Photo: Frank Micelotta
GRAMMY Rewind: Lauryn Hill Becomes First Rap Artist To Win Album Of The Year With 'The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill' In 1999
Then just 23 years old, the rapper/singer made history with 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,' one of only two rap albums to ever win the prestigious award
The 41st GRAMMY Awards were momentous for Lauryn Hill. Not only did she take home five GRAMMYs — the most of any artist that night — but the rapper/singer also made history.
The then-23-year-old rapper/singer's 1999 win for her groundbreaking debut solo album, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, marked the first ever Album Of The Year victory by a hip-hop artist.
"This is crazy because this is hip-hop music," Hill said before delivering a hoard of thank yous. Watch Hill's heartfelt acceptance speech below.
The New Jersey native received the award from Whitney Houston, who hails from Hill's hometown of Newark. It was clear Houston was rooting for Hill, as she emphatically pointed to the crowd and screamed out a combination of "yes" and "amen," following Hill's name being called.
Over two decades later, Hill's feat remains remarkable. Outkast's Speakerboxx/The Love Below, which won in 2004, is the only other hip-hop album to win the prestigious category.
Hill took home four additional GRAMMYs that night: Best New Artist, Best R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best Rhythm & Blues Song (the latter two were both for her hit "Doo Wap (That Thing)"). Those wins added to her history-making evening, as Hill was the first woman to win five or more awards in a single night.
The eight-time GRAMMY winner took home another Album Of The Year the following year thanks to her feature on Santana's Supernatural ("Do You Like the Way"), a track she produced. Prior to going solo, Hill won two more GRAMMYs as a standout member of the rap trio the Fugees, who won Best Rap Album and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal in 1997.
Check back every Friday for new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
Photo: Courtesy of the Recording Academy
GRAMMY Rewind: Green Day Celebrates The "Danger And Fun" Of Rock As They Win A GRAMMY For 'American Idiot' In 2005
As Green Day accepted their Best Rock Album GRAMMY for 'American Idiot,' frontman Billie Joe Armstrong made sure to spotlight the culture of rock and roll.
Nearly two decades after its release, Green Day's American Idiot remains one of the best-selling punk rock albums, both from the group's discography and within the genre. Home to Green Day's iconic tracks "American Idiot" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends," the 2004 album solidified Green Day's reputation within the rock world — and helped them win a GRAMMY.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the trio's GRAMMY win for Best Rock Album for American Idiot in 2005. The group's seventh studio album brought in five other nominations that year: the prestigious Album of the Year category, as well as Record of the Year, Best Rock Duo/Group Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Short Form Music Video for "American Idiot."
As the group accepted their Best Rock Album gramophone, each member took a turn at the mic thanking various contributors to American Idiot, including producer Rob Cavallo and their manager, Pat Magnarella.
"Everybody at Warner Bros., thank you for your hard work here," bassist Mike Dirnt praised. "All the fans. Everyone at radio that plays rock and roll music still."
To close out the speech, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong echoed the support for rock music. "We know rock and roll can be dangerous and fun at the same time," he said, "so thanks a lot!"
Press play on the video above to watch Green Day's complete acceptance speech for Best Rock Album at the 47th GRAMMY Awards, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist
The GRAMMY U Mixtape is a monthly, genre-spanning playlist to quench your thirst for new tunes, all from student members. GRAMMY U celebrates new beginnings with fresh pop tunes that will kickstart 2023.
Did you know that among all of the students in GRAMMY U, songwriting and performance is one of the most sought after fields of study? We want to create a space to hear what these students are creating today!
The GRAMMY U Mixtape, now available for your listening pleasure, highlights the creations and fresh ideas that students are bringing to this industry directly on the Recording Academy's Spotify and Apple Music pages. Our goal is to celebrate GRAMMY U members, as well as the time and effort they put into making original music — from the songwriting process to the final production of the track.
Each month, we accept submissions and feature 20 to 25 songs that match that month’s theme. This month we're ringing in 2023 with our New Year, It's Poppin'! playlist, which features fresh pop songs that bring new year, new you vibes. Showcasing talented members from our various chapters, we felt these songs represented the positivity and hopefulness that GRAMMY U members embody as they tackle this upcoming year of exciting possibilities.
