40 Famous And Successful Artists Who Have Never Won A Grammy Award

By Ekhama O

Music is everpresent in our society today.

We now not just listen to it to dance and unwind but also jam to some hits while carrying out our daily activities. It’s in our workplace; it’s on the streets; it’s everywhere! Music makes us feel all forms of emotions, and we have one set of people to thank for all that: musicians. They’re the geniuses and talented individuals behind those great tracks.

But our thanks should transcend words; they should also come in the form of a thumbs up by presenting them with awards, one of which includes the prestigious Grammy. Each year, some of our best artists get nominated and are awarded the trophy.

However, some of our favs have yet to take home the gold award, despite their tremendous contributions to the mainstream music of today. This raises the question: do awards even mean anything anymore, and do you need awards to be considered successful?

Here are 40 popular musicians who’ve never won a Grammy.

Miley Cyrus

Many celebrities venture into other entertainment industries but hardly make it big there; Miley is one of the few exceptions to this rule. She started off as an actress in the renowned Disney television series Hannah Montana and later established herself as an acclaimed singer under her real name.

Source: mileycyrus / ig

Miley has set records on numerous charts, and her albums continue to produce chart-topping tracks, but she’s yet to win a Grammy award despite having been nominated several times. She continues to make pop and rock music, further enriching her status as a top-tier entertainer.


We’re not one to pick favorites, but when it comes to the pop and electrical music scene, we’ve got to say that Sia’s by far one of the best artists, and this is an opinion shared by many. She’s a terrific singer and songwriter whose career has spanned decades.

Source: Scott Murry – Flickr / Wiki Commons / CC BY 2.0

Sia has released many chart-topping hits that have earned her quite a number of accolades and awards, including nine Grammy nominations. She’s collaborated with many widely known musicians over the years, like Rihanna, and is an advocate for animal rights.

Snoop Dogg

Anyone who’s got even the slightest knowledge about rap knows Snoop Dogg is one of the biggest names in the game. Starting from the early 90s, his career has spanned decades, with the rap legend having 19 studio albums to his name.

Source: snoopdogg / ig

With such an illustrious career, it’s no surprise that Snoop has been the recipient of a variety of awards and nominated for several as well, and that includes the Grammys. He’s got 17 nominations so far and is one of the most-nominated celebrities without a win.

Katy Perry

Named the Queen of Camp by Vogue, Katy Perry is by far one of the most influential pop artists of the modern era. Five songs out from her 2010 album, Teenage Dream, were number-one singles in the US, making it the first and only album by a female musician to do so.

Source: katyperry / ig

The pop legend is now one of the best-selling musicians of all time and has earned herself a number of awards, none of which include a Grammy, despite her 13 nominations. Nonetheless, her name is still etched on the walls of time as one of the greatest pop musicians.

Tupac Shakur

Despite his short-lived career, Tupac is widely considered one of the best rappers of all time and by far one of the biggest influencers of the genre, having sold tens of millions of records worldwide. He was even rated as one of the most remarkable artists of all time.

Source: IMDb / wiki commons / fair use

Tupac’s posthumous album is one of the nine hip-hop albums to have ever been certified diamond in the United State. The rapper got six Grammy Awards nominations in total but never won one. He was an inductee to the hall of fame in the early 2000s.

Björk Guðmundsdóttir

When it comes to longevity, Björk takes the cake. It requires a certain level of skill to stay relevant for as long as she has and to also garner the number of awards and Grammy nominations this Icelandic singer and songwriter has.

Source: deep_schismic – big day out 28/1/2008. björk 1 / wiki commons / CC BY 2.0

Björk has received a medal of honor from her home country and five BRIT awards but no Grammys, despite her 15 nominations to date. She has also been dubbed one of the most influential folks in the planet and one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time.

