The Grammy Awards and Recording Academy have claimed to recognize the most talented musicians of the year every year since 1959. But even with decades of successful award shows under their belt, every year the Recording Academy gets called out for some major snubs.
In 2021, artists like The Weeknd, Halsey, and Zayn Malik took to social media to air their grievances about their lack of nominations. But they’re not the only ones who have been looked over by the Grammys. Over the years, some artists have been up for accolades time and time again, but have still never scooped up an award.
Some of the biggest names in music who have received Grammy nomination after nomination still have yet to walk away from the ceremony with a trophy in tow. This has made some fans question how much these awards really mean, while others continue to call out the academies for the snubs. And these people aren’t alone. In January 2020, then-suspended Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan even told CBS This Morning that she believes the institution’s process is “rigged.” So without further ado, let’s dive into which artists you won’t believe have never won a Grammy.
Snoop Dogg has been nominated for 16 Grammys
Snoop Dogg put his first album out in 1993 and he’s been a staple in the music industry ever since. Snoop’s debut album Doggystyle debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, and that same year, he was nominated for his first Grammy Award. Since then, Snoop has been nominated for 16 Grammys in categories like Best Rap Performance, Best Reggae Album, Best Pop Collaboration, and the coveted Album Of The Year.
Despite being nominated so many times over the course of multiple decades, Snoop has yet to win big at the Grammy Awards. He’s opened up about the major snubs a few times, including on a 2018 episode of the podcast Now What? with Arian Foster. During the interview, Snoop made it clear that he doesn’t want to talk about the snubs anymore. “I don’t focus on awards,” the WWE Hall of Fame member said. “But motherf***ers just be bringin’ it up to me, and it make me mad when someone brings it up to me ’cause I don’t pay attention to it.” He continued on and said that he isn’t “trippin'” about it and he has no reason to. Snoop definitely doesn’t need a Grammy to solidify his extremely impressive career, he’s an icon no matter what.
Katy Perry has oodles of awards, but not one Grammy
Katy Perry has been one of the biggest pop stars in the world since she broke onto the scene in the early 2000s. She released her first album in 2001 and by 2008, she received her first Grammy nomination for her single “I Kissed A Girl.” Over the course of her career, Perry has received over 100 accolades, including American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and she’s even broken multiple Guinness World Records. But despite having 13 Grammy nominations, she has zero Grammy wins.
Perry earned at least one nomination every year between 2008 and 2014, and outraged fans have created entire threads about how upset they are that she has yet to score a trophy. Alas, as strong as her output has been, sometimes it all just boils down to timing and luck. Perry lost in multiple categories to Adele in 2009, 2012 (aka the “Rolling In the Deep” year), and 2013; she lost twice to Lady Gaga during the “Bad Romance” era. But luckily for Perry, she’s still releasing incredible music and hopefully she will win that Grammy one day.
Diana Ross' only Grammy? A Lifetime Achievement Award
Diana Ross is one of the most legendary artists in music history. She started her career as the lead singer of The Supremes, a musical act that went on to become Motown’s most successful act during the 1960s. Decades later, they remain one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. Ross’ solo career was equally impressive and over the course of her career, she landed 12 Grammy nominations in many major categories.
Ross was first nominated for a Grammy in 1964 and she went nearly every year from 1970 to 1982 with a Grammy nomination, but no wins. Eventually, in 2012, the Recording Academy honored Ross with a Lifetime Achievement Award, so she technically has a Grammy, but it’s not in a competitive category. While this accolade was exciting and beyond deserved, it definitely posed the question of why Ross, an artist the Academy presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, hadn’t earned a single Grammy before that. Regardless, Ross stole the show at the 61st Grammys in 2019 and celebrated both her Lifetime Achievement Award and her 75th birthday with an epic performance.
Fans can't believe Nicki Minaj hasn't won a Grammy
Nicki Minaj has been one of the biggest names in rap ever since her commercial breakthrough with 2010’s Pink Friday, and throughout her extremely impressive career she’s been nominated for hundreds of awards. She’s won a bunch of awards, too, but so far? None of those victories have happened at the Grammys. Minaj was first nominated for a Grammy in 2010 and has received 10 nominations over the year since then. The “Super Bass” rapper has yet to be declared a Grammy winner despite being nominated at and performing at multiple Grammy Award shows.
And ever since Minaj’s first major Grammy’s snub, fans have been taking to social media to call out the Recording Academy for not giving Minaj the respect she deserves. As one person tweeted, “Nicki Minaj not having a Grammy does not sit right with me and I think about it all the time.” Another upset fan also said, “Nicki Minaj not winning a single Grammy is enough to discredit their entire system lol.” And there are many more tweets like that out there where those two came from. Will the Grammys ever recognize Minaj’s legacy? Only time will tell.
Singer-songwriter Sia's work has yet to earn a Grammy
Sia might be one of the most well known singer-songwriters in the music industry, but she is still waiting on her first Grammy Award. Fans know that Sia not only sings her own incredible songs, but she also writes music for artists like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Celine Dion, and many more Grammy Award winners. So one might think that Sia’s mantle is stacked with Grammys of her own, but that is not quite the case.