So, what’s stopping you? Press play on GRAMMY U’s Mixtape and listen now on Spotify below and Apple Music.
Want to be featured on the next playlist? Submit your songs today! We are currently accepting submissions for songs of all genres for consideration for our February playlist. Whether you write pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, or classical, we want to hear from you. Music must be written and/or produced by the student member (an original song) and you must be able to submit a Spotify and/or Apple Music link to the song. Students must be a GRAMMY U member to submit.
About GRAMMY U:
GRAMMY U is a program that connects college students with the industry's brightest and most talented minds and provides those aspiring professionals with the tools and opportunities necessary to start a career in music.
Throughout each semester, events and special programs touch on all facets of the industry, including the business, technology, and the creative process.
As part of the Recording Academy's mission to ensure the recorded arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, GRAMMY U establishes the necessary foundation for music’s next generation to flourish.
Not a member, but want to submit to our playlist? Apply for GRAMMY U Membership here.
Photo: Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images
GRAMMY Rewind: MC Hammer Accepts A GRAMMY For "U Can't Touch This" With Gratitude, Faith & Patriotism On His Mind In 1991
MC Hammer spoke from the heart as he claimed his trophy for Best Rap Solo Performance for "U Can't Touch This," one of two GRAMMYs he won for the rap classic.
Today, MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" is known as one of the defining rap classics of the early '90s. Of course, the song was a massive hit upon its release, too — and it scored Hammer two golden gramophones at the 1991 GRAMMYs, in both rap and R&B categories.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, turn back the clock to 1991 and revisit Hammer's heartfelt, off-the-cuff acceptance speech for Best Rap Solo Performance. As he stood at the podium, the rapper admitted he didn't have the complete list of names of people he wanted to thank — so instead, he spoke from the heart.
"First of all, I would like to thank God for this honor," Hammer said. "Without Him, I know it's not possible."
He went on to thank the people at his record label who supported him throughout the creation of the song, and concluded with a mention of something that was weighing heavy on the hearts of many in early 1991: the Gulf War.
"Once again, I would like to send this one out to the family and the men and women who are putting their lives on the line for us in the Persian Gulf," Hammer concluded before he left the stage, receiving a rousing round of applause.
The early-'90s Middle East conflict was a hot topic in the U.S. at the time of the 33rd GRAMMY Awards. Just before the 1991 GRAMMYs took place, Hammer was part of a star-studded, all-genre cast of singers who recorded a new group version of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" in light of the war.
Press play on the video above to watch Hammer's full acceptance speech for Best Rap Solo Performance, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
GRAMMY Rewind: Sam Smith Holds Back Tears In A Short But Sweet GRAMMY Acceptance Speech For Best New Artist In 2015
Sam Smith had a big night at the 57th GRAMMY Awards in 2015, bringing home four golden gramophones — including one for the coveted, all-genre Best New Artist category.
As they took the stage to claim their Best New Artist trophy at the 2015 GRAMMYs, Sam Smith was visibly emotional, and no wonder. Having walked into the ceremony with six nominations, Smith walked out with four golden gramophones — the first GRAMMYs they'd ever received.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, let's turn back the clock to the moment Smith heard their name called as the winner of Best New Artist. The singer was beaming as they stepped up to the podium and addressed the crowd, but admitted it was a little difficult to hold back the tears.
"Oh my gosh, I've gotta try and say something now without crying," Smith said with a sheepish smile. They kept their speech brief and heartfelt, offering thanks to the people who'd been in their corner for the creation of their landmark debut album, 2014's In the Lonely Hour.
"Thank you to my amazing label. To my amazing management," Smith said. "...to Capitol Records. Nick, Joe, Steve, everyone there, I love you."
Smith kept their composure throughout the short speech, but allowed the excitement to shine through as they concluded their time onstage with a message to their parents and siblings. "Mom and dad, Lily and Mabel...I won a GRAMMY!" Smith said, holding the trophy aloft.
The Best New Artist trophy wasn't the only General Field GRAMMY Smith took home that night. They celebrated wins in the Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories, both for "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)." Smith was also the winner in the Best Pop Vocal Album category that year, thanks to In the Lonely Hour.
Press play on the video above to watch Smith's short but emotional acceptance speech for Best New Artist, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.