Social media was agog, last night, after the announcement that Nigeria’s Burna Boy nabbed a grammy award in the Best Global Album category. This jubilation is valid since the Grammy Awards can be said to be the most prestigious awards in many entertainment industries across the globe. Being nominated alone gives a huge boost to not just the artistes’s but every other person that worked on the piece not to speak of actually bagging the award. The grammys comes with a feeling of validation and Nigerians have proven, times without number, that they are, indeed, a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.
Here is a list of other Nigerians who have ever won a Grammy award.
Helen Folasade Adu, known professionally as, Sade Adu was born in Oyo state in 1959. However, the singer, cum songwriter grew up in Essex, England. It’s only normal for Sade Adu to be first on this list since she holds the title of the first Nigerian to ever bag the prestigious Grammys. She first won the award in 1986 under the category of “Best New Artist” and added another one to her award cabinet in 1994 with “No Ordinary Love” for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals. That’s not all; Sade Adu got the fourth in 2002 with “Lovers Rock” in the Best Pop Vocal Album and bagged her fifth in 2011 with “Soldier of Love” for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel
Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, aka Seal, was born in 1963 to a Nigerian mother, Adebisi Ogundeji, and Afro-Brazilian father, Francis Samuel. Seal holds the title of Nigerian with the highest numbers of Grammy awards.The British-Nigerian musician, singer and songwriter as four Grammy Awards and 14 Grammy nominations to his name. His 1994 hit song, “Kiss From A Rose” earned him three Grammy awards in 1996 including Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1996. In 2011, he bagged his fourth with “Imagine” as Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2011.
Hakeem Seriki (Chamillionaire)
Hakeem Seriki, aka Chamillionaire, is a rapper and businessman with a Muslim Nigerian father and an African-American Christian mother. He was born in Washington D.C. and moved to Houston, Texas at the age of four. His song, “Riddin’got him a Grammy in 2007 as the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group category.
Kevin Olusola was born in Kentucky, to Nigerian father, Oluwole Olusola and Grenadian-born Curline Paul. Olusola is a musician, beatboxer, cellist, rapper, record producer, singer, and songwriter best known as the beatboxer of the vocal band Pentatonix. On February 8, 2015, his band bagged a Grammy in the “Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a cappella” category for their song “Daft Punk”. One year later, the band earned another award for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from their “That’s Christmas to Me” album. In 2017, Pentatonix bagged their third, as the “Best Country duo/group performance” category for their song “Jolene”.
Sikiru Adepoju, born in Eruwa, Oyo Stat was a member of Ebenezer Obey’s Inter Reformers Band. Adepoju is a percussionist and recording artist from Nigeria, primarily in the genres of traditional African music and world music. He left for the US in 1985 where met Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and joined his group, Planet Drum. In 1991, the group bagged the Grammys for Best Contemporary World Music Album; a newly created that category. Few years down the line, in 2009 precisely, Mickey Hart’s latest group Global Drum Project, of which Adepoju was a member, won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
Olalekan Babalola is a Nigerian jazz percussionist and musician who has two Grammy awards in his Cabinet. In 2006, he earned the award his work on Ali Farka Touré‘s In the Heart of the Moon which he was credited in three tracks. Fast forward to 2009, he got another one for his work on Cassandra Wilson‘s 2008 album titled Loverly.
Afrobeat artiste, Burna Boy, is the latest Nigerian to bag the award. On March 14 2020, the self-acclaimed African giant won the award in the ‘Best Global Album’ category for his ‘TWICE AS TALL’ album. Burna Boy was in the race with Tuareg Desert Rock group Tinariwen, NYC afrobeat outfit Antibalas, Brazilian-American Bebel Gilberto, and British-Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar. Burna Boy is, however, not new to the nominations as his ‘African Giant’ album was previously nominated at the 62nd Grammy Awards for ‘Best World Music Album’ which held last year. The award, however, went to Beninoise singer, Angélique Kidjo, who dedicated the award to Burna.
Ayodeji ‘Wizkid’ Balogun, Starboy Wizzy, won the award by his feature on Beyonce’s song. He won in the ‘Best Music Video’ category taken by Beyoncé’s ‘Brown Skin Girl’. The Best Music Video award is given to the artist, video director, and video producer. This music video was contending with that of Future, Drake, Anderson.Paak, Harry Styles, and Woodkid
Away from international Nigeria artistes, to what we will call tiwa n tiwa, that is, home based artistes, that have been considered to contend for the award include King Sunny Ade, Seun Kuti and Femi Kuti. Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie-Ngozi also has a nomination for featuring on Beyonce’s 2015 album