Photo Credit: Toofab

The 64th Grammy awards released the list of its nominees last year, on 23rd November. Notably, Africa continues to gain more traction based on the list of nominees considered for this year’s Grammy awards. The show which was slated for 31st January was pushed to April due to Covid-19 fears. Afro beats have become a global genre, this is evident from the entrance of Wizkid, Tems, and the resurgence of Fela Kuti to the Grammy’s nomination list. The following is a list of African nominees and the winners.

Angelique Kidjo

Photo Credit: Emma/Getty Images

Angelique Kidjo is not new to the Grammy’s stage. She has four Grammy awards in her pocket already from the past. For the 64th Grammy, Kidjo was nominated for the following two categories;

Best Global Music Performance

  • Song- Do Yourself(Angelique Kidjo ft Burna Boy)

Best Global Music Album

  • Angelique Kidjo-Mother Nature (won)

The Beninese singer has consistently distinguished herself from this category, winning for the 5th time with her 16th studio album, Mother Nature. Speaking to the academy, Angelique insisted that “for diversity to exist not only in word, but talk is also cheap, actions expensive. Let’s put the action where we say they going to be and open the door for all”. Interesting to see African artists gaining entrance into the global music award stage, and Angelique insisted that it is vital to keep holding the door for others while enhancing the reach for African music.

Burna Boy

Burna Boy gained his nomination for the 64th Grammy through his appearance in Angelique Kidjo’s song; “Do Yourself”. However, Arooj Aftab of Pakistan won in the category. We cannot downplay the success Burna Boy has had these past years, evident from the global back-to-back show since his first Grammy nomination for his album; African Giant. Though he lost the Grammy’s then to Angelique Kidjo, he later won in 2021 with his album Twice as Tall.

He continues to push the limits for afro-beats and African music in general around the globe.

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Wizkid & Tems

Their hit “Essence” received the appreciation it deserves by being awarded the nomination for this year’s Grammy. Essence, together with Do Yourself (Angelique Kidjo ft Burna Boy), Pa` pa` pa` (Femi Kuti) made to the list of nominees for the category of; Best Global Music Performance. However, the award for this category went to; Arooj Aftab of Pakistan.

Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti has kept the legacy of his father Fela Kuti alive even today. Entering the grammy’s list for the fourth time since his first nomination in 2012, Femi Kuti was nominated under the category Best Global Music Performance for his song Pa`pa`pa`. His album Made Kuti-Legacy+ gained a nomination for the Best Global Music album, he lost to Angelique Kidjo though.

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Black Coffee

Photo Credit: Black Coffee| Facebook

Now the most intriguing nomination and win for Africa came from Black Coffee, a South African DJ, producer, and songwriter. He was nominated for the Best Dance/Electronic Album. He made history by being the first African to ever gain a nomination in this category and winning at the same time.

It is a testament to the immense talent available on Africa’s soil. A stage like the Grammy’s provides a platform to create much-needed awareness on Africa’s stars and glory.  We celebrate with the African nominees, winners, and Africa’s music lovers at large. We must keep on promoting Africa’s content and artists. We owe it to ourselves to do so.


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