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A Timeline of Women Making History at the Grammys

A Timeline of Women Making History at the Grammys

Women have been making Grammy history since the inaugural ceremony in 1959. Ella Fitzgerald rightfully dubbed the "First Lady of Song," became the first woman to receive a Grammy that year. She earned a total of 13 Grammys in her lifetime and was the first woman to be awarded the Recording Academy's lifetime achievement award in 1967(Brisco, 2022). Around the same time, in 1961, Judy Garland won a Grammy for album of the year for "Judy at Carnegie Hall", becoming the first woman to ever receive this award. Additionally, In 1965, Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto made Grammy history as the first woman to win record of the year for "The Girl From Ipanema". In 1968, Bobbie Gentry became the first woman to be nominated for album, record, and song of the year and best new artist, with "Ode to Billie Joe". She ended up winning best new artist, best female vocal performance, and best female contemporary solo vocal performance. Five years later in 1972, Carole King, the pioneer of the female trophy sweep, won record, song, and album of the year, with "Tapestry" (Brisco, 2022). 

In the 1990s, Beyonce emerged as a force in the industry as the lead singer of the group Destiny's Child. Today, she has accumulated 79 nominations, making her the most nominated woman in Grammy history (Brisco, 2022). At the 2021 Grammys, Beyonce was the most nominated artist of the night. She added four awards to her collection, bringing her to a total of 28, and surpassing Alison Krauss to become the female artist with the most Grammys. At the 2021 awards, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande also made history as the first all-women collaboration to win Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song “Rain on Me.” “Folklore” won Taylor Swift her third Grammy for Album of the Year, making her the first female artist to achieve this feat (Rhone, 2021).

Created by Samantha Schoenfarber