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Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance


Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance

Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance
Awarded for quality performances in the hard rock genre
Country United States
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded 1990
Last awarded 2011
Official website

The Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance was an award presented to recording artists at the Grammy Awards until 2011.

The Academy recognized hard rock music artists for the first time at the 31st Grammy Awards (1989). The category was originally presented as Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental, combining two of the most popular music genres of the 1980s.[1] Jethro Tull won that award for the album Crest of a Knave, beating Metallica, who were expected to win with the album ...And Justice for All. This choice led to widespread criticism of the Academy, as journalists suggested that the music of Jethro Tull did not belong in the hard rock or heavy metal genres.[2][3] In response, the Academy created the categories Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance, separating the genres.

The band Living Colour was presented the first award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. From 1992 to 1994 the award was presented as the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal. As of 2011, the bands Foo Fighters, Living Colour, and The Smashing Pumpkins share the record for the most wins, with two each. American artists have been presented with the award more than any other nationality, though it has been presented to musicians or groups originating from Australia twice and from the United Kingdom once. Alice in Chains holds the record for the most nominations without a win, with eight.

The award was discontinued in 2012 due to a major overhaul of Grammy categories. After 2012, quality hard rock performances were shifted to the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category. However, in 2014, the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category was split, returning the stand-alone Best Metal Performance category and recognizing quality hard rock performances in the Best Rock Performance category.[4] According to the Recording Academy, "It was determined that metal has a very distinctive sound, and hard rock more closely aligns with rock and can exist comfortably as one end of the rock spectrum."[4]


  • Recipients 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


A man wearing a white T-shirt, playing a guitar with his eyes closed while standing behind a microphone stand.
Chris Cornell, lead singer of the 1995 award-winning band Soundgarden, performing in 2005

The Smashing Pumpkins

A man with long, curly hair wearing a red dress shirt and singing into a microphone on a stand.
1999 award winner, Robert Plant, performing in 2007

Four men in dark clothing on a stage; the man on the left has his arm raised in the air, while the third man from the left has his arms around the second and fourth.
Metallica, the 2000 award-winning band, performing in 2008

Linkin Park, the 2002 award-winning band
A crowd of people standing before a stage lit by four lights from above. On the stage, from left to right, is a man with a guitar, a man dressed in black holding a guitar, and a man sitting behind a drum set.
The two-time award-winning band, Foo Fighters

Five people (including one female, second from the left) all wearing black clothing.
Members of the 2004 award-winning band, Evanescence

Three men on a stage in front of a crowd; two are holding guitars while the one of the center is sitting behind a drum set. Audio equipment, a drum set, lighting, and other stage fixtures can also be seen in the background.
Wolfmother, the 2007 award-winning band, performing at the Beale Street Music Festival

Three men standing on a stage in front of a crowd; two are holding guitars while the one of the center is holding a microphone. Audio equipment, a drum set, lighting, and other stage props can also be seen in the background.
The 2009 award-winning band, The Mars Volta

Year Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
1990 Living Colour "Cult of Personality" [5]
1991 Living Colour Time's Up [6]
1992 Van Halen For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge [7]
1993 Red Hot Chili Peppers "Give It Away" [8]
1994 Stone Temple Pilots "Plush" [9]
1995 Soundgarden "Black Hole Sun" [10]
1996 Pearl Jam "Spin the Black Circle" [11]
1997 The Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" [12]
1998 The Smashing Pumpkins "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" [13]
1999 Page and Plant "Most High" [14]
2000 Metallica "Whiskey in the Jar" [15]
2001 Rage Against the Machine "Guerrilla Radio" [16]
2002 Linkin Park "Crawling" [17]
2003 Foo Fighters "All My Life" [18]
2004 Evanescence & Paul McCoy "Bring Me to Life" [19]
2005 Velvet Revolver "Slither" [20]
2006 System of a Down "B.Y.O.B." [21]
2007 Wolfmother "Woman" [22]
2008 Foo Fighters "The Pretender" [23]
2009 The Mars Volta "Wax Simulacra" [24]
2010 AC/DC "War Machine" [25]
2011 Them Crooked Vultures "New Fang" [26]

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.

See also


  • Note: User must select the "Rock" category as the genre under the search feature.
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External links

  • Official site of the Grammy Awards
  • Rock on the Net – Grammy Awards: Best Hard Rock Performance
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