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How Many Grammys Does J. Cole Have?

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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.

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Here is a list of J. Cole’s Grammy-winning Albums, songs, and nominations.

2012Best New ArtistPower Trip
2014Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
2016Best R&B PerformancePlanes
2016Best Rap PerformanceApparently2014 Forest Hills Drive
2016Best Rap Album2014 Forest Hills Drive
2019Best R&B SongCome Through And Chill
2019Best Rap/Sung PerformancePretty Little Fears
2020Best Rap Song A Lot
2020Best Rap PerformanceDown Bad
2020Best Rap PerformanceMiddle Child
2020Best Rap/Sung PerformanceThe London
2020Best Rap AlbumRevenge Of The Dreamers II
2022Best Rap PerformanceMY.LIFE
2022Best Melodic RapPRIDE.IS.THE.DEVIL
2022Best Rap SongMY.LIFE
2022Best Rap AlbumThe 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.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 12: Rapper J. Cole arrives at The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)

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 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.

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“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.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 02: (Editorial Use Only) J Cole performs on the main stage during Day 2 of Wireless Festival 2022 at Crystal Palace Park on July 02, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

“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.”

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