Last Updated on February 11, 2023 by Scott Shetler
What seemed inevitable became reality last weekend, when Beyonce scooped up four more Grammy Awards to bring her career total to 32, more than any artist in the 60+ year history of the Grammys.
At the 2023 Grammy ceremony, Bey walked away with Best R&B Song for “Cuff It,” Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Plastic Off the Sofa,” Best Dance Recording for “Break My Soul,” and Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for Renaissance.
That last award gave her the all-time Grammy record. “Thank you so much to the Grammys,” she said during an emotional acceptance speech.
Beyonce did not win Album of the Year, as many had expected. But she does have the most Grammys in history, and that’s a pretty good consolation prize.
Now that she’s taken the all-time record, how long will she hold it? And who else could possibly challenge the record? Let’s take a look at how the numbers stack up, through the 2023 Grammy Awards.
The All-Time Grammy Win Leaderboard
Here’s the proof that it’s real: Beyonce atop the list of all-time Grammy wins.
Most Career Grammy Wins:
31 Georg Solti
28 Quincy Jones
27 Alison Krauss
27 Chick Corea
26 Pierre Boulez
25 Stevie Wonder
25 John Williams
25 Vladimir Horowitz
24 Kanye West
By the way, Beyonce also holds the record for most career Grammy nominations with 88, tied with her husband Jay-Z.
Who Could Catch Beyonce?
Looking at that leaderboard, it’s not clear that anybody could catch Beyonce anytime soon. She really could hold this record for years, if not decades.
That’s especially true if she keeps releasing new music. As we just saw, the Recording Academy still loves Beyonce, so if she remains prolific, odds are she could someday reach an astounding 40 Grammy Awards.
But just for fun, let’s imagine that Beyonce decided to pull a Rihanna and stop making music for the rest of the decade. In that case, might someone ever tie her record?
If we had to place odds on the most likely artists to pass Beyonce’s 32 Grammy wins, these would be our (admittedly long-shot) candidates.
1. Alison Krauss (27 Grammys)
We have to start with the only active performer within shouting distance of Beyonce, and that’s the extraordinarily-talented country and bluegrass star, Alison Krauss, who has 27 Grammys to her name so far.
There was a time that Krauss won pretty much every award for which she was nominated, but those days are behind us. Her last win came in 2012, and though she was nominated twice in 2023 for her collab album with Robert Plant, she did not win either.
Still, Krauss is only five behind Beyonce, and she’s well-liked and respected within the country, bluegrass, and folk fields. So if anybody is going to catch Beyonce in the next 10 years, it will be her.
2. Kanye West (24 Grammys)
I know, I know. Kanye hasn’t been popular lately, neither with the Grammys nor with the general public. But he already has 24 Grammys, and he’s still getting nominated on a regular basis.
He just won two more awards in 2022 for Donda, both in the Rap field, where most of his wins have come. It’s unlikely he’ll ever win a major award in the General Field. But he could potentially keep pumping out albums and collect enough Grammys in the Rap field alone to get to 32.
And remember – featured artists now get credit in the Album of the Year category. So he could do a guest verse and someone else’s album and still earn a Grammy.
3. Kendrick Lamar (17 Grammys)
Like Kanye, Kendrick Lamar releases music fairly often, and wins a ton of awards in the Rap field. He’s won 17 Grammys in just 10 years, a pace that could see him equal Beyonce in another decade.
His 2022 album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers wasn’t as acclaimed or commercially successful as his previous work, but it still won three more Grammys. That’s a clear sign that Lamar has become a Grammy favorite. With a few more albums, he could pass Kanye and Jay-Z for the most Grammys ever won by a rapper.
4. Jay-Z (24 Grammys)
Jay-Z has 24 Grammys from 88 nominations. Amazingly, he’s only failed to earn at least one Grammy nod twice in the past 22 years. In 2023, he picked up five more nods for his work with Beyonce and DJ Khaled, though he didn’t win any.
The problem for Jay-Z is twofold: First, he usually doesn’t beat Kanye or Kendrick Lamar head to head. And second, he often records with his wife, which means that if the two of them share an award, he doesn’t get any closer to catching her.
