Best-Selling Musicians Who Have Never Won a Grammy

Source: Jeff Schear / Stringer / Getty Images Entertainment

After two years of Covid-related disruptions, the 65th Grammy Awards will be held on Feb. 5 at the Arena in Los Angeles. The awards are the most prestigious in the music industry and recognize achievements of performers, songwriters and composers, production personnel, and others in the recorded music field.

Grammy recognition and commercial success don’t always go hand in hand, though. There are at least 25 musical acts that have sold more than 22 million records but have never won a Grammy. These performers represent various rock ‘n’ roll subgenres as well as rap, country, and pop. Some may well have released some of the 100 best-selling albums of all time.)

To determine the best-selling groups and solo artists who have never won a Grammy, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on album sales from the Recording Industry Association of America and data on Grammy history from The Recording Academy, current as of February 2023. Musical acts that have never received a Grammy were ranked based on certified U.S. album sales as of February 2023. Data on sales by album are also from the RIAA.

Queen, the Beach Boys, the Cars, Jimi Hendrix, and Creedence Clearwater Revival are all members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, yet none of these performers has ever won a Grammy. Grammy voters aren’t necessarily fond, either, of arena rockers such as Foreigner, Journey, and Rush, all of whom have failed to cop a trophy (Rush has been thwarted seven times).

The same lack of distinction holds true for country stars Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, and Garth Brooks. In Keith’s case, he’s been nominated seven times but has come up empty. (These are the best-selling country music albums of all time.)

Boy bands have failed to find favor with Grammy voters as well. NSYNC and Backstreet Boys share the ignominy of the most nominations of any act on our list – eight – without taking home a Grammy.

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