On February 12, The Color Purple won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The recording from Broadway Records beat out cast recordings from Bright Star, Fiddler on the Roof, Kinky Boots (London recording), and Waitress.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell, and Allee Willis, The Color Purple cast album of the original Broadway musical earned a Grammy nomination in 2007.
The Color Purple won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Revival in the musical category. Fiddler had been nominated against it in that same category. Bright Star earned Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Score, for Broadway first-timers Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Sara Bareilles’ Waitress was also Tony-nominated for Best Musical and Best Score. Bareilles had also been nominated for two 2016 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics. The original Broadway cast recording of Kinky Boots won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album in2014.
The Color Purple cast album counts Tony winner Cynthia Erivo, Tony nominee Danielle Brooks, and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson as principal soloists. (Hudson won in 2009 for Best R&B Album.) Erivo appeared on the Grammy broadcast as the vocalist accompanying John Legend in The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” during the In Memoriam segment.
The principal soloists take home the prize along with producers Bray, Van Dean, Frank Filipetti, Roy Furman, Scott Sanders, and Jhett Tolentino, and the composer-lyricist team of Bray, Russell, and Willis.
Watch the team accept the award here:
Last year the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album went to Hamilton.
Other theatre-related Grammy winners:
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin — Willie Nelson
Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) – Carol Burnett, In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun in the Sandbox
Best Song Written for Visual Media – A group of artists including Anna Kendrick and James Corden, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”
Best Album Notes – Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, Sissle and Blake Sing Shuffle Along
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album – Shakespeare Songs
The late David Bowie, who wrote the music and lyrics for the Off-Broadway musical Lazarus in 2016, was nominated in multiple categories for his final album, Blackstar, and won the categories Best Rock Performance, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Recording Package, and Best Engineering.