Songs that Won Grammy Award for “Record of the Year”

The Grammy Award for Record of the Year is one of the most acclaimed awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States. It is presented to performing artist(s) and music production teams on an annual basis. The first ever Grammy Awards ceremony took place in 1959.

The Record of the Year award is given only to recognize and honor the technical expertise and aptitude shown by these people in the creation of their songs. The award has no relation with sales or chart positions songs have gained.

Songs that can win this award should be a commercially released single or track of new vocal and instrumental recordings that gained great recognition worldwide in an eligible year.

Songs from a previous year’s album are also eligible for the award, provided the track was not entered the previous year and provided the album did not win a Grammy Award for the artist(s), engineer(s), and entire production team. Associate producers and executive producers are not eligible for the award when a song from a previous year wins. 

How the Winner for the Record of the Year is Chosen

Members of the Recording Academy nominate their own choices of songs to be put in the category of Grammy Record of the Year.

The list of songs chosen is sorted and twenty songs are selected as the top twenty songs of the year. These twenty songs are given to the Nominations Review Committee (anonymous members of the Recording academy), who then through a special ballot, select eight songs that officially gain a nomination in the category. The other members then vote for the winner from the eight songs and the song with the majority votes wins the award.

The First Song to Win the Grammy for “Record of the Year”

Many musical legends have been nominated and won this award over the years. Domenico Modugno, was the first to receive this award as a songwriter, for his song, “Nel blu, dipinto di blu (Volare)”, in 1959.

Interesting Facts

Popular prolific American drummer Hal Blaine holds the record for most consecutive Records of the Year appearances for a person. He was part of production teams of winners for six consecutive years, from 1966 to 1971.

Legendary mastering engineer, Tom Coyne has won the award the most in history, as a mastering engineer. He has won it consecutively four times.

British-American music legend, Mark Ronson, is the only person to win the award both as the main credit artist and as a record producer.

Astrud Gilberto, singer, and songwriter of the hit song, “The Girl from Ipanema“, in 1965 was the first woman to win this award.

Frank Sinatra and Beyonce hold the record for most-nominated male and female artist respectively. They both have seven nominations each. Famous English rock band, The Beatles have the most nominations for the award as a group, with four nominations.

Artist, producers, recording, mastering, and mixing engineers have received the honor in this manner since its inception:

  • 1959–1965: Artist only
  • 1966–1998: Artist and producer
  • 1999–2012: Artist, producer, recording engineer, and mixing engineer
  • 2013–present: Artist, producer, recording engineer, mixing engineer and mastering engineer

The Grammy award for record of the year remains one of the most honorable awards desired and respected by all musicians, record labels and production teams around the world.

All the Winners of the “Record of the Year” Award at the Grammys

Below is a list of every single song that has won this prestigious award, starting from 1959 all the way to 2021:

Domenico Modugno’s “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” (1959)

"Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)"
“Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” from “La Strada Dei Successi”

Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife” (1960)

"Mack the Knife"
“Mack the Knife” from “That’s All”

Percy Faith’s “Theme from A Summer Place” (1961)

"Theme from A Summer Place"
“Theme from A Summer Place” from “A Summer Place”

Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” (1962)

"Moon River"
“Moon River” from “Ultimate Mancini”

Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” (1963)

"I Left My Heart in San Francisco"
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco”

Henry Mancini’s “Days of Wine and Roses” (1964)

"Days of Wine and Roses"
“Days of Wine and Roses” from “Ultimate Mancini”

Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto’s “The Girl from Ipanema” (1965)

"The Girl from Ipanema"
“The Girl from Ipanema” from “Getz/Gilberto”

Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass’ “A Taste of Honey” (1966)

"A Taste of Honey"
“A Taste of Honey” from “Whipped Cream & Other Delights”

Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” (1967)

"Strangers in the Night"
“Strangers in the Night” from “Strangers in the Night”

The 5th Dimension’s “Up, Up and Away” (1968)

"Up, Up, and Away"
“Up, Up and Away” from “Up, Up and Away”

Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” (1969)

"Mrs. Robinson"
“Mrs. Robinson” from “The Graduate”

The 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (1970)

"Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"
“Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” from “The Age of Aquarius”

Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water” (1971)

"Bridge over Troubled Water"
“Bridge over Troubled Water” from “Bridge over Troubled Water”

Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” (1972)

"It's Too Late"
“It’s Too Late” from “Tapestry”

Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (1973)

"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” from “First Take”

Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” (1974)

"Killing Me Softly with His Song"
“Killing Me Softly with His Song” from “Killing Me Softly”

Olivia Newton-John’s “I Honestly Love You” (1975)

