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Grammy Award for Song of the Year

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Title: Grammy Award for Song of the Year  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Alicia Keys, Volare (song), Rolling in the Deep, We Are Young, 57th Annual Grammy Awards
Collection: Grammy Award Categories, Grammy Award for Song of the Year, Song Awards
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Grammy Award for Song of the Year

Grammy Award for Song of the Year
A gold gramophone trophy with a plaque set on a table
Gilded gramophone trophy presented to Grammy Award winners
Awarded for quality songs containing both lyrics and melody
Country United States
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded 1959
Last awarded 2014
Official website

The Grammy Award for Song of the Year is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.[1] Awards in several categories are distributed annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position."[2]


  • History and description 1
  • Achievements 2
  • Recipients 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History and description

The Song of the Year awards have been awarded since 1959. It is one of the four most prestigious Grammy Awards. Despite both the Record of the Year award and Song of the Year being awarded for a single or for one track from an album, this award goes only to the composer(s) of the song whereas the Record of the Year award goes to the performer and production team of the song. According to the 54th Grammy Awards description guide, the award is given to the songwriter(s) of a song that "must contain melody and lyrics and must be either a new song or a song first achieving prominence during the eligibility year. Songs containing prominent samples or interpolations are not eligible".[3]

Since the late 1960s other songwriter's awards have been presented for genre-specific categories including Grammy Award for Best Country Song, Grammy Award for Best Rock Song, Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and most recently in Grammy Award for Best Rap Song (since 2004), Grammy Award for Best Gospel Song (since 2006), Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song (since 2012) and Grammy Award for Best American Roots Song (since 2014).


Twenty eight of the winning songs have also won the award for Record of the Year. In 17 cases the songwriters were also the performers. (Domenico Modugno, Paul Simon, Christopher Cross, Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie, Billy Joel, Bobby McFerrin, Eric Clapton, Seal, Shawn Colvin & John Leventhal, James Horner, U2, the Dixie Chicks, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay, Lady Antebellum, Adele and Lorde (which is the stage name of Ella Yelich-O'Connor)).

Christopher Cross is the first artist to receive the Grammy Award for Song of the Year as well as for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist in one ceremony. Adele is the first artist to receive the award for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist, and Album of the Year, nonconsecutively. Only four artists have won the Song of the Year and Best New Artist awards the same year: Christopher Cross (1981), Alicia Keys (2002), Amy Winehouse (2008), and Fun (2013). Adele and Christopher Cross are the only recipients of the four Grammys for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist.

The only other multiple winners in this category include Henry Mancini (in 1962 and 1964), James Horner (1988 and 1999) and U2 (2001 and 2006), winning two times each. However, songs written for Andy Williams, Bette Midler, and Roberta Flack have received this award twice.

The song "Volare", winner in 1959 by Domenico Modugno and performed in Italian, is the only foreign-language song to win this award.


An asterisk (*) indicates this recording also won Record of the Year.
Year Songwriter(s) Nationality Work Performing artist(s) Nominees Ref.
1959 Domenico Modugno
Franco Migliacci
 Italy "Volare" * Domenico Modugno [4]
1960 Jimmy Driftwood  United States "The Battle of New Orleans" Johnny Horton [5]
1961 Ernest Gold  United States
"Theme of Exodus" Instrumental
(Various artists)
1962 Henry Mancini
Johnny Mercer
 United States "Moon River" * Henry Mancini [7]
1963 Leslie Bricusse
Anthony Newley
 United Kingdom "What Kind of Fool Am I?" Sammy Davis, Jr. [8]
1964 Henry Mancini
Johnny Mercer
 United States "Days of Wine and Roses" * Henry Mancini [9]
1965 Jerry Herman  United States "Hello, Dolly!" Louis Armstrong [10]
1966 Paul Francis Webster
Johnny Mandel
 United States "The Shadow of Your Smile" Tony Bennett
1967 John Lennon
Paul McCartney
 United Kingdom "Michelle" The Beatles
1968 Jimmy Webb  United States "Up, Up, and Away" * The 5th Dimension [11]
1969 Bobby Russell  United States "Little Green Apples" O.C. Smith [12]
1970 Joe South  United States "Games People Play" Joe South [13]
1971 Paul Simon  United States "Bridge over Troubled Water" * Simon & Garfunkel [14]
1972 Carole King  United States "You've Got a Friend" James Taylor & Carole King [15]
1973 Ewan MacColl  United Kingdom "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" * Roberta Flack [16]
1974 Norman Gimbel
Charles Fox
 United States "Killing Me Softly with His Song" * Roberta Flack [17]
1975 Marilyn Bergman
Alan Bergman
Marvin Hamlisch
 United States "The Way We Were" Barbra Streisand
1976 Stephen Sondheim  United States "Send in the Clowns" Judy Collins [18]
1977 Bruce Johnston  United States "I Write the Songs" Barry Manilow [19]
Barbra Streisand
Paul Williams

