West African stars up for Grammys 2022

West African artists including Ghana’s Rocky Dawuni and Benin’s Angélique Kidjo, as well as Nigeria’s WizkidFemi and Made Kuti have secured nominations at the 64th annual Grammy Award (Grammys) next year.

Made and Femi Kuti, Rocky Dawuni, Wizkid and Angélique Kidjo

The West African acts are up for the Best Global Music Album category. The nominees were unveiled on Tuesday ahead of the main ceremony on 31 January 2022 in Los Angeles. 

The Grammys are presented by the Recording Academy, and celebrate “artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.”

The 2022 edition will honour musical work across 86 categories. Nominees were selected from about 22 000 eligible entries released between 1 September 2020 and 30 September 2021. The winners will be voted for by a Recording Academy comprising over 11 000 members, and the final round voting is slated from 6 December to 5 January. 

Rocky Dawuni, who secured his first Grammys nod in 2019, makes a return with his Voice of Bunbon Vol. 1 EP. Four-time winner Angélique Kidjo was shortlisted for her Mother Nature LP, while Wizkid, a 2021 winner, was nominated for his album Made In Lagos: Deluxe Edition. Fela Kuti scions Femi, Made Kuti scored a nomination for their Legacy+ double album. Femi and Wizkid also scored nomination in the Best Global Music Performance category alongside Kidjo and Afrobeats star Burna Boy.

Competing with the West Africans in the category is US musician Daniel Ho & Friends, with their project East West Players Presents: Daniel Ho & Friends Live in Concert.

Burna Boy won the Best Global Music Album award at last year’s edition. Accepting the accolade, the Twice As Tall singer said: 

“This is a big win for my generation of Africans all over the world. And this should be a lesson 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, because you’re a king.”

Meanwhile, jazz singer Jon Batiste leads nominations this year with 11 nods, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best R&B Album. He is followed by Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and H.E.R. with eight nominations apiece. Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo are up for seven trophies each.

Original article written for Music in Africa By Gabriel Myers Hansen

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