20 artists who have shockingly never won a Grammy but should have

Rich Fury/Stringer/Getty ImagesKaty Perry has racked up 13 Grammy nominations — and still hasn’t won one.
  • Some musicians have been nominated many times but still haven’t won a Grammy award.
  • Katy Perry has over a dozen nominations but no award.
  • Nicki Minaj has 10 nominations but no wins.

Over the last several decades, awards shows such as the American Music Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, and most notably, the Grammys, have recognised the most talented musicians of the time. It is often assumed that all of the legendary hit-makers have taken home a statuette or two. But there are actually quite a few iconic artists who seem to narrowly lose out year after year.

Here are 20 talented artists who, surprisingly, have never been awarded a Grammy.


Brian McKnight has 17 nominations but no win.

Jonathan Leibson/Stringer/Getty ImagesBrian McKnight has been nominated 17 times.

Nominated 17 times since 1993, singer-songwriter Brian McKnight has yet to win his first Grammy according to Grammy.com, the official website for the Recording Academy. He lost his last nomination for best male R&B vocal performance to Prince in 2004.


Snoop Dogg also has 16 nominations but no win.

At 16 nominations, the rapper is only one behind singer Brian McKnight, but the two have even more in common. Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Dogg, also received his first nod in 1993 and, like McKnight, is still awaiting his first Grammy win.


Björk has been nominated 15 times.

The Icelandic singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, and DJ has been nominated 15 times since 1993, but Björk hasn’t yet brought home a Grammy. Her most recent nomination in 2018 was for best alternative music album.


Martina McBride has racked up 14 nominations.

John Shearer/Country Rising/Getty ImagesCountry legend Martina McBride is still waiting for her Grammy.

She’s racked up 14 nominations since 1994, but talented country singer Martina McBride has been beaten out each time. She lost her latest nomination in 2011 to Taylor Swift.


Dierks Bentley has racked up 14 nominations.

Michael Loccisano/Getty ImagesDierks Bentley has been nominated in the country category many times.

His first nominations were in 2006 for the hit “Every Mile A Memory.” But even after 14 nominations country singer Dierks Bentley hasn’t won a Grammy.


Katy Perry has 13 nominations but no wins.

Rich Fury/Stringer/Getty ImagesMaybe ‘The One That Got Away’ is about her missing Grammy?

She’s been nominated 13 times over the last 10 years, but current “American Idol” judgeKaty Perry still doesn’t have a Grammy award to adorn her mantle. Perry has lost three times to Adele, in 2009, 2012 and 2013.


Nas has been nominated for a Grammy award 13 times.

Gabe Ginsberg/Stringer/Getty ImagesThe rap legend has lost to Drake and Kanye West.

With 13 nominations since 1996, rapper Nas is still sans Grammy. He had his four latest nominations in 2012, but was beat out by Jay-Z, Kanye, and Drake.


Diana Ross has won a lifetime achievement award, but no Grammys.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesDiana Ross received a lifetime achievement award in 2012.

Believe it or not, the legendary Diana Ross has never won a Grammy. Her first of 12 nominations was in 1964 for “Baby Love,” and she was nominated nearly every year from 1970 to 1982 without a win. That being said, the Recording Academy recognised the songstress with a lifetime achievement award in 2012.


Busta Rhymes has been nominated 12 times over the years.

Bryan Bedder/Stringer/Getty ImagesBusta Rhymes is another rapper who’s lost to Kanye West.

Nominated 12 times since 1996, Trevor Smith, Jr. aka Busta Rhymes hasn’t yet won his first Grammy. His last two nominations were for best rap performance and best rap song in 2011. He lost to KanyeWest in both categories.


Nicki Minaj has 10 nominations but no wins.

Robin Marchant/Getty ImagesThe rapper is still feeling herself after 10 nominations.

From 2010 to 2015,Nicki Minaj was nominated for 10 Grammys. The rapper lost best new artist to Bon Iver in 2011, and to Kendrick Lamar in all three of her nominated categories in 2015.


