AFROBEAT musicians Burna Boy and Wizkid have entered the history books by becoming the first Nigerian-based musicians to win Grammy Awards yesterday at the 63rd hosting of the prestigious ceremony.
Burna Boy won a Grammy for his album Twice As Tall, making him the first Nigerian to win the award at just his second attempt. Twice As Tall, Burna Boy’s fifth studio album, was adjudged one of the best to be recorded by the 29-year-old Nigerian-born Damini Ogulu.
Wizkid, whose real name is Ayo Balogun, for his part, won the Best Music Video for his duet with Beyoncé. He sang the song Brown Skin Girl with Beyonce, which fetched him his first ever Grammy award.
Twice as Tall, released on August 14, 2020, is a mixture of Afrobeat, dancehall, pop, and hip hop. In 2020, Burna Boy’s fourth album African Giant, had vied for the category but lost to Angelique Kidjo.
Burna Boy said: “To every African out there, no matter where you are, no matter what you plan to do, you can achieve it. No matter where you’re from, you are a king. Look at me now – Grammy award-winning Burna Boy. Thank you to everyone.”
Grammy Award judges described Twice As Tall as a masterclass in the vibe and hustle that have made Burna Boy an international musical force. A Grammy Awards spokesman said: “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.”
Wizkid’s collaboration Brown Skin Girl, which also featured Beyonce’s first child, Blue Ivy Carter, was made for Beyonce’s 2019 album Lion King: The Gift. It is unclear if Wizkid will get a certificate or a gong for his role in the song and in its video.
Apart from Beyonce, Wizkid is believed to have won the award alongside another featured artist, Saint Jhn, as well as Jenn Nkiru, who directed the video. The music video for Brown Skin Girl was released on August 24, 2020 and as of the time of this win, has over 31m views on YouTube.