Backlash For Desmond Elliot, Obasanjo Sings Against COVID-19, + More Burna Boy Drama

 

This week on the Vibez we captured how top African leaders such as Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo, threw their hats in the fight ring against the COVID-19, the backlash that came upon actor Desmond Elliot over his ‘makeshift cleansing project’ and some extra drama from the self-acclaimed African Giant, Burna Boy.

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I Felt ‘Totally Sick’ After Losing Grammy – Burna Boy

A photo combination of Nigerian music star, Burna Boy, and Beninese singer, Angelique Kidjo.

 

 

Singer and songwriter, Burna Boy on Tuesday said he felt “totally sick” after losing out at the 62nd Grammy Awards.

Burna Boy, whose legal name is Damini Ogulu, had been nominated in the Best World Music Album category with his groundbreaking ‘African Giant’.

But, last January, he lost to Beninese singer-songwriter, Angelique Kidjo.

“Sick. Totally sick,” he said on his Twitter page while responding to a fan on how he felt after realising he wasn’t going to win.

“But my musical Mother @angeliquekidjo told me everything I needed to understand about the Grammys. So now I’m “Twice as Tall” (that’s the name of my next album by the way dropping in July by the grace of the Most High).”

Apparently, it was also the first time he was announcing the release of his new album.

His Grammy comments were part of a tweet-chat with his audience on the social networking site.

“Yes I’m bored,” he said at the beginning of the tweet-chat on Tuesday. “And I have excess time now. Trust me.”

His boredom appeared to be a reference to the lockdown implemented by the Nigerian government on major cities – Lagos and Abuja – on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I started in 2010, I was motivated by my talent, passion, family, AFRICA and FELA,” he said, responding to a question on how he began his career.

“Twitter does not have enough space for me to talk about the challenges. Just know that the challenges don’t stop when you are on top, they get WORSE.”

When former Big Brother Nigeria star, Tacha (Natacha Akide) asked him what it was like growing up in Port Harcourt and chasing his dream, Burna Boy said it was both beautiful and hell at the same time.

“But it showed me all the lessons I needed to learn to face the world,” he said.

Burna Boy Is A Champion In “Ódogwu” Video

 

Burna Boy has recently shared a video for his track “Odogwu.” The clip portrays the world acclaimed artist as a king among warriors and dancers.

The African Giant’s ethnically charged new music video for ‘Odogwu’ is his first official single of 2020.

The video, directed by TG Omori and with beats by Kel-P, follows Burna Boy and a crew through a number of striking scenes—from a supermarket to the waterside.

 

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A post shared by Burna Boy (@burnaboygram) on

‘When I reach Igboland, them calling me Odogwu,’ sings the artist on the chorus. The title seems fitting as Burna sings of his status and success in the wake of his twitter outburst saying, “FACT! I always knew I was and I am THE BEST. Everyone you think is the best know I’m best since Fela Kuti,” Burna Boy wrote on Twitter.
“Remember I told you I was the African Giant and most of you laughed and said I should be grateful for small fonts. I pray that you learn from me, I mean this in no bragging way and the wise know that the Future of Africa depends on the kind of strength and resilience I show.”

‘Odogwu’ is an Igbo word for a well-respected man in the society. Such a person could be a chief. The Igbo language is one of the most popular Nigerian languages, especially because of Nigerian home movies. The term Odogwu is then a relation between Burna Boy’s roots and his current standing amongst his peers.

Watch the new music video for “Odogwu” below:

Vibez: Burna Boy Controversy, Davido Goes Platinum, And Oscars Fashionistas

 

This week in entertainment news, we are covering a number of stories for you, including the Burna Boy afrobeat controversy, Davido’s latest milestone and the stunning variety of bespoke fashion at, arguably, the most prestigious film awards in the world, the Oscars.

Vibez is your weekly recap of top stories making the rounds in the showbiz world.

Vibez EP 6: Burna Boy’s Shine, Kobe’s Exit And More Peruzzi Drama

 

The past week was one filled with all sorts of emotions – thrills, anticipation, and unfortunately losses.

Vibez brings you a quick rundown of the moments and stories that stood out.

5. Dr Sid, Wife Head For Divorce

Love is indeed a beautiful thing but sometimes like they say, it’s just not enough.

Trending at number 5 is a love story gone sour, of popular singer, Dr Sid and his estranged wife, Simi Esiri.

Simi who is the founder and editor-in-chief of Schick magazine, confirmed her separation from the singer, saying they are heading for a divorce.

She said this while reacting to allegations that she was violent in the marriage.

Simi and Dr Sid tied the knot in 2014 and they have two beautiful daughters together. The singer is, however, yet to comment on the matter.

