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20 People You Won’t Believe Have Grammys

Politicians, actors, athletes and Baha Men who have surprisingly won on Music’s Biggest Night

Barack Obama

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Though some people were shocked at all the love the Grammys were giving Meghan Trainor in 2015, her Record of the Year nom was practically Thriller-level obvious compared to the Grammys’ history in giving the occasional (and occasionally well-deserved!) left-field awards to politicians, actors, athletes and Baha Men. Here’s a list 20 people that you won’t believe have awards while Snoop Dogg and Morrissey’s shelves go trophyless.

Joaquin Phoenix

Eric Charbonneau/WireImage

Joaquin Phoenix

Enigmatic actor Phoenix and Grammy magnet T-Bone Burnett assembled the 2006 winner for Best Soundtrack Album, the music to the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. It consisted largely of the actor singing the Man in Black's songs — kind of a middlebrow Kidz Bop.

Robert Rauschenberg

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Robert Rauschenberg

Album covers can be works of art, but can a work of art be an album cover? Dunno, but even if the strongest competition hadn't been an illustrated jukebox on a Foreigner comp, this proto-pop visionary's design for Talking Heads' Speaking in Tongues — three differently colored transparent discs spun to create different collages — would've been too cool for the slobbiest philistine to resist.

Zach Braff

Zach Braff accepts the award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or other Visual media during the Pre-Telecast Show at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California on February 13th, 2005.

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Zach Braff

Braff has been annoying us all for so long now that it's hard to think back to when you first encountered him and remember just how instantly annoying he was. Still, the Braff-produced Garden State soundtrack (the 2005 winner for Best Compilation Soundtrack) remains a genuine historical document, a snapshot of the moment indie-rock became "indie," the folksy chamber-pop soundtrack to innumerable life-changing iPhone commercials.

Mikael Gorbachev Bill Clinton Sophia Loren

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Mikael Gorbachev, Bill Clinton and Sophia Loren

The Grammys love Prokofiev's children's tale Peter and the Wolf (Patrick Stewart won an award in for his narration in 1996). But you haven't really heard the composition that taught you what a bassoon sounds like until you've heard it told by two great world leaders — oh, and Bill Clinton too. Their 2004 version trounced Harry Potter and took home an award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. The upcoming Putin/Bush/Angie Dickinson version is an early frontrunner for 2016.

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