Grammy predictions: Diana Ross will be 4th solo woman to win Best Traditional Pop Album

Believe it or not, Diana Ross has never won a Grammy. The legendary diva who charted 12 #1 singles with The Supremes and six as a solo artist has been shut out by the Recording Academy despite 12 nominations between 1965 and 1983. She was, however, bestowed their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Now, at the age of 78, Ross looks poised to win her first competitive Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Album (“Thank You”), but it’s no sure bet.

While Ross leads our combined Grammy odds, this category has rarely been won by a female artist. In fact, since being introduced in 1992, only three women have taken home the prize for solo efforts. The very first honor went to Natalie Cole for 1992’s “Unforgettable,” which went on to win Album of the Year. The other two ladies to be honored were Patti Page in 1999 for “Live at Carnegie Hall: The 50th Anniversary Concert” and Joni Mitchell in 2001 for “Both Sides Now.” Cole won again in 2009 for “Still Unforgettable,” a collection of more of her father Nat King Cole’s hits.

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Two other women have won this category in collaboration with a male partner — Tony Bennett to be exact. His duet albums with k.d. lang (“A Wonderful World”) and Lady Gaga (“Cheek to Cheek” and “Love for Sale”) were victorious in 2004, 2015 and 2022, respectively. Clearly this category has been owned by male crooners for most of its 30-year history. Bennett himself has won a record 14 times.

On two occasions Bennett beat out rosters of all-female competitors. His ironically titled “Here’s to the Ladies” bested Rosemary Clooney (“Dedicated to Nelson”), Cole (“Stardust”), Liza Minnelli (“Gently”) and Bernadette Peters (“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”) in 1997. A year later “Tony Bennett on Holiday” beat out Julie Andrews (“Here I’ll Stay”), Clooney (“Mothers & Daughters”), Peters (“Sondheim, etc.”) and Carly Simon (“Film Noir”).

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After Bennett, the artist with the most wins in this category is Michael Bublé. The four-time champ is particularly relevant because he competes against Ross this year with his latest effort, “Higher.” He ranks second in our odds and appears most likely to spoil Ross’ first Grammy celebration. The field is rounded out by Kelly Clarkson (“When Christmas Comes Around …”), Norah Jones (“I Dream of Christmas”) and Pentatonix (“Evergreen”). It’s worth noting those are all holiday albums, which could potentially cancel each other out. Furthermore, while Christmas collections are often recognized in this category, none have ever won.

It truly does appear to be Ross vs. Bublé in this battle and it could come down to the wire. Will Ross overcome her rocky history with the Grammys and finally take the stage for a proper “Thank You” moment?

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