Top 10 Memorable Grammy Snubs
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
These were some of the Recording Academy's biggest slights. For this list, we're defining a Grammy snub as one where an artist was overlooked throughout their entire careers. This includes those artists that received nominations but never won, but excludes Grammys Lifetime Achievement Awards and posthumous Grammy wins. We're also excluding Grammy upsets where an artist was expected to win a specific award in a given year but which was at the time surprisingly given to another artist because those are in our top 10 Grammy Upsets video. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 Grammy Snubs.
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These were some of the Recording Academy’s biggest slights. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Grammy Snubs.
For this list, we’re defining a Grammy snub as one where an artist was overlooked throughout their entire careers. This includes those artists that received nominations but never won, but excludes Grammys Lifetime Achievement Awards and posthumous Grammy wins. We’re also excluding Grammy upsets where an artist was expected to win a specific award in a given year but which was at the time surprisingly given to another artist because those are in our top 10 Grammy Upsets video.
#10: Public Enemy
With their politically inspired lyrics and groundbreaking hip-hop sound, Public Enemy has had their share of Grammy nominations: 5 to be exact. But, despite mainstream success and platinum-certified efforts, they didn’t win a single one. To top things off, in 1991, their critically acclaimed full-length effort, Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black lost Best Rap Performance to A SINGLE: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime!”
#9: Diana Ross
Considering she’s been in music since 1959, was part of Motown’s most commercially successful act of the ‘60s and forged a successful solo career, it’s mindboggling to think Miss Ross never won a Grammy. True, she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, but some way, somehow - she never took home any of the 12 trophies she was nominated for!
#8: The Grateful Dead
In 30 years, these Godfathers of the jam band world brought us music that was completely unique; mixing psychedelic rock, improve jazz, country, folk, and more. The Grateful Dead also became synonymous with the ‘60s hippie movement and were known for putting on a helluva performance. With no Grammys under their belt, it was 12 years after they disbanded that they received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
#7: The Who
They’ve had their efforts inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and were given a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. But still, one of the biggest acts to take over the world through the British Invasion didn’t get to take home a Grammy prize during their heyday. Luckily, their rebellious yet ambitious rock ‘n’ roll and entertaining live shows did earn them a number of other awards and accolades.
#6: Tupac Shakur
Despite his untimely death, 2Pac left an unrivalled hip-hop legacy. The rapper and actor is considered not only one of the greatest MCs but one of the greatest artists ever. And with 6 nominations, ranging from Best Rap Solo Performance to Best Rap Album and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, it’s not like the Academy didn’t know him. But alas, he was shafted each time, even posthumously.
#5: Bob Marley
Reggae music wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for Bob Marley and The Wailers. Thanks to his unique singing style and lyrics dealing with politics and spirituality, he brought Jamaican music to the masses. But he didn’t receive any Grammy nods before he died - in fact, the first Grammy for Best Reggae Recording was given out four years later. He did posthumously receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and two Grammy nods though.
#4: Jimi Hendrix
He’s considered one of the greatest guitarists ever, but apparently that wasn’t enough to get him Grammy gold while he was alive. However, it is worth noting the Seattle musician received formal posthumous Grammy recognition starting in 1992, which included a Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame and trophies for two Jimi Hendrix Experience’s albums and two recordings.
#3: The Doors
These psychedelic rockers fused blues, pop, rock and Eastern influences into a provocative and cutting-edge sound. Add Jim Morrison’s risqué lyrics and wild onstage and offstage behavior and The Doors were soon one of the biggest bands of the 1960s. While The Doors’ documentary “When You’re Strange” nabbed a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video in 2011, the band was recognized with zero Grammys during their peak.
This British rock band blended opera, gospel, heavy metal, progressive and hard rock into their sound to make their classic rock melodies and catchy anthems. Coupled with the band’s musicianship and Freddie Mercury’s unparalleled showmanship, they became one of the world’s biggest stadium acts. While their music’s been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, Queen have no other Grammys to their name and it’s a damn shame.
#1: Led Zeppelin
Known for their innovative sound combining blues, hard rock and folk, Led Zeppelin sold over 200 million albums sold and collected multiple accolades. That’s not surprising considering their incomparable live performances and willingness to experiment. After losing Grammy gold for Best New Artist, Led Zep never got another nod, though they did win a Lifetime Achievement Award. But, it didn’t even matter: they became the biggest band of the ‘70s and remain one of the greatest rock bands ever.
Do you agree with our list? What do you think was the biggest Grammy snub? With new top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.