Special Report

Famous People Who’ve Turned Down Major Awards or Nominations

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff (rap artists)
> Declined award or nomination: Grammy for Best Rap Performance
> Year: 1989
> Reason: They felt the rap genre was being disrespected because the rap awards were not being televised

Source: Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

Celine Dion (singer)
> Declined award or nomination: Felix Award for Best Anglophone Artist
> Year: 1991
> Reason: Although she garnered success singing in English, she is a proud francophone Québécoise

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images

Sinéad O’Connor (singer and songwriter)
> Declined award or nomination Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance
> Year: 1991
> Reason: She said the awards were based destructive materialistic values and commercialism

Source: Bruno Vincent / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Stephen Hawking (physicist)
> Declined award or nomination Knighthood
> Year: 1990s
> Reason: In protest against a lack of funding for the sciences

Source: Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

John Cleese (actor and comedian)
> Declined award or nomination Commander of the Order of the British Empire award
> Year: 1996
> Reason: He said the award as silly, and later turned down a life peerage

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