Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Jay-Z: 25 GRAMMY Record Setters | Black History Month
African-American artists have been making history at the GRAMMYs since the awards were first presented on May 4, 1959. Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie each took home two awards that night.
And they have continued to be at the forefront right through this year, when Kendrick Lamar scooped up five GRAMMYs (bringing his total to date to an even dozen).
To help celebrate Black History Month, here are 25 GRAMMY records set by African-American artists. Note: This isn't just a list of the first African-American winners in various categories — though those milestones are meaningful in their own right. These are instances where an African-American artist or producer set a record in competition with everybody.
1. Michael Jackson
The first artist to win eight GRAMMYs in one night: Michael Jackson (1983). In that Thriller of a year, Jackson also became the first artist to amass 12 nominations in one night.
2. Quincy Jones
Artist with the most GRAMMY nominations: Quincy Jones (79). Jones landed his first noms in 1960; his most recent in 2001.
3. Beyoncé And Jay-Z
The youngest artist to amass 20 career GRAMMYs: Beyoncé, who was 33 when she picked up her 18th, 19th and 20th GRAMMYs at the 2014 awards. She broke a record that was held by Kanye West, who was 35 when he collected his 19th, 20th and 21st GRAMMYs at the 2012 awards.
5. Mariah Carey
The youngest artist to receive nominations in each of the four General Field categories (Record, Album and Song Of The Year and Best New Artist): Mariah Carey, who was 20 when she was nominated in all four categories for 1990. She won for Best New Artist.
6. Stevie Wonder
The only artist in GRAMMY history to win Album Of The Year with three consecutive studio albums: Stevie Wonder. He achieved this extraordinary three-peat with Innervisions (1973), Fulfillingness' First Finale (1974) and Songs In The Key Of Life (1976).
7. Stevie Wonder
The first artist to win Album Of The Year with an entirely self-produced album: Stevie Wonder (Innervisions).
8. Stevie Wonder
The youngest artist to win his third GRAMMY for Album Of The Year: Stevie Wonder, who was just 26 when he won for the third time with Songs In The Key Of Life.
9. Ray Charles
The artist with the longest span of Album Of The Year nominations: Ray Charles. His noms in the category span 43 years, from Genius + Soul = Jazz (1961) to Genius Loves Company (2004).
10. Ella Fitzgerald
The first woman to receive an Album Of The Year nomination: Ella Fitzgerald, who was nominated in 1958, the awards' first year, for Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Song Book.
11. Roberta Flack
The first artist to win back-to-back awards for Record Of The Year: Roberta Flack ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," 1972, and "Killing Me Softly With His Song," 1973).
12. The 5th Dimension
The first group or duo to win twice for Record Of The Year: The 5th Dimension. The vocal quintet won for "Up, Up And Away" (1967) and "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)" (1969).
13. Ray Charles
The artist with the longest span of Record Of The Year nominations: Ray Charles. His noms in the category span 44 years, from "Georgia On My Mind" (1960) to "Here We Go Again," a collaboration with Norah Jones (2004).
14. Thom Bell
The first producer to win for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical: Thom Bell (1974, the first year the award was presented).
15. Quincy Jones
The first producer to win twice for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical: Quincy Jones. He shared his second award with Michael Jackson. Jones was also the first producer to win three times in the category.
The only producer to win four times for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical: Babyface. He shared the first of these awards with his partner, L.A. Reid.
17. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
The producer(s) with the most nominations for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical: Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. The hit-making team amassed 11 noms from 1986–2005. They won the award for 1986.
18. Aretha Franklin
Most consecutive awards in any category: Aretha Franklin, eight consecutive awards for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female (1967–1974). The streak kicked off with the immortal "Respect." They don't call her the "Queen Of Soul" for nothing.
19. Ella Fitzgerald
The first woman to receive a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award: Ella Fitzgerald (1967).
20. Lauryn Hill
The first woman to win five GRAMMYs in one night: Lauryn Hill (1998). Her awards included Album Of The Year for The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill.
The first woman to win six GRAMMYs in one night: Beyoncé (2009). Her awards included Song Of The Year for "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)."
22. Ray Charles
Most posthumous GRAMMYs in one night (five): Ray Charles (2004). His awards included Album Of The Year for Genius Loves Company.
23. Pinetop Perkins
The oldest artist to win a GRAMMY: Pinetop Perkins, who was 97 when he won Best Traditional Blues Album for Joined At The Hip (2010).
24. Elizabeth Cotten
The oldest female artist to win a GRAMMY: Elizabeth Cotten, who was 90 when she won Best Ethnic Or Traditional Folk Recording for Elizabeth Cotten Live! (1984). (She was 26 days older than Betty White was when she won the 2011 award for Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling). Hey, days count in GRAMMY record-setting.)
25. Deleon Richards
The youngest individual artist to receive a GRAMMY nomination: Deleon Richards, who was just eight when she was nominated for Best Soul Gospel Performance — Female for her album Deleon (1985).
(Paul Grein is a veteran music journalist and historian whose work appears regularly at Yahoo.com and Hitsdailydouble.com.)