Oldest Grammy Winners in History

6 Oldest Grammy Winners in History

The Grammy Awards is one of the most prestigious accolades in the music industry. Over the years, it has recognized the work of legendary artists and emerging talents alike. While some might think that winning a Grammy is a young person’s game, history has shown us that age is just a number. In fact, some of the oldest Grammy winners have produced some of the most iconic music in history.

From jazz legends to country music icons, these artists proved that their talent was timeless. In this blog article, we will explore the stories of the six oldest Grammy winners in history. These artists not only defied ageism but also inspired generations with their music. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the enduring legacy of these remarkable musicians.

6. Betty White (January 17, 1922 – December 31, 2021)

Age Won: 52 years, 6 months, 2 days
Year Won: 2012
Category: Best Spoken Word Album
Work: If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)

Betty Whitephoto source: Forbes

Betty White was an iconic actress and comedian who was beloved by fans around the world. Throughout her long and illustrious career, she received numerous accolades, including Emmy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and even a Grammy Award. In 2012, at the age of 90 years and 26 days, Betty White became the oldest Grammy winner in history when she won the award for Best Spoken Word Album.

Her winning work, titled “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t),” was a collection of musings, anecdotes, and reflections from her life and career. Betty White’s win was a testament to her enduring talent and charm, and it cemented her status as a beloved icon of the entertainment industry.

Did You Know?

She began her career in radio in the 1940s and then moved to television in the 1950s.

5. Elizabeth Cotten (January 5, 1893 – June 29, 1987)

Age Won: 90 years, 52 days
Year Won: 1985
Category: Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording
Work: Elizabeth Cotten Live!

Elizabeth Cottenphoto source: Making Music Magazine

Elizabeth Cotten was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1893. She started playing music at a young age, but it wasn’t until she was in her 40s that she gained recognition for her talent. In the 1950s, she recorded her first album, “Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar,” which included her signature song, “Freight Train.” The album was a critical success, and it established Elizabeth Cotten as a talented musician and songwriter.

Throughout her career, Elizabeth Cotten faced many challenges, including poverty, racism, and sexism. She often had to work as a domestic servant to support herself and her family, and it wasn’t until later in life that she was able to focus on her music full-time. Despite these obstacles, she continued to write and perform music, and her talent and dedication earned her a loyal following.

Did You Know?

Her songs, including “Freight Train,” “Shake Sugaree,” and “Oh Babe, It Ain’t No Lie,” have become classics of the American folk and blues repertoire.

4. Jimmy Carter (October 1, 1924 – present)

Age Won: 94 years, 132 days
Year Won: 2019
Category: Best Spoken Word Album
Work: Faith: A Journey For All

Jimmy Carterphoto source: CNN

Jimmy Carter is a former American president, humanitarian, and author who has had a long and distinguished career in public service. In addition to his work in politics and philanthropy, he is also a prolific author and has written several books on topics ranging from international relations to faith and spirituality. In 2019, at the age of 94 years and 132 days, Jimmy Carter became the oldest Grammy winner in history in the category of Best Spoken Word Album for his audiobook “Faith: A Journey For All.”

The book explores the role of faith in his own life and in society as a whole, and it offers insights into his beliefs and values. Despite his age, Jimmy Carter continues to be active in public life and remains a respected and beloved figure in American politics and culture. His win at the Grammy Awards was a fitting tribute to his contributions to the world of literature and to his ongoing commitment to making the world a better place for all.

Did You Know?

He has also been a prolific writer, with more than 30 books to his name, including memoirs, political commentary, and works on faith and spirituality.

3. George Burns (January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996)

Age Won: 95 years, 31 days
Year Won: 1991
Category: Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording Album
Work: Gracie: A Love Story

George Burnsphoto source: Wikipedia

George Burns was a legendary American comedian and actor known for his quick wit, cigar-smoking persona, and charming personality. He had a career that spanned more than seven decades, and he was beloved by audiences around the world. In 1991, at the age of 95 years and 31 days, George Burns became the oldest Grammy winner in history in the category of Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording Album for his book “Gracie: A Love Story.”

The book is a tribute to his beloved wife and comedy partner, Gracie Allen, who passed away in 1964. It chronicles their life together, both on and off stage, and offers insights into their enduring love and partnership. The book was a critical and commercial success, and it cemented George Burns’ status as a beloved and respected figure in American popular culture.

George Burns’ win at the Grammy Awards was a fitting tribute to his incredible career and his enduring legacy. His quick wit, humor, and charm continue to inspire and delight audiences around the world, and his legacy will continue to be celebrated for generations to come.

Did You Know?

He remained active in the entertainment industry until his death in 1996, and his influence on comedy and popular culture can still be felt today.

2. Tony Bennett (August 3, 1926 – present)

Age Won: 95 years, 243 days
Year Won: 2022
Category: Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Work: Love For Sale

Tony Bennettphoto source: Twitter

Tony Bennett began his career in the 1950s, and he quickly became a household name with hits such as “Because of You,” “Rags to Riches,” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Over the years, he has continued to release successful albums and collaborate with other musicians, including Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, and Lady Gaga.

Bennett’s vocal style is marked by his ability to convey emotion and connect with audiences, as well as his unparalleled sense of musicality. He has been praised for his ability to adapt to different musical styles, from jazz to pop to rock, and his performances are always characterized by his warmth, charm, and charisma. Despite his age, Bennett continues to tour and perform, and his talent and charisma have made him a beloved icon to generations of music fans around the world.

Did You Know?

He is also a passionate humanitarian and philanthropist and has been involved in various charitable causes throughout his career.

1. Pinetop Perkins (July 7, 1913 – March 21, 2011)

Age Won: 97 years, 221 days
Year Won: 2011
Category: Best Traditional Blues Album
Work: Joined at the Hip

Pinetop Perkinsphoto source: NPR

Pinetop Perkins was not only a talented blues pianist but also a record holder in the music industry. At the age of 97 years and 221 days, he became the oldest Grammy award winner ever in 2011, winning the award for Best Traditional Blues Album for his work on “Joined at the Hip.” Perkins’ win was a fitting tribute to his long and illustrious career, which spanned more than seven decades. He began playing the piano as a child and went on to play with some of the biggest names in the blues, including Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, and Ike Turner.

Perkins was also a member of Muddy Waters’ band for more than a decade and was featured on many of Waters’ most famous recordings. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout his life, including poverty, racism, and health issues, Perkins never gave up on his music. He continued to perform and record well into his 90s, and his passion for the blues was evident in every note he played.

Did You Know?

Perkins played with a number of famous blues musicians throughout his career, including Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Nighthawk, and Earl Hooker.


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