The Grammys have been around since 1959. Currently, there are 94 distinct categories. That adds up to approximately five hundred thousand little gold statuettes given out over the last 64 years, give or take a few owing to the vagaries of the categories. As you probably know, Beyonce has won more than a quarter of a million Grammys on her own, but that still leaves quite a few left over for mere mortals.
Still, the number of iconic singers and bands who have never taken home a Grammy is mind-boggling. The Recording Academy has attempted to right a few wrongs by handing out “Lifetime Achievement Awards” since 1963.
Therefore, even though titans like the Beach Boys and Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix and Diana Ross, Bob Marley, and Patsy Cline, never won individual awards, you cannot say they never won a Grammy because of those Lifetime awards. Diana Ross got two of them – as a soloist and as a member of the Supremes – to help offset the 13 times she was nominated without ever claiming victory.
These five great artists deserved more love from the Grammy Awards
Even with the Lifetime Achievement loophole, there are still a surprising number of musical giants who have never tasted Grammy gold. Not for individual performances. Not for their lifetime work. Some have had a single or an album recognized by induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame – yet another loophole designed to right past wrongs – but induction for an achievement is not the same as actually winning a statue.
We’re going to take a look at the five biggest acts to have never won a Grammy, but first, let me just give you a taste of the honorable mentions. None of these artists have ever won a Grammy:
- Snoop Dogg (16 nominations)
- Katy Perry (13)
- Nikki Minaj (12)
- Frankie Valli (with or without the Four Seasons) (7)
- The Spinners (6)
- Guns 'N Roses (3)
- Oasis (2)
- The Byrds (1)
- Kiss (1)
Those are by no means the most nominations without a win. But they are among the most surprising omissions. Here are the five most egregious omissions, never having won a single individual Grammy, or been awarded one of the 242 Lifetime Achievement Grammys that have been handed out over the past sixty years.