4. Peruzzi Accused of Defrauding, Sexually Assaulting Singer

Taking the number 4 spot, is Peruzzi’s controversial start to 2020 which has continued with another accusation and this time it’s from a London-based singer who claims to have been defrauded and sexually molested by him.

The UK-based singer identified as Daffy Blanco, called Peruzzi out on Instagram, alleging that she had paid him about 15million naira for a songwriting service that was never rendered.

She further alleged that Perruzi had also attempted to rape her and subsequently, inflicted physical injuries on her.

But the singer who is still embroiled in a contract renegade situation with his former manager, appears to have laughed off the accusation via a post of his own on social media.

3. Ernest Asuzu Allegedly Ill With Stroke

At number three is the controversial story of Nollywood actor, Ernest Asuzu, who is reportedly down with a stroke.

Asuzu who has in the past featured in many Nollywood hits with the likes of Jim Iyke was said to have had a stroke in 2016 but was later healed by a pastor who also allegedly gifted him a jeep and some money to revive his career.

However, news that his situation has taken a turn for the worse recently surfaced after a video of him allegedly roaming the streets and begging for help, went viral.

A man who claimed to have spotted the actor by a shopping mall, was seen appealing to fellow actors in Nollywood to come to Asuzu’s rescue.

2. NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, Daughter Die In Helicopter Crash

At number 2 is the shocking death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

The basketballer died on Sunday when a helicopter he was flying in crashed and burst into flames in thick fog, killing all nine people on board including his teenage daughter, Gianna.

Bryant is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history and the news of his death did not only plunge the sports world into mourning but it also cast a shadow across the globe.

He is survived by his wife and three children and tributes have continued to pour in both for him and the others who died in the crash.

1. Grammys 2020: Burna Boy, Agelique Kidjo Stir Social Media

And finally, topping our list is the 2020 Grammy awards, where a lot of Nigerians and Afrobeats lovers had been rooting for Burna Boy to pick up the prize in the Best World Music Category.

The hopes of thousands of Nigerian music fans for a second Grammy for the country, were, however, dashed as serial winner Angelique Kidjo who was also a nominee in the category, took home the prize for the fourth time.

Kidjo who sings in more than five languages and whose career has spanned almost four decades was gracious in receiving the award and dedicated it to Burna boy.

While some fans took to social media to express their disappointment, others continued to congratulate him.

One of those who particularly stood out, was south African rapper, A.K.A worldwide, who had been engaged in a social media brawl with Burna, months ago.

A.k.A, however, appeared to be letting bygones be bygones in a tweet, where he described Burna Boy as a champion for his Grammy nomination.

Other big winners included teenage goth-pop artiste, Billie Eilish with a total of five golden statuettes, including the award for album of the year, Tyler, the Creator, Lizzo and Lil Nas X.

Meanwhile, the Grammys opened with a tribute to the late basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, with many stars at the event paying homage to him.

Music

Sauti Sol Signs Major Recording Deal With Universal Music Africa

Staying with music from the international scene, Kenyan afro-pop band, Sauti Sol has signed a major recording deal with universal music Africa, a division of the universal music group.

The deal comes just as the group is preparing to drop its 5th studio album titled ‘midnight train’, following their successful 2019 album, ‘Afrikan Sauce’ which featured the likes of Patoranking, Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy.

Sauti Sol announced the news on social media and thanked fans for their support and patience with their upcoming album.

Movies

Mercy Eke, Davido, Cohbams Asuquo, Others Feature In ‘Fate of Alakada

And in moviedom, Nollywood actress and producer Toyin Abraham, appears to be pushing the boat out on the new installment of her comedy film ‘Alakada’.

The new movie which is titled: ‘the fate of Alakada’ will include appearances from the top shelf of the Nigerian showbiz circle such as singers Davido, Cobhams, Orezi.

BbNaija reality stars, Mercy, Khafi, Khloe and Anto as well as fashion icon, Toyin Lawani are also expected to feature in the film.

Fashion

Who wore what at the 2020 Grammys

The Grammy Award has come and gone but we certainly won’t be leaving you without sharing some of our most unforgettable looks.

In addition to receiving six nominations, Billie Eilish shook the red carpet with her neon green crystal-embroidered Gucci suit while Billy Porter was also on brand with his shimmery blue suit and fringe hat.

Priyanka Chopra was spotted looking ravishing in a navel bearing gown, while Lizzo, Ariana Grande and Lil Nas X, were equally nothing short of show-stopping.

