Billie Eilish Could Join an Exclusive Grammy Club

Jonas Walzberg/picture alliance via Getty Images
Billie Eilish during an interview at the music and art festival "MS Dockville" on Aug 16, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany

Eilish, 17, would be the youngest person ever to be nominated in each of the Big Four categories.

When the nominations for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards are announced on Nov. 20, Billie Eilish is likely to be nominated for each of the "Big Four" awards -- album, record and song of the year, plus best new artist.

Eilish, 17, would be the youngest person ever to be nominated in each of the Big Four categories. That distinction is currently held by Mariah Carey, who was 20 when she was nominated for all four awards in 1990.

Eilish would be the 11th artist in Grammy history to be nominated in each of the Big Four categories; the eighth female solo artist to achieve this feat. (That's further proof that Grammys tend to favor female solo artists in the new artist category.)

Here's a look back at the first 10 artists to be nominated in all four categories in one year. (I take a look at which artists have gone on to pile up more Grammy nominations -- and which haven't.)


Bobbie Gentry, 1967. Gentry, 23 at the time, was nominated for record and song of the year for "Ode to Billie Joe" and album of the year for her album of the same name. She won best new artist. She was nominated for eight awards that year and won three. Gentry received just one more Grammy nom, in 1970, for her album Fancy.

Christopher Cross, 1980. Cross, 29 at the time, won record and song of the year for "Sailing," album of the year for Christopher Cross and best new artist. Cross is the only artist in Grammy history to win in all four categories in one year -- though Eilish may equal that feat when the Grammys are presented on Jan. 26. Cross was nominated for six awards that year and won five. He received three more Grammy noms the following year for "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)."

Cyndi Lauper, 1984. Lauper was 31 at the time, older than any other artist to sweep noms in the Big Four categories. She was nominated for record of the year for "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," song of the year for "Time After Time" and album of the year for She's So Unusual. She won best new artist. Lauper was nominated for five awards that year and won one. She has gone on to receive 11 more noms, including a 2013 win for best musical theater album for Kinky Boots.

Tracy Chapman, 1988. Chapman, 24 at the time, was nominated for record and song of the year for "Fast Car" and album of the year for Tracy Chapman. She won best new artist. She was nominated for six awards that year and won three. She has gone to receive seven more noms, winning a 1996 Grammy for best rock song for "Give Me One Reason."

Mariah Carey, 1990. Carey, 20 at the time, was nominated for record and song of the year for "Vision of Love" and album of the year for Mariah Carey. She won best new artist. She was nominated for five awards that year and won two. Carey has gone on to receive 29 additional noms (more than anyone else on this list), including three wins.

Paula Cole, 1997. Cole, 29 at the time, was nominated for record and song of the year for "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" and album of the year for This Fire. She won best new artist. She received seven noms that year, winning one. She has yet to receive another Grammy nom.

India.Arie, 2001. India.Arie, 26 at the time, received seven noms that year, but lost 'em all. She's the only artist on this list who went home empty-handed despite noms in each of the Big Four categories. She was nominated for record and song of the year for "Video," album of the year for Acoustic Soul and best new artist. But India.Arie has had the last laugh: she has gone on to receive 15 additional noms, including four wins.

Amy Winehouse, 2007. Winehouse, 24 at the time, was the first artist who was born outside of the U.S. to receive noms in each of the Big Four categories in one year. Winehouse was born in England. She won record and song of the year for "Rehab" and best new artist. She was nominated for album of the year for Back to Black. Winehouse received six noms that year, winning five. Winehouse went on to receive three additional noms, winning two. Winehouse died in 2011. She's the only artist on this list who has passed away.

Fun., 2012. Fun. is the only group to receive noms in each of the Big Four categories in one year. The trio won song of the year for "We Are Young" and best new artist. It was nominated for record of the year for "We Are Young" and album of the year for Some Nights. It won best new artist. Fun. received six noms that year, winning two. While Fun. hasn't released a studio album since Some Nights, two of the three members have gone on to receive additional noms. Nate Ruess received two additional noms for his work with P!nk on "Just Give Me a Reason." Jack Antonoff has received four additional noms, including wins for album of the year for his work on Taylor Swift's 1989 and best rock song for co-writing St. Vincent's "Masseduction."

Sam Smith, 2014. Smith, 22 at the time, was only the second artist born outside the U.S. to receive noms in each of the Big Four noms in one year. Like Winehouse, he is English. Smith won record and song of the year for "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)" and best new artist. He was nominated for album of the year for In the Lonely Hour. He received six noms that year, winning four. Smith has yet to receive another Grammy nom, though that could (and should) change this year.

Five other artists came close and deserve mention.

Carpenters (1970), Joan Osborne (1995) and Norah Jones (2002) would have accomplished the sweep, but they didn't write their song of the year nominees. Paul Williams and Roger Nichols wrote the Carpenters' smash "We've Only Just Begun." Eric Bazilian wrote Osborne's hit "One of Us." Jesse Harris wrote Jones' classic "Don't Know Why."

Sheryl Crow's debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, was released in the previous eligibility year and thus couldn't be nominated in 1994, the year of her near-sweep. Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" (1995) wasn't commercially released as a single and thus wasn't eligible for a record of the year nom. (The latter rule has since changed.)

2020 Grammy Awards


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