The Grammy Award is nothing less than the most important international award in the music industry. Anyone who, as a musician, producer or sound engineer, can add “Grammy winner” or even “Grammy nominee” to their résumé has earned an important title. Winning the first Grammy is an important milestone for any artist. Strangely enough, there are Grammy winners who by no means score with musical works. The reason for this is the so-called niche categories. Here are some exceptional Grammy winners from history:
The actress, comedian and author Carrie Fisher became world famous for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars. She embodied this science fiction character for the first time in the 1977 Star Wars film. Carrie received her first Grammy in 2010 for Best Spoken Word Album. She was honoured with the second Grammy in 2018. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to receive it because she died in December 2016 at the age of 60 from a cardiac arrest due to causes that were not really known.
Born in 1922, Betty White, the American actress, comedian, voice actress and presenter, can look back on an impressively long and eventful life. She is mostly humorous to the general public and known for her comedic roles. As a producer, she was and is the absolute pioneer for women in the film and television business. The living Disney legend has had an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest television career of an entertainer since 2013. A year earlier, Betty won a Grammy for the audio book version of her memoir.
The verbose and vocal actress, presenter, voice actress, TV producer and stand-up comedian Kathy Griffin is definitely versatile. After earning the Emmy award twice, her new goal was to get the Grammy too. And Kathy managed it very consistently. Since 2008 she has been nominated for a Grammy Award annually for each of her comedy programs released on CD. After various nominations, she then stood on the podium in 2014 as the winner in the “Best Comedy Program” category.
The Titanic stars have long been highly honoured and showered with numerous prizes. Mainly from the film department, of course, such as the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes and others. Kate Winslet has been able to pin the Grammy on her business card since 2000. And twice: musically for their single “What If”, and also in the category for the Best Spoken Album for Children.
Martin Luther King Jr.
When words move the world, they deserve a Grammy award. For many, the speech of Martin Luther King Jr. when he no longer wanted to remain silent about the Vietnam War is undoubtedly one of these significant spoken monuments. He had already received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Four years later he was shot dead in an assassination attempt in Memphis. “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam” was posthumously awarded a Grammy in 1971 in the “Best Spoken Word” category.
In fact, Barack Obama, the former President of the USA, is a two-time Grammy winner. He did important things, but he was not known as a musician. Obama received both awards in the “Best Spoken Word Album” category. It was for his two audio books “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity Of Hope“.
Sophia Loren, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev
Without question, an extraordinary trio was created with the cinema legend Sophia Loren, the former US President, Bill Clinton, and the former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev. These three received a Grammy from the audio book department, awarded for the “Best Spoken Word Album for Children”: “Peter and the Wolf”. Gorbachev reads the introduction in English, although he does not speak the language, the Italian film star Sophia Loren reads the version of the fairy tale from the perspective of the fearless Peter who outwits the wolf. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, tells the story from the wolf’s point of view. Impressively international and multifaceted!
It is undisputed that The Muppets have long been a media institution. The lovable, and no less curious, dolls not only caught the attention of children, but also often brought a smile to the eyes of adults. And don’t forget: The Muppets were often musical in their own way. It was only logical that Kermit the Frog and Co. received the Grammy for the Best Recording for Children in 1978 for the first time, and in the following year for the soundtrack to “The Muppet Movie“. There were to be many more.
It’s almost obvious that the doll colleagues from Sesame Street would also receive prominent awards. And indeed, they also had a pretty nice Grammy run. Understandable, given that Ernie & Bert, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo and co. are one of the most successful TV series for preschoolers. They received their last Grammy in 2001 for their album “Elmo & The Orchestra“.
And of course there is one person who cannot be missing in this highly illustrious society: Woody Allen. The congenial and always somewhat weird actor, film director, actor and comedian has collected so many awards that the list here would probably go beyond all boundaries. He was nominated an incredible 24 times for an Oscar and was allowed to take it home four times. The musical reference fits, especially since Woody Allen is a passionate jazz musician. However, he did not receive the Grammy for his musical abilities. Instead, the soundtrack for his film “Midnight in Paris” won the Grammy for “Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media“.
In 1959 the Grammy Awards took place for the first time, this year for the 63rd time. We are curious to see how this event will be organised under pandemic conditions and which icons can look forward to the award this time. Be sure to watch on Monday, March 15th.