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64 Years of Italian Grammy Winners! How Many Do You Know?

With the 65th Annual Grammy Awards taking place this evening, America Domani studied the Italian representation over the history of the awards ceremony. What we found was very interesting. An Italian has taken home a Grammy at each of the previous 64 editions of the world’s most famous music awards. For this analysis, the qualification of “Italian” simply means an artist who has partial or full Italian heritage. 

In several years, there were multiple Italians who took home a Grammy. For the analysis below, we listed one winner per year along with the category in which they won. So, read on...and don't forget to test your knowledge afterwards with our Italian Grammy Winners quiz!

  • 1959: Domenico Modugno, Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (Record of the Year)
  • 1960: Frank Sinatra, Come Dance With Me (Record of the Year)
  • 1961: Henry Mancini, Mr. Lucky (Best Performance by an Orchestra)
  • 1962: Henry Mancini, Moon River (Record of the Year)
  • 1963: Tony Bennett, I Left My Heart in San Francisco (Record of the Year)
  • 1964: Henry Mancini, Days of Wine and Roses (Record of the Year)
  • 1965: Henry Mancini, Pink Panther Theme (Best Instrumental Arrangement)
  • 1966: Frank Sinatra, It Was a Good Year (Best Male Vocal Performance)

Domenico Modugno was the first Italian to take home a Grammy in the first edition of the awards ceremony in 1959. Modugno’s iconic hit “Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu” earned him the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

Did You Know?

  • 1967: Frank Sinatra, Strangers in the Night (Best Male Vocal Performance)
  • 1968: Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, Prima Donna Volume 2 (Best Classical Vocal Soloist)
  • 1969: Vittorio Negri, The Glory of Gabrieli (Best Choral Performance)
  • 1970: James William Guercio, Blood Sweat and Tears (Album of the Year)
  • 1971: Henry Mancini, Theme From Z (Best Instrumental Arrangement)
  • 1972: Vittorio Negri, Requiem (Best Classical Engineered Recording)
  • 1973: Nino Rota, The Godfather (Best Original Score)
  • 1974: Gato Barbieri, Last Tango in Paris (Best Instrumental Composition)

Did You Know?

Frank Sinatra and Henry Mancini solidified themselves as Italian music legends in this period. By the early 1970s, both Sinatra and Mancini had taken home Grammys in an astonishing eight of the first 13 editions of the awards. 

  • 1975: Ruggero Raimondi, La Boheme (Best Opera Recording)
  • 1976: Chick Corea, No Mystery (Best Jazz Performance)
  • 1977: Hugo Peretti, Bubbling Brown Sugar (Best Cast Show Album)
  • 1978: Carlo Maria Giulini, Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D (Best Classical Orchestral Performance)
  • 1979: Luciano Pavarotti, Hits From Lincoln Center (Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance)
  • 1980: Luciano Pavarotti, O Sole Mio (Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance)
  • 1981: Patti Lupone, Evita – Premier American Recording (Best Cast Show Album)
  • 1982: Luciano Pavarotti, Live From Lincoln Center (Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance)

The world’s love affair with legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti began in the late 1970s, as the Modena-born opera sensation took home his first Grammy Award in 1979. Pavarotti would win a Grammy the following year, as well, for his performance of “O Sole Mio”.

Did You Know?

  • 1983: Jeff Porcaro, Rosanna, Performed by Toto (Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals)
  • 1984: Giorgio Moroder, Flashdance Album (Best Album of Original Score Written for Motion Picture)
  • 1985: Cyndi Lauper, Time After Time (Best New Artist)
  • 1986: Dan Sembello, Beverly Hills Cop (Best Album of Original Score Written for Motion Picture)
  • 1987: John Mauceri, Bernstein: Candide (Best Opera Recording)
  • 1988: Ennio Morricone, The Untouchables (Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score)
  • 1989: Luciano Pavarotti, Luciano Pavarotti in Concert (Best Classical Vocal Soloist Performance)
  • 1990: Terry Bozzio, Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop with Terry Bozzio & Tony Hymas (Best Rock Instrumental)

Did You Know?