Nicki Minaj

Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty isn’t just regarded as one of the best female rappers of the current era but as one of the most influential rappers of all time. She is one of the world’s best-selling female artists, has been amongst the 100 most influential people in the world, and has numerous accolades under her belt.

Source: nickiminaj / ig

Nicknamed the “Queen of Rap,” Nicki has been the recipient of several MTV awards, holds several Guinness World Records, and has been the nominee for ten Grammy awards but is yet to score a win and take home a golden statuette. 

Notorious BIG

The late 20th century saw the birth of quite a number of hip-hop pioneers and trailblazers, one of them being the Notorious BIG, aka Biggie Smalls. Biggie is regarded by many as arguably the best rapper that has ever walked the earth.

Source: MTV Photo Gallery / wiki commons / view license

His debut album was really what catapulted Biggie to fame before he went on to sell millions of records worldwide. Regardless of his contributions to the genre, countless released hits, and his success as a rapper, Biggie Smalls never took home a Grammy statuette.


In the world of rock music, there are a couple of names that reign supreme and one of them has got to be the British band Queen. Formed in 1970, the four members would go on to make songs that would sell hundreds of millions of hits worldwide.

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Today, Queen is regarded as a major cultural influence in the world of pop music and pop culture. They’ve won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award but haven’t taken home the competitive gold, only being nominated four times despite being the icons they were.


This record producer, songwriter, and rapper is widely deemed as one of the most distinguished rappers of all time, with his debut album being welcomed positively by the masses and even being regarded as one of the best albums of all time in this genre.

Source: Mikamote – Own work / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Despite all the above accolades, Nas was nominated a staggering thirteen times before he received his first Grammy Award win in 2020, nearly thirty years from the commencement of his career on the night of the 55th Annual Grammy awards.

Martina McBride

We might not know a lot about the country and country pop music scene, but what we do know is that Martina is a queen around those parts. The Kansas-born country star has an impressive fourteen studio albums to her name and a number of accolades under her belt.

Source: martinamcbride / ig

Since she kicked off her career in the early 90s, Martina has been trailblazing the country music scene, and that’s why it baffles us so much that she’s never won a Grammy. Martina is now a fourteen-time nominee but is yet to receive the gold.


2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Journey had already gotten a reputation for being one of America’s most loved rock bands just a mere five years after their formation. If that’s not legendary, we honestly don’t know what is.

Source: Matt Becker – Transferred from en.wikipedia / wiki commons / CC BY 3.0

Despite their success as a band, Journey has only been nominated once for a Grammy, and that came more than two decades and a half after their formation. Nonetheless, Journey has cemented their status as rock legends with many hit songs and tons of gold and platinum-certified albums.

Diana Ross

A former Supremes member and actress, Diana Ross is a renowned American singer and songwriter. Diana has won a Golden Globe and has been nominated for an Academy Award, both of which have earned her more acclaim as a multi-talented performer.

Source: Raph_PH – DRossLongleat010722 / wiki commons / CC BY2.0

The legend has released 25 studio albums throughout her more than half a century-long career and was even named the female entertainer of the century by Billboard back in the late 70s. In 2012, she got the Lifetime Achievement award, but not a competitive award.

Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes is an American singer, songwriter, and actor known for his eccentric style and unique rhyming skills and technique, which has earned him a total of twelve Grammy nominations over the span of his successful four-decade-plus career. 

Source: bustarhymes / ig

Beginning in the late 80s, Busta Rhymes was initially a member of an east coast hip-hop group named the Leaders of the New School. Their split nearly a decade later was the beginning of Busta Rhyme’s incredibly illustrious solo career as a rapper.

Brian McKnight

Brian is a multitalented American performer as he’s not only a singer and songwriter but also an actor and multi-instrumentalist. He began his illustrious career at the age of 19 when he signed a record deal, and many of his tracks have been entries on the Billboard chart.

