Over the years, the Nigerian music business has grown at an exponential rate, and with that growth has come a growing desire for international prominence and supremacy.
Various Nigerian artists have promised to bring home a Grammy prize over the years, as the renowned award is considered music’s highest honor.
Let’s take a look at a list of Nigerians who have won Grammy awards in light of Burna Boy and Wizkid becoming the latest Nigerian entertainers to do so.
1. Burna Boy
Burna Boy’s big win in the Global Music category for his album Twice as Tall is no small feat. Many believed he was still deserving when he lost to Angelique Kidjo of the Republic of Benin in 2020. Burna’s talent, genius, and grandeur have been officially praised by Kidjo.
The African Giant didn’t hide in his corner and mope. Before the end of the year, he released a no-skip record, which put him in the running for consideration this year. Burna’s African Giant title was reinforced on Sunday night with a Grammy Award.
Wizkid won the award for his appearance in Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl video. Wizkid has been on the verge of winning a Grammy for a few years. Although his monster hit duet with Drake, “One Dance,” was ignored by the Grammys, the album on which the song appears, “Views,” was nominated for Album of the Year. Wizkid is credited as a producer and a featured artist on the album.
3. Jenn Nkiru
Jenn Nkiru, a British-Nigerian filmmaker, co-directed the video for “Brown Skin Girl.” Nkiru initially collaborated with Beyonce in 2018 as a second unit director for Ricky Saiz’s “Apeshit” video for Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Nkiru directed the video for Beyonce’s Ivy Park fashion line’s launch in 2020.
4. Helen Folasade Adu
Sade Adu, a singer, composer, and actor, was born in Ibadan in 1959 as Helen Folasade Adu but grew up in Essex, England. She is well recognized for being the lead singer of her own band. She is the first musician of Nigerian descent to get the prestigious award. 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 category of Best Pop Vocal Album, and in 2011, she won her fourth for “Soldier of Love” in the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.
5. Lekan Babalola
Lekan Babalola, a Nigerian jazz percussionist and musician, was born in 1960 and began playing the conga at a young age. He 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, where he honed his skills on the Bongo drums and performed jazz music. He won Nigeria’s first 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.