 56 years of the Grammys, only six artists took the Record of the Year and Best New Artist awards during the same ceremony: Bobby Darin ("Mack the Knife"), Christopher Cross ("Sailing"), Sheryl Crow ("All I Wanna Do"), Norah Jones ("Don't Know Why"), Amy Winehouse ("Rehab") and Sam Smith ("Stay with Me").
Members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences nominate their choices for record 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. The rest of the members then vote a winner from the five nominees.
Twenty-nine of the winners of Record of the Year have also won Song of the Year. An asterisk (*) indicates the composition won Song of the Year as well.
^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.
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- Billboard.com, 6 December 2016