Aretha Franklin, Billie Eilish & More Women Who Hold Awards Show Records

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Getty Images/Designed by Jenny Regan

Billie Eilish, Barbra Streisand, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Aretha Franklin

To celebrate Women's History Month, let's take a look at the women who dominate awards shows.

In honor of Women's History Month, which runs through the end of March, let's look at records that women have set at awards shows. These aren't simply instances of the first woman to do this or that; these are cases where a woman holds a record that isn't gender-specific.

In some cases, women are absolutely crushing it in a particular category. In the history of the Academy Awards, just three people have been nominated for Oscars for acting and songwriting in the same year. All three are women: Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga and Cynthia Erivo.

Billie Eilish set a record earlier in January as the youngest person ever to win the Grammy for album of the year. She was just 18 when she won for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The old record was held by Taylor Swift, who was 20 when she won for Fearless. Before that, it was held by Alanis Morissette, who was 21 when she won for Jagged Little Pill. And before that it was held by Barbra Streisand who was 22 when she won for The Barbra Streisand Album. Between them, these four women have held this record continuously since Streisand first set it in May 1964. Now that's impressive.

Want a little more proof that women are hardly the weaker sex? Just 12 artists have received Grammy nominations in each of the Big Four categories -- album, record and song of the year, plus best new artist -- in the same calendar year. Nine (fully three-quarters) have been women, from Bobbie Gentry (1967) to Eilish and Lizzo this past year.

Women also rule at the MTV Video Music Awards. Of the four artists who are two-time VMA winners for video of the year (as lead artists), three are women: Rihanna, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.

Here are 20 more awards show records held by women:

Longest winning streak in any Grammy category: Aretha Franklin (eight years). The Queen of Soul won best R&B vocal performance, female every year from 1967-74. That's a lot of "Respect."

Youngest solo artist to win a Grammy: LeAnn Rimes. The precocious singer was just 14 when she won two Grammys at the 1996 awards. She took best new artist and best female country vocal performance for "Blue," which was, of course, reminiscent of another unforgettable female artist, Patsy Cline.

Youngest artist to receive Grammy nominations for each of the Big Four awards in one year: Eilish. The phenom was just 17 when she was nominated in all four categories on Nov. 20, which allowed her to surpass the previous record-holder, Mariah Carey (who was 20 when she swept the 1990 noms). Eilish is also the youngest artist to win in each of the Big Four categories in one year.

Artist with the most American Music Awards: Swift (29). Swift is also the artist with the most AMAs for artist of the year (five). Swift's current hit, "The Man," has a feminist theme -- appropriate for Women's History Month.

Most ACM Awards: Miranda Lambert (34). The Texan is also the ACM leader for most awards in these three key categories: female vocalist of the year (nine), album of the year (five) and song of the year (as a songwriter, three).

Most MTV Video Music Awards: Beyoncé (26). The icon has won 26 Moon Persons (it still doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as Moonman, does it?). She passed 20-time winner Madonna as the top winner in the show's history in 2016.

Most Oscars for acting: Katharine Hepburn (four, all for lead actress). The great star also holds the records for the longest time span between first and last Oscar nominations and between first and last Oscars -- 49 years from Morning Glory (1932-33) through On Golden Pond (1981).

Most Oscar nominations for acting: Meryl Streep (21). The acting GOAT (in everyone's eyes but Donald Trump's) landed her first Oscar nod for The Deer Hunter (1978); her most recent for The Post (2017).

Most consecutive years receiving an Oscar nomination in a lead acting category (tie): Bette Davis and Greer Garson (five each). Davis' streak ran from 1938-42; Garson's from 1941-45. Decades later, Davis was immortalized in Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes," a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981.

Youngest winner of an Oscar: Shirley Temple. The OG America's Sweetheart, who lifted a nation's spirits during the Great Depression, was six when she was awarded an honorary Oscar "in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934."

Youngest winner of a competitive acting Oscar: Tatum O'Neal. The second-generation star was 10 when she won best supporting actress for Paper Moon (1973).

Youngest winner of a lead acting Oscar: Marlee Matlin. She was 21 when she won best actress for Children of a Lesser God (1986). Her achievement is all the more impressive owing to her deafness.

First actor or actress to win an Oscar for performing in a language other than English: Sophia Loren. The Italian actress and screen beauty won best actress for Two Women (1961).

Only person to win Oscars for both acting and songwriting: Streisand. The prodigiously talented multi-hyphenate won best actress for Funny Girl (1968, in a headline-making tie with Hepburn) and best original song for composing "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born") (1976).

Only person to win Oscars both acting and screenwriting: Emma Thompson. The Dame (so appointed in 2018) won best actress for Howards End (1992) and best adapted screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (1995).

Most Tonys won for performances: Audra McDonald (six). The actress/singer's Tonys span the years 1994-2014. McDonald is also the only person to win Tonys in all four categories in which a performer is eligible—for playing both lead and featured roles in both plays and musicals.

Most Tony nominations for performances (tie): Julie Harris and Chita Rivera (10 each). Harris' nominations span the years 1952-97. Rivera's nods span the years 1961-2015. In addition, both women have received special Tony Awards for lifetime achievement in the theatre.

Most Emmys won by a performer (tie): Cloris Leachman and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (eight each). Leachman's Emmys span the years 1973-2006 and include two awards each for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Malcolm in the Middle. Louis-Dreyfus' span the years 1996-2017. Louis-Dreyfus also holds the record for most Emmys won for a playing the same role in the same series. She won six Emmys for playing Selina Meyer on Veep from 2012–17.

Most Emmys won by an individual—Sheila Nevins (31). The documentary film producer's Emmy haul includes a governor's award in 2009.

Most Emmys won by an individual in a single year (tie): Moira Demos and Amy Sherman-Palladino (four each). Demos won her four-pack of Emmys in 2016 for the Netflix show Making a Murderer. Sherman-Palladino matched the feat two years later for the Amazon Prime Video show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Post Script: Women's History Month has been overshadowed this year, to put it mildly, by the global coronavirus pandemic. Let's hope that next year, with this nightmare behind us, we are able to give Women's History Month the full focus and attention it deserves.

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