55 Artists That Somehow Never Won a Grammy…

Our incredibly-popular list of non-inductees gets updated with the likes of Justin Bieber, One Direction, and PSY.  In honor of the 55th Grammy Awards, here are 55 artists that somehow never got honored…


And for fun, try searching a few artists on grammy.com’s ‘Past Winners’ database, here.

1. Justin Bieber

2. One Direction

3. PSY

4. The Doors

5. Queen

6. Jimi Hendrix

7. Led Zeppelin*

8. The Who

9. Tupac Shakur

10. Snoop Dogg

11. Bjork

12. Chuck Berry

13. The Grateful Dead

14. Diana Ross

15. Nas

16. The Beach Boys

17. Bob Marley

18. Janis Joplin

19. Buddy Holly

20. Notorious B.I.G.

21. (Eric B. &) Rakim

22. Rush

23. Run D.M.C.

24. Guns n’ Roses

25. Boston

26. Sam Cooke

27. Talking Heads

28. The Ramones

29. The Everly Brothers

30. Patti Smith

31. Public Enemy

32. Sly & the Family Stone

33. The Sex Pistols

34. Parliament &/or Funkadelic

35. The O’Jays

36. Creedence Clearwater Revival

37. The Stooges

38. Motley Crue

39. Kiss

40. Deep Purple

41. Journey

42. Jackson Browne

43. The Pretenders

44.Toby Keith

45. New Order

46. Depeche Mode

47. Tiesto

48. The Kinks

49. Morrissey

50. The Smiths

51. ABBA

52. Dusty Springfield

53. Teddy Pendergrass

54. Oasis

55. Curtis Mayfield

bonus round! (add your own below..)

56. The Byrds

57. ZZ Top

58. Dave Brubeck


*Both Page & Plant have separately won awards, but not as Led Zeppelin.

33 Responses

  1. nfl

    One Direction has never won a GRAMMY?!? How can this be?! An atrocity…the GRAMMYS are out of touch. Meaningless. This is unjust. I’m crying in my coffee. I mean my milkshake. [Coca-cola? What do 9 year olds drink these days, Paul?]

  2. Anon

    The Beach Boys actually received one for Best Historical Album at this years’ awards. The award was for the re-issue of Smile, some 40 years after it was made. Better late than never!

  3. jw

    The best commentary I’ve read on this subject is Steve Hyden’s over at Grantland. Here’s an exerpt…
    Take the first Grammys show, back in 1959. The awards were set up to honor the best music of 1958, which ended up being a pretty unbelievable year: There was Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops” and Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” and Link Wray’s “Rumble.” Seriously, that’s just 10 minutes of what was momentous in ’58. Three months before the inaugural ceremony, an airplane carrying two of music’s brightest young stars — Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, plus novelty singer the Big Bopper, the Macklemore of his day — went down in Iowa, killing everybody onboard. You can only imagine how stirring the Grammy tribute was to those guys, in addition to the performances by all the future legends on the bill.
    Oh, wait — none of those people was invited. There was no tearful ceremony for Holly and Valens. Instead, Domenico Modugno was honored in the Record and Song of the Year categories for “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare).” The Album of the Year went to Henry Mancini for The Music From Peter Gunn. There were no awards for rock and roll or blues, but there were Children’s Music and Comedy categories — Ross Bagdasarian Sr. won in both, for “The Chipmunk Song.”
    And that’s basically how the Grammys has unfolded ever since. It is an inherently conservative enterprise. Expecting the Grammys to honor musical progressiveness is like griping about the lack of a sushi bar at Buffalo Wild Wings. What about the people who like Buffalo Wild Wings the way it is?
    This next piece is actually from earlier in the article, but makes sense in this context…
    We all know this. And yet it doesn’t stop those same reasonable, intelligent individuals from becoming emotionally engaged with those sort of stupid trophies going to the correct famous people, because it’s supposed to be based on artistic merit, even though that’s never really been the case.
    As a personal comment, I don’t think you can argue that Justin Beiber & the Talking Heads are both deserved of a Grammy. That’s just trolling.

    • AB

      Actually, as we saw last year with Esmerelda Spalding, (probably spelled that wrong), it’s not about “who’s famous”, or who sells the most records, which is why PSY wouldn’t win a Grammy, what the hell are people thinking?
      How can anyone argue with Fun winning for “We Are Young”. That is a great song end of story. Justin Beiber is more likely to win an award for “Song of the Year” as given to whatever writer will write his next #1, as with most artists on Top 40 who utilize the specialties of top songwriters.

