16 Trivia Facts About the Grammy Awards

(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

If you like music, you’re probably aware of the Grammy Awards. With the 65th Grammy Awards in 2023, you’ve also probably figured that there are at least a handful of fun facts you can keep in your back pocket. Back pocket facts are right up our alley, so here are some Grammy Award trivia facts.

Further Reading: Was Old Music Actually Better?

Grammy Awards Trivia Facts

1. You probably can brain this out by looking at the trophy Grammy Award recipients get, but the Grammy Awards are named after the gramophone. They were originally called the Gramophone Awards.

2. The Grammy Awards are made out of custom zinc alloy. Want to know what it’s called? It’s called “grammium,” because of course it is. 

3. For the first Grammy Awards in 1958 there were 28 categories. Categories for the 2023 Grammy Awards? 91. 

4. In order to vote for and nominate Grammy Award winners, you have to pay dues. Otherwise you’re not considered in good standing and you don’t get to vote. But you probably knew that already.

5. The Grammys have their own, independently outsourced accounting firm to handle vote tallying. They’re tallied by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

6. Only three artists have ever won the “Big Four” Grammy Awards. Billie Eilish, Adele, and Christopher Cross. The awards are Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. 

7. Only two people have swept all four of the Big Four in a single year. Billie Eilish in 2020 and Cristopher Cross in 1981. 

8. Georg Solti has won the most Grammy Awards, at 31 trophies. 

9. There’s a Grammy Trustee Award for people who make contributions to music outside of performing roles. 

10. Sinead O’Connor is the only person who has ever won and refused to accept a Grammy Award. She refused to attend the 1991 Grammy Awards for her award in Best Alternative Music Performance. Before the ceremony she criticized the Recording Academy (and music industry more broadly) for valuing material/capital gains over art. She also called attention to the music industry’s use of “obscenity” as an excuse to dismiss rap as a genre, which is just racism disguised as censorship. 

11. The first, live Grammy Award ceremony was televised in 1971.

12. The red carpet used at the Grammy Awards is 500 by 80 feet. 

13. Three US Presidents have won Grammy Awards. Jimmy Carter won three times, Barack Obama won twice, and Bill Clinton also won one. 

14. Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama also won Grammy Awards while they were the First Lady. 

15. Norwegian sound engineer Morten Lindberg went a pretty long time with a lot of nominations for Grammy Awards but no win. Between 2007 and 2017, he was nominated for 28 Grammy Awards without a win. He won his first in 2020. 

16. Milli Vanilli was the first person to get stripped of their Grammy Award in 1989

More lists of not-exactly-Grammy-trivia-facts here.

About the Author:

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.