Source: BrianmcKnight23 / ig

Brian’s brilliant work as a singer-songwriter might have earned him many spots on the charts and nominations for several Grammy Awards time and time again, but he’s still yet to hold the gold. With 16 nominations, he’s now third in place for the most nominations for the award without a win.

Depeche Mode

The English band Depeche Mode is regarded as one of the top bands that shaped electronic music and changed the world. The group has been selling out concerts and topping charts since the eighties and is still doing so to the day.

Source: Nir Nussbaum – Self-photographed / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 2.5

Depeche Mode was nominated twice before they finally got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the year 2020. Now, as only two members, they continue their reign as one of the greatest artists of all time despite never winning a grammy.

Curtis Mayfield

Although Curtis started off as a member of a widely known rock and roll band, he would go on to become a successful solo artist and a double Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, pioneering soul music whilst being an activist.

Source: AVRO – Beeld en Geluidwiki – Gallery: Curtis Mayfield (programma)/ wiki commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

He’s won the non-competitive Grammy Legend Award as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award in two consecutive years, but Curtis never received a competitive Grammy throughout his four-decade-plus career span despite his contributions and all his hit records.

The Who

This English rock band is not just one of the most influential of the genre and the 20th century, but they also happen to be one of the best-selling acts in the history of music, with estimated sales of around a hundred million records worldwide.

Source: KRLA Beat/Beat Publications, Inc. – KRLA Beat page 21 / wiki commons/ public domain

They’ve had an on-and-off career as a group, but that doesn’t take away from their contributions to rock music and the fact that these are certified legends in the industry who, like the rest of the artists on this list, have never won a grammy.

Blake Shelton

Television personality and American country star Blake Shelton is one of the most successful artists in the game. Since his rise to stardom in 2001, the nine-time Grammy nominee has been releasing hit after hit, earning himself a name in the country music sphere.

Source: DoD News -https://www.flickr.com/photos/dodnewsfeatures/35624158676/ / wiki commons /CC BY 2.0

Blake currently holds the record for the most consecutive number-one singles on a renowned country music chart and has been the judge of the popular televised singing competition The Voice. It seems like he’s doing pretty well for himself without the Grammy.

Dierks Bentley

Dierks kicked off his illustrious career as a country singer and songwriter in the early 2000s. His debut studio album, alongside his second, is certified platinum in the United States, while his third had two number-one hits on the chart and is certified gold.

Source: dierksbentley / ig

A staggering eighteen out of twenty-seven of his singles from all his studio albums that have made it to the country airplay and hot country songs charts have reached number one, and he’s been nominated fourteen times for a Grammy Award but has never won once.


There are some names in the music industry that can only be described as legendary, and ABBA is one of them. This Swedish Europop supergroup is by far one of the best-selling bands in the history of popular music, releasing hits that topped the charts for the better half of the late 20th century.

Despite their hundreds of millions of records that have been sold all around the world and countless hits, this successful band has never been awarded a Grammy. Their most recent nomination was in 2021 for the record of the year category, but they didn’t win either.

The Doors

This rock band, formed in the late 60s in America, is by far one of the most successful bands of their era, having sold millions of records just a couple of years after their formation. The Doors today are one of the best-selling groups in history.

Source: Electra Records – eBay front back / wiki commons / public domain

They’re also considered one of the most controversial acts of their time, and for good reason: one of their members became the first-ever rock artist to get arrested on stage during an ongoing performance. The Doors are also Hall of Fame inductees but never won a Grammy.

The Beach Boys

Many of these stars began from humble roots, and The Beach Boys are no different. Beginning as a garage band, these five men went on to become one of the most successful and critically acclaimed rock bands of the 20th century and in music history as a whole.

Source: Louise Palanker -https://www.flickr.com/photos/louisepalanker/7300276172/ / wiki commons / CCBY-SA 2.0

They influenced the growth of a variety of sounds and genres and hold the record for the most songs by a band that has reached the US top 40. Despite all their success, they have only been nominated for a Grammy four times and never won once. 

