The prestigious Grammy Awards are associated with the biggest names in music, so who would you think holds the title for the most Grammy wins in history? Would your mind immediately jump to megastar rock and pop acts such as U2, Bruce Springsteen or Taylor Swift, perhaps?
We can’t refute your logic, but the statistics show that other artists have been more successful. There is an elite cadre of artists who boast over 20 Grammy wins, but you might be surprised to discover that while Beyoncé and U2 each have 22, they’re still behind the legendary Stevie Wonder, whose 25 Grammy wins include Album Of The Year successes for career-defining LPs Innervisions and Songs In The Key Of Life.
Climbing even higher, we encounter versatile folk, country and crossover pop icon Alison Krauss and seminal musician, composer and producer/mogul Quincy Jones, who possess 27 Grammys each. Krauss has won a variety of awards for solo releases such as Lonely Runs Both Ways and for her much-acclaimed Robert Plant collaboration, Raising Sand. Quincy Jones, meanwhile, has left his mark on the Grammys since the 60s and his many accolades include awards for future-shaping solo records such as Walking In Space and for his production of Michael Jackson’s colossal Thriller.
The winner of the most Grammy awards is…
Yet perhaps the real surprise is that many of the biggest Grammy Award winners come from the classical sphere. Responsible for composing seminal scores for the likes of Jaws, ET The Extra-Terrestrial and the hallowed Star Wars, you could realistically refer to 23-time Grammy winner John Williams as a household name, but it’s harder to make a claim for gifted classical pianist and 25-time Grammy winner Vladimir Horowitz or French composer Pierre Boulez, winner of 26 Grammys.
These are all staggering feats, yet they still fall behind one relatively unsung figure’s achievements. Comfortably ahead of the pack is Sir Georg Solti, the Hungarian-born orchestral and operatic conductor, and long-serving musical director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Initially rewarded with a Grammy for Best Opera Recording for Verdi: Aida in 1963, Solti’s triumphs continued until the year of his passing, 1997, when he won Best Opera Recording for Wagner: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg. To this day the holder of the most Grammy Awards in any genre (31), Solti can also claim the most wins in the classical field. Even in death he remains the Grammys’ undisputed champion.
Follow the Grammys Gold playlist for more classic Grammy winners.