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Grammy Award for Album of the Year

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United States

Official website

Presented by
The Recording Academy

Currently held by

First awarded

Category of
Grammy Awards


Grammy Award for Album of the Year cbsnews2cbsistaticcomhubir201512075a0f9d5

Awarded for
quality vocal or instrumental recording albums

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Grammy Award for Song of the Year

Winners & Nominees
25Adele, 25, Winner, PurposeJustin Bieber, Purpose, Nominee, ViewsDrake, Views, Nominee, LemonadeBeyoncé, Lemonade, Nominee, A Sailor's Guide to EarthSturgill Simpson, A Sailor's Guide to Earth, Nominee, 1989Taylor Swift, 1989, Winner, Beauty Behind the MadnessThe Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness, Nominee, TravellerChris Stapleton, Traveller, Nominee, To Pimp a ButterflyKendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly, Nominee, Sound & ColorAlabama Shakes, Sound & Color, Nominee, Morning PhaseBeck - Bob Ludwig - Tom Elmhirst -, Morning Phase, Winner, xEd Sheeran - Pharrell Williams - Rick Rubin -, x, Nominee, In the Lonely Hour, In the Lonely Hour, Nominee, G I R LJustin Timberlake - Alicia Keys - Pharrell Williams -, G I R L, Nominee, Beyoncé, Beyoncé, Nominee, Random Access MemoriesDaft Punk - Pharrell Williams - Julian Casablancas -, Random Access Memories, Winner, The Blessed UnrestSara Bareilles - Greg Calbi - Mark Endert -, The Blessed Unrest, Nominee, Good Kid - MAAD City, Good Kid - MAAD City, Nominee, The HeistMackle - ScHoolboy Q - Ab-Soul -, The Heist, Nominee, Red, Red, Nominee, BabelMumford & Sons - Bob Ludwig - Markus Dravs -, Babel, Winner, Some NightsFun - Janelle Monáe - Jeff Bhasker -, Some Nights, Nominee, BlunderbussJack White - Bob Ludwig - Vance Powell, Blunderbuss, Nominee, El CaminoThe Black Keys - Danger Mouse - Tchad Blake -, El Camino, Nominee, Channel OrangeJohn Mayer - Pharrell Williams - Frank Ocean -, Channel Orange, Nominee

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 or chart position." Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys having been presented since 1959.


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, or electronic music 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).


Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Daniel Lanois, Ryan Tedder (as record producers), and Bob Ludwig, Tom Elmhirst & Tom Coyne (all as mastering engineers) are the biggest winners in this category with three victories each. Ludwig is the only person to win the award three consecutive years (2013–2015). 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 1961, 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 previously nominated for Red). In addition, Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones 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 the other two also won as featured artists (Jones on Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters and Krauss on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack). Also, for their own albums, besides Swift and Adele, only two female artists have received nominations after previously winning (Bonnie Raitt nominated again for Luck of the Draw and Longing in Their Hearts, after winning previously for Nick of Time, and 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).

Taylor Swift is also the youngest main artist to win in the category, winning for Fearless in 2010 at the age of 20. 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. 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.

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.) 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, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga are the only artists to receive three consecutive nominations in this category, with Gaga and Kanye West being the only solo artists to receive this 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 two "live" albums to win the award: Judy at Carnegie Hall and The Concert for Bangladesh, though two "MTV Unplugged" albums (Eric Clapton's and Tony Bennett's) have won the award as well, 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 2017, 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.


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


  • A ^Award recipients include Bee Gees, David Shire, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang, MFSB, Ralph MacDonald, Tavares, The Trammps, Walter Murphy & Yvonne Elliman as featured artists; Albhy Galuten, Arif Mardin, Bee Gees, Bill Oakes, Bobby Martin, Broadway Eddie, David Shire, Freddie Perren, Harry Wayne Casey, K.G. Productions, Karl Richardson, Ralph MacDonald, Richard Finch, Ron Kersey, Thomas J. Valentino & William Salter, as producers.
  • B ^Only Houston and the producers of her tracks received the award. Unlike the other two soundtrack compilation albums to win this award, none of the other artists who appeared on The Bodyguard soundtrack (Kenny G, Aaron Neville, Lisa Stansfield, The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M., Curtis Stigers, Joe Cocker, Sass Jordan, and the uncredited instrumental ensemble that performed Alan Silvestri's theme) shared in the award, nor did the producers of those tracks (other than Cole, Foster & Clivilles who also produced some of Houston's tracks).
  • C ^Award recipients include Mike Piersante & Peter Kurland, as engineers and mixers; Gavin Lurssen, as master engineer; T-Bone Burnett, as producers; Alison Krauss & Union Station, Chris Sharp, Chris Thomas King, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Harley Allen, John Hartford, Mike Compton, Norman Blake, Pat Enright, Peasall Sisters, Ralph Stanley, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, The Cox Family, The Fairfield Four, The Whites & Tim Blake Nelson (all from the U.S.) as featured artists. James Carter and the Prisoners, Harry McClintock & The Stanley Brothers were not included as their recordings long preceded the soundtrack; the only members of those acts still alive at that time were James Carter (the only "Prisoner" from the Alan Lomax recording who was located) and Ralph Stanley (separately credited for recording "O, Death" specifically for the soundtrack). The Soggy Bottom Boys aren't credited as a group, but Dan Tyminski (the singing voice of George Clooney in the film) is credited as a member of Union Station, while the other two members (Harley Allen & Pat Enright) are credited individually. Chris Sharp, Mike Compton, Sam Bush & Stuart Duncan are not listed as lead or featured artists on any track, but were included for their instrumental credits on the album.
  • References

    Grammy Award for Album of the Year Wikipedia

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