The Recording Academy recognizes outstanding achievements in the music industry through its annual Grammy Awards Ceremonies. For most artists and music fans, a Grammy Award is one of the best victories a musical act can achieve.
Last January 26, 2020, the Academy held its 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, with Billie Eilish making history by winning all four major categories- a feat never repeated since Christopher Cross in 1981.
While it is often considered the pinnacle of music achievements, a lot of modern legends people have known and loved have never won the elusive recognition. Here are four music icons who were later recognized by the academy with a lifetime achievement award, but never a Grammy to themselves.
1. Diana Ross
The Detroit-based Diana Ross first achieved stardom as the lead singer of Motown's most successful act, The Supremes. While the female group's 1964 hit song "Baby Love" topped the US pop singles chart and earned their first Grammy nomination for "Best R&B Recording," Miss Ross has never won a single Grammy.
However, the one and only Diana Ross earned a lot of other accolades, such as being recognized by Billboard as the "Female Entertainer of the Century" in 1976, "The Most Successful Female Music Artist in History" from the Guinness Book of World Records in 1993, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
2. The Beach Boys
The family music act from Hawthorne California might come as a surprise entry on the Grammy no-win list, having been regarded as one of the most influential acts from the 1960s rock era. Their first claim to fame, a series of megahits on songs of love, driving, and surfing have gone down in history as the "California Sound."
With a total of four nominations, three from the 1966 hit "Good Vibrations" and one from the 1988 "Kokomo," The Beach Boys have never won a Grammy. They were, however, named recipients for the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Their ambitious 1966 project, "Pet Sounds," which initially received a so-so from the 60s' music scene, was entirely inducted to the Academy's Hall of Fame.
3. Iggy Pop
The American singer-songwriter is hailed as the "Godfather of Punk," and rightfully so. As the lead vocalist and main lyricist of the 70s band the Stooges, Iggy Pop have started carving a name for himself with his distinct vocal quality, poetic lyrics, and perhaps most prominently, his unpredictable stage behavior - often involving a form of self-mutilation in front of the audience.
While his works have been regular entries for various award-giving bodies, the Grammy seemed to remain elusive to Pop. His rendition of "Cold Metal" was up for the "Best Hard Rock/ Metal Performance" but fell short. Iggy Pop's seventeenth album, "Post Pop Depression," was also nominated for the "Best Alternative Music Album." In the 62nd Grammys, Iggy Pop was among the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
4. Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix is a tricky entry in this list as he actually won Grammys and a lifetime achievement award, only long past his death. The famous member of the 27 Club died in September 1970 due to asphyxiation from his own vomit as a result of barbiturate intoxication.
Regardless of the personal troubles he experienced, Hendrix is undoubtedly one of the most influential guitarists in history and was once described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music."
Jimi Hendrix received his Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, more than two decades after he passed away. Seven years later, in 1999, his albums "Are You Experienced" and "Electric Ladyland" received Grammy Awards and "Axis: Bold as Love" followed in 2006.