Iggy Pop

Known for his questionable on-stage antics, for popularizing the stage dive, and for being the Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop is nothing less than a legend in the world of rock and punk. The cultural icon’s career has spanned more than 50 years now.

Source: Raph_PH – WOWGoth090818-206 / wiki commons / CC BY 2.0

Iggy was part of the renowned band The Stooges and was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of their members. He has been honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award, but despite being the icon he is, he has never taken home a competitive Grammy.

Sammy Davis Jr

Sammy was one of those artists who kicked off their career at a very young age, starting at the age of just three. He would then grow to become an acclaimed musician and actor, and he even worked behind the scenes as a producer and director.

Source: Jay Bernstein Public Relations – front back / wiki commons /public domain

He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement, which he received after his demise in 2001. He had his last tour with stars like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin just a few years before his passing.

Bob Marley

Every single genre of music has at least one pioneer, and one of reggae’s was the legendary Bob Marley. His immense contribution to the genre heavily influenced its growth worldwide, establishing himself as a pop culture icon in the process.

Source: spatuletail / shutterstock

The Jamaican-born star has the best-selling reggae album of all time, and he’s also considered one of the best-selling artists too, with tens of millions of records sold all around the globe. Getting to know all this info made us even more surprised when we found out he’s never won a Grammy.


Many people think that groups don’t stay together for all that long, but Run-DMC is one of the many bands that prove them wrong. These hip-hop pioneers were together for nearly two decades, heavily influencing the genre and trailblazing hip-hop culture.

Source: RickyPowell – Own work / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The band of three was actually the first ever hip-hop act to be nominated for a Grammy and the second ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Years after their split, they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

Jennifer Lopez

Often described as a triple-threat entertainer, J. Lo. (as she’s popularly called) is an American singer, actress, and dancer. Her career kicked off with acting in the early 90s, and by the end of the decade, she had established herself as the highest-paid Hispanic actress in Hollywood.

Source: jlo / ig

Jennifer began dipping her toes into the music industry in the late 90s and has been releasing hits ever since then. Despite being one of the most influential Hispanic entertainers in North America, she’s only been nominated for a Grammy twice and is yet to win.

Guns N’ Roses

We don’t know many rock bands, but we’ve got to admit that Guns N’ Roses is probably one of the coolest group names that have ever existed. The heavy metal and hard rock band consists of seven members and are one of the best selling music acts in history.

Source: Raph_PH / Flickr / wiki commons / CC BY 2.0

Their hits have topped the charts, and their concerts have sold out countless times. In fact, they hold the record for the highest-grossing tour. Regardless of all their accolades, these Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have never won a single Grammy.

Dean Martin

The King of Cool, Dean Martin, is regarded as by far one of the biggest entertainers of the past century. He was a renowned comedian, singer, and actor, beginning his illustrious career as a member of a duo before moving on to pursue solo success.

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Dean had a number of hit records throughout the duration of his more than a half-a-century-long career but only got nominated for a Grammy Award once. He was posthumously awarded the non-competitive Lifetime Achievement award more than a decade after his death.

The Ramones

NYC’s very own and the first true punk rock group, The Ramones, were formed in the early 70s. The Grammy Lifetime Achievement award winners have been ranked as the second greatest band and some of the greatest artists of all time.

Source: Plismo – Own work / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Surprisingly, their commercial strength lay overseas in Brazil and England despite beginning their careers in America. Nonetheless, they are still regarded as highly influential and spearheaders of the punk rock genre, with some of the members becoming inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Sam Cooke

The pioneer and soul artist Sam Cooke had the highlight of his career in the late 50s when he released a number of hit songs. His music would later influence stars in the coming generation like Marvin Gaye and even Stevie Wonder.

