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IS TAYLOR SWIFT HEADED FOR A GRAMMY RECORD?

We all know that Taylor Swift's 1989 is the favorite to win the Grammy for Album of the Year. As I mentioned previously, this would make her the first female artist to win twice in that category for her own albums. (She first won for her sophomore album, Fearless.)

Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones and Alison Krauss have each won Album of the Year twice, but only once, in each case, for their own albums (The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, Come Away With Me and Raising Sand, a collabo with Robert Plant, respectively). Hill's other Album of the Year trophy is for producing a track on Santana's Supernatural. Jones' other award is as a featured artist on Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters. Krauss' other award is as one of many artists on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Not to take anything away from these women, but that's not quite the same thing as winning Album of the Year twice in your own right, something Swift may be just three months away from doing.

Why do I think she'll win? It's not just that her album is a blockbuster, or that she's had five blockbusters in a row, or that 1989 has spun off five consecutive Top 10 hits (including three #1s).

And it's not even that Swift has seemingly brought half of the artists in the Recording Academy on stage to sing with her on her current marathon tour.

It's also the way Swift has assumed a leadership role in the industry. In June, when she was able to persuade Apple to change course and pay its full royalty rates during a three-month trial period of its new streaming service, it was a reminder of the power artists wield when they are on top. It echoed Michael Jackson's ability, in 1983, to get MTV to abandon its "we're the equivalent of an AOR radio station" policy and add videos by African-American artists. That change worked out nicely for both MTV and Jackson—whose Thriller went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year.

Swift's stock rose even further when Ryan Adams released a track-by-track cover of 1989. If that wasn't quite an endorsement, it was certainly a tremendous compliment. It's rare for an artist with indie cred to salute the biggest star in mainstream pop.

Can Grammy voters be far behind?

So, now that we're into this, what female artists have come close to winning Album of the Year twice for their own albums?

Barbra Streisand has come closest. She won Album of the Year for her 1963 debut album and has notched five other nominations in that category over the years. We'll never know, but I would guess that she finished second three times, with 1964's People (the winner was Getz/Gilberto), 1980's Guilty (the much-derided winner was Christopher Cross' debut album) and 1985's The Broadway Album (which fell into the 1986 Grammy year; the winner was Paul Simon's Graceland).

Only four other female artists (either solo artists or group members) have won a Grammy for Album of the Year and also been a finalist in that category in another year. Bonnie Raitt won for 1989's Nick Of Time and was nominated for her next two albums. Whitney Houston took the 1993 award for The Bodyguard soundtrack, after having been nominated for her first two albums in the 1980s. Lauryn Hill won for her 1998 solo debut, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, having been nominated as a member of Fugees two years previously. Dixie Chicks won for 2006's Taking The Long Way, after having been nominated for their two previous albums.

That's it. The other women who have won for Album of the Year (as lead artists) were nominated (as lead artists) only that one time. They are Judy Garland, Carole King, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie (of Fleetwood Mac), Yoko Ono (for a collabo with John Lennon), Natalie Cole, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, Régine Chassagne and Sarah Neufeld (of Arcade Fire) and Adele (whose follow-up to 21 is due 11/20).

If 25 wins Album of the Year in February 2017 (OK, now we may be getting ahead of ourselves!), Adele may become the second woman to win twice in that category for her own albums.

Of course, if, say, The Weeknd or Don Henley or Kendrick Lamar manages an upset three months from now, Adele may earn the distinction herself.

Stay tuned.

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