The Grammys didn't officially recognize metal music until the 31st Annual Grammy Awards in 1989, and the result was a debacle many metal fans still harbor a grudge over. Metallica, widely expected to win the first-ever combined category awards for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental, lost out to Jethro Tull, who certainly have hard rock material but aren't metal. Headbangers felt slighted.

In response to the subsequent outcry in the rock and metal press, the Grammys split the category (more understandably) into Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance. (Best Metal Performance is still around now. The other award is now just called Best Rock Performance.)

Metallica hold the record for the most wins in the metal category, with seven wins as of Sunday's 66th Annual Grammy Awards, when Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo was on hand to accept Metallica's award for "72 Seasons." They were up against Spiritbox, Slipknot, Ghost and Disturbed.

At this year's ceremony, in sort of an updated outcome of the 1989 award, many felt it a travesty that a newer band such as Spiritbox didn't win, instead giving Metallica a seventh award.

How things change! Now Metallica are the dinosaurs, and Spiritbox are the young new band that got slighted.

There are other instances the Recording Academy seemed oblivious to metal. For the 2012–2013 awards season, the metal award was discontinued temporarily in a major overhaul of categories. The newly formed Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance took over, only to again be split up in 2014, bringing back the Best Metal Performance category and putting hard rock performances in with the Best Rock Performance category.

Indeed, it appears the Academy continually tries to be more accepting of heavy metal while still having to toe the line for the mainstream public.

66th GRAMMY Awards - Premiere Ceremony

Photo: Getty Images North America

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