Source: RCA Victor Records – Billboard. Vol. 78, No. 15. page 21 / wiki commons / public domain

Sam is now considered one of the most influential soul artists of all time and an instrumental part of the American Civil Rights Movement that took place in the 60s before his death. He received a Lifetime Achievement award in 1999 but never got the competitive Grammy.


The English singer and songsmith Steve Patrick Morrissey is also one of the renowned names in the music industry that have never been awarded a Grammy. In fact, it might even surprise you more to know he’s been nominated just once in his entire career.

Source: Caligvla at English Wikipedia / wiki commons / CC BY 2.5

The former Smiths member, whose career has spanned several decades, is one of the most highly influential figures in the world of Britpop and Indie rock. Despite not winning any Grammys, Morrissey – like the rest of the entries on this list – will forever remain a music icon.

The Grateful Dead

The rise of the counterculture saw the birth of many amazing bands, like the Doors and the Grateful Dead. Although the latter had just one top-40 single throughout the duration of their decades-long career, they’re one of America’s best-selling touring acts.

Source: Chris Stone / Flickr /wiki commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Grateful Dead were together for thirty years (throughout which they never won a Grammy) and have been inducted into the Hall of Fame for all their contributions. The rock legends have also been ranked as some of the greatest artists of all time. 


Rush was a heavy metal and rock band whose career spanned nearly half a century. They rose to prominence sometime in the 70s in Canada, and their popularity would grow in the United States as well as the United Kingdom in the coming decades.

Source: PolyGram – eBay archive / wiki commons / public domain

With several US-awarded platinum albums, tens of millions of records sold around the globe, and seven Grammy award nominations, it’s safe to say Rush is a legendary rock band. They’re inductees into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Jimmi Hendrix

Very few entertainers in the history of music have had as much influence in such a short period of time the way Jimmi did. In only four years, the instrumentalist, songsmith, and musician established himself as one of the most celebrated musicians of the past century and the greatest guitarist in the history of rock.

Source: Original photographer unknown – e24.se, attributed to Scanpixtrelleborgsallehanda.se / wiki commons / public domain

Beginning from very humble roots, Jimmi would go on to become the world’s highest-paid performer and a pioneer in the use of the electric guitar. Throughout his short career, he was the recipient of a variety of awards but never took home a Grammy.

Buddy Holly

As one of the first ever people to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Buddy Holly is a certified legend. He trailblazed rock and roll during his era and was an influence on many other popular rock artists that rose to stardom after him.

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Holly passed away due to an unfortunate plane crash not long after the kickoff of his career, which kind of explains why he’s never won a Grammy. Regardless of his short-lived career, Buddy is still regarded as one of the greatest artists ever.

Patti Smith

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Patti Smith is by far one of the most notable figures in the world of punk rock. The Chicago-born singer, poet, and songsmith is also an activist and the winner of many awards in her fields.

Source: Elena Ternovaja – Own work / wiki commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Like the rest of the people on this list, Patti has never been awarded a Grammy, nor has she been honored with their lifetime achievement award. Regardless, she still remains one of the biggest influences in the punk rock genre.


So far, we’ve listed quite a number of legendary rock bands, and Oasis just happens to be another of them. This English group was one of the best-selling in the UK in the 90s and are the proud artists of one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Source: Will Fresch – originally posted to Flickr as oasis.gallagher.bros.002 / wikicommons / CC BY-SA 2.0

By the early 2000s, they had sold tens of millions of records worldwide and were awarded countless times for their contributions. They were nominated for only two Grammy awards in the 18 years of their union as a rock band but never won.

Janis Joplin

Starting off her illustrious career as a member of a psychedelic rock band, Janis rose to become one of the most notable rock stars of her era. She was a solo artist for just a couple of years yet sold nearly twenty million records during that short time.

Source: Grossman Glotzer Management Corporation – eBay item photo frontphoto back / wiki commons / public domain

Janis is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and has been ranked as one of the greatest singers as well as artists of all time. She was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award but never took home the competitive award throughout the duration of her career.