The Grammy award-winning best song from the year you were born

osingh@businessinsider.com (Olivia Singh)
·16 min read
adele grammy
adele grammy

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

  • Every year, the Grammys celebrates the music industry's top artists and tracks. 

  • Musicians like Adele, Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars, and Billie Eilish have all won the Grammy for record of the year. 

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Grammys annually honors some of the best songs and music videos of the past year, chosen by members of The Recording Academy.

Among all the awards given out during the show, categories like record of the year, album of the year, and song of the year often generate buzz.

The difference between record of the year and song of the year is that the former refers to "the artist's performance as well as the overall contributions of the producer(s), recording engineer(s) and/or mixer(s) if other than the artist" and the latter "recognizes the songwriter(s)."

Keep reading this list to see which track received a Grammy for record of the year on the year that you were born.

1959: "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)" — Domenico Modugno

domenico modungo 1958
domenico modungo 1958

AP

Domenico Modugno's popular track was the first winner of the Grammy for record of the year. Listen to the winning song here

1960: "Mack the Knife" — Bobby Darin

bobby darin in 1965
bobby darin in 1965

AP

The song was also nominated for best male vocal performance. You can listen to "Mack the Knife" here

 

1961: "The Theme from 'A Summer Place'" — Percy Faith and His Orchestra

percy faith 1961
percy faith 1961

AP

Faith won his first Grammy in 1961. "The Theme from 'A Summer Place'" also earned two nominations for best arrangement and best performance by an orchestra. You can listen to the song here

1962: "Moon River" — Henry Mancini

herny mancini grammys 1980
herny mancini grammys 1980

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

At the fourth Grammys, Mancini won awards for record of the year, song of the year, and best arrangement with "Moon River." He won two additional awards for the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" soundtrack. You can listen to "Moon River" here.

 

1963: "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" — Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for NARAS

Tony Bennett won his first of many Grammys in 1963, beginning with the awards for record of the year and best male solo vocal performance for "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Listen to the song here

1964: "Days of Wine and Roses" — Henry Mancini

henry mancini
henry mancini

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Henry Mancini won three awards at the sixth Grammys for "Days of Wine and Roses": record of the year, song of the year, and best background arrangement (behindn vocalist or instrumentalist). Listen to the award-winning track here

1965: "The Girl From Ipanema" — Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto

astrud gilberto 1981
astrud gilberto 1981

AP

In addition to winning record of the year, the two artists also won album of the year and best instrumental jazz performance (small group or soloist with small group) for "Getz/Gilberto." 

You can listen to "The Girl From Ipanema" here.

 

1966: "A Taste of Honey" — Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass

herb alpert march 2006
herb alpert march 2006

Stuart Ramson/AP

"A Taste of Honey" won three awards at the eighth Grammys: record of the year, best non-jazz instrumental performance, and best instrumental arrangement. 

You can listen to the song here

1967: "Strangers in the Night" — Frank Sinatra

frank sinatra mia farrow 1965
frank sinatra mia farrow 1965

AP

Sinatra won three awards that year: record of the year for "Strangers in the Night," album of the year for "A Man and His Music," and best male vocal performance for "Strangers in the Night."

You can listen to the winning song here

1968: "Up, Up, and Away" — 5th Dimension

5th dimension may 1969
5th dimension may 1969

PoPsie Randolph/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

"Up, Up, and Away" won four awards at the 10th Grammys: best performance by a vocal group, best contemporary single, best contemporary group performance (vocal or instrumental), and record of the year. Listen to the song here

1969: "Mrs. Robinson" — Simon and Garfunkel

simon and garfunkel july 2004
simon and garfunkel july 2004

Pier Paolo Cito/AP

The award-winning track is from the duo's 1968 album "The Graduate." You can listen to "Mrs. Robinson" here

1970: "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)" — 5th Dimension

walt frazier fifth dimension november 1974
walt frazier fifth dimension november 1974

Marty Lederhandler/AP

In addition to winning record of the year, the song also won the Grammy for best contemporary vocal performance by a group. You can listen to the song here

 

1971: "Bridge Over Troubled Water" — Simon and Garfunkel

simon and garfunkel 1971 grammys
simon and garfunkel 1971 grammys

AP

The duo, comprised of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, won record of the year and album of the year. Listen to the song here

1972: "It's Too Late" — Carole King

carole king november 2019
carole king november 2019

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

King was a big winner at the 14th Grammys, snagging four total awards: record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, and best female pop vocal performance.  

