Since it’s Women’s History Month and last weekend was the Grammys, I thought it’d be fun to combine the two! Let’s take a look at some of the times women made history at the Grammys.
Ella Fitzgerald wins at First Grammys
At the first Grammy Awards held in 1959, the Academy distributed 22 awards. Five artists took home almost half of those awards, winning two each. Among them was Ella Fitzgerald, a jazz vocalist known as both “The First Lady of Song” and the “Queen of Jazz.” Lady Ella’s was also the first Grammys performance to be televised. NBC included her performance at the 2nd Grammy Awards for their TV special.
Barbra Streisand Honorary-EGOTs in 6 years
In 1964, Barbra Streisand won her first (of 8, so far) Grammy Awards. Over the next 6 years, she earned an Oscar, a Emmy, and an honorary Tony (Star of the Decade). Though some say it only counts if all four awards were won in competition (i.e. not honorary awards), taking home one of each is pretty impressive. Barbra is by far the fastest EGOT-er. Second is Robert Lopez completing it in ten years. Barbra is also by far the youngest EGOT-er, completing the quartet just a few days before her 28th birthday! Other than her honorary Tony, all her awards were for her debut projects. Talk about legendary!
LeAnn Rimes Becomes the Youngest Solo Grammy Winner
At the 1997 Grammy Awards, country singer LeAnn Rimes became the youngest solo artist to win a Grammy at the age of 14 and a half. She was also the first country musician to win the Best New Artist award. What has she been up to since then? Well, she’s put out quite a few more albums and written a few books. And *spoiler alert* she also recently won The Masked Singer; participating as the ‘Sun.’
Whoopi Goldberg Hosts the Grammys
In 1992, Whoopi Goldberg became the first woman to host the Grammys. She hosted the 34th Grammy Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. Whoopi is the only person who has both hosted the Grammys and completed the EGOT, and is one of only four women to complete the EGOT with competitive awards. She won her Best Comedy Album Grammy in 1986, an Oscar in 1990, and completed the EGOT in 2002 with the Tony and Daytime Emmy Awards. She was also the first Black American to complete the EGOT, and the first to win two of the awards in the same year!
The Peasall Sisters Become the Youngest Grammy Winners
In 2002, The Peasall Sisters made history as the youngest Grammy winners at ages 8, 11, and 14 for their contributions to the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack which won Album of the Year. The three sisters recorded a cover of The Carter Sister’s “In The Highways” for the soundtrack.
Lorde Becomes Youngest Song of the Year Winner
In 2014, Lorde won Song of the Year and Best Solo Pop Performance for her hit song “Royals.” She was 17 at the time, making her the youngest ever Song of the Year winner. Lorde was nominated again in 2018 for her album Melodrama but lost to Bruno Mars. She’s expected to put out her third album this year, so maybe we’ll see her back on the Grammys stage again in 2022!
Billie Ellish Sweeps the 2020 Grammys
The biggest story from last year’s Grammy Awards was then-18 Billie Ellish’s reign. Her sweep was notable for numerous reasons. First, she’s one of two artists to win the “big four” all in one night. The only other artist to do so was Christopher Cross, 40 years ago. She’s the youngest Album of the Year winner, toppling Taylor Swift who won for Fearless at 20 back in 2010. Her album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is the first debut album to win Album of the Year since Norah Jones won with Come Away With Me in 2002. Ellish is also the youngest Record of the Year winner, toppling Sam Smith and Kimbra who both won the award at 22. She’s also the youngest winner of Best New Artist and Song of the Year since LeAnn Rimes and Lorde.
History Made at this Year’s Grammys
Taylor Swift wins 3rd Album of the Year Award
At last Sunday’s ceremony, Taylor won Album of the Year for folklore. She had previously won the award in 2010 for Fearless and again in 2016 for 1989. Only four artists have ever won Album of the Year thrice: Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, and now Taylor Swift.
Women Dominate the Best Rock Performance Category
For the first time ever, all the nominees for Best Rock Performance were women (or a band that includes women). Grace Potter, Brittany Howard, Big Thief, and Phoebe Bridgers all received nominations, and Fiona Apple took home the award. Best Country Album, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Performance also featured all-female nominees this year.
Beyoncé reaches 28 Grammys
Beyoncé won four Grammys last weekend, bringing her total to 28 wins and 79 nominations. She now has the most Grammys of any vocalist. Conductor Georg Solti is first overall with 31 wins. Producer/songwriter/composer/arranger Quincy Jones ties Bey for second most Grammys wins, as both have 28. Beyoncé is also one of the youngest to have so many awards, so it’s quite likely she’ll continue to set records as long as she keeps putting out records!
Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy also became the second-youngest Grammy winner last weekend at 9 years old. Beyoncé and Blue Ivy won Best music Video for Brown Skin Girl.