Grammy Award, the highest award in music – A brief history

Grammy Award

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The Grammy Awards are the highest category music awards held every year. Recording Academy presents the Grammys to recognize leading musicians for their incredible work & achievements. Grammy awards have not only built a platform for music industry to evaluate its growth and work, but it has also made faces of musicians known to the world.

The Grammy Awards, originally launched as The Gramophone Awards in 1958. Grammy Awards were introduced as a part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame project, which began in the 1950s. All the committee members realized that there were many leading music professionals who were not given the right recognition as compared to movie & television industry. This matter was resolved in 1958, by creating Grammy Awards as an equivalent to the Oscars and the Emmys. It was a great initiative to honor the music industry’s composers, songwriters, and musicians who have shown some spectacular work.

Grammy Awards have always inspired new talent to unleash their true potential and compete with the existing stars of the music world.

Why is it called The Grammy Award?

It was decided to name this award on the name of the musical instrument Gramophone. And it was later shortened to The Grammys. It was also called Eddie Awards once as Gramophone was invented by Thomas Edision.

It’s always about the Grammys

Grammy Awards are held annually in the United States. Its presented by The Recording Academy. Total 28 Grammy Awards were given in the first Grammy Ceremony. There were two ceremonies held simultaneously in New York & California.

The Grammy Awards were established way back in 1958, but Grammy ceremony was telecast live for the first time in 1971. Before that, it was filmed and broadcasted on NBC throughout the year.

Selection Process

The selection of the Grammy Award winners goes through a unique process. It includes Entry & Submission, Screening & Voting and the result announcement. This unique process of selection makes The Grammys even more prestigious.

Entry submission

All the entries are submitted online and a physical copy of the work is sent to National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Naras). There is no other way to get the entry submitted for the Grammys. Once entries are submitted, a very careful process of screening starts which is governed by experts.


These entries are screened by about 350 experts from various fields in the industry who decide if the entries are eligible and valid to the specific categories. Each recording or music video must meet the eligibility criteria for submitting the entries. Only the entry that is released in the United States between October 1 of the previous year and midnight September 30 of the given Grammy year, will be sent for Screening.

Failing to meet these criteria results in dismissal of the entries. A lot of confusion was faced in the past because of these criteria. Sometimes, viewers do not realize that the song or record of their favorite artists fall in next year Grammy Awards nominations. Explanation had to be given to calm down the offended viewers in the past.


Then the final voting is done in various categories by the voting members. Voting members have to pay extra caution as they have to vote in multiple categories of different genres.

In some categories like craft and specialized categories, the National nomination review committees determine the final five nominees. In case of a tie in the nomination process, an extra nomination has to be given.


Votes are calculated by the independent accounting firm called Deloitte. The names of the winners are announced from the stage of Grammy Awards Ceremony through live telecast. All the winners get a beautiful Grammy trophy which is unique and grand in many ways. Results are not disclosed to anyone until the live announcement is made.

However, it’s difficult to telecast the entire ceremony, so some other awards are aired separately.


The actual hand crafted trophy is truly an elegant beauty. This fine work of art is produced by Billings Artworks in Colorado, owned by John Billings. The original Grammy design was changed in 1990, replacing the traditional soft lead for a stronger alloy less prone to damage and it became even more graceful after redesigning.

The Grammy trophies are engraved with the name of the winner artists and the actual trophies are not presented while announcing the awards. Dummy trophies are presented to the winners during the ceremony before they receive the actual statue.

The special proprietary zinc alloy is used to craft the 24 Carat gold-plated trophy that is trademarked by the craftsmen who design the trophies. This alloy was named as “Grammium” by the John Billings. Each trophy depicting a gilded gramophone weighing six pounds, is a treat to eyes of the spectators.


The total number of categories of Grammy Awards has changed in last few decades as many categories have been included and some have been discarded. There were only 28 categories in very first Grammy Awards event, which increased up to 84 categories in 2020, including awards for many genres. In 2021, Grammys will be presented in 83 categories.

There are four awards which are not defined by genre (The “General Field”).

  • Album of the Year (Performer, songwriter(s), and the production team of a full album).
  • Record of the Year (Performer and the production team of a single song).
  • Song of the Year (Songwriter of a single song).
  • Best New Artist (Promising breakthrough performer).

Leading winners

  • Sir Georg Solti tops the chart with 31 Grammy Awards.
  • Alison Krauss, picked 27 awards and managed to become the biggest female Grammy Award winner.
  • The record to win the maximum number of 22 Grammy Awards belongs to the group U2.

Where are The Grammy Awards presented?

The venue for Grammy Awards have been shifted to various locations since 1959, including:

  • The Staples Center (Los Angeles)
  • Shrine Auditorium (Los Angeles)
  • Rad. City Music Hall (New York City)
  • Tennessee Theatre (Nashville)
  • Madison Square Garden (New York City)

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Museum Gallery in Nashville

For people who are interested to learn more about the history of the Awards, Grammy Museum Gallery is truly a piece of delight. You get the opportunity to visit the beautiful Grammy Museum Gallery in Nashville. It gives you great information about the Award Ceremonies, Winners or nominees in past Grammy Awards.

Visitors get a feeling to share the Grammy stage with their favorite stars once they get inside this beautiful museum.

Interesting facts – A Quick byte:

  • The length of red carpet at the Grammys is 500 feet and it is 80 feet wide, covering a total area of 40,000 square feet.
  • LeAnn Rimes is the youngest artist who received a Grammy Award.
  • It took Grammys 12 years to have a live telecast in 1971 at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards.
  • Three U.S. Presidents have also won Grammy Awards. Barak Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, all won Grammys for best spoken word album.
  • The spectacular Grammy statue is decorated with parts which are plated with 24-carat gold. It weighs six pounds.
  • So far, only two master artisans have ever crafted the Grammy Award. Bob Graves crafted the statue from 1958-1984 and John Billings from 1985 – present.
  • The Grammy Awards were initially known as ‘Eddie Awards’, before changing it to the present name.
  • At 57th Grammy awards, The Recording Academy received more than 20,000 recording submissions.
  • A total of 7,578 Grammy trophies had been awarded by February 2009.

It’s more than an award

The Grammys have also tasted a lot of criticism over past 60 years, but it still survived and shined like gold. As per Nielsen Ratings, an estimation of 25.9 million viewers tuned to watch the Grammys on January 31, 2010. Hence, the Grammys showed its ability to glue the music lovers to their television sets. The whole music world is attached to this historical event with many emotions.

Grammy Award has become dream of every teenager who wants to build his/her name in this fascinating music world. It makes every musician feel that music is not only about being behind the curtain, but its more about performing to your best abilities in front of the entire world.

Grammys around the corner

The whole world will be witnessing the highest Musical Award’s event – The 63rd GRAMMY on Sunday, January 31, on CBS. This Ceremony will be hosted in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Nominations are already listed in total 83 categories.

After a long stressful year 2020, the New Year is surely bringing some blissful moments for all music lovers. Starting from the United States of America, Grammy Awards now rule the hearts of many musicians & artists across the globe. You must have seen some extraordinary music performances in year 2020, so keep your fingers cross for your favorite music star.

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