Listen to "It's Too Late" here

1973: "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" — Roberta Flack

roberta flack grammys 2010
roberta flack grammys 2010

Mark J. Terrill/AP

The original track was actually written by Ewan MacColl and appeared on Flack's "First Take" album. You can listen to "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" here

1974: "Killing Me Softly With His Song" — Roberta Flack

roberta flack grammys 1974
roberta flack grammys 1974

Harold Filan/AP

At the 16th Grammys, Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song" won awards for record of the year and best female pop vocal performance.

You can listen to the song here

1975: "I Honestly Love You" — Olivia Newton-John

olivia newton john performing 2005
olivia newton john performing 2005

Scott Gries/Getty Images

At the 17th Grammys, Olivia Newton-John's "I Honestly Love You" received awards for record of the year and best female pop vocal performance. Listen to the track here

1976: "Love Will Keep Us Together" — Captain & Tennille

Captain Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille
Captain Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

"Love Will Keep Us Together" was released by American duo Captain & Tennille in 1975. The song won a Grammy for record of the year in 1976 and also received a nomination for best pop vocal performance by a duo, group, or chorus. Listen to the song here.

1977: "This Masquerade" — George Benson

george benson
george benson

Rachel Murray/Getty Images

George Benson won his first Grammy awards in 1977 for record of the year, best pop instrumental performance, and best R&B instrumental performance. Listen to "This Masquerade" here

1978: "Hotel California" — Eagles

eagles band
eagles band

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

In a book written by Marc Eliot, the band discussed the inspiration behind the Grammy award-winning track.

"The concept had to do with taking a look at all the band had gone through, personally and professionally, while it was still happening to them," Don Henley said to Eliot. 

Listen to "Hotel California" here.

1979: "Just the Way You Are" — Billy Joel

billy joel madison square garden
billy joel madison square garden

Scott Roth/Invision/AP

"Just the Way You Are" earned Billy Joel two Grammys in 1979 — one for record of the year and one for song of the year. He has five Grammy wins, three hall of fame awards, and received the Grammy legend award in 1991. Listen to the track here.

1980: "What A Fool Believes" — The Doobie Brothers

the doobie brothers Tom Johnston Patrick Simmons John McFee
the doobie brothers Tom Johnston Patrick Simmons John McFee

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

At the 22nd Grammys, The Doobie Brothers won awards for record of the year and best pop vocal performance by a duo, group, or chorus. Listen to "What A Fool Believes" here

1981: "Sailing" — Christopher Cross

christopher cross
christopher cross

AP Photo

In 1981, Christopher Cross received Grammy awards for record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, best new artist, and best arrangement accompanying vocalist(s).

Cross was also the first artist in Grammys history to win all four general categories in the same night. Listen to "Sailing" here

1982: "Bette Davis Eyes" — Kim Carnes

kim carnes
kim carnes

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMHOF

Kim Carnes won a Grammy for record of the year in 1982 with her popular track "Bette Davis Eyes." In 1981, "Bette Davis Eyes " also peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Listen to the track here

1983: "Rosanna"— Toto

toto grammys 1983
toto grammys 1983

AP

Toto's "Rosanna" won the Grammy award for record of the year in 1983. The song also won Grammys for best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocals and best vocal arrangement for two or more voices. Watch the official music video for "Rosanna" here

1984: "Beat It" — Michael Jackson

michael jackson quincy jones grammys 1984
michael jackson quincy jones grammys 1984

Doug Pizac/AP

At the 26th Grammys, Michael Jackson received awards for record of the year, album of the year, best male pop vocal performance, best male rock vocal performance, best male R&B vocal performance, and best rhythm and blues song. Watch the official video for "Beat It" here

 

1985: "What's Love Got to Do With It" — Tina Turner

tina turner
tina turner

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In 1985, Tina Turner received Grammy awards for record of the year, best female pop vocal performance, and best female rock vocal performance. Watch the music video for "What's Love Got to Do With It" here

1986: "We Are the World" — USA For Africa (Various Artists)

we are the world michael jackson memorial service july 2009
we are the world michael jackson memorial service july 2009

Mario Anzuoni-Pool/Getty Images

"We Are the World" was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones. A new version of the song was also recorded in 2010 to benefit relief efforts following the earthquake in Haiti. Listen to the original, Grammy award-winning song here.

1987: "Higher Love" — Steve Winwood

steve winwood 1994
steve winwood 1994

Pizzello/AP Photo

At the 29th Grammys, Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" received awards for record of the year and best male pop vocal performance. Listen to the winning track here

 

1988: "Graceland" — Paul Simon

paul simon benefit concert lincoln center 2015
paul simon benefit concert lincoln center 2015

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Paul Simon received his first Grammy wins in 1969 at the 29th Grammys. He also won the award for record of the year. Listen to "Graceland" here

1989: "Don't Worry Be Happy" — Bobby McFerrin

bobby mcferrin lincoln center new york city 2015
bobby mcferrin lincoln center new york city 2015

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

In 1989, Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy" won Grammys for record of the year, song of the year, and best male pop vocal performance. Watch the official music video here.

