14 Facts About the Grammy Songs Of The Year Award

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The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles this weekend, and Song of the Year is one of the most coveted awards. Win this, and you’ll join a hallowed hall of songs by the most respected songwriters of the modern age: The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, and, er, The Doobie Brothers (okay, that was the late ’70s).

Grammy recognition for best song of the year is a bit more complicated than most awards. Song Of The Year honors the songwriters who wrote and composed the song, but the awards also feature Record Of The Year, an award that goes to the singer and production team.

Last year Childish Gambino’s This Is America won Song of the Year, this year the nominations are:

Always remember us like this (Lady Gaga)
Bad Boy (Billie Eilish)
Bring my flowers now (Tanya Tucker)
hard place (she)
Lover (Taylor Swift)
Norman fucking Rockwell (Lana Del Rey)
Someone you loved (Lewis Capaldi)
The truth hurts (Lizzo)

For 60 years, the Song of the Year category has honored songs that have become part of our listening history. It also throws up some perplexing decisions. Ahead of this year’s ceremony, here’s the short story of BBC Music’s Song of the Year award in 14 facts. [Note: the years cited are those in which the songs were released and were awarded for, not the year the ceremony took place, which is the following year.]

The first song of the year was in Italian.
The US music industry is large and broad enough to have overwhelmingly joined the ranks of Song of the Year winners. But when the category began in 1959, the Grammy Awards judges gave the award to Domenico Modugno’s Volare. The song had already been Italy’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958 and spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, making Modugno a household name. Modugno, incidentally, later became a member of parliament in Italy and an outspoken critic of Chilean dictator August Pinochet, so much so that he was refused entry to Chile to give a concert.

Jimmy Webb’s stunning victory

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