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Metal Grammys Year by Year: Who Really Should Have Won

Heavy metal and the Grammys are often mentioned in the same sentence only in contention. The award for Best Metal Performance has been criticized ever since the infamous 1989 debacle where Jethro Tull (the flute-first folk rock act who enjoyed massive success in the ‘70s) won for Crest of a Knave over Metallica’s infinitely more deserving …And Justice for All. During this year, Hard Rock was lumped into the category, but Tull didn’t fit under that umbrella either and the whole ordeal led to the Grammys dropping Hard Rock from the title, save for a a couple of select years later down the road.

Ever since then, the Grammys have seemingly made it up to Metallica in as many years as could possibly be permitted, but a number of their other selections have not been met with enthusiasm either. It often feels like a slap in the face each year when the nominees doesn’t properly reflect the best metal had to offer in the qualifying year, not to say that every selection or even every year have been a downright travesty.

Yes, there are some years where the Grammys seemingly had a grip on the music we all love so much but outsiders can never manage to comprehend. But, you know who has a better handle on heavy metal? We at Loudwire!

We’re here to right the wrongs, to offer some alternate heavy metal history, opening up a world where the Grammy award for Best Metal Performance goes to the artist that truly deserves it. Some of our selections were pretty obvious (but not obvious enough for the Grammys), some were bold and daring and some were heart-wrenching as we had to strip an award from some of the best to ever play metal.

For each year, we’ll first take a look at who the Grammys chose and the list of nominees, followed by our selection. In some cases we picked a band that wasn’t even nominated. So, redirect your attention back to the top of the page and scroll through the gallery to see Who Really Should Have Won the Grammy for Best Metal Performance!

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