Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance

The Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance is an award presented at the Grammy Awards to recording artists for works (songs or albums) containing quality performances in the heavy metal music genre. The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony, where honors in several categories are presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position". The ceremony was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.

The NARAS recognized heavy metal music artists for the first time at the 31st Grammy Awards (1989). The category was originally presented as Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental, combining two of the most popular music genres of the 1980s. Jethro Tull won that award for the album Crest of a Knave, beating Metallica, which were expected to win with the album ...And Justice for All. This choice led to widespread criticism of the NARAS, as journalists suggested that the music of Jethro Tull did not belong in the hard rock or heavy metal genres. In response, the NARAS created the categories Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance, separating the genres.

The Best Metal Performance category was first presented at the 32nd Grammy Awards in 1990, and was again the subject of controversy when rock musician Chris Cornell (lead vocalist for the band Soundgarden) was perplexed by the organization's nomination of the band Dokken in this category. Metallica won in the first three years. The awards were presented for the song "One", a cover version of Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy", and the album Metallica. During 2012–2013, the award was temporarily discontinued in a major overhaul of Grammy categories; all solo or duo/group performances in the hard rock and metal categories were shifted to the newly formed Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category. However, in 2014, the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category was split, returning the Best Metal Performance category and recognizing quality hard rock performances in the Best Rock Performance category.

As of 2011, Metallica holds the record for the most wins in this category, with a total of six. The bands Black Sabbath, Nine Inch Nails, Slayer, and Tool have each received the award twice. The bands Ministry and Anthrax hold the record for the most nominations without win, with five.


Metallica at The O2 Arena London 2008.jpg
Members of the six-time award-winning band, Metallica
Trent-Reznor 2009.jpg
Trent Reznor of the two-time award-winning band, Nine Inch Nails
Ozzy on tour in Japan.jpg
1994 award winner, Ozzy Osbourne
Korn 03322006 Milwaukee.jpg
Jonathan Davis of the 2003 award-winning band, Korn
Lemmy of the 2005 award-winning band, Motörhead
Slipknot Live in Toronto, 2005 6.jpg
Members of the 2006 award-winning band, Slipknot
Slayer, The Fields of Rock, 2007.jpg
Members of the two-time award-winning band, Slayer
Judas Priest Retribution 2005 Tour.jpg
Members of the 2010 award-winning band, Judas Priest
Iron Maiden in the Palais Omnisports of Paris-Bercy (France).jpg
Members of the 2011 award-winning band, Iron Maiden
Members of the two-time award-winning band, Black Sabbath
Year[I] Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
1990 Metallica "One"
1991 Metallica "Stone Cold Crazy"
1992 Metallica Metallica
1993 Nine Inch Nails "Wish"
1994 Osbourne, OzzyOzzy Osbourne "I Don't Want to Change the World" (live)
1995 Soundgarden "Spoonman"
1996 Nine Inch Nails "Happiness in Slavery" (live)
1997 Rage Against the Machine "Tire Me"
1998 Tool "Ænema"
1999 Metallica "Better Than You"
2000 Black Sabbath "Iron Man" (live)
2001 Deftones "Elite"
2002 Tool "Schism"
2003 Korn "Here to Stay"
2004 Metallica "St. Anger"
2005 Motörhead "Whiplash"
2006 Slipknot "Before I Forget"
2007 Slayer "Eyes of the Insane"
2008 Slayer "Final Six"
2009 Metallica "My Apocalypse"
2010 Judas Priest "Dissident Aggressor" (live)
2011 Iron Maiden "El Dorado"
2014 Black Sabbath "God Is Dead?"
2015 Tenacious D "The Last in Line"
2016 Ghost "Cirice"
2017 Megadeth "Dystopia"

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.

See also

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