Grammy® Preforming Artists: A Bunch of Hot Air?

Sunday night, Feb. 10th, the World will celebrate music with the honoring of today’s top musicians. These musicians and performers work for decades to reach this pinnacle in their craft, but are they really giving us, the music consumer, their all?

At AirFilters.com, we not only care about the air you breathe, we also care about the air other people exhale, and a lot of what the Grammy® performers will be exhaling are rehashed, repeated words.

What do we mean by rehashed, repeated words? Well, our team selected three random top songs from each Grammy® performer and calculated the percentage of the repeated words in each song. In total, we reviewed songs by 18 of the 19 scheduled performers.

What did we find? We found that the average percentage of unique words per song among all performing artists was a staggering 37%. That’s right. Only 37% of the words you will hear (or have heard) Sunday night will be unique. Luckily, we all have short attention spans, so if you zone out during one of the performances, chances are, you will still hear all the important parts of the songs.

Now the fun part. Can you guess which artist has the most repeated words per song? We took an internal poll and no one was able to successfully guess the #1 most repetitive artist.

Below, we list each artist in order of least repetitive to most repetitive, and countdown to #1. We like to think of the order as those who are giving us the most value, to those giving us the least value.

#18 Jack White

Congratulations Jack White on shakin’ your way to our least repetitive Grammy performing artist. Only 53% of his lyrics were repeated in the two songs we analyzed. We were licking our fingers with the value Jack White was given us.

  1.       I’m Shakin’
    1. 123 unique / 309 total
    2. 40% unique / 60% repeated
  2.      Sixteen Saltines
    1.  145 unique / 267 total
    2. 54% unique / 46% repeated

#17 Dierks Bentley

We have a three way tie for #17, so we will list these in alphabetical order. Dierks Bentley came a little closer to being the least repetitive artist, but he fell just a little short. Still, only 57% of his words were repetitive. He is nipping at the heels of giving us the most value, and maybe by the time his next hits come out, he will make it to the top of that list.

  1.        What Was I Thinkin’
    1. 162 unique / 430 total
    2. 38% unique / 62% repeated
  2.       Come a Little Closer
    1. 98 unique / 205 total
    2. 48% unique / 52% repeated
  3.       5-1-5-0
    1. 94 unique / 225 total
    2. 42% unique / 58% repeated

#16 The Lumineers

We are seeing a theme with country style singers. They seem to have a lower percentage of repeated words per song, giving us more value. The Lumineers are right there with Dierks Bentley with only 57% of their words being repeated. Keep your heads up guys. Thanks for the value.

  1.        Ho Hey
    1.  90 unique / 212 total
    2.  42% unique / 58% repeated
  2.        Stubborn Love
    1.  105 unique / 242 total
    2.  43% unique / 57% repeated

# 15 Sting

If I ever lose my faith in music, I can turn to Sting. Sting also had a low average of 57% of his words repeated. Some of the newer Top 40 artists could take a page out of his book and add some more lyrics or maybe an extra verse or two into their songs.

  1.       Be Still My Beating Heart
    1. 103 unique / 253 total
    2.  41% unique / 59% repeated
  2.       If I ever Lose my Faith in You
    1.  82 unique / 188 total
    2.  44% unique / 56% repeated
  3.       If You Love Somebody Set them Free
    1.  88 unique / 205 total
    2.  43% unique / 57% repeated

#14 Miranda Lambert

Now we are going over that slippery slope into repetition land. Miranda Lambert comes in with 59% of her words repeated in the songs we analyzed. It wont take nothing but a memory to memorize her songs. Luckily, you don’t need a very good one to remember her lyrics.

  1.        More Like Her
    1. 86 unique / 198 total
    2. 43% unique / 57% repeated
  2.        Fine Tune
    1. 108 unique / 293 total
    2. 37% unique / 63% repeated
  3.       The House that Built Me
    1. 127 unique / 297 total
    2. 43% unique / 57% repeated

#13 Fun.

When I hear songs, they sound like this one. Maybe that is because 60% of their lyrics are repeated. We give them credit, though. They do find a good balance between catchy choruses and number of total words. So, we cant complain too much – just reporting the facts.