Sia has nine nominations but hasn’t scored a win.

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty ImagesSia has yet to see a Grammy on her mantle.

Sia’s had nine nominations since 2012, but the singer-songwriter, record producer and music video director has yet to win a Grammy. She lost her 2017 nomination for best song written for visual media in to Lin-Manuel Miranda.


Blake Shelton has been nominated seven times.

Stephen Lovekin/Stringer/Getty ImagesAt least he won the title of People’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive.’

The country singer and judge on “The Voice” has been nominated seven times since 2010, but Blake Shelton has no Grammy wins. He most recently lost in 2015 to Little Big Town.


Tupac has had six nominations including one after his death.

Columbia PicturesThe iconic rapper received a nomination after his tragic death.

With six nominations, including one after his death, Tupac Shakur never won a Grammy. He lost his first nominations in 1995 to Coolio and Naughty by Nature, and lost his posthumous nomination to Eminem.


Queen’s had four nominations but no wins.

Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty ImagesLead singer Freddie Mercury performing in 1982.

It’s hard to believe that the band Queen received only four Grammy nominations and never had a win throughout their run. Even though their last nomination was in 1980, artists like Panic! At the Disco are keeping their iconic music alive by recording covers and introducing Queen’s music to younger generations around the world.


The Beach Boys have received a lifetime achievement award but no Grammy.

Getty/Larry BusaccaThe Beach Boys backstage at the Grammy Awards in 2012.

Another legendary band with only four nominations and zero Grammy wins are the Beach Boys. They received three nominations in 1966 for their hit “Good Vibrations” and their last nod came in 1988 for “Kokomo.” Although they haven’t received a Grammy, The Beach Boys received a lifetime achievement award by the Recording Academy in 2001.


Morrissey has one Grammy award nomination but hasn’t won yet.

Ian Gavan/Stringer/Getty ImagesDespite his lengthy discography, the Smiths frontman has only been nominated once.

It’s hard to believe that the former Smiths frontman who’s released 11 studio albums, two live albums, 11 compilation albums, and one extended play (EP) has only been nominated for one Grammy. Morrissey lost out in his 1992 best alternative music album nomination to Tom Waits.


Sammy Davis, Jr. has a lifetime achievement award but no Grammy.

J. Wilds/Stringer/Getty ImagesSammy Davis, Jr. never received a Grammy nomination during his career.

Famous for his Las Vegas shows and for being a part of the infamous Rat Pack, Sammy Davis, Jr. received three nominations but had no Grammy wins during his lifetime. He passed away in 1990 but finally earned a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 2001.


Dean Martin has a lifetime achievement award but no Grammy.

Keystone/Stringer/Getty ImagesThe singer eventually was given a lifetime achievement award in 2009.

Dean Martin, another Rat Pack crooner only received one Grammy nomination in his lifetime. He was nominated for his album “Everybody Loves Somebody” in 1964, but lost to Louis Armstrong. Although Martin passed away in 1995, he was given a lifetime achievement award by the Recording Academy in 2009.


Run-D.M.C. scored a lifetime achievement award but the group never won a Grammy.

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesThe trio lost to Prince in 1986.

It’s inconceivable that iconic hip-hop artists Run-D.M.C. have been nominated for just one Grammy. In 1986 they lost out to Prince for best R&B Performance by a duo or group – the hip-hop category wasn’t added until 1989. They finally received a lifetime achievement award by the Recording Academy in 2016.


Jimi Hendrix doesn’t have a Grammy, but he does have the prestigious lifetime achievement award.

Evening Standard/Getty ImagesRock guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix tragically died the same year he was nominated.

His only nomination was in 1970 for his rendition of “Star Spangled Banner,” but sadly Jimi Hendrix died that same year without winning a Grammy. In 1992, the Recording Academy posthumously gave Hendrix a lifetime achievement award.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.