Nigerian music icons Burna Boy and Wizkid Wins at premiere 63rd GRAMMY, 2021

Nigerian Afrobeats star Burna Boy has won the Best Global Music Album category for his latest body of work, ‘Twice As Tall’ at the 2021 Grammys.

After being nominated and losing to Angelique Kidjo for the 2020 edition of the Grammy, the Nigerian singer and songwriter has made a bigger comeback in the 2021 instalment of the awards.

While the Nigerian superstar Ayo ‘Wizkid’ Balogun also won his first-ever Grammy Award for his collaboration with Beyoncé and Blue Ivy on the song “Brown Skin Girl”.

Both Nigerian music icons coincidentally got their first awards on the same day at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards ceremony, making them the first winner of the recently renamed category, formerly known as Best World Music Album.

The self-acclaimed African Giant’s beats American, Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas; a group of Tuareg musicians, Tinariwen; British-Indian composer, Anoushka Shankar and Brazilian-American singer, Bebel Gilberto.

Burna Boy, real name Damini Ogulu, a nominee for a second consecutive year, won with his Twice As Tall album.

The Grammys 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 a wide range of international artists such as Stormzy, Youssou Ndour, Naughty By Nature, and Chris Martin of Coldplay, and had Sean Combs as executive producer.

Burna Boy was nominated in the same category in 2019 – then known as Best World Music Album – but lost out to Angelique Kidjo at the awards ceremony in 2020.

However, Kidjo dedicated her win to him, saying: “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.”

Born in Nigeria’s Port Harcourt, Burna Boy released his first album, LIFE, an acronym for Leaving an Impact For Eternity, in 2013.

That album was followed by the release of Redemption in 2015 and Outside in 2018 that included the international hit track, Ye.

But it was with his 2019 African Giant album that Burna Boy really hit the international scene and earned his first Grammys nomination.

Often compared to Nigerian superstar Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, whose songs Burna has sampled generously, he has become increasingly vocal about social causes in Africa.

Wizkid who won for his collaboration with Beyoncé and Blue Ivy on the song “Brown Skin Girl”, comes off the 2019 album, ‘The Lion King’, equally marks the first Grammy Award for Beyoncé’s daughter will be shared with Jenn Nkiru who directed the video.

According to the official Grammy website, the Best Music Video award is given to the artist, video director, and video producer.

Their video bested fellow nominees Future with Drake, Anderson Paak, Harry Styles, and Woodkid.

Sikiru Adepoju is the first Nigerian to have won the Grammy.  He won it in 2009 with the “Global Drum Project” a collaborative album with Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, and Giovanni Hidalgo.

The news of their victory has fans gyrating all over social media, with many saying that the Afro-Fusion star has now placed Nigeria back on the world’s music map.

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