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The most thankful celebrities | MoneySuperMarket

Rachel Ditchburn
Written by  Rachel Ditchburn
5 min read
Updated: 22 Apr 2024

Whether it’s for a small favour or for always being there, saying “thank you” is how we acknowledge everything that other people do for us.

And according to psychologists, giving thanks to others can make you happier too1

Thank You

However, opportunities to thank someone publicly can be few and far between. 

But when given the chance, who are we most likely to give a shoutout to – parents, friends, co-workers, a significant other? 

MoneySuperMarket Life Insurance analysed acceptance speeches from award-winning actors and musicians to find who gets thanked the most, as well as the most ‘thankful’ celebrities. 

What we did 

We gathered transcriptions of acceptance speeches given by winners of major categories at the Academy and Grammy award ceremonies since the year 2000. Next, we analysed the transcriptions for keywords such as “my mother”, “my mom”, “my father”, “my dad” etc. to find who the winners thanked in their speeches.  

We also recorded the number of times words like “thank you”, “thanks”, and “grateful” were used in each speech, as well as people thanked by name rather than their relationship to the winner.  

Finally, we used the word count of each winner's speech to find the total words of thanks used per 100 words spoken. For multi-award winners, we used the average word count. 

By crunching all the data, we can reveal the type of people who are most likely to be thanked by award winners, as well as the celebrities who are the most thankful. 

The most ‘thankful’ musicians  

Most thankful musicians chart

The most thankful musician with 11 words of thanks per 100 words spoken is none other than Queen Bey herself.  

With a record 32 Grammy wins you might think that she’d run out of people to thank, but in the speeches we analysed, Beyoncé gives thanks every 9.1 words. The person she thanked the most was her husband, Jay-Z, followed by God, her parents, her children and fans. 

In second place is newcomer, Victoria Monét who won her first Grammy at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards (2024) for Best New Artist. Monet thanked someone 10.5 for every 100 words spoken. 

In third place was country singer Cody Johnson with 9.8 words of thanks per 100 words. Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood rounded out the top 5 with 8.3 and 8.2 thanks per 100 words respectively. 

Top 25 most ‘thankful’ musicians 

 

The most ‘thankful’ actors 

The most ‘thankful’ actors chart

According to our research, Tim Robbins packed 11.6 “thank you’s” into every 100 words of the speech he gave in 2004 after winning best supporting actor for his role in Clint Eastwood's crime drama, Mystic River. 

Robbins thanked almost 30 people, many by name, including many members of the cast and crew, as well as his family, fellow nominees and the Academy members who voted for him. 

With a rate of 11.3 words of thanks per 100 words, Viola Davis is the second most thankful actor in our study. 

Viola Davis won the Oscar for best performance by an actress in a supporting role for her work in Fences, a drama directed by co-star Denzel Washington, and dedicated 36% of her speech to pay tribute to her parents, sisters, daughter, and husband. 

Despite her relatively short speech at the 2016 awards, Alicia Vikander managed to find the time to thank 11 people in roughly 130 words, putting her in third place, while Christoph Waltz and Benicio Del Toro finished fourth and fifth on our list of most thankful actors. 

Top 25 most ‘thankful’ actors 

 

Who gets ‘thanked’ the most 

While thanking someone is something most people do daily, it’s not often that we get a chance to celebrate people publicly and let them know how grateful we are to have them in our lives. 

The table below shows how often people were thanked based on their relationship with award winners.  

The people most likely to be thanked during award-winning speeches are parents.  

While 77% of the speeches we analysed contained parent-related keywords, actors were 50% more likely to do so. 94% of Oscar winners thank their mother and father compared to 63% of Grammy winners. 

Mothers were also 44% more likely to be thanked than fathers. 

The second group of people most likely to be thanked were the Academy and voters with 48% of winners doing so, while colleagues (cast, crew etc.) were third with 43%. 

 

Kara Gammell, personal finance expert at MoneySuperMarket, says

“Who we cherish and the reasons for our gratitude varies. With today’s busy lifestyles, often we don’t pause to reflect on who truly matters until life nudges us to do so. 

“While it lacks the glitz of a world-stage shoutout, life insurance offers a different kind of security. It’s like a quiet guardian, ensuring that if life takes an unexpected turn, the financial well-being of your loved ones – the people you’re most thankful for – is protected.  

“So, here’s to the unsung heroes. The people who make our lives richer, even when the spotlight isn’t on them. Whether it’s a red carpet or your living room, gratitude and protecting your loved ones is always in style.” 

Compare Life Insurance policies to see if you could save money and protect your family with Life Insurance from MoneySuperMarket.  

Methodology  

  1. Harvard Health Publishing  

Speech transcripts were gathered from the Academy Awards Acceptance Speech Database and YouTube.   Only speeches post the year 2000 and 50 words or longer were considered. Filler words were removed from the word count.  Categories analysed include Actor in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. As well as other major categories in Country, Dance/electronic, Pop, Rap, and R&B genres. 

Transcripts were analysed for keywords such as “My Mother”, “My Mom”, “My Father”, “My Dad” etc. to find the type of people that were thanked. 

The number of 'thanks’ in each speech e.g. “Thank you”, “Thanks”, and “Grateful”, was also gathered. Where possible, people thanked by name rather than relationship to the winner were also noted.

Using word count for each speech, we found the total words of thanks used per 100 words. For multi-award winners, we used the average word count of all speeches by that individual in our sample.

Percentages rounded to nearest full number.

 

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