Over the course of her career, comedian Carol Burnett has won six Emmys, five Golden Globes, a SAG Life Achievement Award, a Television Critics Association Career Achievement Award, a Peabody and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, just to name a few of her honors. But she has never won a Grammy. This year she could cross that off her list with a victory for Best Spoken Word Album.
Burnett is nominated for “In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox,” the audiobook version of her behind-the-scenes account of her classic variety series “The Carol Burnett Show.” This is her third nomination in this category. She previously contended for “This Time Together” (2011), losing to “Earth (The Audiobook)” by Jon Stewart and his “Daily Show” team, and “Carrie and Me” (2014), losing to “Daily Show” alum Stephen Colbert for “America Again.”
Luckily for Burnett there are no “Daily Show” stars in contention this year, though she does face another Comedy Central favorite: Amy Schumer for “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo,” her collection of personal and comedic essays. This is Schumer’s first nomination in this category, though she’s also nominated this year for Best Comedy Album for “Live at the Apollo,” the audio version of her Emmy-nominated standup special.
Those two comedians face a trio of musicians, and at the Grammys we mustn’t underestimate even the spoken words of prominent singers. Punk rocker Patti Smith contends for her memoir “M Train.” It’s her second nomination in a row in this category, following a bid last year for the audiobook version of Jo Nesbo‘s “Blood on Snow.” Despite a career spanning five decades, Smith has never won a Grammy.
Elvis Costello is nominated for the first time in this category for his own memoir, “Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink.” Costello is already a Grammy winner, but he has only won once — Best Pop Collaboration for “I Still Have That Other Girl” with Burt Bacharach in 1999 — so Grammy voters may consider him greatly under-rewarded.
Rounding out the category is “Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk” by various artists. Punk rocker John Doe, the lead singer of the band X, is a co-author of the book and is nominated as a producer of the album. Like Patti Smith, he has never won a Grammy.
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