Grammy Award for Best Music Film

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Grammy Award for Best Music Film
Awarded forQuality long form music videos
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded1984
Last awarded2020
Currently held byHomecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (2020)

The Grammy Award for Best Music Film (until 2012 known as Best Long Form Music Video)[1][2] is an accolade presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally named the Gramophone Awards,[3] to performers, directors, and producers of quality videos or musical programs. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".[4]

The category was preceded by the Grammy Award for Video of the Year, which was presented in 1982 and 1983, awarding long form videos (or video albums as they were known back then) in the budding music video market. The category was discontinued after 1983.

The Best Music Film category is for concert/performance films or music documentaries. The eligibility rules have changed slightly over the years. As of 2016, the main rules are:[5]

  • Concert/performance films or music documentaries released theatrically or for sale to the public for the first time or first appearing on television or online during the current eligibility year.
  • Music-related documentaries with a preponderance of performance-based material.
  • While dramatic feature films and biopics are not eligible, films with fictional elements are eligible.

The Best Music Film category is one of two categories in the Best Music Video/Film Field. The other one is Best Music Video, which recognises stand-alone videos of one song or performance.

Artists who are the focus of nominated films may not always be eligible for a Grammy themselves, depending on the type of film and the level of involvement of those artists in making the film.

History of the award

This category has undergone several name changes through the years:

  • Best Video Album (1984-1985)
  • Best Music Video, Long Form (1986-1997)
  • Best Long Form Music Video (1998-2013)
  • Best Music Film (2014-)[6]

In 1988 and 1989, the award criteria were changed and the video accolades were presented under the categories Best Concept Music Video and Best Performance Music Video. The awards were returned to the original format in 1990. Except in 1984, 1985, 1988 and 1989, the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video recipients include the artists, directors, and producers associated with the winning videos.

Singers Madonna and Sting hold the record for the most wins as a performer in this category, with two each, while there have been three films about The Beatles among the winners. However, in two instances, The Beatles were not recognized as individual winners. To date, three directors won the award twice: David Mallet, Jonas Akerlund and Bob Smeaton. Madonna holds the record for the most nomination with four. The British pop rock group Eurythmics and Coldplay hold the record for the most nominations as a performer without a win, with three each.


In 1984 and 1985, only the artists were presented with an award. In 1986 the award went to the artist(s) and the video director(s). From 1987 onwards, the award has been presented to the artist(s), video director(s) and video producer(s). (Nominations list performing artists only).

Four men performing on a stage in front of a red mist. In the foreground a white man sings into a microphone. Another male can be seen playing the guitar
Members of the English new wave group Duran Duran, among recipients of the 1984 accolade for Duran Duran, performing in 2005.
A Caucasian male wearing all black and a floral scarf around his neck.
English musician Sting has earned two accolades from this category for Bring on the Night and Ten Summoner's Tales.
A woman wearing a white shirt with jeans that have a rip in them and a black belt. She has her head tilted to her right.
In 1990, Janet Jackson won the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video for the video entitled Rhythm Nation.
A image of a black man with an earring in his left ear. He is smiling and wearing a brown shirt.
A Caucasian female with light colored hair leaning her head back while singing into a microphone. She is wearing a sleeveless green shirt with dark grey pants and has a guitar strapped around her.
Alanis Morissette won the award in 1998 for Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill, Live
A Caucasian man in his 70s smiling. He is wearing black framed glasses and a tie with a black suit over a white shirt. Behind him is a white background
2006 award winner for directing the documentary No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese
A Caucasian male with brown hair smiling while raising his right eyebrow. He is wearing an unzipped black leather jacket over a dark colored shirt. In the background, a yellow and red bricked wall can be seen
Bruce Springsteen won the accolade in 2007 for Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run
A white male in his 60s sitting in a chair while speaking into a microphone. He is wearing eyeglasses and a grey jacket over a blue buttoned down shirt. His left hand is rested on his lap.
In 2009, Peter Bogdanovich earned the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video for directing Runnin' Down a Dream
A black and white image of four white men performing onstage.
2011 award winners for When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors, The Doors performing in 1968
Amy Winehouse is the subject of 2016 winner Amy, that depicts her life and death. The award goes to the director and producer.

