Metro Weekly

5 LGBTQ Stars You Might Not Realize Have Grammys

While the vast majority of Grammy winners are musicians, there are a few categories that welcome actors, producers, writers, and others.

Grammy Award
Grammy Award

The nominees for the 2023 Grammys were recently announced, and a number of high-profile (and not so well-known) LGBTQ artists have earned chances to win some gold early next year.

While the vast majority of Grammy winners are musicians, there are a few categories that welcome actors, producers, writers, and others. It’s not often that non-musicians (or at least those who aren’t well-known for their musical abilities) win these trophies, but it does happen!

Here are five LGBTQ artists who you might be surprised to learn have won Grammys.

Rachel Maddow
The cable news host is not just one of the most popular and highest-paid people on TV, she’s also a Grammy winner. Rachel Maddow, who is openly gay, spends much of her time when not working on her show writing books, and she also voices the audiobooks that go along with each title.

For her latest bestseller, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, Maddow collected the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album. In 2022, she beat fellow stars like Ronan Farrow, Ken Jennings, and even Meryl Streep for the prize, which she nabbed on her second try.

Jason Mraz

It’s not entirely shocking that Jason Mraz has a Grammy, but what might surprise people is that he belongs on this list at all. In 2018, the singer-songwriter took part in a package published by Billboard where musicians stood up for and professed their love for the LGBTQ community, and in his, Mraz came out as two-spirit.

After receiving some backlash for adopting an identity often claimed by indigenous peoples, he clarified his orientation, explaining that he is bisexual, as he has had sexual experiences with men and women.

Mraz earned his first two Grammy nominations in 2009 for his single “I’m Yours,” and then he collected a pair of prizes the following year, including one with Colbie Caillat for their joint cut “Lucky.”

Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin is a comedy icon, but few people realize just how decorated she is as an artist. Never a singer, Tomlin is still a five-time Grammy nominee, and she collected a trophy in 1972, on her first try.

She earned the honor for her album This Is a Recording, which remains one of the most successful comedy releases by a woman of all time. She would go on to earn four more nods in the same category (Best Comedy Album) as well as one for Spoken Word.

Tomlin is only an Oscar away from her EGOT, having won her Grammy first. Also sitting on her trophy shelf are two Tonys and at least six Emmys.

Jonathan Groff

The theater star has been nominated for a number of major awards in entertainment, but so far, he has only collected one of them. Groff won a Grammy as one of the principal cast members in Hamilton, which was by far the favorite to come out on top in the Best Musical Theater Album category in 2016. He shares the award with co-stars Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Ramos, Phillipa Soo, and a number of others.

Groff earned a second Grammy nomination at the 2021 ceremony for his work in Little Shop of Horrors, though that year the trophy went to the cast of the musical Jagged Little Pill.

Cynthia Nixon

Best-known as one of the four stars of the beloved TV series Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon has enjoyed a career that extends far beyond just that one program. In fact, she’s just missing the O from her EGOT (similar to Tomlin, mentioned above), as she has a Grammy at home.

The multi-talented lesbian won the Best Spoken Word Album award for narrating the book An Inconvenient Truth (which would also go on to snag a pair of Oscars), sharing it with fellow actors Beau Bridges and Blair Underwood. Nixon has also won a pair of Emmys and a pair of Tonys, so she’s clearly a very celebrated woman.

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!