The world was introduced to a young Cyndi Lauper in 1985 when she captured a Grammy for Best New Artist following the release of her album Time After Time. Born in Brooklyn, Lauper’s mother was Italian and traced her heritage back to Sicily.

  • 1991: Angelo Badalamenti, Twin Peaks Theme (Best Pop Instrumental)
  • 1992: John Corigliano, Corigliano: Symphony No. 1 (Best Contemporary Composition)
  • 1993: Tony Bennett, Perfectly Frank (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance)
  • 1994: Aerosmith, Livin on the Edge (Best Rock Performance by a Group)
  • 1995: Bruce Springsteen, Streets of Philadelphia (Song of the Year)
  • 1996: Frank Zappa, Civilization Phaze III (Best Recording Package)
  • 1997: Tony Bennett, Here's to the Ladies (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance)
  • 1998: Giorgio Moroder, Carry On, With Donna Summer (Best Dance Recording)

Several “unknown” Italians captured Grammys in the years that followed. American pop icons of Italian descent rose to mainstream fame in this era, including Bruce Springsteen, Frank Zappa, and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, all of whom have Italian heritage. 

Did You Know?

  • 1999: Aerosmith, Pink (Best Rock Performance by a Group)
  • 2000: Madonna, Beautiful Stranger (Best Song Written for a Motion Picture)
  • 2001: Chick Corea, Spain for Sextet and Orchestra (Best Instrumental Arrangement)
  • 2002: Alicia Keys, Fallin (Best R&B Song)
  • 2003: No Doubt, Hey Baby (Best Pop Performance by a Group)
  • 2004: No Doubt, Underneath it All (Best Pop Performance by a Group)
  • 2005: Bruce Springsteen, Code of Silence (Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance)
  • 2006: Tony Bennett, The Art of Romance (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album)

Did You Know?

Pop stars of Italian heritage continued to dominate the charts well into the early 2000s, as Aerosmith, Madonna, No Doubt, and Alicia Keys all took home Grammys in this period. Madonna traces her roots back to Abruzzo, while No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys both have Italian heritage, as well.

  • 2007: Bon Jovi, Who Says You Can’t Go Home, With Jennifer Nettles (Best Country Collaboration)
  • 2008: No One, Alicia Keys (Best Female R&B Vocal Performance)
  • 2009: Superwoman, Alicia Keys (Best Female R&B Vocal Performance)
  • 2010: Lady Gaga, Poker Face (Best Dance Recording)
  • 2011: Lady Gaga, Bad Romance (Best Female Vocal Pop Performance)
  • 2012: Tony Bennett, Body, and Soul, With Amy Winehouse (Best Pop Group/Duo Performance)
  • 2013: Chris Botti, Impressions (Best Pop Instrumental Album)
  • 2014: Michael Buble, To Be Loved (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album)

The ensuing years became the Gaga Era, as the world was introduced to Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta for the first time. Lady Gaga won multiple Grammys in this period, including Best Dance Recording for her hit single “Poker Face”.

Did You Know?

  • 2015: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album)
  • 2016: Francesca Battistelli, Holy Spirit (Best Contemporary Christian Music Song)
  • 2017: Tim McGraw, Humble and Kind, Performed by Lori McKenna (Best Country Song)
  • 2018: Alessia Cara, Growing Pains (Best New Artist)
  • 2019: Lady Gaga, Joanne Where Do You Think You’re Going (Best Pop Solo Performance)
  • 2020: Chick Corea, Antidote (Best Latin Jazz Album)
  • 2021: Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, Rain on Me (Best Pop Duo/Group Performance)
  • 2022: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Love For Sale (Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album)

Did You Know?

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett got a standing ovation from music fans across the world thanks to their moving “Cheek to Cheek” duet. Tim McGraw also took home a Grammy in this period for writing “Humble And Kind”, which would win Best Country Song by Lori McKenna. McGraw is of Italian and Irish descent on his mother’s side.

Think You Know Your Italian Grammy Winners?