It won’t happen this year, either. Five men are competing for Producer of the Year (Non Classical): Dan Auerbach (whose credits during the year included his own band, The Black Keys, and Dr. John), Jeff Bhasker (who produces fun.), Diplo (whose credits included Usher’s “Climax” and Alex Clare’s “Too Close”), Markus Dravs (whose credits included albums by Mumford & Sons and Coldplay) and Salaam Remi (whose credits included Nas’ Life Is Good and “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys featuring Nicki Minaj).
The picture changes if you look at nominations instead of awards. Six women have been nominated for the Grammy for Producer of the Year, compared to just four that have been nominated for the Oscar for directing.
Mariah Carey was the second woman to receive a Producer of the Year nomination. She scored, along with her collaborator, Walter Afanasieff, for 1991—the year of her sophomore album, Emotions.
In 1998, for the first (and only) time, two women made the Producer of the Year finals: Sheryl Crow and Lauryn Hill. Hill won five Grammys that year, including Album of the Year for The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. Crow won one—Best Rock Album for The Globe Sessions. (It was also nominated for Album of the Year.)
The sixth and most recent instance of a woman making the Producer of the Year finals occurred in 2003, when Lauren Christy of The Matrix was nominated. The Matrix was also nominated for Song of the Year that year for “I’m With You,” which they co-wrote with Avril Lavigne.
The four women who have been nominated for Oscars for directing are Lina Wertmuller (1976’s Seven Beauties), Jane Campion (1993’s The Piano), Sofia Coppola (2003’s Lost In Translation) and Bigelow (2009’s The Hurt Locker).
Here’s a final comparison between the Oscars and the Grammys. Nine of the winners for Producer of the Year have been collaborations of two or more individuals. Just two of the winners for directing have been collaborations.
Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten & Karl Richardson were the first collaboration to take Producer of the Year. They won for 1978, the year of Saturday Night Fever, which also won as Album of the Year.
The two collaborations to win Oscars for directing are Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, who won for directing 1961’s West Side Story, and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, who won for 2007’s No Country For Old Men.
Quincy Jones was the first two-time winner in the category and also the first three-time winner. He won for the second time for 1983, the year of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and for the third time for 1990, the year of his own Back On The Block. Both albums were voted Album of the Year.
Trailing Babyface on the list of multiple winners are David Foster and Jones, with three wins each; and Rick Rubin, Arif Mardin and Peter Asher, with two wins each.
The youngest musicians to win as Producer of the Year were Steve Lukather and Steve Porcaro of Toto and Michael Jackson, all of whom were just 25 when they won. Others who won before their 30th birthdays are Stevie Wonder (26), Jimmy Jam (27), David Paich and Jeff Porcaro of Toto (28), Chad Hugo of the Neptunes (29) and Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb of Bee Gees (29).
There have been two ties for Producer of the Year. Foster tied with James Anthony Carmichael & Lionel Richie for 1984. Babyface & L.A. Reid tied with Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois for 1992.
Here’s a chronological list of winners for Producers of the Year (Non Classical):
The 1970s—1974: Thom Bell; 1975: Arif Mardin; 1976: Stevie Wonder; 1977: Peter Asher; 1978: Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten & Karl Richardson; 1979: Larry Butler.
The 1980s—1980: Phil Ramone; 1981: Quincy Jones; 1982: Toto; 1983: Michael Jackson & Quincy Jones; 1984: David Foster; 1984: James Anthony Carmichael & Lionel Richie; 1985: Phil Collins & Hugh Padgham; 1986: Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis; 1987: Narada Michael Walden; 1988: Neil Dorfsman; 1989: Peter Asher.
The 1990s—1990: Quincy Jones; 1991: David Foster; 1992: Babyface & L.A. Reid, 1992: Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois; 1993: David Foster; 1994: Don Was; 1995: Babyface; 1996: Babyface; 1997: Babyface; 1998: Rob Cavallo; 1999: Walter Afanasieff.
The 2000s—2000: Dr. Dre; 2001: T Bone Burnett; 2002: Arif Mardin; 2003: The Neptunes; 2004: John Shanks; 2005: Steve Lillywhite; 2006: Rick Rubin; 2007: Mark Ronson; 2008: Rick Rubin; 2009: Brendan O’Brien.
The 2010s—2010: Danger Mouse; 2011: Paul Epworth.
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