5. Chick Corea (27 Grammys)
Jazz performer Chick Corea racked up 27 Grammys from 1976 to 2022, and was showing no signs of stopping, until his passing in 2021.
It’s still very possible that he could be nominated in the future for songs which may be released posthumously. And that could earn him a couple more Grammys.
But it’s questionable whether he would have enough material in the vault to nab five posthumous awards, which is how many he needs to catch Beyonce.
6. Taylor Swift (11 Grammys)
Taylor Swift would seem to be an obvious contender to Beyonce’s throne, given her many Grammy successes over the years. She’s won Album of the Year three times! And she already has more American Music Awards than anyone in history.
Surprisingly, though, Swift only has 11 career Grammy wins thus far. For a long time, she straddled the line between country and pop, and therefore didn’t seem to be fully embraced by either segment of the Recording Academy, which probably cost her a few wins. Swift didn’t capture any awards in 2014 or 2015, for instance, even though her overall popularity was incredibly high at that time.
Although Swift’s win percentage of 23.9% (11 for 46) isn’t stellar, she pumps out new albums almost every year. So it’s possible that she could pile up another 15-20 Grammys in the next ten years, which would put her close to the 30 range.
7. Adele (16 Grammys)
Before 2023, Adele’s Grammy track record was historic. She had won 15 Grammys out of 18 nominations, a preposterous success rate. But she won only 1 out of 7 nods this year, taking home Best Pop Solo Performance for “Easy on Me.”
It seems that Academy voters may be starting to move on from Adele. Still, her 16 Grammys are the fourth-most by any woman in history, so she can’t be ruled out. She tends to win Grammys in bunches, so she could conceivably win 16 more Grammys in four or five album cycles.
The problem is that five album cycles for Adele could last 30 years. Given the slow rate with which she releases new music, don’t hold your breath that Adele will ever catch Beyonce’s total.
8. John Williams (25 Grammys)
Famous Star War and Jaws composer John Williams has nabbed 25 Grammys throughout a lengthy career that saw him score his first Grammy nom way back in 1962.
Williams is still getting nominated these days. A lot, in fact! Williams has picked up at least one Grammy nom in 9 of the past 11 years, with his last win coming in 2020.
As long as there are movie scores to compose, Williams remains a Grammy threat. But can he find a way to win 7 more to tie Beyonce? That would be asking a lot.
9. Foo Fighters (15 Grammys)
I thought about going with U2 here, since the lads’ 22 awards are the most Grammys in history by a group. But U2 rarely get nominated anymore, and haven’t won anything since 2006.
The Foo Fighters, on the other hand, are Grammy darlings who gobble up just about every Rock award they get nominated for, including a 3-for-3 showing in 2022. Though they tragically lost drummer Taylor Hawkins last year, the Foos plan to record new music, which will presumably excite Grammy voters.
10. Georg Solti (31 Grammys)
We have to include Sir Georg Solti on the list of contenders, since he’s only 1 Grammy behind Beyonce with 31. But the odds of him winning another one are extremely low.
The legendary conductor passed away in 1997, and he hasn’t been nominated for anything since 1999. While many performers have won posthumous Grammys over the years, it’s much easier for a singer to pull that off than a conductor. Singers often have boxes of unreleased songs sitting around, and their voices can easily be sampled or incorporated into new songs even after they’re gone. Orchestra conductors don’t have that luxury.
Unless there’s a Solti-helmed symphony performance that has been buried in the archives for three decades awaiting release, Solti is unlikely to ever move off his number of 31.
How Long Will Beyonce Hold the Record?
In addition to the artists named above, Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones are within striking distance of Beyonce, but their days of winning Grammys seem to be over.
As you can see, there aren’t a lot of strong contenders to Beyonce’s throne. She may reign as the Queen of the Grammys for a very long time.
The prediction here is that Beyonce will hold the Grammy record at least into the 2040s.
Do you think anyone will ever beat out Beyonce for the most Grammys in history?