Among the biggest and most iconic winners in the Grammy Awards’ hall of fame, there reside a few surprise recipients from over the years. Novelty songs, comedians and even US presidents have all scooped one of the prestigious gramophone statuettes, so we take a look back at the Grammy Award winners you probably didn’t know about.
Former president Bill Clinton isn’t the only leader to have won a pair of Grammy Awards, as current US President Barack Obama has a pair of statuettes on the mantlepiece in the White House right now. The politician won two Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album before he was elected into office. The first was for an audio recording of his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father, which was re-released in 2004. The second was in 2008 for his second memoir The Audacity of Hope.
While the 42nd President of the United States is a formidable saxophonist, he has actually won two Grammy Awards for his voice. Speaking voice, that is. The first was in 2005 for Wolf Tracks and Peter and the Wolf; an album that combined an orchestral composition with narration by Clinton over the top.
It won the award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. What’s even more strange is that Italian-French film star Sophia Loren was a co-recipient with him. The second was in 2008 for the audio book for his autobiography My Life, which scooped the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Three years after his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Best Spoken Word Grammy for his recorded speech Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.
Former President Jimmy Carter won the Best Spoken Word Grammy in 2007 for the audiobook to Our Endangered Values. He got his fifth Grammy nomination in a decade for the 2016 awards.
Never one to stand at the side-line and let her husband get all the glory (and rightly so), Hillary Clinton can also count herself as a bonafide Grammy Award winner. Hillary, in fact, bagged an award at the glitzy ceremony years before her husband did, winning the trophy for Best Spoken Word Album in 1997 for It Takes a Village.
There are many awards you’d expect Patrick Stewart to have won. Tonys, Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, and even an award for best Twitter account ever, if such a prize exists. However, the British actor was the recipient of the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children in 1996 for his recording of Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf. He faced tough competition from Morgan Freeman and Winona Ryder.
The cast of Sesame Street are multiple Grammy Award winners. Having bagged two awards for Best Album for Children (one in 1971 and another in 1982), they join a long list of fictional characters who have been handed the famous gramophone trophy. Others include The Muppets, ET, The Little Mermaid and Winnie the Pooh.