The 66th Annual Grammy Awards held last night in honour of the best recordings, compositions, and artists from October 1, 2022, to September 15, 2023, as chosen by the members of The Recording Academy.
The show was hosted by Trevor Noah for the fourth time.
Some Nigerian music artistes – Burna Boy, Davido, Asake/Olamide, Ayra Starr – were on the nominee list. Sadly, none of them took home the prized gramophone trophy .
In recent time, Nigerian musicians have not been satisfied to dominate their home nation with their crafts; many have set their goals on international recognition, and many have been successful in doing so.
The Grammy AwArd first held in 1959, since then ten musicians and performers of Nigerian descent have won the Grammys.
These individuals will be discussed in this post.
Helen Folasade Adu, better known as Sade Adu, was born in Ibadan in 1959 – the year the first Grammy Award was held. The singer, composer, and actor later relocated to the UK where she grew up in Essex, England.
She holds the distinguished record as the first musician of Nigerian heritage to win a Grammy. Her first Grammy was for “Best New Artist” in 1986, and her second was for “No Ordinary Love” in 1994, for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.
In 2002, she won her third Grammy for “Lovers Rock” in the Best Pop Vocal Album category. In 2011, she won her fourth for “Soldier of Love” in the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals category.
Sikiru Adepoju is a multi-instrumentalist who performs in a range of styles. The skilled drummer and recording artist specializes in traditional African and international music genres.
In 1991, he received his first Grammy as a member of Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album. It was the first time a Grammy had been given in that category.
Adepoju won again on 8 February 2009 as a part of Mickey Hart’s current group Global Drum Project, whose title album earned the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 51st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
Born in 1963, Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel performs under the stage name Seal. He is a British-Nigerian musician, singer, and songwriter.
He is best known for his hit song “Kiss from a Rose,” a song released in 1994.
Seal has 14 Grammy nominations and has won four of them.
In 1996, his song “Kiss From A Rose” won him three Grammy Awards, and in 2011, he won his fourth with “Imagine.”
He currently holds the record for the most Grammy Awards won by a person of Nigerian descent.
Lekan Babalola is a Nigerian jazz percussionist and musician. He was born in 1960 and started playing the conga at an early age.
Babalola has seven albums to his credit, as well as two Grammy nominations.
He began his professional career after joining the Samba Samba Band and later Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers bands in New York City. There, he honed his skills on the Bongo drums and performed jazz music.
He won a Grammy Award in 2006 for his contributions to Ali Farka Touré’s “In the Heart of the Moon”, for which he was recognized on three tracks.
In 2009, he earned a second Grammy for his work on Cassandra Wilson’s “Loverly”, a 2008 album.
Hakeem Seriki is a rapper, investor, and entrepreneur. He is better known by his stage name Chamillionaire.
Chamillionaire’s mother is African-American, while his father is Nigerian. He was born in Washington, D.C. Later, when he was four years old, he relocated to Houston, Texas.
His song “Riddin'” won him a Grammy in 2007 under the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group category. He received a total of four nominations in that year.
Kevin Olusola is a musician, beatboxer, cellist, rapper, record producer, vocalist, and composer.
He was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, to Oluwole Olusola, a Nigerian father, and Curline Paul, a Grenadian mother.
Olusola is best known for his work with the vocal group Pentatonix as their beatboxer.
He has three Grammy Awards to his name. This happened when Pentatonix received a Grammy for their song “Daft Punk,” a mashup of Daft Punk tracks, on February 8, 2015 in the category of “Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a cappella.”
The group also won a Grammy for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from their “That’s Christmas to Me” album on February 15, 2016, in the same category.
Pentatonix won a Grammy for “Jolene,” which included Dolly Parton, on February 12, 2017, in the category of “Best Country duo/group performance.”
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu is better known by his stage name, Burna Boy.
2020 saw the release of Twice as Tall, his fifth studio album. The album was nominated for Best World Music Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards which it won.
The previous year, his album African Giant had lost to Angelique Kidjo of the Republic of Benin in the same category.
With this win, Burna Boy became the first Nigeria-based musician, on a non-featured song or album, to win the Grammy.
Wizkid, whose real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, is a Nigerian singer and composer.
He was featured in Beyoncé’s 2020 project, “The Lion King: The Gift”. On the album, Wizkid is listed as both a featured performer and a producer. He featured on the single “Brown Skin Girl”.
The song reached number-one on the World Digital Song Sales chart, and won him a Grammy Award for Best Music Video.
Jenn Nkiru is a British-Nigerian filmmaker Jenn Nkiru. co-directed the music video for “Brown Skin Girl” by Beyoncé featuring Wizkid.
In 2020, she directed the highly acclaimed music video for Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” asong that featured Wizkid. At the 2021 Grammy Awards, the video took home the Best Music Video award.
Temilade Openiyi, known professionally as Tems, is a singer, songwriter, and record producer. She rose to prominence after being featured on Wizkid’s 2020 single “Essence”. The song earned her a Grammy Award nomination.
In 2022, Tems’ vocals from her song “Higher” were sampled by Future on his single, “Wait for U”, which led to her being credited as a featured artist alongside Drake on the song.
The song earned her the Grammy Award for Best Melodic Rap Performance.
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# Nigerians Who Have Won The Grammy