Taylor Swift’s historic Grammy win for album ties her with Sinatra, Wonder and Simon

Taylor Swift in a sundress, looking back over her shoulder
Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” won the 2021 Grammy for album of the year.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Taylor Swift’s surprise pandemic album “Folklore” has won the Grammy for album of the year and put her in the hallowed company of Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon.

It marks Swift’s third career win for album of the year, following trophies for “Fearless” in 2010 and “1989” in 2016.

That tally means Swift is now the fourth artist — and the first woman ever — to win the top Grammy three times. Wonder hit the milestone with his wins for “Innervision” (1974), “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” (1975) and “Songs in the Key of Life” (1977).

Sinatra won for “Come Dance With Me!” (1960), “September of My Years” (1966) and “A Man and His Music” (1967). And Simon is also a three-timer for “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1971, as part of Simon and Garfunkel), “Still Crazy After All These Years” (1976) and “Graceland” (1987).


Thirteen years since country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift earned her first nomination, here’s a look back at her Grammy highs and lows.

March 13, 2021

“[M]ostly we just want to thank the fans,” a stunned Swift said during her acceptance speech. “You guys met us in this imaginary world that we created, and we can’t tell you how honored we are forever by this. Thank you so much. And thank you to the Recording Academy. We will never forget that you did this for us.”

Swift went into Sunday’s ceremony with six nominations, and a previous track record of 10 wins and 41 nominations. “Folklore” was widely considered a frontrunner for album of the year.

“It’s her most album-y album, a creation of and for life in the summer of 2020, ideally experienced alone, late at night, in a single sitting, through noise-canceling headphones,” Jody Rosen wrote for The Times in July. “It is social distancing music, par excellence.”

Watch here for live updates on winners, performances, the red carpet, the COVID-impacted telecast and more.

March 14, 2021

Swift’s historic hat trick ends a five-year Grammy drought for the country-pop phenom, whose sixth and seventh studio albums — “Reputation” and “Lover” — were largely snubbed by the Recording Academy. Until now, Swift hadn’t won a Grammy since her last victory for album of the year in 2016.


In addition to album of the year, Swift was nominated at Sunday’s ceremony for pop solo performance (“Cardigan”), pop duo/group performance (“Exile”), song written for visual media (“Beautiful Ghosts”), pop vocal album (“Folklore”) and song of the year (“Cardigan”).

Times staff writer Julissa James contributed to this report.