7 Huge Artists Who Have Never Won a Music Award

Music awards are a way to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the industry’s most talented artists. While many musicians have received numerous accolades throughout their careers, some popular artists have yet to receive recognition from major music awards shows.

Grammy and Billboard Music Award winners deserve the recognition they receive for their talent and hard work, but major awards aren’t the only measure of an artist’s impact on the music industry. The following list showcases seven such artists who have left an indelible mark on the world of music, despite the absence of awards on their shelves.

1. Bob Marley

Born in 1945 in Nine Mile, Jamaica, Bob Marley rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the leader of the reggae group The Wailers. He became known for his powerful, politically conscious lyrics and upbeat, roots-based sound that drew influence from Rastafarianism and ska.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time, Marley’s influence on popular music is undeniable. He has been credited with helping to bring reggae music to a global audience and released many successful albums throughout his career, including “Exodus,” “Legend,” and “Uprising. Marley passed away at the young age of 36, but his music is celebrated and loved by fans all over the world.

2. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. One of the greatest and most influential guitarists in the history of popular music, he rose to prominence in the late 1960s with a unique and innovative playing style that combined blues, rock, and psychedelic music.

Hendrix’s prolific career included the release of several groundbreaking albums, including “Are You Experienced,” “Axis: Bold as Love,” and “Electric Ladyland.” He was known for his virtuosic guitar playing, his explosive live performances, and his signature use of distortion and feedback. Like Bob Marley, Hendrix died at a young age, but his legacy has continued to grow, and he is now remembered as a true icon of rock and roll.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

3. The Who

Formed in London in 1964, The Who rose to prominence in the 1960s as one of the leading lights of the British Invasion, and they have since become one of the most influential and innovative rock bands in the world.

In addition to their musical innovations, The Who is also known for their rebellious image and social commentary in their lyrics. Songs like “My Generation” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” reflect the frustration and disillusionment of the youth of their generation and still resonate with audiences today.

4. Depeche Mode

Over the course of their career, British electronic music band Depeche Mode has released numerous hit albums and songs, including “Music for the Masses,” “Violator,” and “Songs of Faith and Devotion.”

Their music, which blends electronic and industrial music with elements of rock and pop, has been praised for its emotional depth and political consciousness. They have been credited with helping to shape the sound of electronic music. Their impact on the music industry is undeniable, and they continue to inspire new generations of fans across the globe.

5. Queen

Queen has captured the hearts of music lovers for decades. With their distinctive blend of hard rock, heavy metal, and progressive rock, the electrifying and innovative British rock band created a sound that was truly ahead of its time.

Queen’s discography is a testament to their musical genius, and their hits, including “A Night at the Opera,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are the Champions,” have become anthems for generations of fans. Their popularity has only increased in recent years, and their music remains as relevant and impactful as ever.

Photo by Noah Näf on Unsplash

6. Sia

With her powerful voice, introspective lyrics, and innovative production style, Sia has created a deeply personal and universally relatable sound. Her music is characterized by its emotional depth and musical sophistication, and her songs have touched the hearts of listeners around the world.

Sia’s discography is a testament to her musical prowess, and her hits, including “Chandelier,” “Elastic Heart,” and “Cheap Thrills,” have become pop anthems for fans of all ages. Despite never winning a major music award, her voice is instantly recognizable, and her ability to convey deep emotion through her music is truly unparalleled.

7. Björk

Björk is a musical force unlike any other. Hailing from Iceland, she has captivated audiences with her ethereal voice and avant-garde approach to music. Her discography blends elements of electronica, alternative rock, and classical music to create a truly unique sound that defies categorization.

From her early work with The Sugarcubes to her critically acclaimed solo albums, Björk has always pushed the boundaries of what is possible in music. In the absence of any major awards, she is revered by fans and musicians alike, nonetheless, for her boundary-pushing approach to music and her unapologetic individuality.

About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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