On Sunday night, as the 2015 Grammy Awards host LL Cool J introduced the next performer, I assumed he was referring to Paul McCartney. He said they had been nominated for 51 Grammys before, and won the award 21 times. Sounds like a former Beatle, right? Wrong. He was referring to McCartney's "Only One" collaborator, Kanye West, who has actually been nominated for 53 Grammy Awards, if you count this year's two nominations as well. Unfortunately, though his nomination count went up this year thanks to two nods for "Bound 2," his number of wins will remain at 21. West lost both categories he was nominated in at the 2015 Grammys, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration to Eminem and Rihanna's "The Monster," and Best Rap Song to Kendrick Lamar's "i."
Still, 21 Grammy Awards in 10 years is no small feat, and West is getting plenty of attention at this year's ceremony, thanks to his multiple performances. West's first year at the Grammys, 2005, was actually his biggest, in terms of nominations. Recognized in eight categories, West won three awards, Best Rap Album for his debut College Dropout, Best Rap Song for "Jesus Walks," and Best R&B Song, as he was featured in Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name."
However, he went on to have even bigger years when it comes to award wins, taking home four Grammys in 2008 thanks to Graduation, and another four in 2012, when he was nominated for his work on both Watch The Throne and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. And while those Grammys featured his highest amount of wins in a single year, he also took home trophies in 2006, 2010, and 2013. It seems that just like it's nearly impossible for fans of West to choose a favorite album from his expansive body of work, the Grammys can't help but show their love for almost all of his music.