Chick Corea Won 23 Grammys Before His Death — And Is Up for Two More This Year

Chick Corea, who died Tuesday at age 79, was a Grammy perennial for nearly 50 years. He won 23 Grammys, which puts him eighth on the all-time winners list, sixth among male solo artists and first among jazz musicians. (Quincy Jones has won more Grammys overall than Corea, but only three of Q’s have been in jazz categories. By contrast, 18 of Corea’s Grammys were in jazz categories.)

And Corea is nominated for two more awards at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, which are set for March 14. He’s vying for best improvised jazz solo for “All Blues” and best jazz instrumental album for Trilogy 2, a collab with Christian McBride and Brian Blade. This is a reunion of the Chick Corea Trio, who won a Grammy six years ago for their first Trilogy album.

The only people to win as many or more Grammys as Corea are classical conductor Georg Solti (31), producer Quincy Jones (28), country and bluegrass artist Alison Krauss (27), classical conductors Pierre Boulez (26) and Vladimir Horowitz (25), film composer John Williams (25) and superstar Beyoncé (24).

Corea piled up all those Grammy wins the hard way: one or two at a time. He never won more than two Grammys in any one year.

Corea’s Grammy nominations span 48 years (1973-2020); his wins span 45 years (1975-2019).

Corea won his first Grammy for a Return to Forever album (No Mystery, 1975) on which he had featured billing. He reunited with that group’s Stanley Clarke and Lenny White on Forever, which won a Grammy nine years ago. Corea won his most recent Grammy for an album billed to Chick Corea & the Spanish Heart Band (Antidote, 2019).

Corea won six Grammys in tandem with Gary Burton, including one album (Like Minds, 1999) that was also credited to Pat Metheny, Roy Haynes and Dave Holland.

He also won Grammys in tandem with John Patitucci and Dave Weckl (Chick Corea Akoustic Band, 1989) and John McLaughlin (Five Peace Band—Live, 2009).

Corea won one Grammy in the R&B field and the remainder in a pair of non-genre categories: best instrumental arrangement (three) and best instrumental composition (one).

Unlike Jones, Corea did not receive a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in his lifetime. A posthumous award is possible under Academy rules.

In addition to his Grammy wins, Corea has one recording in the Grammy Hall of Fame: “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs,” the title track to a 1968 Blue Note album, which was inducted in 1999.