Nigeria celebrates Burna Boy, Wizkid as they win big at the 63rd Grammy Awards
Burna, 29, declared: "This is a big win for my generation of Africans all over the world."
Nigeria has been agog as Burna Boy, the self-styled African Giant won the Best Global Music Album category while Wizkid won the Best Music Video for his song with Beyoncé; Brown Skin Girl, from Lion King: The Gift album. All this went down at the just concluded 63rd edition of the Grammys.
The Nigerian superstar won his first career GRAMMY for Best Global Music Album for his 2020 LP Twice As Tall. “Level Up” and “Onyeka” are from his GRAMMY-winning project as he also delivered a breath-taking performance of “Level Up,” “Onyeka” and “Ye,” from three different scenes, at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony.
Burna Boy whose real name is Damini Ogulu was a nominee for a second consecutive year, The 63rd Grammy Awards was held in Los Angeles. Traditionally billed as “music’s biggest night”, this year’s ceremony is different because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The winning Grammys nomination described Twice As Tall as “a masterclass in the vibe and hustle that have made Burna Boy an international musical force”. Burna Boy is credited to continuing to stretch limitations, seamlessly blending styles and genres and fearlessly fuelling the fire heating the melting pot of pop, Afrobeat, dancehall, reggae and more,”. 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 (aka P. Diddy) as executive producer.
As he accepted the Best Global Music Album award from his home in Lagos, Nigeria, Burna, 29, declared: “This is a big win for my generation of Africans all over the world.” “This should be a lesson to every African out there: No matter where you are, no matter what you plan to do, you can achieve it…,” he added.
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.
The Wizkid win was for his feature in Beyonce’s musical video Brown-Skin Girl. The nomination described the video as “a feast for the fashion-forward and a celebration of Black and brown female beauty everywhere”.
The Nigerian government has congratulated Burna Boy and Wizkid for achieving the rare feat at the Grammys. The Ministry for Information and Culture said in a statement on Twitter that the awards “represented a global endorsement for the Afrobeat genre of music that has propelled Nigeria’s increasing dominance of the music world.”
Expectedly, the accolades have been pouring in from all corners of the globe as social media has been inundated with congratulatory messages and exhortations from politicians and Nigerian across the globe