Country crooners LeAnn Rimes and Taylor Swift are two of the Grammys youngest honorees, with Rimes taking honors as the youngest Grammy winner at age 14 for her hit single “Blue,” and Swift snagging the 2010 “Album of the Year” for “Fearless” after just turning 20 the month before. Suddenly, your youth looks a lot less accomplished.
On the flip side, cigar-chomping comedy king George Burns was the oldest Grammy honoree at 94 years old, winning the 1990 “Best Spoken Word Album” award for the audiobook version of his non-fiction book, Gracie: A Love Story.
Although it seems odd to imagine an award show where Kanye West isn’t ready to storm the stage at any moment, there was a time where hip-hop was just a twinkle in the eyes of every award show telecast. But history was made when DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince swept the first-ever “Best Rap Performance” Grammy with their timeless take on parents just not understanding things, “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
While a slew of artists have set and broken Grammy records over the years, only two have the honors of sweeping all four (“Record of the Year,” “Album of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” and “Best New Artist”) of the General Field categories: Christopher Cross with his self-titled solo debut, and Adele, for being a generally flawless human being. Also for her 2008 and 2011 albums, “19” and “21,” respectively.
Right behind those two are hip-hop/soul pioneer Lauryn Hill and singer-songwriter Norah Jones, who both took home “Album of the Year” and “Best New Artist” awards during their first-ever Grammy outings. Oddly enough, so did affable comedy nice guy Bob Newhart, who won the same awards in 1961. Now you know what Christopher Cross, Adele, Lauren Hill, Norah Jones, and Bob Newhart all have in common.
At the 1959 inagaural Grammys, only 22 awards were given out, with Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Mancini, Ross Bagdasarian Sr., and Domenico Modugno leading the pack with 2 awards each. As of 2013, there are 81 categories and countless nominees.
Who took home the first Grammy for “Best Rock & Roll Performance”? None other than Chubby Checker, of course, who won the 1962 award for the timeless “Let’s Twist Again,” the follow-up to up to 1960’s “The Twist.” Remember when song sequels were made in moderation? R. Kelly sure doesn’t.
Grammys have been awarded to tracks of countless creeds and genres, but only one award-winning song from The Flaming Lips holds the odd honor of boasting the longest title to ever be tacked to a Grammy: *deep breath* “The Wizard Turns On…The Giant Silver Flashlight And Puts On His Werewolf Moccasins,” the recipient of the 2007 “Best Rock Instrumental Performance” Grammy.
If you’re feeling lazy now, just wait until you hear this: jazz and blues legend Ray Charles won a staggering five awards at the 2005 Grammys — over a year after he passed away. He currently holds the record for most posthumous Grammys won in a single night.
And in 55 years of prestigious award ceremonies, this only happened once. Never forget Soy Bomb. Never Forget.