Nigeria Afrobeats stars Burna Boy and Wizkid have both won awards at the 2021 Grammys. Burna Boy 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.
Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy was also a winner on the song. The Best Music Video award is given to the artist, video director, and video producer.
Burna Boy, real name Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, a nominee for a second consecutive year, won with his Twice As Tall album.
The 63rd Grammy Awards was held in Los Angeles. Traditionally billed as “music’s biggest night”, this year’s ceremony was different because of the coronavirus pandemic. There was no audience, and performers were separated onto five stages, arranged in a circle inside the Los Angeles Convention Center to maintain social distancing.
The Grammys nomination 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.
The video which saw Wizkid win was described as “a feast for the fashion-forward and a celebration of Black and brown female beauty everywhere”. 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.”