Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Notorious B.I.G., The Beach Boys, The Who, and Talking Heads have all never won Grammy Awards. But three presidents, two senators, four TV hosts/reporters, and a First Lady have all taken home the golden gramophone.
How? Well, there have long existed trophies for Best Spoken Word and Comedy Albums. Because of those two categories, these 14 American politicians and media personalities have won Grammy Awards while Zep’s trophy shelf remains bare.
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Al Franken was a U.S. Senator, he was a comedian, liberal commentator and talk show host. In 2004, he won Best Spoken Word Album for his the audiobook to Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, his controversial book mocking the "fair and balanced" motto of Fox News. Seven years earlier, he won Best Comedy Album for his the CD version of his book Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations.
In 1989, Rev.
Jesse Jackson won Best Spoken Word Recording for Speech by Rev. Jesse Jackson.
[ Photo via United States Mission Geneva]
Along with fellow comedian Franken,
Jon Stewart has also won two Grammys. In 2005, he and The Daily Show cast won Best Comedy Album for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents ... America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction. In 2011, he and his staff won Best Spoken Word album for Earth (The Audiobook).
One year after his death, long-time CBS broadcaster
Charles Kuralt won Best Spoken Word Album for Charles Kuralt's Spring.
At last year's Grammys, NBC's
Late Night host won Best Comedy Album for Jimmy Fallon Blow Your Pants Off.
[ Photo via AP Photo/Peter Kramer]
Before he was president, then-Sen.
Barack Obama won two Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word. In 2006, he won for the audiobook to Dreams of My Father; in 2008, he won for The Audacity of Hope's audiobook.
Edward R. Murrow
Two years after his death, legendary TV anchor
Edward R. Murrow won a Best Spoken Word Grammy in 1967 for Edward R. Murrow - A Reporter Remembers, Vol. I The War Years.
[ Photo via AP]
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Three years after his assassination,
Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Best Spoken Word Grammy for his recorded speech Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.
In 2009, former Vice President
Al Gore won the Best Spoken Word Grammy for the audiobook to his book An Inconvenient Truth. The recording was narrated by actors Beau Bridges, Cynthia Nixon, and Blair Underwood.
Bill Clinton won two Grammys following his exit from the White House. In 2004, he shared a Best Spoken Word Album for Children victory with (oddly enough) former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, for their recorded version of Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks. And then in 2005, Clinton won Best Spoken Word for his My Life audiobook.
Before her husband ever won a Grammy,
Hillary Clinton took home the Best Spoken Word trophy in 1997 for the audiobook to her book It Takes a Village. She is the only sitting First Lady to have won a Grammy.
While a sitting senator in 1968,
Everett Dirksen (R-IL) won the Best Spoken Word Grammy for his LP Gallant Men. At the time, he was the oldest person to reach the Hot 100's top 40 with the album's eponymous single.
Former President Jimmy Carter won the Best Spoken Word Grammy in 2007 for the audiobook to
Our Endangered Values.
Stephen Colbert is the favorite to win this year's Best Spoken Word Album, but he won Best Comedy Album in 2010 for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!.
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