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10/02/2019 08:33 GMT

Grammys 2019: 14 Surprising Winners From Years Gone By

Including politicians, important historical figures... and Kermit The Frog.

Winning your first Grammy is an important milestone for any artist, with the likes of Beyoncé, Adele and Lady Gaga all scooping multitudes of awards in the early stages of their career.

But in addition to coveted titles like Album and Record Of The Year, the Grammys also feature some more unusual and niche categories, meaning that there have been a fair few unlikely winners over the years.

Here are just 14 of the most surprising and unexpected winners from Grammys past...

  • Barack Obama
    Barack Obama
    JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images
    Yeah, let's start with the biggie, shall we?

    Not only is Barack Obama a Grammy winner, he's a two-time Grammy winner, scooping booth of his awards prior to being elected US President.

    Both awards were in the Best Spoken Word Album category, for the audiobook versions of his Dreams From My Father and The Audacity Of Hope. 
  • Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Sophia Loren
    Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Sophia Loren
    JLN Photography/Action Press/Lorenzo Carnero/Zuma Wire/REX/Shutterstock/
    Not only are these unlikely Grammy winners, they're an unlikely Grammy-winning trio.

    The former US President, leader of the Soviet Union and screen legend teamed up on a recording combining Peter And The Wolf and Wolf Tracks, landing the award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children in 2004. 
  • Carrie Fisher
    Carrie Fisher
    Barcroft Media via Getty Images
    The Star Wars actress landed a posthumous Oscar in 2018, again in the Best Spoken Word album category, for the audiobook version of her memoir, The Princess Diarist.

    She was previously nominated for the same award in 2010, but lost out to Michael J Fox's Always Looking Up. 
  • Baha Men
    Baha Men
    Vince Bucci via Getty Images
    If you're struggling to place where you know the Baha Men from, perhaps the words "who let the dogs out" will jog your memory.

    Yep, that's the one.

    Despite being, y'know, terrible, their track was named Best Dance Recording in 2001.
  • Spike Jonze
    Spike Jonze
    JB Lacroix via Getty Images
    You might know Spike as the man behind thought-provoking films like Being John Malkovich and the romantic comedy Her, or the big-screen adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are.

    However, he also has an impressive number of music videos under his belt, including Björk's It's Oh So Quiet, Weezer's Buddy Holly and Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice, which landed him the Best Music Video Grammy in 2002.
  • Kathy Griffin
    Kathy Griffin
    Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
    After completing her well-documented quest to win an Emmy for her reality show My Life On The D-List, Kathy Griffin set herself a new mission in bagging a Grammy for Best Comedy Album.

    It took her six years (the first special she submitted was literally called For Your Consideration), but she finally did it in 2013, with her comedy album Calm Down Gurrl.
  • Evanescence
    Evanescence
    Frank Trapper via Getty Images
    Amy Lee-led rock group Evanescence were named Best New Artist in 2004, and as if this fact wasn't 2004 enough for you, they beat competition from 50 Cent, Sean Paul and Stacey's Mom singers Fountains Of Wayne.

    That same year, Bring Me To Life was also awarded Best Hard Rock performance, a category which was retired after 2011.
  • Kate Winslet
    Kate Winslet
    KENA BETANCUR via Getty Images
    The Titanic star's awards cabinet isn't exactly a barren one, with an Oscar, three Baftas, an Emmy and four Golden Globes to her name.

    In 2000, she was able to boast being a Grammy-winner too – not for her too-often-overlooked single What If, but in the Best Spoken Word Album For Children category.

    Incidentally, she's now just one Tony Award away from EGOT status, something which hasn't escaped Kate's attention either.
  • Betty White
    Betty White
    David Livingston via Getty Images
    After more than 70 years in the entertainment industry, international treasure Betty White was finally able to call herself a Grammy winner in 2012, for the audiobook version of her memoir If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't).
  • The Muppets
    The Muppets
    John Shearer via Getty Images
    The Muppets deserve all the awards, if we're being honest, so we're pleased to say they've received a handful of Grammys over the years, first winning Best Recording For Children for their Muppet Show album in 1978, going on to take home the same award the following year for the soundtrack to The Muppet Movie.

    Almost 30 years later, they triumphed in the same category for their festive offering A Green And Red Christmas.

    Their fuzzy counterparts on Sesame Street can also boast a multitude of Grammys to their name, most recently for their 2001 album Elmo And The Orchestra.
  • Martin Luther King Jr
    Martin Luther King Jr
    Keystone Pictures USA/Keystone/REX/Shutterstock
    It's probably not a surprise that Martin Luther King Jr's Grammy win is in the Best Spoken Word category, for the recording of his speech Why I Oppose The War In Vietnam.

    What might come as a shock is the fact he'd been nominated twice prior, losing just one year earlier for the audio recording of his world famous I Have A Dream speech.
  • Steve Jobs
    Steve Jobs
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
    After his death in 2011, the late co-founder of Apple was awarded a posthumous honorary Grammy for having changed the way we all consume and listen to music, thanks to products like iPods and the iTunes store.
  • Esperanza Spalding
    Esperanza Spalding
    Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images
    Of course, nobody is suggesting that jazz musician Esperanza Spalding is an undeserving Grammy winner, but back in 2011, she was our outside pick to win Best New Artist.

    She beat the odds – and fellow nominees Justin Bieber, Drake, Mumford And Sons and Florence + The Machine – and became the first jazz star to ever win the title.
  • Alvin And The Chipmunks
    Alvin And The Chipmunks
    Yep, if you're an artist that has found yourself licking your wounds after being snubbed for a Grammy, just breathe a sigh of relief – at least this means you're not in the same boat as Alvin And The Chipmunks.

    In total, the singing chipmunks have six Grammy wins to their name, including Best Comedy Performance for The Chipmunk Song in 1959 (which was even nominated for Record Of The Year).
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