2018 Grammys: Carrie Fisher, Bernie Sanders and Bruce Springsteen Contend for Best Spoken Word Album

Originally published by BookTrib.com

Nominees for the 2018 Grammys were announced today and people are still talking about how this is quite possibly the most diverse list of nominees with women and people of color dominating the top categories.  Leading those nominations in all the music categories is no surprise to many: Jay-Z for his 2017 release 4:44, with eight.  While many of us tune in to the Grammys for the performances and to see if our favorites will walk away with the trophy, there are other categories that we don't often see televised, but garner awards as well.

Of interest to us is the category where books are mentioned! Audiobooks! The official category title since 1998 is "Best Spoken Word Album," but the category has been around since 1959 under a variety of other names.  The first winners were Stan Freberg and Carl Sanburg, each won an award for their spoken word albums.  The 2017 winner was comedienne Carol Burnett for In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox. Three U.S Presidents have won this award: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; Obama also won a Grammy for his first book, Dreams from My Father, while he was still a member of the U.S. Senate.

The nominees for 2018, emerged from a list of considered entries that numbered over 20,000 across all categories--- many nominated by Grammy voting members, publishers, publicists, record companies, radio personalities, and other professionals.  In the  Spoken Word category, these included books about lost musicians like David Bowie, political analyses like What Happened by Hillary Clinton, as well as other memoirs and recorded books. Nominees were voted on by members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), also referred to as "The Academy," as are final winners. Fans cannot vote for Grammy contenders, unless there is a special category The Academy and its Board decide to open to the public.

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