‘This Is For Burna Boy,’ Angelique Kidjo Dedicates Grammy Award

Photo collaboration of Angélique Kidjo and Burna Boy

 

Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo on Sunday night dedicated her Grammy award to the Nigerian music star Burna Boy who was up against her to win the music prize.

Burna Boy had been nominated in the same category for his acclaimed album ‘African Giant’ but Kidjo won, for the fourth time, leaving Burna Boy still waiting to win his first.

READ ALSO: 2020 Grammy Awards Key Winners

Kidjo while dedicating the award showered praises on Burna saying, “Four years ago on this stage, I was telling you that the new generation of artists coming from Africa are going to take you by storm.

“And the time has come. This is for Burna Boy.

“Burna Boy is among those young artists that come from Africa that is changing the way our continent is perceived and the way African music has been the bedrock of every music.”

Kidjo who sings in more than five languages and whose career has spanned almost four decades was gracious in receiving the award and dedicated it to Burna Boy.

“This is for Burna Boy,” she said, lifting up her award to cheers, and declaring the “African giant” as part of the new generation of African musicians that are changing the global perception of Africa and its music.

A win for Burna would have made it the second time a Nigerian would be returning home with the grammy plaque. Sikiru Adepoju is the only Nigerian to have won a grammy. he won it in 2009 with the “global drum project” a collaborative album with Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, and Giovanni Hidalgo.

Angelique Kidjo Beats Burna Boy To Best World Music Album Grammy

There had been massive support and well wishes for Burna Boy (left) to bring home the Grammy but veteran artiste Angelique Kidjo (right) ended up with the award. Photos: AFP

 

The hopes of thousands of Nigerian music fans for a second Grammy for the country this year have been dashed as Angelique Kidjo has beaten Burna Boy to the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.

Burna Boy had been nominated in the category for his acclaimed album ‘African Giant’.

Although he was up against seasoned Angelique Kidjo, Nathalie Joachim with Spektral Quartet, Bokanté & Metropole Orkest Conducted By Jules Buckley and, Altin Gün, many fans were certain this would be his year.

It wasn’t to be as the Recording Academy opted to hand Kidjo her fourth Best Contemporary World Music Album gong for her album “Celia”.

Kidjo who sings in more than five languages and whose career has spanned almost four decades was gracious in receiving the award and dedicated it to Burna Boy.

“This is for Burna Boy,” she said, lifting up her award to cheers, and declaring the “African Giant” as part of the new generation of African musicians that are changing the global perception of Africa and its music.

A win for Burna would have made it the second time a Nigerian would be returning home with the Grammy plaque. Sikiru Adepoju is the only Nigerian to have won a Grammy. He won it in 2009 with the “Global Drum Project” a collaborative album with Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, and Giovanni Hidalgo.

Burna Boy had trended virtually throughout last week as fans, anticipating the awards, took to social media to express their love and support for him.

News that he did not win the award caused another social media frenzy. Check out what some fans had to say below:

Best World Music Album Nominees
“Gece” — Altin Gün
“Celia” — Angelique Kidjo (Winner)
“What Heat” — Bokanté & Metropole Orkest; Jules Buckley
“African Giant” — Burna Boy
“Fanm D’ayiti” — Nathalie Joachim with Spektral Quartet

Five Things To Watch Out For At The Grammys

 

 

Music’s glitterati will sparkle on the red carpet at this Sunday’s Grammy awards, which honors the top hits and artists of the year.

Scandal at the Recording Academy, which puts on the show, has overwhelmed the lead-up to the glam event, but there are still plenty of musical moments to watch for.

Here is our quick guide to the event, which will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles:

Women Poised To Lead 

Women dominated at last year’s gala and are leading the pack this year as well, with the twerking flautist Lizzo and the teenage goth-pop phenomenon Billie Eilish expected to battle for the top awards.

The Academy has long come under fire for failing to recognize women and people of color.

So in recent years, it expanded the nominee field from five to eight in the major four categories: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist.

Both Lizzo and Eilish are nominated for all of the “big four” prizes.

Other female frontrunners vying for Grammys gold include Lana Del Rey — whose 2019 album was considered by many critics as the best of the year — and R&B prodigy H.E.R., who is up for five awards and last year won two.

Pop sensation Ariana Grande is also among the top nominees, while flamenco revivalist Rosalia, up for Best New Artist, could become a rare Spanish-language winner in the general categories.

Generational Shift

Lizzo, Eilish and Lil Nas X are the top three contenders of the night with a combined age of 69 — a figure once closer to the average age of just one veteran star that would dominate the night.

The generational shift could mark a new era for the Recording Academy, which has long favored older pop and rock mainstays.

Eilish, who first gained fame online, was just 17 when the nominations were announced, making her the youngest artist ever to be up for all four top Grammy awards.

Her songwriting partner and brother Finneas, 22, meanwhile has five chances at Grammys glory.

Fans are expecting a rager of a performance from Lizzo, who routinely slings back tequila from the bottle onstage.

Fashion watchers will also be on red alert for the boisterous star’s latest ensemble — she donned a fluffy, hot pink Marc Jacobs jacket to this year’s Met Gala, which she proudly wore as she strutted through a New York airport the morning after.

‘Old Town Road’ All-Stars

Lil Nas X, the brain behind the year’s ubiquitous earworm “Old Town Road,” will take the stage to perform a pumped-up rendition of his country-trap smash.

His Grammy co-nominee for Record of the Year, Billy Ray Cyrus — who lent the song country-world street cred when Nashville snubbed it — will join him on stage, as will the eclectic DJ Diplo and K-pop megastars BTS.

The video-sharing app TikTok propelled the young rapper to fame — his song went viral and ultimately broke the record for the longest stretch atop the Billboard hot songs chart at 19 weeks.

The genre-bending mega-hit was removed from Billboard’s country music charts early last year — which critics alleged was industry white-washing as the artist is black.

Lil Nas X is bound to impress on the red carpet; the rapper is known for his campy Western outfits complete with fringe, vests or hats in garish colors.

– Barring none –
Two artists who faced major legal troubles in 2019 — Meek Mill and 21 Savage — are up for Best Rap Album.

Mill ended his controversial legal saga in August after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge dating back more than a decade — a move that lifted the probation he dealt with for most of his adult life.

The plea deal, which saw additional charges against Mill dropped, resolved a case that had become a flashpoint in the national debate over the US criminal justice system’s treatment of black people.

21 Savage was meanwhile arrested just before last year’s Grammys gala in his hometown Atlanta, with US immigration agents saying he had been living stateside illegally since overstaying a visa that expired in 2006, when he was a minor.

The shock arrest surprised fans, who discovered the rapper — strongly associated with the southern capital of hip-hop — was in fact born in Britain.

Nipsey Hussle Tribute

Mill — along with artists including DJ Khaled, John Legend and Roddy Ricch — will perform a tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who is posthumously up for three awards after losing out on Best Rap Album to Cardi B in 2019.

The Eritrean-American born Ermias Asghedom was shot dead last March at age 33 in broad daylight, triggering an outpouring of grief in Los Angeles and among Hussle’s superstar peers, who hailed both his musical talents and tireless community organizing.

Both Legend and Khaled are up for a Grammy with Hussle for “Higher,” a collaboration released after the rapper’s death.

Long part of the underground rap circuit, Hussle struggled to find fame but began selling his own mixtapes.

Hip-hop royalty Jay-Z once bought 100 of them — for $100 each.

Burna Boy’s Song Makes Michelle Obama’s Playlist For 2020

 

Barely a few weeks after former US President Barack Obama’s revealed his favourite music list containing a song by Nigerian Music Star, Burna Boy, his wife Michelle has done the same.

A song by the African Giant which is titled ‘My Money’ ‘My Baby’ sits on the fourth position on Michelle Obama’s workout playlist for 2020.

Obama revealed in a post on her Instagram handle that the playlist helps her go through her toughest workout sessions.

READ ALSO: ‘I Thought I Didn’t Have The Nicest Clothes’ – Africa’s Most Beautiful Girl

“It’s about that time when New Year’s goals and resolutions get just a bit harder to stick to. To offer a little inspiration, I want to share my go-to 2020 #WorkoutPlaylist with all of you.

“These songs always seem to give me that extra boost to get through my toughest workouts. What’s on your playlist? #IAmBecoming #SelfcareSunday,” she wrote.

 

Stefflon Don Announces One Year Anniversary With ‘African Giant’ In Romantic Video

 

British rapper and songwriter, Stefflon Don, has celebrated her one year dating anniversary with her boo, Burna Boy, also popularly known as the African Giant.

The ‘Hit me up’ crooner took to her Instastories on Tuesday, January 7, to share a romantic video of themselves making out at a club, with a sweet note which read; “Today marks exactly 1 year! cheers to 100 more my sweetie cakes”.

 

 

READ ALSO:  Burna Boy Nominated For 2020 Grammy Awards

In an interview with Los Angeles radio station, Power 105.1, Stefflon Don had revealed how she met Burna Boy.

“I met him in Ghana,” she said.

“I was in Africa for a show then I missed my flight, he had a show where he performed and I went to the show and the rest is history baby. He told me I was going to be his wife and you know how boys always talk shit, but I didn’t remember he said that but he told me and I was like wow.”

