30 quite interesting facts about the Grammys


Kanye West, Adele, Foo Fighters and Mumford And Sons lead the nominations for the 2012 Grammy Awards, which take place on February 12. Here are a few things you might not know about the long-running American awards bash.


Big winners last year included Arcade Fire (best album) and country-rockers Lady Antebellum. Plus, Mumford performed alongside Bob Dylan. The event was actually initially launched to ward off the threat of the rock and roll explosion, in 1959.


The night’s biggest attention seeker? Lady Gaga, who appeared on stage in a giant egg, carried aloft by flunkies before performing ‘Born This Way’. The first Grammy Awards were presented on 4 May 1959. Record Of The Year was ‘Volare’ by Domenico Modugno.



Elmo the Muppet has won three Grammys, including one for 1998’s ‘Elmopalooza!’ (Best Music Album For Children).


50 Cent strolled across the stage during Evanescence’s 2004 acceptance speech for Best New Artist in protest at rap not being recognised. Quite a lame protest, in hindsight.


Most awkward Grammy moment? In 1976, crooner Andy Williams was hosting the show. When a live satellite link-up with Stevie Wonder went wrong he said, “Stevie, can you see us now?” Williams was never invited back to host again.


Yoko Ono (and her son Sean Lennon) received a standing ovation in 1982 when she arrived to receive a Grammy for ‘Double Fantasy’, the album she made with John Lennon shortly before his death.



In 1990 Sinead O’Connor became the only artist to refuse a Grammy – for Best Alternative Music Performance for the album ‘I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got’.


Unbelievably, Baha Men won a Grammy in 2001 for that interminably irritating song ‘Who Let The Dogs Out?’.


Greatest ever Grammys duet? Gotta be Elton John and Eminem doing ‘Stan’ in 2001. Eminem was getting flak at the time for perceived homophobia – but Elton was keen to build bridges, saying: “If I thought for one minute that he was [hateful], I wouldn’t do it.”


Milli Vanilli won a Grammy in 1990 for Best New Artist, but their award was taken away when it was revealed that the lead vocals on their record were actually someone else’s.



Norah Jones is one of three artists to have won Best New Artist and Record Of The Year in the same year. Sheryl Crow and Christopher Cross were the other two.


The ceremony has flipped from West Coast to East Coast over the years (and was even in Chicago at one point). Madison Square Garden hosted the event for one year only.


Perhaps the greatest Grammy performance was Michael Jackson’s 1988 rendition of ‘Man In The Mirror’. It lost out to Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Don’y Worry, Be Happy’, a tune that George Bush Sr tried to appropriate for his campaign.


U2 have won the most Grammy Awards (22 to date).


Elvis never won a Grammy in a top category, but he did win in the Gospel music category in 1971.


The joint-record for most nominations in one year is held by Michael Jackson (12 in 1983) and, Babyface (12 times in 1992). Babyface never really became a household name in the UK, but he wrote or produced pretty much every massive R&B song of that era. Plus, he had awesome hair.