Joe Brooks
 United States

 United States
"Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)"

"You Light Up My Life"
Barbra Streisand

Debby Boone
1979 Billy Joel  United States "Just the Way You Are" * Billy Joel [21]
1980 Kenny Loggins
Michael McDonald
 United States "What a Fool Believes" * The Doobie Brothers [22]
1981 Christopher Cross  United States "Sailing" * Christopher Cross [23]
1982 Donna Weiss
Jackie DeShannon
 United States "Bette Davis Eyes" * Kim Carnes [24]
1983 Johnny Christopher
Mark James
Wayne Carson
 United States "Always on My Mind" Willie Nelson [25]
1984 Sting  United Kingdom "Every Breath You Take" The Police
1985 Graham Lyle
Terry Britten
 United Kingdom
"What's Love Got to Do with It" * Tina Turner [26]
1986 Michael Jackson
Lionel Richie
 United States "We Are the World" * USA for Africa [27]
1987 Burt Bacharach
Carole Bayer Sager
 United States "That's What Friends Are For" Dionne Warwick & Friends [28]
1988 James Horner
Barry Mann
Cynthia Weil
 United States "Somewhere Out There" Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram [29]
1989 Bobby McFerrin  United States "Don't Worry, Be Happy" * Bobby McFerrin [30]
1990 Larry Henley
Jeff Silbar
 United States "Wind Beneath My Wings" * Bette Midler [31]
1991 Julie Gold  United States "From a Distance" Bette Midler [32]
1992 Irving Gordon  United States " Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole [33]
1993 Eric Clapton
Will Jennings
 United Kingdom
 United States
"Tears in Heaven" * Eric Clapton [34]
1994 Alan Menken
Tim Rice
 United States
 United Kingdom
"A Whole New World" Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle [35]
1995 Bruce Springsteen  United States "Streets of Philadelphia" Bruce Springsteen [36]
1996 Seal  United Kingdom "Kiss from a Rose" * Seal [37]
1997 Gordon Kennedy
Wayne Kirkpatrick
Tommy Sims
 United States "Change the World" * Eric Clapton [38]
1998 Shawn Colvin
John Leventhal
 United States "Sunny Came Home" * Shawn Colvin [39]
1999 James Horner
Will Jennings
 Canada "My Heart Will Go On" * Celine Dion [40]
2000 Itaal Shur
Rob Thomas
 United States "Smooth" * Santana featuring Rob Thomas [41]
2001 Adam Clayton
David Evans
Larry Mullen, Jr.
Paul Hewson
 Ireland "Beautiful Day" * U2 [42]
2002 Alicia Keys  United States "Fallin'" Alicia Keys [43]
2003 Jesse Harris  United States "Don't Know Why" * Norah Jones [44]
2004 Richard Marx
Luther Vandross
 United States "Dance with My Father" Luther Vandross [45]
2005 John Mayer  United States "Daughters" John Mayer [46]
2006 Adam Clayton
David Evans
Larry Mullen, Jr.
Paul Hewson
 Ireland "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" U2 [47]
2007 Emily Robison
Martie Maguire
Natalie Maines
Dan Wilson
 United States "Not Ready to Make Nice" * Dixie Chicks [48]
2008 Amy Winehouse  United Kingdom "Rehab" * Amy Winehouse [49]
2009 Guy Berryman
Jonny Buckland
Will Champion
Chris Martin
 United Kingdom "Viva la Vida" Coldplay [50]
2010 Thaddis Harrell
Beyoncé Knowles
Terius Nash
Christopher Stewart
 United States "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" Beyoncé [51]
2011 Dave Haywood
Josh Kear
Charles Kelley
Hillary Scott
 United States "Need You Now" * Lady Antebellum [52]
2012 Adele Adkins
Paul Epworth
 United Kingdom "Rolling in the Deep" * Adele [53]
2013 Nate Ruess
Jack Antonoff
Jeff Bhasker
Andrew Dost
 United States "We Are Young" Fun featuring Janelle Monáe [54]
2014 Joel Little
Ella Yelich-O'Connor
 New Zealand "Royals" Lorde
  • ^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.
  • ^[II] The performing artist is only listed but does not receive the award.

