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I was listening to the song “The Roots of Coincidence” by Pat Metheny Group and learned that the song won a Grammy for best rock instrumental performance - which is surprising given that the group is not a rock band!

That got me wondering - which person has won the most distinct types of Grammy awards? I imagine that this would correspond to someone who has significant versatility as a musician (e.g. winning for best pop duo, and for rock metal album, and for jazz, etc.). I’ve found many lists online that give the total number of Grammy awards different people have won, but that’s separate from the breadth of awards won.

Who is the current record for most distinct categories of Grammy award won?

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As of 2 Feb 2022


Beyoncé has won in 22 categories

Music Video
Rap Song
Rap Performance
R8B Performance
Music Film
Urban Contemporary Album
R&B Song
Surround Sound Album
Traditional R&B Performance
Song
Female Pop Vocal Performance
Female R&B Vocal Performance
Contemporary R&B Album
R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
Melodic Rap Performance
Record
Pop Vocal Album
Song Written for Visual Media
Pop Solo Performance
Album
Rock Performance
Pop Collaboration with Vocals

Honorable mentions

Quincy Jones: 19 categories

Music Film
Spoken Word Album
Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Legend
Album
Rap Performance by a Duo or Group
Producer, Non-Classical
Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals
Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
Jazz Fusion Performance
Trustees
Record
Music Video
Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
Album for Children
Musical Theater Album
R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
Pop Instrumental Performance
R&B Song

Bruce Stringsteen: 18 categories.

Hall of Fame (2003, 2012)
Solo Rock Vocal Performance (1988, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Rock Song (1993, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013)
Rock Instrumental Performance (1988, 2008)
Music Film (1997, 2007)
Traditional Folk Album (2007)
Male Rock Vocal Performance (1981, 1982, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005)
Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (2004)
Rock Album (2003, 2008, 2013)
Spoken Word Album (2018)
Rock Performance (2013)
Contemporary Folk Album (1997)
Song (1995, 2003, 2006)
Song Written for Visual Media (1995, 2010)
Pop Collaboration with Vocals (2010)
Album (1985, 2003)
Record (1985, 1986, 1995)
Male Pop Vocal Performance (1988)

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  • I wonder how this would work out if you adjust for the number of available award categories at the time of the award. Without that, there's an inherent bias towards artists active when there was a proliferation of categories before the restructuring in 2012.
    – Theodore
    Feb 3 at 21:15

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