Who Were Some of the First Grammy Award Winners?


Quick Answer

The first annual Grammy Awards, held in 1959, featured only 28 categories, with winners such as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, David Seville and Perry Como. Surprisingly, though nominated in six categories, Sinatra did not win for his music, but instead won for his role as art director for his album "Only the Lonely," which picked up Best Album Cover 1958.

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Full Answer

Composer and arranger Henry Mancini won Album of the Year and Best Arrangement with "The Music from Peter Gunn," while songwriter Domenico Modugno picked up Song of the Year and Best Record of the Year with work from "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)." Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Ross Bagdasarian Sr. also won in dual categories.

Many of these categories remained in place in the years up until 2012, when the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the entity that bestows the awards, drastically restructured the system. The organization pared back the categories, which grew over the years mostly through the addition of new genres, from 108 to a more manageable 78. In 2014, some additions brought the total back up to 82, where it remains, as of 2015. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences also revamped the gramophone trophy in 1990, and the Staples Center in Los Angeles became the ceremony's permanent venue.

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