Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album
Awarded forquality spoken word albums
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded1959
Currently held byDon Cheadle, Carry On: Reflections for a New Generation from John Lewis (2022)
Websitegrammy.com

The Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album has been awarded since 1959. The award has had several minor name changes:

The category now also includes audio books, poetry readings and story telling.

Three US Presidents have won the award: Jimmy Carter (who has won the award three times), Barack Obama (who has won the award twice), and Bill Clinton, along with spoken recordings of John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Four U.S. Senators have won: Barack Obama, Everett Dirksen, Al Franken (won prior to his election), and Hillary Clinton (won when she was First Lady). First Lady Michelle Obama has also won the award after she was First Lady.

Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were handed out, for a recording released in the previous year.

Recipients

Stan Freberg was the first recipient of the award in 1959.
Stan Freberg was the first recipient of the award in 1959.
Carl Sandburg received the award in 1960.
Carl Sandburg received the award in 1960.
Poet Rod McKuen won the award for Lonesome Cities in 1969.
Poet Rod McKuen won the award for Lonesome Cities in 1969.
Martin Luther King Jr. won the award posthumously in 1971 for Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.
Martin Luther King Jr. won the award posthumously in 1971 for Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.
Director Orson Welles received the award twice, in 1977 and 1979.
Director Orson Welles received the award twice, in 1977 and 1979.
Actor Ben Kingsley won for The Words of Gandhi in 1985.
Actor Ben Kingsley won for The Words of Gandhi in 1985.
1990 award winner, comedian Gilda Radner.
1990 award winner, comedian Gilda Radner.
Three-time winner, American poet Maya Angelou.
Three-time winner, American poet Maya Angelou.
Hillary Clinton won the award in 1997.
Hillary Clinton won the award in 1997.
Actor and director Sidney Poitier won the award for his autobiography The Measure of a Man in 2001.
Actor and director Sidney Poitier won the award for his autobiography The Measure of a Man in 2001.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton won the award in 2005.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton won the award in 2005.
Two-time winner, former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Two-time winner, former U.S. President Barack Obama.
2012 award winner, Betty White.
2012 award winner, Betty White.
Three-time winner, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Three-time winner, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Carrie Fisher won the award posthumously in 2018.
Carrie Fisher won the award posthumously in 2018.
Former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama won in 2020.
Former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama won in 2020.
Year[I] Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
1959 Stan Freberg The Best of the Stan Freberg Shows [2]
1960 Carl Sandburg A Lincoln Portrait
[3]
1961 Robert Bialek (producer) FDR Speaks [4]
1962 Leonard Bernstein Humor in Music [5]
1963 Charles Laughton The Story-Teller ... A Session with Charles Laughton [6]
1964 Melinda Dillon, George Grizzard, Uta Hagen & Arthur Hill Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
[7]
1965 That Was the Week That Was Cast BBC Tribute to John F. Kennedy [8]
1966 Goddard Lieberson, producer John F. Kennedy: As We Remember Him
[9]
1967 Edward R. Murrow Edward R. Murrow: A Reporter Remembers, Vol. I – The War Years [10]
1968 Everett Dirksen Gallant Men [11]
1969 Rod McKuen Lonesome Cities [12]
1970 Art Linkletter & Diane Linkletter We Love You, Call Collect [13]
1971 Martin Luther King Jr. Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam
[14]
1972 Les Crane Desiderata [15]
1973 The Original Broadway Cast Lenny
[16]
1974 Richard Harris Jonathan Livingston Seagull
[17]
1975 Peter Cook & Dudley Moore Good Evening
[18]
1976 James Whitmore Give 'em Hell, Harry! [19]
1977 Henry Fonda, Helen Hayes, James Earl Jones & Orson Welles Great American Documents [20]
1978 Julie Harris The Belle of Amherst
[21]
1979 Orson Welles Citizen Kane (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [22]
1980 John Gielgud Ages of Man (Readings from Shakespeare)
[23]
1981 Pat Carroll Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein
[24]
1982 Orson Welles Donovan's Brain [25]
1983 Tom Voegeli Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Movie on Record [26]
1984 William Warfield Copland: Lincoln Portrait
[27]
1985 Ben Kingsley The Words of Gandhi
[28]
1986 Mike Berniker, producer & the Broadway cast Ma Rainey's Black Bottom [29]
1987 Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chips Moman, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins & Sam Phillips Interviews from the Class of '55 Recording Sessions [30]
1988 Garrison Keillor Lake Wobegon Days
[31]
1989 Jesse Jackson "Speech by Rev. Jesse Jackson, July 27"
(from One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism)
[32]
1990 Gilda Radner It's Always Something [33]
1991 George Burns Gracie: A Love Story
[34]
1992 Ken Burns The Civil War
[35]
1993 Earvin "Magic" Johnson & Robert O'Keefe What You Can Do to Avoid AIDS [36]
1994 Maya Angelou On the Pulse of Morning [37]
1995 Henry Rollins Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag [38]
1996 Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman [39]
1997 Hillary Clinton It Takes a Village
[40]
1998 Charles Kuralt Charles Kuralt's Spring [41]
1999 Christopher Reeve Still Me
[42]
2000 LeVar Burton The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.
[43]
2001 Sidney Poitier The Measure of a Man
[44]
2002 Quincy Jones Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones
[45]
2003 Maya Angelou A Song Flung Up to Heaven [46]
2004 Al Franken Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them [47]
2005 Bill Clinton My Life
[48]
2006 Barack Obama Dreams from My Father
[49]
2007 Jimmy Carter Our Endangered Values [50]
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee Ossie and Ruby
2008 Barack Obama The Audacity of Hope
[51]
2009 Beau Bridges, Cynthia Nixon & Blair Underwood An Inconvenient Truth [52]
2010 Michael J. Fox Always Looking Up [53]
2011 Jon Stewart and The Daily Show Staff Earth (The Audiobook)
[54]
2012 Betty White If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won't)
[55]
2013 Janis Ian Society's Child
[56]
2014 Stephen Colbert America Again: Re-becoming The Greatness We Never Weren't
[57]
2015 Joan Rivers Diary of a Mad Diva
[58]
2016 Jimmy Carter A Full Life: Reflections at 90
[59]
2017 Carol Burnett In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox
[60]
2018 Carrie Fisher The Princess Diarist [61]
2019 Jimmy Carter Faith: A Journey for All
[62]
2020 Michelle Obama Becoming
  • Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Scott Sherratt & Dan Zitt (producers) – The Beastie Boys Book
  • Eric Alexandrakis – Catatonia: 20 Years as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor
  • John WatersMr. Know-It-All
  • Sekou Andrews & the String Theory – Sekou Andrews & the String Theory
[63]
2021 Rachel Maddow Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth [64]
2022 Don Cheadle Carry On: Reflections for a New Generation from John Lewis
[65]

See also

References

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