Burt Bacharach, who died on Wednesday (Feb. 8) at age 94, was one of America’s finest composers and arrangers. He most deservedly won a lot of awards over the years, and just missed out on a couple of others.
Bacharach won six Grammys, three Oscars and an Emmy. He and his long-time collaborator Hal David were nominated for a Tony for best musical in 1970 for the musical comedy Promises, Promises, on which they teamed with playwright Neil Simon. Promises, Promises was nominated in that category the same year as the smash Hair, which brought rock rhythms (and full-frontal nudity) to Broadway. Surprisingly, neither of these shows won. The award went to 1776, also a long-running hit, but one that is less well-remembered today.
If Promises, Promises had won, Bacharach would have become an EGOT the following year when he won a Primetime Emmy for his special Singer Presents Burt Bacharach. That would have made Bacharach just the second person to achieve the EGOT, following Richard Rodgers, who completed the sweep of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards in 1962.
Another miss: Bacharach never received the Kennedy Center Honors. True, he and David received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, but many others have received both awards. It’s the Kennedy Center’s loss: Bacharach would have added luster to their roster of recipients.
Fortunately, Bacharach achieved so many awards feats that we don’t need to dwell on the shoulda-woulda-couldas. He had a 58-year span of Grammy nominations, from 1963 (a song of the year nod for the suave, if sexist, “Wives and Lovers”) to 2021 (a nod for best musical theater album for Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater’s Some Lovers).
Here are 11 times Burt Bacharach made awards show history.
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