Song, Record, Album of the Year

What’s the difference?

At last night’s Grammy Awards, Beyoncé Knowles walked away with the most trophies—she won five out of the six awards she was nominated for. But some of the night’s biggest awards went to other musicians. Record of the Year, for “Clocks,” went to Coldplay; Album of the Year, for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, went to OutKast; and Song of the Year went to Luther Vandross and Richard Marx for “Dance With My Father.” What’s the difference between these awards? As Chris Suellentrop explained in February 2002: “Both Song of the Year and Record of the Year reward individual songs, but they recognize different aspects of the songmaking process.” He adds, “Album of the Year is the most self-explanatory. It rewards, well, albums.”