1980s and 1990s

Year[I] Work Performing artist(s) Director(s)[II] Producers Nominees
1984 Duran Duran Duran Duran N/A N/A
1985 Making Michael Jackson's Thriller Michael Jackson N/A N/A
1986 Huey Lewis & The News: The Heart of Rock 'n Roll Huey Lewis and the News Bruce Gowers N/A
1987 Bring on the Night Sting Michael Apted Sting
1988[III] N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1989[III] N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1990 Rhythm Nation 1814 Janet Jackson Dominic Sena, Jonathan Dayton, and Valerie Faris Aris McGarry, Jonathan Dayton, and Valerie Faris
1991 Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em: The Movie MC Hammer Rupert Wainwright John Oetjen
1992 Madonna: Live! – Blond Ambition World Tour 90 Madonna David Mallet
Mark "Aldo" Miceli
Anthony Eaton
1993 Diva Annie Lennox Sophie Muller Rob Small
1994 Ten Summoner's Tales Sting Doug Nichol Julie Fong
1995 Zoo TV: Live from Sydney U2 David Mallet Ned O'Hanlon and Rocky Oldham
1996 Secret World Live Peter Gabriel François Girard Robert Warr
1997 The Beatles Anthology The Beatles Bob Smeaton
Geoff Wonfor
Chips Chipperfield and Neil Aspinall
1998 Jagged Little Pill, Live Alanis Morissette Alanis Morissette
Steve Purcell
Alanis Morissette, David May, Glen Ballard, and Steve Purcell
1999 American Masters: Lou Reed: Rock & Roll Heart Lou Reed Timothy Greenfield-Sanders Karen Bernstein, Susan Lacy, Tamar Hacker, and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

2000s and 2010s

Year[I] Work Performing artist(s) Director(s)[II] Producers Nominees
2000 Band of Gypsys: Live at Fillmore East Jimi HendrixIV Bob Smeaton Chips Chipperfield and Neil Aspinall
2001 Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon's Imagine Album John LennonIV Andrew Solt Andrew Solt, Greg Vines, Leslie Tong, and Yoko Ono
2002 Recording The Producers: A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks Mel Brooks Susan Froemke Peter Gelb and Susan Froemke
2003 Westway to the World The Clash Don Letts N/A
2004 Legend Sam CookeIV N/A[V] Mary Wharton, Mick Gochanour, and Robin Klein
2005 Concert for George Various artistsIV David Leland Jon Kamen, Olivia Harrison, and Ray Cooper
2006 No Direction Home Bob DylanIV Martin Scorsese Anthony Wall, Jeff Rosen, Margaret Bodde, Martin Scorsese, Nigel Sinclair, and Susan Lacy
2007 Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run Bruce Springsteen Thom Zimny Thom Zimny
2008 The Confessions Tour Madonna Jonas Åkerlund David May and Sara Martin
2009 Runnin' Down a Dream Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Peter Bogdanovich George Drakoulias and Skot Bright
2010 The Beatles Love – All Together Now The Beatles and Cirque du SoleilIV Adrian Wills Jonathan Clyde and Martin Bolduc
2011 When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors The DoorsIV Tom DiCillo Dick Wolf, Jeff Jampol, John Beug, and Peter Jankowski
2012 Back and Forth Foo Fighters James Moll James Moll and Nigel Sinclair
2013 Big Easy Express Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show Emmett Malloy Bryan Ling, Mike Luba, and Tim Lynch
2014 Live Kisses Paul McCartney Jonas Akerlund
2015 20 Feet from Stardom Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill Morgan Neville Gil Friesen and Caitlin Rogers
2016 Amy Amy WinehouseIV Asif Kapadia James Gay-Rees
2017 The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years The BeatlesIV Ron Howard Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Scott Pascucci, Nigel Sinclair
2018 The Defiant Ones Various performersIV Allen Hughes Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams
2019 Quincy Quincy Jones Alan Hicks & Rashida Jones Paula DuPré Pesmen


Year[I] Work Performing artist(s) Director(s)[II] Producers Nominees
2020 Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé Beyoncé Beyoncé Knowles-Carter & Ed Burke Steve Pamon & Erinn Williams

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.
^[II] Director(s) are only indicated if they were presented a Grammy Award.
^[III] Award was not presented. Music video categories presented that year included Best Concept Music Video and Best Performance Music Video.
^[IV] Award not presented to the performing artist (only to video director(s) and video producer(s))
^[V] Director unknown; award presented to video producers only

See also


  1. ^ "55th Annual GRAMMY Awards (2012)". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "56th Annual GRAMMY Awards (2013)". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  3. ^ "Grammy Awards at a Glance". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
  4. ^ "Overview". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Press release, 4 June 2013

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