The Grammys may be the biggest night of the year for musicians but you don't actually have to be a musician to win a Grammy! Although the ceremony is a total celebration of music and those who perform it, there are actually several non-musical categories — and some of the winners might come as a surprise!
Since the Grammys' inaugural ceremony in 1959, awards have been presented to actors, comedians and even some former presidents! On one occasion, Record of the Year was actually awarded to a trio of animated chipmunks. While it's certainly not easy to win a Grammy when you're not a musician, these stars have proven that it's possible!
Here are the celebs you wouldn't expect to have a Grammy…
In 1993, basketball legend Magic Johnson took home a Grammy in the Best Spoken Word Album category for his groundbreaking audiobook "What You Can Do to Avoid AIDS." Just two years prior, he had revealed that he was HIV positive which inspired him to write the book.
Legendary actress Betty White also took home the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album. She won the award back in 2012 for her audiobook "If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't)." Betty, who had just turned 90 at the time, penned the book to share amusing anecdotes from her life — and ended up also becoming a New York Times bestseller author.
Weird Al may be best known for his comedic parody music but he's actually been nominated for Grammys over 10 times — and he's taken home five! On two occasions, the musician has been awarded Best Comedy Album. Weird Al also has wins in the Best Comedy Recording and Best Concept Music Video categories. He most recently took home Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package in 2019 for "Squeeze Box."
Martin Luther King, Jr. was nominated for Grammys on two occasions before his passing and was finally honored by the Recording Academy when he posthumously won Best Spoken Word Recording in 1971 for his speech "Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam."
In 2005, actor Zach Braff took home the Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media from his film "Garden State." He later said he didn't expect the win for the soundtrack, which he once referred to as a "mixtape."
"I didn't think I was going to win the Grammy for the soundtrack to 'Garden State.' Thus, I wore a hoodie to the awards. Thrilled I won. Regret the hoodie," Zach later wrote on Instagram.
Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took home a Grammy in 1997 for her audiobook, "It Takes a Village." The recording, which detailed how she hoped to create a society that enabled children to "become smart, able, resilient adults," was recognized in the Best Spoken Word Album category. Hillary was again nominated in the category in 2004 for her audiobook "Living History."
Hilary's husband Bill Clinton is also a Grammy winner, having been nominated four different times. He took home the award for Best Spoken Word Album two consecutive years, in 2004 and 2005, for his audiobooks "Peter and the Wolf" and "My Life."
Joaquin Phoenix is most well known for his acting career, but it's actually his theatrical career that earned him a Grammy award! In 2007, Joaquin took home the Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for his film "Walk the Line."
Bill Clinton isn't the only former president with a Grammy! In 2006 and 2007, Barack Obama won two consecutive Grammys for Best Spoken Word Album for the narration of his books "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream." This year, he's up for his third award in the same category for the audiobook version of his 2020 memoir, "A Promised Land."
"Schitt's Creek" star Eugene Levy earned himself a Grammy in 2014 for the original song he wrote for the folk music mockumentary "A Mighty Wind." The song, which he performed alongside Catherine O'Hara, took home the award in the Best Song Written for Visual Media category.
"This is really a shock. The songs aren't real. We worked hard on the music and writing the tunes, only to make sure that they fit. We had to create music that was legitimate enough so that you bought these characters in the movie as legitimate folk singers. That's all we were concerned with," Eugene said during his acceptance speech.
11. Alvin and The Chipmunks
Animated trio Alvin and The Chipmunks took home a Grammy at the inaugural award ceremony in 1959. The group's song "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" took home three awards including Best Comedy Performance, Best Children's Recording and even Record of the Year!