  1.        Some Nights
    1. 181 unique / 479 total
    2. 38% unique / 62% repeated
  2.       We Are Young
    1. 112 unique / 308 total
    2. 36% unique / 64% repeated
  3.        Carry On
    1. 148 unique / 327 total
    2. 45% unique / 55% repeated

#12 Kelly Clarkson

Oh, Kelly. You know what got you? Since U Been Gone had a total of 70% of repeated words. As an average of the three songs we analyzed, 60% of the words were repeated. Had we left out that one song, the average would have been one of the lowest. But, she sang it and we analyzed. Kelly, my life would suck without you, but it would suck less without that song. Because of this song, we did not give her a tie with Fun.

  1.        My Life Would Suck Without You
    1. 86 unique / 212 total
    2. 40% unique / 60% repeated
  2.        Since U Been Gone
    1.  84 unique / 281 total
    2. 30% unique / 70% repeated
  3.        Miss Independent
    1. 128 unique / 261 total
    2. 49% unique / 51% repeated

#11 Taylor Swift

With all the boyfriends she breaks up with in her music, it’s no wonder that she eventually runs out of unique words to say. There are only so many ways to break up with some one, and she has covered most of them. Why I gotta be so mean? 62% of her words are repeated. Does it make me mean? If so, maybe she should date me so we can break up. Hey, it’s a guaranteed hit single.

  1.        You Belong With Me
    1. 168 unique / 400 total
    2. 42% unique / 58% repeated
  2.        Love Story
    1. 147 unique / 374 total
    2. 39% unique / 61% repeated
  3.        Mean
    1.  132 unique / 405 total
    2. 33% unique / 67% repeated

#10 Black Keys

You have a love that keeps you waiting? Maybe she would keep you waiting less if she didn’t have to listen to your lyrics over and over again. The Black Keys have an average of 62% of their lyrics repeated in each song. Tighten up and sing more words.

  1.        Lonely Boy
    1. 47 unique / 210 total
    2.  22% unique / 78% repeated
  2.        Tighten Up
    1.  96 unique / 159 total
    2.  60% unique / 40% repeated
  3.        Set You Free
    1.  47 unique / 149 total
    2.  31.5% unique / 68.5% repeated

#9 Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean comes in at the average of 63% of his lyrics being repeated in each song. Honestly, we had never heard of Frank Ocean until this week, so we are still trying to figure him out.

  1.        Thinkin Bout You
    1.  109 unique / 307 total
    2.  35.5% unique / 64.5% total
  2.        Novacane
    1.  178 unique / 476 total
    2.  37% unique / 63% total

 #8 Carrie Underwood

Remember what we said earlier about Country artists providing the most value? We take that back. Carrie Underwood comes in with 63% of her words repeated. To be fair, she did come from American Idol, so really she is a pop country artist, right? Anyway, the Bible says to avoid “vain repetitions” so she needs to let Jesus take the wheel and help her add more words to her songs.

  1.       Jesus Take the Wheel
    1.  133 unique / 293 total
    2.  45% unique / 55 % repeated
  2.        Before He Cheats
    1.  124 unique / 287 total
    2.  43% unique / 57% repeated
  3.        Inside your Heaven
    1.  85 unique / 271 total
    2.  31% unique / 69% repeated

#7 Mumford and Sons

Whose fault is it they are so repetitive? Oh wait, but it’s not your fault but mine? Could you say it again, in case I misheard you? Mumford and Sons drops down on our list due to one song, “Little Lion Man.” 70% of the words are repeated throughout the song. As an average, they come in with 64% of their words repeated.

  1.        Little Lion Man
    1.  80 unique / 286 total
    2.  28% unique / 72% repeated
  2.        I Will Wait
    1.  82 unique / 217 total
    2.  38% unique / 62% repeated
  3.       The Cave
    1.  122 unique / 297 total
    2.  41% / 59% repeated

#6 Ed Sheeran

We only did one of his songs, so maybe it isn’t fair to report this as an average. His one song had an average of 65% of repeated words. We have nothing more to say about him.

