Featurrre: Investigating Paramore’s Best Rock Album Win At The 66th Grammy Awards


Hayley Williams dreams of shattered glass ceilings

By Angelo Comeaux

February 6, 2024

Hayley Williams of Paramore

Last night at the 66th annual Grammy Awards, Paramore won “Best Alternative Music Performance” and “Best Rock Album”. I didn’t watch the broadcast, apparently they weren’t even in attendance. What really stuck out about this accomplishment though was a detail in their press release “acceptance speech”, a portion of which said this:

“Turns out, our win for Best Rock Album was a historic feat as we are the first female-fronted band to ever take home a trophy for this category. Ridiculous but true!”

Really? How can that be?

I was simultaneously surprised and not at all surprised by this claim. At RCR we’re pretty suspicious of the corporate music machine, especially after the Jann Wenner bomb went nuclear, but that’s a story for another time. So we went digging through the records and here’s what we found.

First of all the award category itself is only 29 years old with its inaugural appearance in 1995. That being said, there have been a few female-fronted winners in the past. In 1996 Alanis Morisette won Best Rock Album for Jagged Little Pill. In 1997 Sheryl Crow won Best Rock Album for the self titled Sheryl Crow and in 1999 won again for The Globe Sessions.

Do Alanis Morisette or Sheryl Crow not rock hard enough to qualify? I have my own opinions but I’ll let you the reader decide. Nonetheless, the list is dominated by dudes and I support Paramore’s advocacy to “make these rock and alternative spaces to be more inclusive”. And I support their victory, This Is Why is one of my favorite 2023 albums. I was at the Boston Calling festival last May and missed their headline performance, throwing up by the porta-Johns with drunken heatstroke. Still kicking myself about that one. Check out the full record of Best Rock Album winners below!