Audible Studios, the production arm of Audible.com, has received its first-ever Grammy Award for its production of Janis Ian’s acclaimed memoir, Society’s Child: My Autobiography. The audiobook of Society’s Child, in which Ian performs every song she references in the course of her narration, was three years in the making and recorded entirely live. Announced yesterday at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the award was Ian’s second career Grammy in nine nominations that span 46 years.
“I believe this would be called a stunning upset,” said Ian, accepting her award. “My first Grammy nomination came when I was 15 years old. For better and for worse, I have watched my business become an industry—but one thing will never change. We don’t sell music. We sell dreams.”
Ian added, “I am so proud of this audiobook, a tremendous collaboration with Audible and my director, Stefan Rudnicki. The opportunity to sing and play while telling my story was terribly special, and I am grateful for the great skill and care Audible brought to the production.”
The other nominees in the Best Spoken Word Album category were First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Rachel Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres. Quipped Ian, “I keep thinking there’s got to be a punchline here…an ex-president, the First Lady and three lesbians walk into a bar…”
In addition to her previous Grammy nominations and awards, Ian has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame on two separate occasions.
“We knew when we acquired this audiobook that it would be something very special, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that our first Grammy award has come as a result of this landmark spoken-word performance by the legendary Janis Ian,” said Audible.com founder and CEO Donald Katz. “Congratulations to Janis and to the stellar Audible Studios production team.”
In 2012, Audible Studios secured a record 37 nominations for the Audie Awards, which honor outstanding audiobooks and other spoken-word performances, and took home six awards in 17 applicable categories. Audible Studios Audie nominees in 2012 included performances by Samuel L. Jackson, Kenneth Branagh, Elijah Wood, Alan Cumming, Bronson Pinchot and Wil Wheaton; other 2012 Audie nominees included audiobook performances by DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Val Kilmer, Hope Davis, Rob Lowe, John Lithgow, Kathleen Turner and Sissy Spacek. Audible Studios received its first Grammy nomination in the Best Spoken Word Album category in 2010 for The Woody Allen Collection.
With Audible Studios, Audible.com has become the largest producer of audiobooks in the world.
Audible, the world’s leading provider of digital spoken-word entertainment, invented and commercialized the first digital audio player in 1997 and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. In 2011, downloads by Audible members increased by more than 40% over 2010, with individual members downloading an average of more than 18 books over the course of a year. More than half of current Audible members are first-time audiobook buyers.
ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible’s mission is to establish literate listening as a core tool for anyone seeking to be more productive, better informed, or more thoughtfully entertained. Audible content comprises more than 100,000 audio programs from more than 1,800 content providers, including leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is also the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes® Store.