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Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album

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Subject: Bon Iver, In Rainbows, Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, Cage the Elephant, 44th Annual Grammy Awards
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Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album

Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album
A gold gramophone trophy with a plaque set on a table
Gilded gramophone trophy presented to Grammy Award winners
Awarded for quality albums in the alternative music genre
Country United States
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded 1991
Last awarded 2014
Official website

The Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums in the alternative rock genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.[1] Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".[2]

While the definition of "alternative" has been debated,[3] the award was first presented in 1991 to recognize non-mainstream rock albums "heavily played on college radio stations".[4][5] According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, the award is presented to "vocal or instrumental alternative music albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded music", defining "alternative" as a "non-traditional" genre that exists "outside of the mainstream music consciousness".[6] In 1991, and from 1994 to 1999, the award was known as Best Alternative Music Performance.[3] Beginning in 2001, award recipients included the producers, engineers, and/or mixers associated with the nominated work in addition to the recording artists.[7]

As of 2012, Radiohead and The White Stripes share the record for the most wins in this category, having won three times each. Sinéad O'Connor is the only female solo artist to have won the award. With seven nominations to date, Radiohead holds the record for the most nominations in this category; Radiohead singer Thom Yorke was also nominated for the 2007 award for his solo album. Beck and Björk hold the record for the most nominations for a solo artist, with six nominations each. Björk has never received the award yet, holding also the record for the most nominations without a win. Beck and Coldplay have each received the award twice, the latter being the only group to win two years consecutively. American artists have been presented with the award more than any other nationality, though it has been presented to musicians or groups from the United Kingdom five times, from Ireland twice, and from France once.


Black and white image of a man wearing a white dress shirt, a dark vest and jeans holding a guitar and standing behind a microphone stand. His eyes are closed, and the background is completely black except for a single light that shines from behind.
Thom Yorke of the three-time award-winning band Radiohead

Black and white image of three men holding microphones on a stage. In the background is a drum set, several onlookers, and stage lights shining down from above.
1999 award winner, Beastie Boys

A man wearing a blue T-shirt and dark blue jacket holding a guitar and standing behind a microphone stand.
Chris Martin of the two-time award-winning band Coldplay

On the left, a man in red pants and a black T-shirt with black hair down to his chin holding a red guitar. On the right, a woman wearing a white shirt with black polka dots standing behind a red microphone stand.
Jack White and Meg White of the three-time award-winning band The White Stripes

In the forefront, a man wearing jeans and a jacket with a guitar strapped around him, holding onto a microphone on a stand. In the background, a man in a dress shirt holding a white guitar.
2005 award winner, Wilco

Four men sitting on an orange sofa, two holding guitars and one behind keyboards that are set on the left arm of the sofa.
2010 award winner, Phoenix

Year Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
1991 O'Connor, SinéadSinéad O'Connor I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got [5]
1992 R.E.M. Out of Time [8]
1993 Waits, TomTom Waits Bone Machine [9]
1994 U2 Zooropa [10]
1995 Green Day Dookie [11]
1996 Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York [12]
1997 Beck Odelay [13]
1998 Radiohead OK Computer [14]
1999 Beastie Boys Hello Nasty [15]
2000 Beck Mutations [16]
2001 Radiohead Kid A [17]
2002 Coldplay Parachutes [18]
2003 Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the Head [19]
2004 The White Stripes Elephant [20]
2005 Wilco A Ghost Is Born [21]
2006 The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan [22]
2007 Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere [23]
2008 The White Stripes Icky Thump [24]
2009 Radiohead In Rainbows [25]
2010 Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix [26]
2011 The Black Keys Brothers [27]
2012 Bon Iver Bon Iver, Bon Iver [28]
2013 Gotye Making Mirrors [29]
2014 Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City [30]
2015 TBA TBA [31]

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.

See also


  1. ^ "Grammy Awards at a Glance".  
  2. ^ "Overview".  
  3. ^ a b Popkin, Helen A.S. (January 23, 2006). "Alternative to what?".  
  4. ^ "Grammys return to New York".  
  5. ^ a b  
  6. ^ "52nd OEP Category Description Guide" ( 
  7. ^ "Grammy Award Winners". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 29, 2010.  Note: User must select the "Alternative" category as the genre under the search feature.
  8. ^ Pareles, Jon (January 9, 1992). "Grammy Short List: Many For a Few". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  9. ^ DeYoung, Bill (February 23, 1993). "One critic handicaps tonight's Grammys".  
  10. ^ Campbell, Mary (January 7, 1994). "Sting, Joel top Grammy nominations".  
  11. ^ "Grammys: Award nominations don't reflect innovative year".  
  12. ^ "List of Grammy nominees".  
  13. ^ "Grammy nominees". Today's News-Herald ( 
  14. ^ "No Spice, Plenty Of Age In Grammy Announcement".  
  15. ^ "1999 Grammy Nominees".  
  16. ^ "42nd Annual Grammy Awards nominations". CNN. January 4, 2000. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  17. ^ Hiatt, Brian; vanHorn, Teri (January 3, 2001). "Dr. Dre, Beyoncé Lead Grammy Nominees". MTV. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  18. ^ Basham, David (January 24, 2002). "Got Charts? Creed, Eminem, No Doubt, 'NSYNC Have Something In Common". MTV. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Grammy Nominees Announced".  
  20. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (January 12, 2004). "White Stripes To Perform At Grammy Awards". MTV. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Grammy Award nominees in top categories".  
  22. ^ "The Complete List of Grammy Nominations". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). December 8, 2005. p. 1. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  23. ^ "49th Annual Grammy Awards Winners List". Grammy Awards. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  24. ^ Leeds, Jeff (December 7, 2007). "Kanye West and Amy Winehouse lead Grammy nominees".  
  25. ^ Stout, Gene (February 6, 2009). "Grammys Awards: Who will perform, who will win, who should win".  
  26. ^ "Grammy nominations 2010 announced – Beyonce, Lady Gaga, MGMT shortlisted". NME. IPC Media. December 3, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  27. ^ "53rd Annual Grammy Awards nominees list". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "The 55th Grammy Awards Nominees List". 
  30. ^ 2014 Nominees
  31. ^ "57th Grammy Nominees".  

External links

  • Official site of the Grammy Awards
  • 53rd Annual Grammy Awards Pre-Telecast – Best Alternative Music Album

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