A Grammy Award (originally called Gramophone Award), or Grammy, is an honor awarded by The Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the mainly English-language music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. It shares recognition of the music industry as that of the other performance awards such as the Emmy Awards (television), the Tony Awards (stage performance), and the Academy Awards (motion pictures).

The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor and respect the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Following the 2011 ceremony, The Academy overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012. The 59th Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 2015 to September 2016, was held on February 12, 2017, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

History

The Grammys had their origin in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the 1950s.[1][2] As the recording executives chosen for the Walk of Fame committee worked at compiling a list of important recording industry people who might qualify for a Walk of Fame star, they realized there were many more people who were leaders in their business who would never earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard. The music executives decided to rectify this by creating an award given by their industry similar to the Oscars and the Emmys. This was the beginning of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. After it was decided to create such an award, there was still a question of what to call it; one working title was the Eddie, to honor the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison. They finally settled on using the name of the invention of Emile Berliner, the gramophone, for the awards, which were first given for the year 1958.[3][4][5]

The first award ceremony was held simultaneously in two locations on May 4, 1959 – Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills California, and Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City,[6] and 28 Grammys were awarded. The number of awards given grew and fluctuated over the years with categories added and removed, at one time reaching over 100.[7] The second Grammy Awards, also held in 1959, was the first ceremony to be televised,[8] but the ceremony was not aired live until the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971.