These 5 country albums won the Grammys Album of the Year award

Each year the Grammy Awards Honor the best of popular music with its “four great categories”: album, song and record of the year as well as best new artist. Album of the Year could be considered the Recording Academy’s top prize, in part because it is presented at the end of the annual Sunday night show.

Only the next five albums, adjacent to the country, won the album of the year award in the award’s more than 60-year history, with nominated country albums sometimes spanning years apart.

Note that the years listed refer to when an album won a Grammy or received a nomination (for example, By the time I get to Phoenix, Who was released in November 1967, won the album of the year award in February 1969).

By the time I get to Phoenix, Glen Campbell (1969)

Glen Campbellthe album of the year award for By the time I get to Phoenix highlights a five-Grammy run through the 1968 and 1969 shows.

The honored debut album of the year for a country artist didn’t just come for the Jimmy webb-a written title song but also memorable interpretations of songs from the past (Ernest Tubb and “Tomorrow Never Comes” by Johnny Bond and contemporary (Bill Anderson‘s “Bad Seed” and jerry reed‘s “You are young and you will forget”).

In the previous 10 years, only three albums promoted to country audiences had been nominated for Album of the Year: Ray charlesModern sounds in country and western music (1963), Eddy arnold‘s My world (1966) and Bobbie gentry‘s Ode to Billie Joe (1968).

Although country nominees popped up here and there in the ’70s,’ 80s, and ’90s, it took more than 20 years for another neighboring country album to break the glass ceiling of the Recording Academy.

O brother, where are you? Soundtrack (2002)

Campbell remained the only country artist to win album of the year until the author of his hit “Gentle on My Mind”, banjo wiz John hartford, shared the biggest prize of the night with country, gospel, folk and bluegrass heavyweights like Alison krauss, Gillian welch, Emmylou harris and Ralph stanley.

Both Coen brothers film and his soundtrack gave bluegrass its biggest boost since Issuance while charting the course of the Americana to come. Likewise, it opened up a discussion of the truths and myths surrounding the country and the origins of other popular genres.

It wasn’t the first or the last album of the year to show its roots, with Bonnie raitt (Just in time, 1990) and the duo Krauss and Robert Plant (Sand rising, 2009) among American tasters to win the first prize in the general domain.

Take the long way, The Chicks (2007)

Don’t dismiss the Chicks‘A five-Grammy night like nothing more than the rest of the music industry thumbing its nose at the Nashville establishment.

Of course, country radio’s harsh reactions to Natalie Maines’ verbal withdrawal from President George W. Bush may have influenced some voters, but the Recording Academy has already recognized the artistry of the Chicks. After all, the trio were the only country group with two album of the year nominations (for Fly (2000) and Homepage (2003)) before “Dixie Chick’d” became a verb.

Intrepid, Taylor Swift (2010)

Taylor Swift didn’t quit country music so much that it transcended a genre with few seats at the Grammy main table.

Intrepid sped up this process with some of the best Swift tracks to come out of Nashville including the singles “Love Story” and “Fifteen” and Jean Rich co-wrote “The Way I Loved You”.

Swift was 20 when she won big with Intrepid, making her the youngest at the time to win the first Grammy award (a record broken in 2020 by 18-year-old Billie Eilish).

A re-recorded version, titled Without fear (Taylor version), can place a mark that not even Eilish can break. It is eligible to become the first song set nominated twice for Album of the Year.

Read more: Kacey Musgraves Wins 2019 Grammys Album of the Year

Golden hour, Kacey Musgraves (2019)

For Golden hour, Kacey musgraves took a slight left turn from the direction that took us to previous albums Same trailer, different fleet (2013) and Historical reenactment material (2018). This more scenic route earned Musgraves four trophies at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards: Best Country Solo Performance for “Butterflies”, Best Country Song for “Space Cowboy” and Best Country Album and Album of the Year.

Musgraves’ Album of the Year victory came against some of the best rap and pop stars of the moment (Cardi B, Drake, Post Malone and Janelle Monae) as well as more roots heavyweights (HER and Brandi carlile) and popular soundtrack Black Panther: The album.

“It was amazing to even be in a category with such gigantic albums… it’s really crazy. But I’m very grateful,” Musgraves said during his acceptance speech. “Art is really flourishing, and it’s really beautiful to see that. I wouldn’t have anything without the songs. For me, it’s all about the songs.”

Other notable country albums nominated for Album of the Year include Johnny cash‘s In San Quentin (1970), Kenny rogersThe player (1980), Shania twain‘s come here (1999) and Harris, Linda ronstadt and Dolly parton‘s Trio (1988).

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Toya J. Bell