Album of the Year, 2005
Winner: Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company
In recent years the Album of the Year Grammy has seemed almost like a lifetime achievement prize. The Academy has increasingly tended to reward mediocre late-career albums by ageing artists long past their peak, presumably to atone for the fact that they hadn't received awards when they were still churning out the good stuff.
A prime example of this came in 2005. Ray Charles, an undoubted legend, was given the award posthumously in 2005 for his duets album, which was made while he was, and sounded like, a very old man. Genius Loves Company was by no means bad, but giving it Album Of The Year ahead of Kanye West's critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut The College Dropout smacked of over-sentimentality.