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Originally published January 25, 2014 at 5:39 PM | Page modified January 25, 2014 at 10:04 PM

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Grammy history: who’s gotten the most awards?

Grammy Awards by the numbers.


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Seattle rapper Macklemore isn’t the only artist nominated for seven Grammy awards this year. Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell Williams are, too, and Jay Z, with nine noms, has the most (though he can only win seven, because he’s competing against himself in two categories).

What makes Macklemore’s count extra special, though, is that he’s up for three of the top four categories — Best Song (“Same Love”), Album (“The Heist”) and New Artist (the fourth category is Best Record).

Over the years, only six artists have won three of the top four awards in one night — Paul Simon (1971), Carole King (1972), Christopher Cross (1981), Eric Clapton (1993), the Dixie Chicks (2007) and Adele (2012). And only one of those, Cross, won for Best New Artist. (In fact, Cross won in all four categories, the only person ever to do so in one night. Adele has won in all four categories, too, but in two different years.)

Until now, the most Grammy awards ever won by a Seattle-based artist is two, a record shared by rockers Soundgarden and Dave Matthews, jazz singer Diane Schuur and fiddler Mark O’Connor.

But other musicians with Seattle roots have done way better. Ray Charles, who got his start on Jackson Street in the Emerald City in the late ’40s, was nominated after his death in 2004 for eight awards and won seven in one night. Over his career he nabbed 17 Grammys.

That’s nothing compared to Charles’ Jackson Street pal Quincy Jones, who has so far racked up 79 nominations — the most in history — and won 27 times.

The record for most Grammy nominations in one night goes to Michael Jackson, who got 12 nominations and won eight in 1984, a record for wins later tied by Santana and Charles.

The most Grammy Awards ever won by anyone over an entire career?

That would be classical conductor Georg Solti. He won 31.

Paul de Barros,

Seattle Times music critic



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