The Day Three Nigerian Stars Shone Bright On Grammy Night
Call it a haul, a big win, perhaps a big score. One thing is certain: you won’t be wrong.
The expectations were mostly for an artist to win an award that eluded him last year. But when the curtains closed on the 2021 Grammy’s on Sunday night, not one but three Nigerians won awards, in part, for a genre birthed in their fatherland.
Burna Boy‘s big win in the Global Music category with his Twice as Tall album is no little achievement. When he lost to Republic of Benin’s Angelique Kidjo in 2020, many felt he was still deserving. Even Kidjo publicly acknowledged the talent, genius and greatness that Burna typifies.
“Four years ago on this stage, I was telling you that the new generation of artists coming from Africa gonna take you by storm. And the time has come, this is for Burna Boy,” Kidjo said in her acceptance speech at the 62nd Grammy Awards.
“Burna Boy is among those young artists that come from Africa that is changing the way our continent is perceived and the way that African music is the bedrock of all music.”
The African Giant didn’t retreat into his corner to sulk. He dropped a no-skip album before the end of that year, which ultimately put him in the frame for consideration this year. And on Sunday night, a Grammy win cemented Burna’s African Giant status.
And on Monday morning, Twitter boss Jack Dorsey endorse his music by tweeting a link to “Ye”. Not that he needed those validations to prove his talent.
Wizkid’s win came via his feature on Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl video. Wizkid has skirted around the edges of a Grammy win for a few years. Although “One Dance,” his monster hit collaboration with Drake was snubbed by Grammy, “Views“, the album on which the track appears was nominated for the Album of the Year.
Wizkid has a producer and featured artist credits on the album.
There is more. The “Brown Skin Girl” video was co-directed by British-Nigerian filmmaker Jenn Nkiru. Nkiru first worked with Beyonce in 2018 as second unit director of Ricky Saiz’s video for Beyoncé and Jay-Z, “Apeshit”. In 2020, Nkiru handled the video for the launch of Beyonce’s Ivy Park fashion line.
Nigerian-American rapper Chika (nominated in the Best New Artist category), Tiwa Savage, Femi and Imade Kuti could have added more sparkles for Nigerian on an already beautiful night. But for Femi Kuti specifically, it was another night of miss.
The romance of the Afrobeat legend and son of Fela Kuti, Afrobeat founder with Grammy has not been very fruitful with misses in 2002, 2009, 2011, and 2013 in the same category (the category has been renamed) Burna Boy on Sunday.