15 Artists Who Never Won a Grammy
Between the nominations and the actual awards given, it seems that, every year, we grumble that the Grammys never get it right. We’re recognizing some of their most egregious slights with the above gallery of 15 Artists That Have Never Won a Grammy.
Through the ‘80s, practically the only way for an alternative act to be recognized by the Recording Academy was in one of the rock categories. While some bands that came out of the new wave into the mainstream — namely the Police and U2 — had their biggest records rewarded, more often than not the nominated albums and songs fit the traditional definition of rock: American, guitar-based music that had its roots in blues. Groups that relied heavily on synthesizers (New Order, Depeche Mode) or took different approaches to guitar playing (the Smiths, Pixies) were overlooked.
There was also the possibility of winning Grammys for videos, with two categories (for individual songs and long-form videos) created in 1984. Even there, not only were they competing against rock groups, but also big-budgeted pop and R&B acts as well.
But as more and more bands started coming out of the underground into the public consciousness, the Academy took notice and, in 1991, gave alternative its own category. That year, the award went to Sinead O’Connor‘s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. Although the first decade of the award saw them noticing the innovations of Beck and Radiohead, with Odelay and OK Computer winning, pretty soon thereafter the powers-that-be fell into the habit of finding a band they liked and sticking with them, regularly bestowing honors on the then-newest offerings by the White Stripes and Coldplay — as well as Beck and Radiohead.
So even when the Grammys try to be inclusive, they don’t always succeed. But who are the musicians that have gotten the shortest ends of the stick? Click above to begin.