"I Honestly Love You"
“I Honestly Love You” from “If You Love Me, Let Me Know”

Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” (1976)

"Love Will Keep Us Together"
“Love Will Keep Us Together” from “Love Will Keep Us Together”

George Benson’s “This Masquerade” (1977)

"This Masquerade"
“This Masquerade” from “Breezin'”

Eagles’ “Hotel California” (1978)

"Hotel California"
“Hotel California” from “Hotel California”

Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” (1979)

"Just the Way You Are"
“Just the Way You Are” from “The Stranger”

The Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes” (1980)

"What a Fool Believes"
“What a Fool Believes” from “Minute by Minute”

Christopher Cross’ “Sailing” (1981)

"Sailing"
“Sailing” from “Christopher Cross”

Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes” (1982)

"Bette Davis Eyes"
“Bette Davis Eyes” from “Mistaken Identity”

Toto’s “Rosanna” (1983)

"Rosanna"
“Rosanna” from “Toto IV”

Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” (1984)

"Beat It"
“Beat It” from “Thriller”

Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It” (1985)

"What's Love Got to Do with It"
“What’s Love Got to Do with It” from “Private Dancer”

USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” (1986)

"We Are the World"
“We Are the World” from “We Are the World”

Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” (1987)

"Higher Love"
“Higher Love” from “Back in the High Life”

Paul Simon’s “Graceland” (1988)

"Graceland"
“Graceland” from “Graceland”

Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (1989)

"Don't Worry, Be Happy"
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” from “Simple Pleasures”

Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” (1990)

"Wind Beneath My Wings"
“Wind Beneath My Wings” from “Beaches (Original Soundtrack Recording)”

Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise” (1991)

"Another Day in Paradise"
“Another Day in Paradise” from “…But Seriously”

Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” (1992)

"Unforgettable"
“Unforgettable” from “Unforgettable…With Love”

Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” (1993)

"Tears in Heaven"
“Tears in Heaven” from “Rush: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack”

Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” (1994)

"I Will Always Love You"
“I Will Always Love You” from “The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album”

Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do” (1995)

"All I Wanna Do"
“All I Wanna Do” from “Tuesday Night Music Club”

Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” (1996)

"Kiss from a Rose"
“Kiss from a Rose” from “Seal II”

Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” (1997)

"Change the World"
“Change the World” from “Phenomenon”

Shawn Colvin’s “Sunny Came Home” (1998)

"Sunny Came Home"
“Sunny Came Home” from “A Few Small Repairs”

Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” (1999)

"My Heart Will Go On"
“My Heart Will Go On” from “Let’s Talk About Love”

Santana and Rob Thomas’ “Smooth” (2000)

“Smooth”
“Smooth” from “Supernatural”

U2’s “Beautiful Day” (2001)

"Beautiful Day"
“Beautiful Day” from “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”

U2’s “Walk On” (2002)

"Walk On"
“Walk On” from “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”

Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” (2003)

"Don't Know Why"
“Don’t Know Why” from “Come Away With Me”

Coldplay’s “Clocks” (2004)

"Clocks"
“Clocks” from “A Rush of Blood to the Head”

Ray Charles and Norah Jones’s “Here We Go Again” (2005)

"Here We Go Again"
“Here We Go Again” from “Genius Loves Company”

Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (2006)

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” from “American Idiot”

Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice” (2007)

"Not Ready to Make Nice"
“Not Ready to Make Nice” from “Taking the Long Way”

Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” (2008)

"Rehab"
“Rehab” from “Back to Black”

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ “Please Read the Letter” (2009)

"Please Read the Letter"
“Please Read the Letter” from “Raising Sand”

Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” (2010)

"Use Somebody"
“Use Somebody” from “Only by the Night”

Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” (2011)

"Need You Now"
“Need You Now” from “Need You Now”

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” (2012)

"Rolling in the Deep"
“Rolling in the Deep” from “21”

Gotye and Kimbra’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (2013)

"Somebody That I Used to Know"
“Somebody That I Used to Know” from “Making Mirrors”

Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, and Nile Rodgers’ “Get Lucky” (2014)

"Get Lucky"
“Get Lucky” from “Random Access Memories”

Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me (Darkchild Version)” (2015)

"Stay with Me (Darkchild Version)"

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” (2016)

"Uptown Funk"
“Uptown Funk” from “Uptown Special”

Adele’s “Hello” (2017)

"Hello"
“Hello” from “25”

Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” (2018)

"24K Magic"
“24K Magic” from “24K Magic”

Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” (2019)

"This Is America"

Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” (2020)

"Bad Guy"
“Bad Guy” from “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted” (2021)

"Everything I Wanted"

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