Beyonce is only 33-years-old, but she’s already the Grammys’ third most awarded woman of all time. With 17 wins, she’s just one behind Aretha Franklin, and 10 shy of country singer Alison Krauss‘s record. But her Album of the Year nomination this year for her self-titled album is only her second in the category, and she has yet to win. Will this be her year, or will the recording academy keep her waiting?
Her only previous nod was for “I Am … Sasha Fierce” in 2009. She lost to an even younger overachiever: Taylor Swift, whose victory for “Fearless” at age 20 made her the category’s youngest champ in history.
Beyonce has six total nominations this year, but she’s not the only artist who boasts such an impressive total.
Newcomer Sam Smith (“In the Lonely Hour“) also has six nominations, and most of those are in the general field; he’s only the 10th artist in history to be nominated in all four top categories in one night: Record, Album, and Song of the Year as well as Best New Artist. That should make him a Grammy powerhouse, but only one of the past nine artists to pull off that feat actually won Album of the Year: Christopher Cross for his self-titled debut in 1979.
Pharrell Williams (“GIRL“) also has six bids this year, and he has seven previous wins as an artist, writer, and producer. He actually won this category last year as a featured artist on Daft Punk‘s “Random Access Memories,” but this is his first time competing or one of his own albums.
But Williams might still win, even if he doesn’t: half of his nominations this year are for Album of the Year. As a producer of Beyonce’s album as well as Ed Sheeran‘s “X,” he wins if they win, so he has a 60% chance of taking home the award regardless of the result.
Sheeran has only three total nominations this year, but that’s a new high for the 23-year-old British singer-songwriter. Slowly but surely, he’s racking up nominations in the general field. Last year, he contended for Best New Artist, and the year before that his one and only bid was Song of the Year (“The A Team“).
The fifth nominee is Beck, whose “Morning Phase” is his first album in six years. This is his third bid for Album of the Year, which makes him the most nominated artist in this category. At age 44, he’s also the oldest nominee in the race, which could give him an edge; the recording academy has a penchant for awarding the most veteran artists, like Daft Punk and other recent champs Robert Plant (“Raising Sand” with Alison Krauss, 2008), Herbie Hancock (“River: The Joni Letters,” 2007), and Ray Charles (“Genius Loves Company,” 2004).
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