Nigerians on Sunday 26th January had their eyes all glued on Burna Boy at the just concluded 62nd Grammy Awards, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, US, hoping for him to be announced the winner of the award.
Instead it was African music legend, Angelique Kidjo who made headlines by beating Nigeria’s Burna Boy to the Best World Music Album for her album ‘Celia’. Angelique Kidjo defeated Burna Boy, Altin Gün, Bokanté & Metropole Orkest conducted by Jules Buckley, Nathalie Joachim & Spektral Quartet to win the award.
While accepting her award, the singer took time to salute Burna Boy and said that he is changing Africa. “Four years ago on this stage, I was telling you that the new generation of artists coming from Africa are going to take you by storm. And the time has come. This is for Burna Boy.
“Burna Boy is among those young artists that come from Africa that is changing the way our continent is perceived and the way African music has been the bedrock of every music,” said the 59 year old Angelique Kidjo.
Burna Boy retweeted Kidjo’s speech on Monday night, affirming her sentiments. “I love you forever @angeliquekidjo and every single person that rooted for me, I don’t take any of it lightly! The world get ready cause we’re all coming!,” he wrote.
According to okayafrica.com, Kidjo and Burna Boy collaborated on the track “Different” a standout from his hit album African Giant, that also features Damian Marley. Burna Boy has expressed being a major fan of the celebrated artist on several occasions.
Burna Boy in 2019, won Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards, and was also the Apple Music’s Up Next artist. According to NAN, had Burna Boy won it, he would have become the third Nigeria and also joined the list of other Nigerians in diaspora to win the Grammy plaque, as Olalekan Babalola was the first Nigerian to win the Grammy in 2006 and 2008 while Sikiru Adepoju won it in 2009 with the “Global Drum Project”, a collaborative album with Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, and Giovanni Hidalgo.
Several Nigerians in the Diaspora have won the coveted Grammy award in the past. In 1986, Helen Folasade Adu CBE, better known as Sade became the first Nigerian when she won the Best New Artist. Over the years, Sade has won three more Grammys.
Others winners include: Hakeem Seriki a.k.a Chamillionaire (2007) with the hit song “Ridin”; Kevin Olusola of the vocal band Pentatonix, won it with the group in 2015, 2016 and 2017; Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo (2017) for Best Musical Theatre album; and of course Henry Olusola Adeola Samuel better known as Seal who won three of his four Grammys with the monster hit “Kiss From A Rose” in 1996.