What’s Your Grammy IQ?
How much do you know about the biggest night in music? Test your Grammy knowledge and discover a few fun facts along the way.
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Answer: 2. LeAnn Rimes
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A bit of a trick question: LeAnn Rimes is the youngest individual winner, for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1996 when she was 14. But, 14-year-old Luis Miguel won for Best Mexican-American Performance with Sheena Easton in 1984. The youngest group winners are the Peasall Sisters, who appeared on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, which won Album of the Year in 2001—they were just 8, 11, and 14. As for our other multiple-choice answer, Beyoncé was 19 when she received her first Grammy—kind of ironic considering she had lost Star Search just six years earlier, one of the “failures” of wildly successful people.
Answer: 3. Pinetop Perkins
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Pinetop Perkins was 97 years young when he won for Best Traditional Blues album in 2011—and passed away just a month later. Perkins started his career as a guitarist but after an arm injury opted for the piano, and is considered to be one of the most influential blues performers. He was inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame in 2003. George Burns is the second oldest to have received a Grammy win, at 95, while President Jimmy Carter holds fast to the number three spot, which he slipped into in 2016 at age 91 and then solidified in 2019 at 94 for his audio recording of his book Faith: A Journey for All. Betty White ties blues musician Elizabeth Cotten for the oldest female Grammy winners: They both won at age 90. The Golden Girls comedian snagged Best Spoken Word Album in 2012, for If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t).
What solo artist has won the most Grammys in one night?
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1. Michael Jackson
Answer: 1. Michael Jackson
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The late artist had a banner year in 1984 when he became the first and only solo artist ever to take home eight awards in one night, winning trophies for his Thriller album as well as performances for “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and others. Santana tied the record for eight awards in 2000, but as a group, so Jackson still holds the solo record. Paul Simon comes in third for most awards in one night, winning seven in 1971 (five shared with his partner Art Garfunkel). In 2010, Beyoncé became the first woman to win six awards in one night; Adele tied the record in 2012. Beyoncé, though, could overtake Adele with any 2020 wins out of her four nods. Don’t miss these pop songs ruined by correct grammar.
What was the first-ever rap song to win Record of the Year?
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1. Eminem, “Lose Yourself”
2. Childish Gambino, “This Is America”
3. Jay-Z, “Empire State of Mind”
Answer: 2. Childish Gambino, “This Is America“
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The Grammys do present separate awards for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album, yet rap has had a harder time making it into the top four categories. But the 2019 win for “This is America” by Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, finally broke into the winner’s circle, becoming the first rap song to win Record of the Year, as well as the first to win Song of the Year. For reasons unknown, though, Glover didn’t make it to the ceremony to accept the historic awards. Co-writer and producer Ludwig Göransson, who accepted on his behalf, said, “I really wish he was here with us right now, because this truly was his vision, and he deserves this credit.” Don’t miss our list of every Oscar Best Picture Winner ranked—from best to worst.
Answer: 3. “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volaré)“
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Believe it or not, 1958’s “Volaré” is the only Record of the Year or Song of the Year winner in a foreign language. (Song of the Year goes to the songwriter; Record of the Year to the artist, engineers, and producers.) “Volaré” was first recorded by Italian singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno in 1958 and sung in Italian; it was also popularized by Dean Martin’s version. Sixty years later, 2018’s Grammys brought a huge outcry over “Despacito,” originally sung in Spanish and remixed with some English, not winning any of its nominations: The massive hit was the first foreign-language song to be nominated for both Record and Song of the year since “La Bamba” by Los Lobos some 30 years prior (that song was originally recorded by Ritchie Valens in 1959). Jose Feliciano’s Christmas staple “Feliz Navidad” wasn’t nominated on its release in 1970, but did make it into the Grammy Hall of Fame—and onto number 19 of our list of 20 best-ever Christmas songs, ranked.