1990: "Wind Beneath My Wings" — Bette Midler

Bette Midler and Arif Mardin Grammys 1990
Bette Midler and Arif Mardin Grammys 1990

Wikimedia Commons

Bette Midler won her first Grammy in 1974 for best new artist. In 1990, "Wind Beneath My Wings won the award for record of the year and peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Listen to the song here.

1991: "Another Day in Paradise" — Phil Collins

phil collins performing florida 2016
phil collins performing florida 2016

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Phil Collins received his first award at the 27th Grammys, and has scored a total of eight awards over the years. Watch the official music video for "Another Day in Paradise" here

1992: "Unforgettable" — Natalie Cole (With Nat "King" Cole)

Natalie Cole 34th Annual Grammy Awards(1991) on 2:25:92
Natalie Cole 34th Annual Grammy Awards(1991) on 2:25:92

Gershoff/ MediaPunch/AP

In addition to winning record of the year, Natalie Cole won Grammys for album of the year and best traditional pop performance. Listen to "Unforgettable" here

1993: "Tears in Heaven" — Eric Clapton

Erick Clapton 35th Annual Grammy Awards (1992) on 2:24:1993
Erick Clapton 35th Annual Grammy Awards (1992) on 2:24:1993

Douglas C. Pizac/AP

At the 35th Grammys, Eric Clapton received awards for record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, best male pop vocal performance, best male rock vocal performance, and best rock song. Listen to "Tears in Heaven" here

1994: "I Will Always Love You" — Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" received two Grammys in 1994 — one for record of the year and another for best female pop vocal performance. In 2012, there was an hour-long Grammy special that aired on CBS in honor of Houston. Listen to "I Will Always Love You" here

1995: "All I Wanna Do" — Sheryl Crow

sheryl crow
sheryl crow

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

At the 37th Grammys, Sheryl Crow won her first awards for record of the year, best new artist, and best female pop vocal performance. Listen to "All I Wanna Do" here

1996: "Kiss From a Rose" — Seal

seal grammys 1996
seal grammys 1996

Reed Saxon/AP

At the 38th Grammys, Seal scored awards for record of the year, song of the year, and best male pop vocal performance. "Kiss From A Rose" also peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995. Listen to the song here

1997: "Change the World" — Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Clapton added to his Grammy wins in 1997 when he received awards for record of the year, best male pop vocal performance, and best rock instrumental performance. Listen to "Change the World" here

1998: "Sunny Came Home" — Shawn Colvin

shawn colvin grammys 1998
shawn colvin grammys 1998

Richard Drew/AP

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Colvin explained that the Grammy award-winning track was inspired by the cover art for her 1996 album, "A Few Small Repairs." Listen to "Sunny Came Home" here

1999: "My Heart Will Go On" (Love Theme From "Titanic") — Celine Dion

celine dion grammys 1999
celine dion grammys 1999

Reed Saxon/AP

Dion's iconic track from "Titanic" earned her two Grammys in 1999 — one for record of the year and another for best female pop vocal performance. Listen to the award-winning song here

2000: "Smooth" — Santana featuring Rob Thomas

rob thomas carlos santana clive davis grammys 2000
rob thomas carlos santana clive davis grammys 2000

Scott Gries/Getty

Rob Thomas co-wrote "Smooth" after finishing a tour with Matchbox Twenty, and he initially wanted George Michael to sing it. "Smooth" won awards for record of the year, best pop collaboration with vocals, and song of the year in 2000. Watch the music video for "Smooth" here

2001: "Beautiful Day" — U2

U2
U2

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

U2 has accumulated more than 20 Grammys and made their first appearance at the 30th Grammy Awards. In 2001, they won three Grammys for record of the year, song of the year, and best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal. Listen to "Beautiful Day" here

2002: "Walk On" — U2

U2 Halftime
U2 Halftime

Al Bello/ Getty Images

In addition to winning record of the year in 2002, they also won best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal, best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal, and best rock album.  Listen to the track here.

 

2003: "Don't Know Why" — Norah Jones

norah jones grammys 2003
norah jones grammys 2003

Scott Gries/Getty Images

Norah Jones attended her first Grammy Awards show in 2003. That year, Jones won her first five Grammys for record of the year, best pop vocal album of the year, best female pop vocal performance, and album of the year. Watch the music video for "Don't Know Why" here.

2004: "Clocks" — Coldplay

Coldplay
Coldplay

Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch

Coldplay won an award for record of the year at the 46th annual Grammys in February 2004. Listen to the Grammy-winning record here.

