David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (release year 1972)
There was simply no way this record was going to get nominated in the early 1970s. David Bowie was simply too weird and the topics he sang about were too odd - singing about aliens? What?!. The artist and the album simply did not fit safely into any kind of genre, and in fact, Bowie's Ziggy Stardust simply seemed too dangerous and androgynous for Grammy Award voters to feel comfortable with.
Plus, what would have happened had Bowie been nominated? He might have shown up to the awards like Ziggy and kids would be watching at home. The Academy could not have that. What would the good people of America think of them? Of course, that was the entire point of Ziggy Stardust, and the Academy snubbing the album only proved its point.
The albums that were nominated for the 1973 Grammys were the antithesis of Ziggy Stardust. They included George Harrison's The Concert for Bangladesh (which won), Don McLean's American Pie, the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, Neil Diamond's Moods, and Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson. If all those albums and Ziggy Stardust had been in school together and accidentally met in the bathroom, Ziggy would likely ask for a cigarette and all the rest would have rushed out of the room, except for American Pie which might just stare at Ziggy.
David Bowie's album made kids who felt like they were different secretly be OK with being different. Bowie never stopped pushing the boundaries of what music could sound like. He did so often before the world would understand what he was doing. That is exactly what happened with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.