Brow Beat

Even Death Couldn’t Stop David Bowie From Sweeping His Grammy Categories

David Bowie in 1983, more than 30 years before he would finally win a Grammy in a music category.

Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images

Over the course of his decades-long career, David Bowie earned critical and popular acclaim for his extraordinary songwriting, singing, and performance. What he didn’t earn was a Grammy—at least not for his music. (He won in 1985 for Best Video, Short Form, and was given a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2006.) Sunday night, more than a year after his death, Bowie finally achieved Grammy Justice, winning every category in which he he was nominated for his last album, Blackstar.

That’s five Grammys: Best Alternative Music Album; Best Rock Performance; Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical; Best Rock Song; and Best Recording Package. (That last one went to Jonathan Barnbrook, the album’s art director; the engineering award was shared with co-engineers Tom Elmhirst, Kevin Killen, and Tony Visconti, and mastering engineer Joe LaPorta.) This is great news for other brilliant musicians who’ve been luckless at the Grammys; they no longer have to wonder what it would take to get the attention of the Recording Academy.

Here’s “Jazzin’ for Blue Jean,” the music video that won David Bowie his first and, until Sunday night, only Grammy: