When the Recording Academy (organizers of the Grammy Awards) on Tuesday November 23, 2021 announced the nominees for the 64th Grammy Awards. The names of five Nigerian artists were on the list of nominations.
The artists are Wizkid, Femi Kuti and her son Made, Burna Boy and the booming musical sensation Tems.
Other Nigerian artists who have received Grammy nominations in the past include King Sunny Ade, who was the first to receive a nomination in 1983. Femi Kuti has four nominations to her credit and Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie-Ngozi also has a nomination for her feature on Beyonce’s 2015 album.
In February of this year, Burna Boy and Wizkid made Nigeria proud by winning prestigious awards, which recognize musical excellence.
What most Nigerians don’t realize is that aside from Burna Boy and Wizkid, there are other Nigerian artists who have won awards in the past.
We’re going to take a look at the Nigerian music stars who have a Grammy Award to their name.
Helen Folasade Adu (Sade Adu)
Ibadan-born singer Sade Adu grew up in Essex, England. She holds the title of the first artist of Nigerian origin to win the prestigious award. Her first Grammy was in 1986 for “Best New Artist,” then another followed in 1994 with “No Ordinary Love” for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. She won her third Grammy in 2002 with “Lovers Rock” for Best Pop Vocal Album and her fourth in 2011 with “Soldier of Love” for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel (Seal)
Born Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel in 1963, he is better known by his professional name Seal. He is an Anglo-Nigerian musician, singer and songwriter best known for his 1994 hit song, “Kiss from a Rose”. He has 14 Grammy nominations to his name and has won four. His song “Kiss From A Rose” won him three Grammy Awards in 1996 and in 2011 he landed his fourth “Imagine”. He holds one of the highest numbers of Grammy Awards awarded by a Nigerian.
Hakeem Seriki (Chamillionnaire)
Born Hakeem Seriki but known professionally as Chamillionaire, born to a Nigerian father and African American mother in Washington DC and moved to Houston, Texas at the age of four. He won a Grammy in 2007 for his song ‘Riddin’ in the category Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. He received a total of four nominations that year.
Lekan Babalola is a Nigerian percussionist and jazz musician who started playing conga at an early age. He has seven albums to his credit and two Grammy Awards. In 2006, he won the Grammys for his work on Au Coeur de la Lune by Ali Farka Touré which he credited on three titles. He also won a second Grammy in 2009 for his work on Cassandra Wilson’s 2008 album Loverly.
Jenn Nkiru, the Anglo-Nigerian filmmaker co-directed the video for Beyonce’s “Brown Skin Girl”. Nkiru first worked with Beyonce in 2018 as the second director of Ricky Saiz’s video for Beyoncé and Jay-Z, “Apeshit”.
Sikiru Adepoju is a percussionist and recording artist and performs mainly in the genres of traditional African music and world music. He plays various instruments and styles. He first won a Grammy in 1991 in Mickey Hart’s group Planet Drum, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
It was the first time that there was a Grammy in this category. It won again on February 8, 2009 as part of Mickey Hart’s latest group, Global Drum Project, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, to Nigerian father Oluwole Olusola and Curline Paul, born in Grenada. Olusola is a musician, beatboxer, cellist, rapper, record producer, singer and songwriter. He is also a member of the Pentatonix vocal group. In February 2015, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the “Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella” category for their song “Daft Punk”, a medley of Daft Punk songs. In February 2016, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the same category, this time for Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy ”from their album“ That’s Christmas to Me ”. In February 2017, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the category “Best Country Performance in a Duo / Group” for “Jolene” with Dolly Parton.
Burna Boy won with his album Twice as Tall in 2021. He released a no-jump album that ultimately put him under the biggest win of his career at the 63rd Grammy Awards.
Wizkid’s victory came from his feature on Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl video. Wizkid came close to a Grammy victory for a few years. Although “One Dance,” his hugely successful collaboration with Drake was snubbed by the Grammy, “Views,” the album the track appeared on was nominated for Album of the Year. Wizkid has a producer and artist credits on the album.