Sia has not taken home a Grammy despite receiving nine nominations over the course of a decade as both a singer and songwriter. She’s won around 70 awards throughout her career including ARIA Music Awards, MTV VMAs, and more. Sia was first nominated for a Grammy back in 2012 for “Wild Ones,” a Flo Rida song she was featured on. And a couple years later, she took the Grammys stage in 2015 alongside Maddie Ziegler and Kristen Wiig for an epic performance of her four-time Grammy nominated song “Chandelier,” but the song didn’t win any awards that night. She lost in multiple categories to Sam Smith, who pretty much swept the Grammys that year. While it’s surprising Sia hasn’t won a Grammy yet, with how talented she is, it’s probably only a matter of time before she takes home a coveted trophy.
Blake Shelton has an empty spot reserved for a Grammy
Blake Shelton is one of the most popular artists in country music and has made his mark on shows like The Voice, but despite all his success, he’s never won a Grammy. Shelton has been nominated for eight Grammys spanning from 2010 to 2019 in various country categories. He’s won basically every other award in the country music space, such as the Academy of Country Music Awards, American Country Awards, CMT Music Awards, and more.
And Shelton has addressed his multiple Grammy losses during the seventeenth season of The Voice. In the middle of one episode, Shelton spoke to Grammy Award-winning guest mentor Darius Rucker, who beat him in 2013 in the Best Country Solo Performance category. According to Gold Derby, Shelton joked, “I haven’t been nominated for a Grammy very many times, but the one time I thought I had a shot was the freaking ‘Wagon Wheel’ year. Darius won his 50th Grammy and I still have an empty spot in my house.” Given what a big star Shelton is, that empty spot may not stay vacant forever.
Tupac was up for a Grammy after his death and still lost
The late, great Tupac Shakur is one of the best-selling artists ever, with Forbes noting in 2011 that he’s “sold over 75 million records worldwide, with the bulk of that coming after his death.” As MTV News reported, he was one of the first artists inducted into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame, and he was the first solo rapper to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also regularly lands on lists like Rolling Stone‘s “The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.” But despite all the success he had as a musician, his legacy does not include any golden gramophones.
Shakur has been nominated for six Grammys, including one after his death, but he never won an award. Fans have called the Grammys out for years and years over his major snubs. “2pac is the best rapper but has no #GRAMMYs,” tweeted one person. Another called the award show “a joke.” And other fans have just chalked the snubs up to 2pac being “above the Grammys.”
Queen's Grammy nominations bit the dust
For decades, fans have been calling Queen one of the greatest bands of all time, and outlets like Forbes say the group “shaped the last two decades of pop and rock music.” Unsurprisingly, they’ve earned a lot of honors over the years: Queen has been added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a few of their songs have actually been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. But somehow they still never won a Grammy in a competitive category.
Queen was nominated for only four Grammys from 1976 to 1980 for their songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Another One Bites The Dust.” However, they never walked away winners. But since then, their songs “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are the Champions” were inducted into the Grammys Hall of Fame in the early 2000s. Additionally, the Recording Academy honored Queen as a 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Yes, this is another instance of the Recording Academy declaring artists worthy of a Lifetime Achievement Award without ever presenting them with a competitive Grammy.
And regardless of whether or not Queen racked up competitive Grammys, their music is still beloved and has been reintroduced to younger generations through the Academy Award-winning film Bohemian Rhapsody.
Nope, Jimi Hendrix really never won a Grammy
Jimi Hendrix was an artist whose music defined the late 1960s and early 1970s. While his mainstream career only spanned a few years, outlets like Insider still dub him one of the greatest guitar soloists ever. Surprisingly though, despite writing countless hits, Hendrix was only nominated for one Grammy Award in 1970.
Hendrix died that same year at only 27 years old. He was later honored with a Grammys Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. According to the official Grammys website, Hendrix’s guitar, the 1966 Fender Stratocaster, was also one of the instruments featured in the Grammy Museum 2015 Rare Guitars exhibit. Additionally, the Grammys Hall of Fame has inducted six of Hendrix’s songs, including “All Along The Watchtower” and “Purple Haze.” So while he was snubbed during his lifetime, the Recording Academy has found ways to honor Hendrix posthumously.
The Beach Boys really aren't Grammy winners either
The Beach Boys are another legendary band who have never received a competitive Grammy Award. (These really are hard to believe, aren’t they?) The Beach Boys have been around since 1961, members still tour all these decades later. According to Reuters, between the 1960s and 2010s, the Beach Boys had 36 songs in the US Top 40, and four of their songs have also topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. But despite all of their continued success, the band has only landed four Grammy nominations.
The Beach Boys were up for some hardware in 1966 and 1988, but didn’t win a Grammy at either ceremony. In 2001, the Beach Boys ended up receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2012, the Grammys honored their 50th anniversary with a massive tribute performance. It’s still shocking though that the Beach Boys aren’t competitive Grammy winners. They’re even more proof that awards are not a direct measure of success or legacy.
Busta Rhymes has almost won a Grammy a dozen times
Busta Rhymes is yet another rapper who has been snubbed by the Record Academy on many occasions over the span of decades. Rhymes has been up for multiple Grammys since “Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check (Track)” earned him his first nom in 1996, with his most recent being for “Look At Me Now.” Despite being nominated a dozen times, Rhymes still doesn’t have a Grammy on his mantle. That said, in 2017, he did have a major Grammy Awards moment when he called Donald Trump “President Agent Orange” during a performance.
It’s not just the Grammys that have snubbed Rhymes; he’s also been nominated for 16 MTV VMAs throughout his career and still hasn’t won one. Fans have continued to call out these organizations for “snubbing” and “robbing” Rhymes of awards and declaring that he should be given a Lifetime Achievement Award. Given his influence and unparalleled body of work, that prize would be more than deserved.
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