Simon & Garfunkel never released a studio follow-up to their fifth studio album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, which swept the 1970 awards. They have re-teamed for two live albums, The Concert in Central Park (recorded Sept. 19, 1981) and Old Friends: Live in Stage, recorded on their 2003 tour. The duo opened the 45th annual Grammy Awards in February 2003 with a performance of “The Sound of Silence,” which was a very high-profile way to announce the tour.
Ray Charles died three months before the release of Genius Loves Company, the 2004 album of the year winner, so that became his final studio album.
John Lennon was shot and killed three weeks before the release of Double Fantasy, his collab with Yoko Ono, which was the 1981 album of the year winner. Ono assembled a follow-up by the pair, Milk and Honey, which was released in 1984.
Lauryn Hill has yet to release a studio album follow-up to her solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which took the 1998 award for album of the year.
The Chicks took 14 years to follow Taking the Long Way, which won the 2006 album of the year award. They did finally delivered with last year’s Gaslighter.
Random Access Memories beat two high-powered albums to win album of the year -- Taylor Swift’s Red and Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed breakthrough, good kid, m.A.A.d city. The other nominees that year were Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist and Sara Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest.