The Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance is an award presented at the Grammy Awards to recording artists for works (songs or albums) containing quality performances in the heavy metal music genre. The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony, where honors in several categories are presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) 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". The ceremony was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.
The NARAS recognized heavy metal music artists for the first time at the 31st Grammy Awards (1989). The category was originally presented as Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental, combining two of the most popular music genres of the 1980s.Jethro Tull won that award for the album Crest of a Knave, beating Metallica, which were expected to win with the album ...And Justice for All. This choice led to widespread criticism of the NARAS, as journalists suggested that the music of Jethro Tull did not belong in the hard rock or heavy metal genres. In response, the NARAS created the categories Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance, separating the genres.
The Best Metal Performance category was first presented at the 32nd Grammy Awards in 1990, and was again the subject of controversy when rock musician Chris Cornell (lead vocalist for the band Soundgarden) was perplexed by the organization's nomination of the band Dokken in this category. Metallica won in the first three years. The awards were presented for the song "One", a cover version of Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy", and the album Metallica. During 2012-2013, the award was temporarily discontinued in a major overhaul of Grammy categories; all solo or duo/group performances in the hard rock and metal categories were shifted to the newly formed Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category. However, in 2014, the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category was split, returning the Best Metal Performance category and recognizing quality hard rock performances in the Best Rock Performance category.
As of 2011, Metallica holds the record for the most wins in this category, with a total of six. The bands Black Sabbath, Nine Inch Nails, Slayer, and Tool have each received the award twice. The band Ministry holds the record for the most nominations without win, with six.
|1991||Metallica||"Stone Cold Crazy"|||
|1993||Nine Inch Nails||"Wish"|||
|1994||Ozzy Osbourne||"I Don't Want to Change the World" (live)|||
|1996||Nine Inch Nails||"Happiness in Slavery" (live)||
|1997||Rage Against the Machine||"Tire Me"|||
|1999||Metallica||"Better Than You"|||
|2000||Black Sabbath||"Iron Man" (live)|||
|2003||Korn||"Here to Stay"|||
|2006||Slipknot||"Before I Forget"|||
|2007||Slayer||"Eyes of the Insane"|||
|2010||Judas Priest||"Dissident Aggressor" (live)|||
|2011||Iron Maiden||"El Dorado"|||
|2014||Black Sabbath||"God Is Dead?"|||
|2015||Tenacious D||"The Last in Line"|||
^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.