BEVERLY HILLS, March 22, (THEWILL) – The African continent has yet again been done proud following the great and well-deserved win of the Grammys awarded talented afrobeat singers, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu more popularly known as Burna Boy and Ayo Balogun more popularly known as Wizkid during the 63rd annual Grammy Awards Ceremony held on March 14, 2021.
The award meant to recognize spectacular achievement in the music industry was awarded Burna Boy in the Best Global Music Album Category for his album, “Twice As Tall” and Wizkid in the Best Music Video Category for his feature in the “Brown Skin Girl” song by Beyonce.
Needless to say the Grammy win is unarguably a big win for Nigeria and the African continent as it further shows that the Afrobeat sound is heard and appreciated across the world. More so, it serves as a huge inspiration for other artist on the need to remain focused, consistent and creative as they’re recognised across borders.
Still basking in the euphoria of the win, it is safe to recall and recognize those who have towed this path and earned success by bringing home the exclusive Grammy Award amongst several nominees in the past.
Though late now, Babatude Olatunji was part of Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum projects, including the album, Planet Drum, which won the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album of 1991, the first year for which the award was given. A music educator, Olatunji was also an activist who toured America with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Also, in 2008, Sikiru Adepoju, a percussionist and recording artist primarily in the genres of traditional African music took home a Grammy. Adepoju who used to be Ebenezer Obey’s drummer, was also part of Mickey Hart’s group, Global Drum Project, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 51st annual Grammy Awards.
Other Nigerians who have been nominated but never won are Femi Kuti who has been nominated four times (in 2002, 2009, 2011, and 2013) for a Grammy Award in the Best World Music Album category; his half-brother, Seun Kuti who now leads his father’s former band Egypt 80 and has only been nominated once for the Grammys for his album, Black Times in 2019.
Others are King Sunny Ade who has been nominated for the Grammy twice. His original body of works nominated for the Grammys are, ‘Synchro System’ in 1984 and ‘Odu’ in 1999. Then there is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award winning Nigerian novelist. She was nominated for a Grammy award for her feminist-inspired collaboration with Beyonce, on her 2013 track, ‘Flawless’, following her TEDx talk on why ‘We Should All Be Feminists,’ Beyonce incorporated the writer’s essay into her single, which further brought more life to her craft.