It’s a double win for Nigeria at the Grammy Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, USA as two of Nigeria’s biggest afropop artistes win big at the world’s biggest music awards platform.
After losing the Best World Music Album To Angelique Kidjo at the 2020 ceremony, Nigerian Afro-fusion artiste, Burna Boy, has made a big comeback at the 2021 edition of the awards.
The singer has won in the same category where he was nominated last year, now rechristened the Best Global Music Album category – the new name the category assumed for “inclusiveness”. The 29-year-old singer won for his latest body of work, ‘Twice As Tall’.
Burna Boy edged out American afrobeat band Antibalas; a group of African Tuareg musicians, Tinariwen; British-Indian composer, Anoushka Shankar and Brazilian-American singer, Bebel Gilberto.
The multiple award-winning artiste becomes the first Nigerian to win the coveted Grammy as a solo artiste.
However, alongside his colleague, Wizkid, he has become the second Nigerian to touch the Grammy plaque after Sikiru Adepoju, who won it in 2009 with the “Global Drum Project” a collaborative album with Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, and Giovanni Hidalgo.
Adepoju, who is celebrated as ‘the Mozart of the talking drum’ had earlier in 1991 won a Grammy certificate for his effort in a joint album.
The Grammy organisers described ‘Twice As Tall’ as “a masterclass in the vibe and hustle that have made Burna Boy an international musical force”.
“[He] continues to torch limitations, seamlessly blending styles and genres and fearlessly fuelling the fire heating the melting pot of pop, Afrobeat, dancehall, reggae and more,” it said.
The album features international artistes such as Stormzy, Youssou N’dour, Naughty By Nature, and Chris Martin of Coldplay, and had Sean Combs as an executive producer.
Similarly, the equally sensational Wizkid won the Best Music Video for his role on Beyoncé’s ‘Brown Skin Girl’.
Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy was also a winner on the song.
The Best Music Video award is given to the artiste(s), video director and video producer.
The video which saw Wizkid win was described as “a feast for the fashion-forward and a celebration of Black and brown female beauty everywhere”.
Traditionally regarded as “music’s biggest night”, the 63rd Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles and this year’s edition is different due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. It held virtually with artistes performing on five different stages in order to maintain social distancing.
Burna Boy’s Grammy is significant as the first solo, Nigeria-based artistes to win after his second nomination.
King Sunny Ade has had two Grammy nominations; Femi Kuti has been nominated five times while his half brother, Seun Kuti, has had one nomination without any of them winning the coveted prize.
Burna Boy whose grand father, Benson Idonije, is a celebrated music critic and a former manager of Fela Kuti, was named TCN’s Culture Icon of the Year 2019 for his outstanding contribution to music and popular culture especially among the youths.