To date J. Cole has won a sole Grammy from 16 nominations. He admitted he used to have a photo of a Grammy Award as his computer wallpaper early on in his career, but told GQ in a 2019 cover shoot that he was at peace with being overlooked by the Recording Academy for the rest of his career.
“I’m not supposed to have a Grammy, you know what I mean? At least not right now, and maybe never. And if that happens, then that’s just how it was supposed to be,” Cole said.
Here is a list of J. Cole’s Grammy-winning Albums, songs and nominations.
|2012||Best New Artist||Power Trip|
|2014||Best Rap/Sung Collaboration|
|2016||Best R&B Performance||Planes|
|2016||Best Rap Performance||Apparently||2014 Forest Hills Drive|
|2016||Best Rap Album||2014 Forest Hills Drive|
|2019||Best R&B Song||Come Through And Chill|
|2019||Best Rap/Sung Performance||Pretty Little Fears|
|2020||Best Rap Song||A Lot|
|2020||Best Rap Performance||Down Bad|
|2020||Best Rap Performance||Middle Child|
|2020||Best Rap/Sung Performance||The London|
|2020||Best Rap Album||Revenge Of The Dreamers II|
|2022||Best Rap Performance||MY.LIFE|
|2022||Best Melodic Rap||PRIDE.IS.THE.DEVIL|
|2022||Best Rap Song||MY.LIFE|
|2022||Best Rap Album||The Off Season|
J. Cole Grammy History
Since bursting onto the music scene in 2011 with his debut studio album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, J. Cole has become one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful artists of his generation. His music, which often explores social and complex issues, has resonated with audiences around the world and earned him numerous accolades, including 16 Grammy nominations.
The Fayetteville, North Carolina native made his Grammys debut at the 54th ceremony where he received a nomination for Best New Artist. He eventually lost the award to Indie folk band Bon Iver.
Two years after his Grammys debut, Cole earned his second nomination at the prestigious awards in the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for the single ‘Power Trip’ with Miguel. He lost to Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s 4:44 collaboration Holy Grail.
J. Cole released his third studio album 2014 Forest Hills Drive in December 2014. The album praised for its production and lyrics earned him three nominations at the 2016 Grammys, including nominations for Best R&B Performance, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album. Cole lost all three nominations to the disappointment of his fans who considered 2014 Forest Hills Drive to be his best studio album. Cole opened up about the LP not winning a Grammy in a 2023 interview with ESPN’s Lead by Example With Bob Myers.
“The making of this album I got called Forest Hills Drive, and the releasing of it and the tour. That was a championship run in a way I would look at how the [Chicago] Bulls look at The Last Dance or how [the Golden State Warriors] look at winning a championship,” Cole stated.
“That was the feeling. Guess what? That album didn’t win a Grammy. A Grammy didn’t increase my enjoyment or decrease my enjoyment. If that album had won a Grammy, it wouldn’t have changed my experience. The fact that it didn’t win didn’t change my experience. That was what a championship felt like to me.”
J. Cole, born Jermaine Lamarr Cole eventually won his first and only Grammy at the 62nd ceremony for Best Rap Song for his contributions to 21 Savage’s single “A Lot.” In his 2023 interview with ESPN’s Lead by Example With Bob Myers, Cole who had been snubbed several times by the Grammys in the past said he was no longer interested in the trophy.
“Had I won it early on, I think it would have validated all of those feelings I had for it,” he said. “It maybe would have felt like a championship at that point. The fact that it didn’t happen, and then it didn’t happen, and then it didn’t happen, it allowed me to reflect and be like, ‘Oh wait a minute, those things weren’t for you.’ And then when it actually came it was almost like, ‘I’m not in love with this thing anymore.’”
“After more time to sit with myself, it becomes clear that it’s like, ‘Wait a minute. Those things weren’t for you.’ Then, when it actually came, it was almost like, ‘I’m not in love with this thing anymore.’ Not to mention, I won a Grammy with somebody else. It was me as a feature on somebody’s song. It ain’t for nothing I did.”