With the 2015 Grammys coming up fast, we’re looking back on the last 30 years of artists to nab the night’s top honor: album of the year.
Specifically, we’re running through 1985 to 2014 and looking at the age of each artist when they won the album of the year Grammy. In the case of duos or bands, we took the mean age of the band. (Exceptions: For Santana we used Carlos Santana’s age; for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack we took the age of producer T Bone Burnett.) Check out the full graphic above to peruse the last 30 years of victors.
With her Fearless album, Taylor Swift is the youngest person to win album of the year in this (or any) period. Ray Charles is the eldest person on the list, winning for his collaborative Genius Loves Company album in 2005.
U2 makes the list twice with The Joshua Tree in 1988 and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in 2006. The first time U2 nabbed the honor, their mean age was 27; when they were honored with album of the year for the second time, their mean age was 45.
The plurality of these winners are in the youngest age range: One-third of the artists to win album of the year in the last 30 years have been in their 20s. Artists in the 30s and 40s age range tie for second most-represented demographic, with six showings apiece. Five of the album of the year winners were in the 50s range, two in their 60s and just one in his 70s.
On the other hand, the most common age for an album of the year winner in this period is 23. Those winners were Lauryn Hill in 1999, Norah Jones in 2003 and Adele in 2012. So if Ed Sheeran wins this year for x, he’ll be the fourth 23-year-old artist to nab the honor in 16 years. But at 22, Sam Smith isn’t far off.
We’ll have to wait until Sunday to see what happens. In the meantime, check out the full graphic above.