Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to identify ABBA as a Swedish pop group and clarify that Dennis Wilson passed away in 1983.
(NEXSTAR) – As the Recording Academy prepares to honor a new roster of artists with its annual Grammy Awards, you may be surprised just how many of music’s biggest acts have yet to win the coveted gold gramophone (where “Grammy” gets its name).
Here are eight music juggernauts who have yet to win take home the trophy.
Mamma mia, mamma mia! The legendary rock group has four nominations in its cap but zero wins. Two of the British band’s most famous hits, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” lost in their categories, but it’s unlikely the remaining band members (frontman Freddie Mercury died in 1991) are too pressed about the losses.
To date, Queen remains one of music’s most influential bands, with Mercury’s biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” winning four Academy Awards in 2019, including a Best Actor win for actor Rami Malek, who played Mercury. Queen is also the 36th best-selling music artist of all-time based on Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) data.
Mamma mia, here we go again! The iconic Swedish pop maestros have only ever been nominated once — and it’s for this year’s Grammys. The group of exes will face off in the Record of the Year category with their return single “I Still Have Faith in You.”
ABBA’s catalogue of earworm classics like “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “Fernando” were introduced to a new generation of audiences with 1999’s hugely successful jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!,” which was adapted for the 2008 movie of the same name. There was also a non-adaptation sequel to the film in 2018.
Under his real name, Calvin Broadus, the “Doggfather of Rap,” has racked up 16 nominations in his decades-spanning career. While many of his nominations are composed of songs/albums he’s featured on, some of his most iconic tracks, like “Gin and Juice,” “Nothin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” have all nabbed nods. Despite never winning a Grammy, the California native is considered a rap icon, particularly of West Coast hip-hop.
Perry’s beloved 2010 “Teenage Dream” album ruled the Billboard charts for a sold two years, but the album (nominated for Album of the Year) and its hit singles (“California Gurls,” “Firework,” “Wide Awake” and the title track) couldn’t snag the gold. “Teenage Dream” isn’t hurting for accolades, however. It was named among many end-of-year and end-of-decade “best” lists and resulted in Perry tying Michael Jackson for number of Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits.
A 2021 retrospective in Pitchfork called the album Perry’s “crowning achievement.”
“Don’t Stop Believin’” it: The 27th best-selling band of all-time in the U.S. (per the RIAA) has never taken home a trophy — and has only been nominated once, according to the Grammys. That’s despite having several Billboard Top 10 singles, many which remain popular to this day, including “Open Arms” and “Faithfully.” Meanwhile, the band’s “Don’t Stop Believin” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a work of “qualitative or historical significance.” It has remained a popular choice for films, TV shows and cover songs, most notably the hit cover by the cast of “Glee” in 2009.
Nicki Minaj’s 2010 debut “Pink Friday” and 2014’s “The Pinkprint” both got nods in the Best Rap Album category, and she’s received a slew of noms for Best Rap Performance. But all 10 nominations haven’t resulted in any wins for the self-professed (though also called so by others) Queen of Rap. Despite never taking home an award, Minaj is widely considered by critics among the greatest female rappers of all-time — if not the greatest female rapper.
Stop in the name of love: This soul/pop legend has 12 nominations to her name but still no trophies. Her first nomination dates back all the way to the 7th Annual Grammys in 1965, where she was nominated as part of The Supremes. Some of her most celebrated solo tracks, “Endless Love” and “Upside Down,” have also earned nods.
But a Grammy-free career hasn’t stopped her from a ground-breaking career: She’s remained a frequently named inspiration for younger artists and her music is often sampled or covered by them. For instance, Ross’ work has been covered by Amy Winehouse and Janet Jackson, and sampled in Notorious B.I.G.’s iconic 1997 single “Mo Money, Mo Problems.” Most recently, her hit “It’s My House” was sampled by Lady Gaga for “Replay.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee released her 25th studio album, called “Thank You,” last year.
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys were picking up good vibrations for their hits “Good Vibrations” and “Kokomo,” but the nominations didn’t pick up any Grammys. But don’t worry (baby) about these musicians — they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and the Grammy Hall of Fame inducted the band for their landmark 1966 album “Pet Sounds.”
While co-founder Dennis Wilson died in 1983, The Beach Boys’ legacy reverberates until this day. A 2017 data analysis of 53,630 artists using AllMusic biographical data found 422 cited the “God Only Knows” artists as influential on their sound — making them the sixth most influential musicians of all time, according to AllMusic.
The 64th Annual Grammy Awards will be held April 3. Singer/songwriter Jon Batiste leads the pack of nominees with 11 total chances to take home a gramophone. Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and H.E.R. follow with eight nominations each.
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