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Who are the biggest GRAMMY winners for each decade from the 1950s to the 2010s? In our ongoing Music's Biggest Winners series, we'll take a look at the four artists (more in the case of ties) who received the most awards in each decade. You'll learn a little bit about the artists, their GRAMMY wins during the decade and other notable Recording Academy honors. Let's fire up the GRAMMY time machine and go back to the '50s and the '60s.
(Editor's note: The GRAMMY Awards originated in 1958, so this decade encompasses just two years of awards.)
Ella Fitzgerald, 4
The jazz legend won two GRAMMYs in 1958 and two more in 1959. In 1958 Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Song Book was voted Best Vocal Performance, Female, while Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Song Book won for Best Jazz Performance, Individual. Fitzgerald won the same two awards the following year for, respectively, her version of George and Ira Gershwin's "But Not For Me" and her album Ella Swings Lightly. Fitzgerald received a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1967. She died in 1996.
Duke Ellington, 3
Ellington's score for the Otto Preminger film Anatomy Of A Murder brought the jazz legend three GRAMMYs in 1959: Best Performance By A Dance Band, Best Sound Track Album — Background Score From A Motion Picture Or Television and Best Musical Composition First Recorded And Released In 1959 (More Than 5 Minutes Duration). Ellington received a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966. He died in 1974.
André Previn, 3
Previn won a GRAMMY in 1958 for Gigi, which was voted Best Sound Track Album, Dramatic Picture Score Or Original Cast. He won two more in 1959. Porgy And Bess won for Best Sound Track Album, Original Cast — Motion Picture Or Television. "Like Young," a collaboration with David Rose, took Best Performance By An Orchestra. (The billing on the single was rather florid: "The Piano Magic Of André Previn Combined With The Lush Strings of David Rose.") The German-born musician received a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
Frank Sinatra, 3
The legendary singer actually won his first GRAMMY in 1958 as an art director. His cover design for Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely was voted Best Album Cover. Come Dance With Me! won two awards in 1959: Album Of The Year and Best Vocal Performance, Male. Sinatra received a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1965, a Trustees Award in 1979 and a GRAMMY Legend Award in 1994. He died in 1998.
Henry Mancini, 16
Mancini's mark of 16 GRAMMYs in a decade stood unequalled for four decades, until two female artists tied it in the 2000s. (Mancini continues to hold the record for most GRAMMYs won in a decade by a male artist.) Mancini won a then-record five awards in 1961 for his music from the Blake Edwards movie Breakfast At Tiffany's, including the instant standard "Moon River." His biggest successes were "Moon River" and "Days Of Wine And Roses," both of which were double winners for Record and Song Of The Year. Mancini won six of these 16 awards as an artist, six as an arranger and four as a composer. Mancini died in 1994. He was awarded a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 1995.
Roger Miller, 11
Miller received five GRAMMYs in 1964 and six in 1965. (The latter total broke Mancini's record of five GRAMMYs in one night.) Miller was the first artist in GRAMMY history to win five or more awards in one night more than once. He received nine of these 11 awards as an artist and two as a songwriter (for writing "Dang Me" and "King Of The Road"). The latter song won awards in both the Country & Western and Contemporary (R&R) Fields (as they were then called). Miller died in 1992.
Ray Charles, 9
Charles won four GRAMMYs in 1960, the most he ever amassed in one year during his lifetime. (He won five awards posthumously in 2004.) Of the nine GRAMMYs that Charles won in the '60s, six were for Rhythm & Blues, one for Pop and two for Best Vocal Performance, Male, with no genre specified. "Georgia On My Mind" and "Crying Time" both won two awards. Charles received a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. He died in 2004.
Vladimir Horowitz, 8
Horowitz won Album Of The Year — Classical twice in the 1960s, for Columbia Records Presents Vladimir Horowitz in 1962 and Horowitz At Carnegie Hall — An Historic Return in 1965. The Ukrainian-born pianist died in 1989. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 1990.
Come back next week as we take a look at Music's Biggest Winners from the '70s.
The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 10 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). For updates and breaking news, visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
(Paul Grein, a veteran music journalist based in Los Angeles, writes the weekly Chart Watch column for Yahoo.com.)
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