A singer’s or band’s success can be measured in various ways, including albums downloaded, music videos streamed, concert tickets sold, and Grammy awards won. However, some of music’s biggest names have not received Grammy nominations. Yes, the Recording Academy’s honors do not always reflect an artist’s popularity among non-professional listeners. The Grammys have failed to recognize some of music’s most beloved artists since their inception in 1959. The ceremony was created after industry executives realized that many notable musicians would miss out on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a result, they created a ceremony to rival the Oscars and Emmys in the hopes of improving music’s standing on the Walk of Fame committee. Over the years, the categories have expanded to cover many music genres. However, for one reason or another, a few artists have continually been snubbed by the awards ceremony. So prepare to have your jaw drop as you read through this list of the ten most surprising artists who haven’t won a Grammy.
ABBA is arguably Sweden’s greatest musical export. They’re not just karaoke favorites—this pop group is one of the best-selling artists of all time, yet they’ve never received one Grammy nomination.
Snoop Dogg has been nominated for 17 Grammy Awards but never won one. That figure is only one higher than that of R&B legend Brian McKnight. However, the two have even more in common because they both received their first nomination in 1993 – and are still waiting for a win.
Selena Gomez is one of the world’s most well-known actresses and pop stars. She has received 336 different nominations and has won 112 awards from all over the world. Unfortunately, one of them isn’t a Grammy. She has never even been nominated.
Queen, the iconic British rock band, is known for massive hits such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” with estimated record sales ranging from 170 to 300 million records. Queen was an unstoppable force, releasing 15 albums and eighteen number-one singles featuring the late and talented frontman Freddie Mercury. Yet, surprisingly, this beloved rock band never won a competitive Grammy, despite receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
Satriani is regarded as one of the most technically accomplished guitarists of all time. But it’s never been enough to sway the Recording Academy, which has consistently pushed him to the brink of the winner’s circle in rock and pop instrumental performance categories without ever allowing him to enter.
Public Enemy, formed by social activist Chuck D and zany cohort Flavor Flav, burst through the industry doors in 1986 and immediately began changing the cultural landscape. The famous duo put America’s racial misdeeds front and center with intelligent, political, and contentious lyrics. Public Enemy’s influence can still be felt in the hip-hop world today. However, the fact that they never won a Grammy seems insignificant compared to their significant contributions to music and culture.
It’s not like Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend have empty trophy cases. The Who received the Grammy’s consolation prize, the Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2001 and was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2008.
In hits like “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. Goode,” the rock pioneer introduced elements of rhythm and blues to 1950s music, creating a new and exciting rock sound. Berry was one of the first members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1986.
“London Calling,” The Clash’s magisterial 1979 album, made English punk accessible to a broad audience and became a cornerstone of ’80s rock, but Grammy voters ignored it. They also ignored the band’s hit singles “Rock the Casbah” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” from 1982.
Diana Ross, the original pop diva, has never won a Grammy, either with The Supremes or on her own. However, the Boss received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy in 2012 after beginning her career in the early 1960s. In her career, she has received a whopping 12 nominations.