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5 Artists Who Deserve (But Have Never Won) A Grammy

Kathy Zerbib |
February 5, 2013 | 12:07 a.m. PST

Associate Entertainment Editor

Frank Ocean received four nominations, plus another two for his part on a Jay-Z/Kanye collaboration (LEROE24/Creative Commons).
Frank Ocean received four nominations, plus another two for his part on a Jay-Z/Kanye collaboration (LEROE24/Creative Commons).
Frank Ocean

This year is the first time that Frank Ocean has been nominated for a Grammy and he (deservingly) is in the running for six. He is nominated for Album of the Year for “Channel Orange,” alongside Jack White’s “Blunderbuss,” Mumford & Sons’ “Babel,” The Black Keys’ “El Camino,” and Fun’s “Some Nights.” “Channel Orange” is also in the running for best Urban Contemporary Album and one of its singles, “Thinkin Bout You,” is up for Record of the Year. Ocean is also competing for Best New Artist (along with Alabama Shakes, Fun, Hunter Hayes, and The Lumineers), Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Best Short Form Music Video (the last two are for his participation in Jay-Z and Kanye West’s song “No Church In The Wild”). Ocean deserves his nominations and, ultimately, the Grammys because he is different from the other big names of his genre. His sound is reminiscent of an older time, with hints of a soft nostalgia in his voice. He sings in a low and soft voice, occasionally picking up momentum when his lyrics turn to a twisted lust and darkened memories. For evidence of his majestic talent, be sure to catch his performance at the Grammys. Frank Ocean won't disappoint.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd is in a league vastly apart from the big names in music we easily recognize, such as Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Kanye West. But he is just as deserving of a Grammy as all of them, as he, too, is a unique talent with his own feel and sound. His beats create mellow, laidback slow-jams, his lyrics are sensual and R&B-influenced, and his voice exudes both loneliness and controlled power. Every one of his songs allows the listener to be pulled deeper into his intoxicating blend of beats and vocals, creating a numbing experience one simply cannot compare to Justin Bieber or Usher (though both are extremely talented in their own right). Listening to The Weeknd is a calming yet heart-wrenching experience, especially since his music is entirely too easy to relate to. Sadly, The Weeknd is ineligible for a Grammy, as he released albums that were free to the public online (while still managing to make money off of sold copies, it is crucial to note).

Jhene Aiko

While she temporarily paused her musical career to finish her education, Jhene Aiko is back and staying true to herself and her style, refusing to submit to the standards being a mainstream artist would demand of her. She, too, releases mixtapes like The Weeknd and thus is ineligible for a Grammy. Yet Aiko is highly worthy of some Grammy recognition because of her commitment to individualism and blatant refusal to be bought into the system. Her voice is sultry and gentle, with soft, background vibes that compliment her pop/hip-hop tones. She sounds like a more soulful, lighthearted version of Aaliyah (an influence of Aiko’s, it turns out). Aiko should be admired for her individuality, but being brought to a wider fan base is what she deserves. To do so, she must compromise her strong-willed ways, but will ultimately reap the benefits in awards and compensation, like a Grammy or two.

Chris Daughtry

Though he finished fourth on the fifth season of “American Idol” in 2006, Daughtry was clearly meant for a successful career in music. And he did achieve success, as his band Daughtry has pumped out hit after hit since 2007. “It’s Not Over,” “Home,” and “No Surprise” brought the former contestant fame he previously only expected if he won the competition. In 2007, Daughtry’s work was nominated for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, and two songs were in the running for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. It is unfortunate that these were merely Grammy nominations and the band was unable to snag a win that year, much less be nominated in subsequent years. It is a real shame because Daughtry’s vocal range is astounding. He was not just the average rocker that he was stereotyped as being on “American Idol;” Daughtry puts passion into his songs that makes his listeners want to get up and rage along with him. They were robbed of those titles, but hopefully will produce more hits in the future that will help the band attain those Grammys that got away.


With such a distinctive look and voice, it is no surprise that Björk has been nominated 14 times for a Grammy. This year, her album “Biophilia” is up for both Best Alternative Music Album and Best Recording Package. But it is a shock that the Icelandic artist has not won a single one yet. Her music is inarguably different, using electronic dance beats and a versatile vocal range that flows to her own beat. She does not conform to a particular genre, which explains why she has been praised for her talents in electronic dance music, folk, and rock. Perhaps 2013 is the year for Björk to finally take home a Grammy, rather than leave with the knowledge of having been nominated at all. It is Björk’s time to shine.

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