We Lost Them Too Soon, But These Artists Could Live On With A Win At This Year’s Grammys

A brief history and a look at this year’s posthumous nominees.

Award shows always tug at our heartstrings during the In Memoriam segment, flashing names and faces of our beloved entertainers while a current chart-topper belts out a sentimental tune. It's important to pay homage to those we've lost, but sometimes we even get to recognize them with one final honor — and this year's Grammys could feature a few important instances of just that.


Throughout the years we have seen interesting things happen in regards to posthumous Grammy nominations — and wins. While Amy Winehouse won a Grammy the year after passing away in 2011, other singing legends such as Elvis Presley and Notorious B.I.G. didn't. Even Joan Rivers posthumously won in the Spoken Word category for the audiobook of Diary of a Mad Diva. When it comes to records, though, Ray Charles has bragging rights for having the most posthumous wins in a single night, raking in five back in 2005 — including top prizes such as Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Just last year, David Bowie was the most-winning artist at the Grammys — sweeping all five categories he was nominated in for a 25th and final album titled Blackstar.

With that history lesson behind us, let's take a closer look at the legacy of this year's posthumous nominees:

Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman, who passed away from liver cancer in May 2017, was an American singer-songwriter best known as part of the Allman Brothers Band as well as for having a successful solo career. He amassed 11 Grammy nominations and one win along the way and, in 1995, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This year, Allman is nominated in the Best American Album category for 2017's Southern Blood and in the Best American Roots Song for "My Only True Friend."

Leonard Cohen

You may love the song "Hallelujah," but did you know it was originally written and recorded by Leonard Cohen? Cohen — who passed away back in November 2016 — was a Canadian singer-songwriter (among many other things), who was an inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 and also received many accolades in the Great White North. With only three Grammy nominations and one win — plus a Lifetime Achievement Awards from 2010 — he is nominated twice, once in the Best Rock Performance Category for "You Want It Darker" and once in the Best American Roots Performance category for "Steer Your Way," both off his 2016 farewell album.

Chris Cornell

If you're a fan of either Soundgarden or Audioslave, you are familiar with the voice of Chris Cornell. With these bands (and during a great solo career to boot), he garnered 15 Grammy nominations with two wins. This year, Cornell — who passed away in May 2017 by suicide — is nominated in the Best Rock Performance category for the song "The Promise," which was written for a film of the same name.

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher, who is best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, passed away in December 2016 and left behind a legacy of inspiring countless fierce feminists. She is nominated in the Spoken Word category for the audiobook recording to her memoir The Princess Diarist. Before this, in 2009, Fisher was nominated in the same category and for another memoir — this one titled Wishful Drinking.

The Snubs

Credit: @atcq / Instagram | Linkin Park / Facebook

No, this isn't the name of an obscure musical act so you can forget the Spotify search right now. While the previous folks were able to snag Grammy nominations posthumously, there were a few notable instances this year when that wasn't the case. The first was the surprising fact that Linkin Park was passed over entirely for their final album with lead singer Chester Bennington, 2017's One More Light. Then there was an omission of A Tribe Called Quest for their final album with founding member Phife Dawg, 2016's We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service.

As for whether or not these dearly departed talents will win from beyond the grave, you'll have to tune in and find out.

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards air Sunday, January 28, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBS.


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