Sunday was a big night for Bruno Mars, who swept the biggest categories of the evening at the Grammy Awards. Aside from snagging the album of the year honor, the pop crooner also took home the gold statue for the record of the year and song of the year categories. While these awards are the most coveted, many people still don’t know the difference between the record and song of the year categories.
No judgment here, as the distinction between the two can be a little tricky to figure out – but there’s a very subtle difference.
“The Record Of The Year category recognizes the artist’s performance as well as the overall contributions of the producer(s), recording engineer(s) and/or mixer(s) if other than the artist,” according to the Grammys site. “The Song Of The Year category recognizes the songwriter(s),”
For example, “24K Magic” won record of the year. That means that in addition to Mars, the engineers, producers, and mixers of the track are also listed as honorees. On the other hand, “That’s What I Like,” which won the song of the year category, honors only the names of all the writers of the tune. It’s tricky but think of it like this: the song of the year award honors only the musician and the songwriters of a song, while record of the year only recognizes the musician and the technical contributions of all those who created a song.