  1.       The A Team
    1. 122 unique / 344 total
    2. 35% unique / 65% repeated

#5 Maroon 5

I hope this band has a few rolls of quarters when they use the payphone, because they talk a lot, but don’t say a whole lot. Maroon 5 comes in on our list with 67% of their words repeated.

  1.        Misery
    1. 108 unique / 395 total
    2.  27% unique / 73% repeated
  2.       This Love
    1.  107 unique / 289 total
    2.  37% unique / 63% repeated
  3.        She will be loved
    1.  117 unique / 343 total
    2.  34% unique / 66% repeated

#4 Bruno Mars

I think the Lazy Song about sums up the average number of repeated words in Bruno Mars’ songs. He seems too lazy to put some effort into coming up with a few more words into his music. He comes in at the number four most repetitive Grammy Artist at 67%. He might catch a grenade for you, but you are going to hear about it over and over again.

  1.        Just the Way you Are
    1. 92 unique / 284 total
    2. 32% unique / 68% repeated
  2.        Grenade
    1. 124 unique / 386 total
    2. 32% unique / 68% repeated
  3.        The Lazy Song
    1. 116 unique / 349 total
    2. 33% unique / 67% repeated

#3 Alicia Keys

This girl is on fire. Luckily, she says it enough times so people can come to her aid quickly. Alicia Keys breaks into the 70% range with repeated words. Clap your hands everybody. Then stop, drop and roll.

  1.        Girl on Fire
    1.  89 unique / 317 total
    2.  28% unique / 72% repeated
  2.       If I Ain’t Got You
    1. 88 unique / 260 total
    2. 34% unique / 66% repeated
  3.        Unbreakable
    1. 117 unique / 431 total
    2. 28% unique / 72% repeated

#2 Rihanna

Co-co-co-co-co Come on! Write some more lyrics, already. Rihanna’s average number of repeated words per song came out to be 77%. She found love in a hopeless place. Makes us wonder if that hopeless place is her mind, because it is obviously void of things to say.  We can’t fault her, though. She makes a lot of money saying very little. Come to think about it, she is probably really smart.

  1.        S&M
    1. 81 unique / 494 total
    2.  16% unique / 84% repeated
  2.        We Found Love
    1.  58 unique / 212 total
    2.  27% unique / 73% repeated
  3.        Disturbia
    1.  58 unique / 212 total
    2.  27% unique / 73% repeated
  4. Only Girl
    1. 84 unique / 391 repeated
    2. 21% unique / 79% repeated

#1 Justin Timberlake

What goes around comes around. That especially goes for his lyrics. Topping our chart as the most repetitive Grammy performer, J.T. comes in with a whopping 81% worth of repeated words per song. Now we understand why he started his career with a group, then broke out by making feature appearances with other artists.

  1.        Cry Me a River
    1.  109 unique / 507 total
    2.  21% unique / 79% repeated
  2.       What Goes Around Comes Around
    1.  116 unique / 625 total
    2.  19% unique / 81% repeated
  3.        Sexyback
    1.  92 unique / 506 total
    2.  18% unique/82% repeated

Tell us your thoughts on our list. Do you like hearing the same words repeated over and over again in a song? Do you want artists to add a verse or two more to their songs? Your opinion matters. Chime in, below.

Charles Montgomery

Ecommerce Marketing Manager at AirFIlters.com
jIH ‘uQ’a’ Daq ‘IH jaghpu’ – This is Klingon for “I feast on beautiful adversaries.” Yes, I can speak many languages fluently. As you can see, I’m an expert at modern Klingon – there are only a few of us who can boast this talent. I can also carry a conversation in the rare language that is Elvish. When I’m not studying these intricate languages, I can be found at the local dog park impressing my peers with my innate ability to communicate with their four legged friends. But, I must admit, my favorite pastime is my amateur impromptu theater class. I shine the brightest when I am asked to respond to odd scenarios at the drop of a hat. My classmates all agree that I’m one of the best, in fact my teacher has told me numerous times that I could probably skip a few classes because I’m one of the more talented in the group. If you would like to know more about my intriguing life, please feel free to peruse my social media pages. Tenna' ento lye omenta. (That’s Elvish for, until next we meet.)

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