On his part, the Multiple award-winning Nigerian singer, Burna Boy, is no doubt in love.

The duo have been known to display their affection in the public to the joy of fans.

Burna Boy, Rema Make Obama’s Favourite Music List For 2019

 

Burna Boy’s Anybody and Rema’s Iron Man have been included in former US President Barack Obama’s Favourite Music List for 2019.

This is according to a post by the former US president on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.

In his post, Obama noted that he had drawn the list from a variety of music genres.

The post read, “From hip-hop to country to The Boss, here are my songs of the year. If you’re looking for something to keep you company on a long drive or help you turn up a workout, I hope there’s a track or two in here that does the trick.”

READ ALSO: Sue Lyon, Who Shocked Moviegoers As Young ‘Lolita,’ Has Died At 73

 

Beyond The Glitz, Nigerian Entertainers Struggle To Make Money

A photo collage of three Nigerian entertainers, Burna Boy, Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde and Wizkid used to illustrate the story.

 

Fake eyelashes fluttered, bespoke suits were on display and slick music videos played at the inaugural edition of The Entertainment Fair and Festival in Nigeria’s economic hub Lagos in late November.

But behind the glitter, the reality of the film and music sectors in Africa’s most populous nation can often be far less glamorous: wages are low, there are no social protections and copyright law is rarely enforced.

That comes despite the country boasting the second most productive film industry in the world and some of Africa’s biggest pop stars.

Hits by singers like Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido play non-stop on stations across the continent and Nollywood churns out some 2,500 movies each year.

Despite the successes, revenues from Nigeria’s entertainment and media sector in 2018 lagged well behind that of the continent’s other leading economic powerhouse South Africa at $4.5 billion compared to $9.1 billion, PwC said.

That difference is not down to output or demand as Nigeria produces more, exports more and has a domestic market of some 200 million people, four times bigger than South Africa.

Instead industry insiders insist it is a problem of organisation.

South Africa has better systems for ensuring royalty payments for artists, stronger legal protections and more modern facilities such as film studios, concert venues and cinemas.

‘Not taken seriously’

In a bid to help remedy the issues facing the industry, veteran Nollywood star Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde came up with the first entertainment business fair, known as TEFFEST.

It is aimed at bringing together actors, singers, producers, insurers, lawyers and managers to better organise the sector.

“The entertainment industry has grown without structures, without a roof,” Jalade-Ekeinde, nicknamed “Omo Sexy”, told AFP.

“For decades, we were not taken seriously and the big corporation companies didn’t consider us.”

The situation has changed as the industry has grown and now companies like Netflix are looking to step up their involvement in Nollywood and international labels attempting to tap Afropop stars.

“We produced, we grew, we became something suddenly and now the corporate world is trying to understand how we work and how they can deal with us,” Jalade-Ekeinde, AKA “the Queen of Nollywood”, said.

But the problems riddling the industry means it is often difficult to invest.

“There is nothing to celebrate here,” said Efe Omoregbe, manager of singer 2Face and former board member of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), which was dissolved by the government due to an internal conflict.

“We should be fixing and addressing major structural issues (…) We live in a culture of abuse when it comes to copyrights.”

PwC estimates that 80 percent of the pirate CDs globally can be found in Nigeria and singer Brymo says that in almost 20 years performing he has never received any money from his songs playing on local radio stations.

“Internationally, we make money through digital distribution platforms that have taken over rapidly, but locally it’s mostly with gigs or endorsement deals,” he said.

Contracts or handshakes

Lawyer Simeon Okoduwa said he tries to insist on artists signing a contract with producers before working with them.

“Too many film shoots or recordings are still done based on promises and handshakes,” he said.

This is an issue that leading actor Michelle Dede knows only too well.

The star always demands a written contract before starting her next film — and says the largest production companies now do offer written contracts as standard.

“Before producers thought I was being pretentious,” she said.

Despite the improvements she still decries the lack of protections for performers or a minimum wage for actors and others involved in the industry such as make-up artists, cameramen and technicians.

Nollywood is a vast employer in Nigeria — with some estimates saying it offers jobs to one million people — but much of that is very precarious.

“We make more money on building a brand than acting,” said Dede.

“But I shouldn’t be focusing on how many likes I get on Instagram, I should be working on my roles.”

Despite the drawbacks, the entertainment industry is still a major draw in a country where almost half the population live in extreme poverty.

But Dede said she still has no regret of leaving her job in marketing in London to launch herself in Nollywood.

“Nothing makes me happier than acting,” she said.

“Even though the pay is not good, there is no way I would give up on that.”

 

AFP