2005: "Here We Go Again" — Ray Charles and Norah Jones

norah jones grammys 2005
norah jones grammys 2005

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

After winning five Grammys in 2003, Norah Jones returned to the stage in 2005 to receive three more awards. She won awards for record of the year, best female pop vocal performance, and best pop collaboration with vocals. Listen to the duet here.

2006: "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" — Green Day

green day grammys
green day grammys

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is from Green Day's "American Idiot" album, which won the award for best rock album at the 47th Grammys. Listen to the song here

2007: "Not Ready to Make Nice" — Dixie Chicks

The Dixie Chicks.
The Dixie Chicks.

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

At the 49th Grammys, the Dixie Chicks won awards for record of the year, album of the year, bet country performance by a duo or group with vocal, and best country album. Listen to "Not Ready to Make Nice" here.

2008: "Rehab" — Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse

Getty

"Rehab" is from Amy Winehouse's sophomore album, "Back to Black." In addition to record of the year, the track also won the award for song of the year. Watch the official music video here

2009: "Please Read the Letter" — Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss grammys 2009
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss grammys 2009

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss were the recipients of a combined five awards at the 51st Grammys — record of the year, album of the year, best country collaboration with vocals, best pop collaboration with vocals, and best contemporary folk/americana album. Listen to "Please Read the Letter" here

2010: "Use Somebody" — Kings Of Leon

kings of leon
kings of leon

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

"Use Somebody" won awards for record of the year and best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals at the 52nd Grammy Awards. Watch the official music video for the winning track here

2011: "Need You Now" — Lady Antebellum

lady antebellum grammys 2011
lady antebellum grammys 2011

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In addition to winning record of the year, Lady Antebellum also won Grammys for best country performance by a duo or group with vocals, best country album, song of the year, and best country song. Listen to "Need You Now" here.

 

 

2012: "Rolling in the Deep" — Adele

Adele Grammys
Adele Grammys

AP

"Rolling in the Deep" is one of the most-recognized songs from Adele's sophomore album, "21," and also won the award for song of the year at the 54th Grammy Awards. Listen to the track here.

2013: "Somebody That I Used to Know" — Gotye featuring Kimbra

Gotye Kimbra Grammys 2013
Gotye Kimbra Grammys 2013

AP

Gotye and Kimbra's "Somebody That I Used to Know" earned them Grammys for record of the year and best pop duo/group performance in 2013. Listen to the song here

2014: "Get Lucky" — Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers

Pharrell hat Daft Punk Grammys bow down
Pharrell hat Daft Punk Grammys bow down

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Daft Punk received the award for record of the year in 2014. "Get Lucky" also peaked at  No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013.  Listen to the song here

2015: "Stay With Me" (Darkchild Version) — Sam Smith

sam smith grammys 2015
sam smith grammys 2015

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

"Stay With Me" is from Sam Smith's debut album, 'The Lonely Hour." At the 57th Grammys, Smith won awards for record of the year, song of the year, and best pop vocal album. Watch the music video for the winning track here

2016: "Uptown Funk" — Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

bruno mars mark ronson grammys 2016
bruno mars mark ronson grammys 2016

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

"Uptown Funk" was released as a single in November 2014, topped music charts for weeks, and reached diamond status. The hit was also performed at the 2016 Super Bowl halftime show. Listen to the Grammy award-winning song here.

2017: "Hello" — Adele

adele 2016
adele 2016

Joern Pollex/Getty Images for September Managemen

"Hello" was the first track Adele released from her most recent album, "25," and it smashed plenty of records. The music video also became one of the most-watched on YouTube, with over two billion views. Watch the video here.

 

2018: "24K Magic" — Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars 60th Grammys
Bruno Mars 60th Grammys

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for NARAS

At the 60th Grammys, Mars received awards for record of the year, album of the year, song of the year, best R&B performance, and best R&B album.

He also took the stage to perform "Finesse" with Cardi B.   

 



2019: "This Is America" — Childish Gambino

childish gambino
childish gambino

John Salangsang/Invision/AP

At the 2019 Grammys, Childish Gambino's "This Is America" made history after winning song of the year and record of the year. The wins were also notable because it marked the first time that a hip-hop song beat the competition in those major categories. 

Watch the music video for "This Is America" here

 

2020: "Bad Guy" — Billie Eilish

billie eilish grammys january 2020
billie eilish grammys january 2020

Chris Pizzello/AP

Billie Eilish made history at the 2020 Grammys, becoming the second person ever to win awards in all four major categories during the same year.

Eilish won five of the six awards she was nominated for at the 62nd Grammys: best pop vocal album, best new artist, song of the year, album of the year, and record of the year. 

Watch the music video for "Bad Guy" here

Read the original article on Insider