See also


  • "Past Winners Search".   Note: User must select the "General" category as the genre under the search feature.
  • "Grammy Awards: Album of the Year". Rock on the Net. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  1. ^ "Grammy Awards at a Glance". Los Angeles Times ( 
  2. ^ "Overview".  
  3. ^ "Category Mapper".  
  4. ^ "Grammy Awards 1959 (May)". Awards & Shows. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Grammy Awards 1959". Awards & Shows. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Grammy Awards 1961". Awards & Shows. 
  7. ^ "Grammy Awards 1962". Awards & Shows. 
  8. ^ "Grammy Awards 1963". Awards & Shows. 
  9. ^ "Grammy Awards 1964". Awards & Shows. 
  10. ^ "Grammy Awards 1965". Awards & Shows. 
  11. ^ "Grammy Awards 1968". Awards & Shows. 
  12. ^ Now' Singers To Get Grammys"'".  
  13. ^ "Grammy Awards 1970". Awards & Shows. 
  14. ^ "Grammy Awards 1971". Awards & Shows. 
  15. ^ "Grammy Awards 1972". Awards & Shows. 
  16. ^ "Grammy Awards 1973". Awards & Shows. 
  17. ^ "Grammy Awards 1974". Awards & Shows. 
  18. ^ "Grammy Awards 1976". Awards & Shows. 
  19. ^ "Grammy Awards 1977". Awards & Shows. 
  20. ^ "Grammy Awards 1978". Awards & Shows. 
  21. ^ "Bee Gees Head Lists For 6 Grammy Awards".  
  22. ^ Arar, Yardena (January 9, 1980). "Grammy awards field a definite mixed bag".  
  23. ^ "Newcomer Is Top Grammy Nominee".  
  24. ^ "Lennon, Jones lead Grammy nominees".  
  25. ^ "Toto, Stevie Wonder top Grammy nominations".  
  26. ^ "David Foster Leading Grammy Nominations".  
  27. ^ "Best new artist category causes Grammys' only stir".  
  28. ^ "Veterans top Grammy nominations".  
  29. ^ McShane, Larry (January 15, 1988). "Irish rockers among Grammy nominees".  
  30. ^ De Atley, Richard (January 11, 1989). "Grammy nominations: Tracy Chapman, Bobby McFerrin lead pack". Pittsburgh Press. E. W. Scripps Company. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Grammys reach out to young listeners". Lodi News-Sentinel. February 21, 1990. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  32. ^  
  33. ^ Snider, Eric (February 26, 1992). "Cole's 'Unforgettable' wins song of the year". St. Petersburg Times. Times Publishing Company. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  34. ^ Antczak, John (January 8, 1993). "Clapton leads the pack of Grammy nominees". Deseret News. Deseret News Publishing Company. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Sting Leads Grammy Nominations With Six".  
  36. ^ "The line forms for Grammys". St. Petersburg Times. Times Publishing Company. January 6, 1995. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  37. ^  
  38. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 8, 1997). "Babyface, Celine Dion And Pumpkins Compete For Multiple Grammys". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. 2. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  39. ^ Strauss, Neil (January 7, 1998). "Grammy Nominations Yield Surprises, Including Newcomer's Success". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Top Grammy nominations".  
  41. ^ "Santana nominated for 10 Grammy Awards". Lodi News-Sentinel. January 5, 2000. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  42. ^ "43rd Grammy Awards". CNN. February 21, 2001. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Complete List Of Grammy Nominees".  
  44. ^ "45 Grammy Nom List". 
  45. ^ "They're All Contenders". The New York Times ( 
  46. ^ "Grammy Award nominees in top categories". USA Today ( 
  47. ^ "The Complete List of Grammy Nominations". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). December 8, 2005. p. 1. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  48. ^ "49th Annual Grammy Awards Winners List". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  49. ^ "Grammy 2008 Winners List". MTV. February 10, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  50. ^ "Grammy 2009 Winners List". MTV. February 8, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  51. ^ "52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees And Winners: General Field".  
  52. ^ "53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees And Winners: General Field".  
  53. ^ "2011 – 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees And Winners: General Field".  
  54. ^ "Dan Auerbach, Fun, Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, Kanye West Lead 55th GRAMMY Nominations". 

External links

  • Official site
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