The general field categories at the Grammys always seem to cause the most debate. In its history, one of the most highly debated categories has been Record of the Year.
Per the Recording Academy, the screening criteria for Record of the Year are the following:
“Recordings entered for consideration in this Category should represent the best overall achievement. The elements to be considered are the performance, production and engineering; secondary elements for consideration are songwriting/composition, arranging and performance of the backup vocalists and musicians, as applicable”
Clearly, all of those elements are subjective. Everyone has different ideas on what constitutes greatness in those elements. However, not every choice for Record of the Year has aged well.
We combed through all of the Record of the Year nominees and winners throughout the entire history of the Grammy Awards. Our list below spans seven decades, from the 1960s to the 2020s. Admittedly, we side with the Recording Academy on many of their Record of the Year choices. Despite this, there were some years we took issue with the song that was awarded this prestigious honor.
Many of our choices below certainly benefit from hindsight. The Grammy Awards are often a snapshot in time, and they can’t account for how well songs age. Meanwhile, some of the past Record of the Year winners can be viewed as “emotional” wins and honor certain artists posthumously.
Without further ado, here are 17 times we think the Grammys got Record of the Year wrong.
The 2024 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 66th GRAMMY Awards, will air live (8:00-11:30 PM, LIVE ET/5:00-8:30 PM, LIVE PT) on the CBS Television Network and will stream on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).