LOS ANGELES, 14 March 2021 – Nigeria’s top Afrobeat stars Burna Boy and Wizkid have won the most important Grammy Awards for the year 2021.
On the second consecutive year of being nominated, Burna Boy won the Best Global Music Album category with Wizkid lifting the top award for the Best Music Video category.
First nominated in 2019, Burna Boy lost the Best World Music Album award category to the Benin-born Angelique Kidjo during the awards ceremony in 2020.
Kidjo said of Burna Boy during her acceptance of the award that she was dedicated her win to him.
She decribed Burna Boy then as being “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 29-year-old Burna Boy, whose real name is Damini Ogulu, beat four other artists, including the Malian band, Tinariwen to lift the award.
Burna Boy won with his Twice As Tall album.
Some of the artists on the award-winning album include Stormzy and Youssou Ndour.
The official awards nomination paperwork described Twice As Tall as “a masterclass in the vibe and hustle that have made Burna Boy an international musical force”.
Burna Boy “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,” the official paperwork read in part.
Wizkid won the Best Music Video award for his song with Beyonce, Brown Skin Girl, from Lion King: The Gift album.
Blue Ivy, who is Beyonce’s daughter, was a co-winner on the song with Wizkid along with the video director and video producer.
Wizkid’s winning video was described as “a feast for the fashion-forward and a celebration of Black and brown female beauty everywhere”.
Burna Boy was born in Port Harcourt and is seen by many in Nigeria as the next-in-line of Afrobeat greatness after Fela Ransome Kuti.
His first album – LFE, scronym for Leaving an Impact For Eternity – was released in 2013.
It is with his 2019 African Giant album that Burna Boy earned his first nomination for the Grammys.
Burna Boy has used his stardom to advance justice across Africa, voicing his disgust following the outbreak of xenophobic attacks in South Africa in 2019, and showing support in 2020 for #EndSARS campaigners seeking an end to police violence in Nigeria a song in memory of the Nigeria youth massacred last October 20 at the Lekki Toll Gate in Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos.
More recently, he voiced support on Twitter for those who took to the streets in Senegal following the arrest of the country’s opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.
The 2021 ceremony for the 63rd Grammy Awards unfolded different from all previously ceremonies.
It was staged inside the Los Angeles Convention Center but from five different stages, to allow for social distancing, conforming with the demands of a world badly hit and changed by the new coronavirus pandemic.