      • jw

        I’m not at all disparaging Fun., I’ve been a huge fan of Nate’s for almost 10 years. I’ve been watching those guys play music the whole time, & their success has been a long time coming, & they deserve every bit of it.
        I’m not saying that great artists (like Fun.) haven’t won over the years, or that surprising artists haven’t won, but there’s no evidence that the criteria is consistently merit-based. And when a Grammy is awarded to an artist, the voters are ultimately making a declaration about themselves, whether it’s giving a Best Metal Album to Jethro Tull over Metallica, or giving best new artist to Esperanza Spalding over Justin Beiber. At the end of the day, it just is what it is, & no single award is going to legitimize or illegitimize the Grammys on the whole.
        In all honesty, I would’ve felt some validation if John Fullbright had won the best Americana award, but I’m not the least bit surprised that Bonnie Raitt won. And while their nominations say nothing about the true state of Americana, I am glad that neither the Lumineers nor Mumford & Sons won. But if you’re going to take the step to argue that someone should have won a Grammy award, you ought to have some criteria for saying so & you should be consistent with that. That’s where this list fails.

        • CW

          I agree with pretty much everything you posted. And yes – it’s what the Grammy voter decide. The academy specifically states not to vote purely on sales figures, popularity, regional affiliation, etc. That said, it makes sense that a musician/band that is popular would get a nomination because otherwise, if you are “unknown” why would anyone vote for you?

          The main thing I wanted to comment on though was – many of the people on this list may have not won the Grammy but have indeed been nominated, in otherwords they have at least been recognized by the Grammys. Remove nominees from the list.

    • Montgomery

      yes, he won these:
      1974 Best Inspirational Performance (Non-Classical) How Great Thou Art Elvis Presley, artist.
      1972 Best Inspirational Performance He Touched Me Elvis Presley, artist.
      1967 Best Sacred Performance How Great Thou Art Elvis Presley, artist.

  4. Chach

    Really? Psy deserves a Grammy? For one stupid hit song? That is a fucking joke, take his name off the list, he has no talent and will soon be forgotten

  5. Master Mystifier
    Master Mystifier

    Are you kidding?!?! Did you seriously just put One Direction and PSY on this list….Justin Bieber I can understand. 5 number one albums before the age of 19…but come on now. Everyone else on this list in rolling over in the graves. Disgraceful.

  6. anon

    Subtract Justine Bieber and you have a good list. Marketing made him as it does many but many are pure talent. Sam Cooke is a good example.

  7. Chris Daniels
    Chris Daniels

    I’m a Grammy voter and this year I was a nominee, and I did not win. I feel honored that I got a nomination — I was disappointed that we (it was an album category) didn’t win … I felt we were hands down the most exciting and new recorded music in our group of nominees. It included Jazz greats Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws and many more.

    But what you must understand is that the Grammy’s is a business. They are in the business of recognizing outstanding “recordings” not shows, not sales numbers, not popularity … but recordings. Does that mean the Hendrix records were not well recorded ..NO

    …we all are subject to the times we live in. The Lumineers are a great young independent group and they put out a great record … was it better than Bonnie’s …. I have no idea. My vote went to one of those two… but the others in that category were all strong

    ….and what you probably don’t know is that Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Dwight Yokum, and a whole amazing crew of others NEVER made it to the top 5 that got the Americana nominations.

    The point is simple … no battle of bands, no TV contest show and no Grammy is the test of talent … it is the longevity and belief that each artists brings to their career…. it is up to all of us that make music to enjoy the victories and get up and dust off the defeats … and go on.

  8. t.j.

    up until relatively recent times , they were so far behind current time music , that rock and rap was generally ignored .they used to honor bland crooners and sappy songs-which is why we never watched or paid attention . i know it’s better now but old non-watching/caring Dies Hard , like Bruce Willis ‘Part 23 .

  9. Chris

    You have to say there are some amazing artists who’ve never won a Grammy but also on the flip side there are some amazing artist who have.
    Awards are always going to throw up anomolies and endless arguements about what should have won. the fact that 80 plus awards are given out and people are still not happy shows that you cannot please everyone.
    In the UK the Mercury Music Prize was always the epitompy of coolness but a few years ago they awarded the prize to Speach Dabelle (excuse the spelling) who had sold such a pityful amount of units it really backfired on the awards.
    We all know they are voted for by committees and as such you have to expect that not always the most deserving person wins – just the one who appeals to the majority.

  10. epmd

    In short, a good majority of the greatest artists to walk the face of the Earth never got the NARAS nod Led Zep 1-4– none worthy of best rock album of the year? What are the voting members focused on?

  11. ken tray
    ken tray

    Paul Butterfield Blues Band w/Mike Bloomfield (lead guitar). No top ten or 100- but… along with Dylan broke rock n’ roll wide open.


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