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First streaming-only album to win a Grammy is crowned

Back in 1964 Bob Dylan sang about how the times they are a changin’, and more than 50 years later he’s still right, especially when it comes to the state of the music industry.

With the 59th annual Grammy awards having been held in Los Angeles last night, February 12, the first streaming-only album to win an award was crowned.

The honour went to independent artist Chance the Rapper, with the hip hop star claiming the Best Rap Album gong for his online release, Coloring Book.

The collection of songs weren’t released as a physical album in any form, or even sold as a digital download. Instead, the streaming-only album could be listened to solely through online streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify.

Related: Best Music Streaming Service: Which is right for you?


This was the first year streaming-only albums were available for such awards, with the Grammys having changed their rules to accommodate titles such as Coloring Book in the lead up to this year’s event.

The unsigned artist beat Kanye West, Drake, De La Soul, Schoolboy Q and DJ Khaled to take the coveted prize.

“I didn’t think we were going to get this one,” Chance the Rapper said while claiming the historic award. “This is for every indie artist.”

As well as the Best Rap Album title, Chance the Rapper took home a further two Grammys for the year’s Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance – not bad for someone who is shaking up the music scene by giving away their music for free.

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Is streaming-only the future of music? Have your say below.

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