Ever since 1959, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has honored performers, songwriters and composers, production personnel, and other key figures in the recorded music industry with their Grammy awards – considered the most prestigious in the industry.
Scores of artists are nominated each year and often a few of the nominees dominate the ceremony, sweeping up many of the gilded gramophones – the Grammy equivalent of the Oscar statuette. (These are the best-selling Grammy winners of all time.)
As is the case with the entertainment industry overall, Hollywood included, there is no shortage of controversy in the music business about the ways women are underrepresented and discriminated against, and the Grammys have had their share of problems in this area.
In 2018, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said that women need to “step up” if they want to win as many awards as men. Reaction to his statement was swift, with stars like Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow, and Halsey calling him out and several female music business executives calling for Portnow to step down (which he did the following year). The episode also sparked the formation of a task force to address gender bias in the recording industry.
The fact remains that, to date, of the 17 artists – male or female – with the most awards in Grammy history, only two are women. Nevertheless, some female performers have amassed an impressive number of the awards.
To determine the women who have won the most Grammys, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the Grammy Awards database, updated as of July 2022. Data on certified album sales comes from the Recording Industry Association of America.
At the top of our list, with 28 Grammys to her name, is Beyoncé – who made history at the award ceremony last year when she tied a living legend, producer-songwriter Quincy Jones, for most wins, becoming the most decorated woman in the award show’s history. (It’s no wonder she’s on our list one of 50 powerful women in entertainment.)
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