Grammys Add New Categories Including Best Video Game Score

A large Grammy award is seen outside the press room during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

 

The 2023 Grammy Awards will feature new honors including for the year’s Best Video Game Soundtrack and Songwriter of the Year, the Recording Academy said Thursday.

In the year’s most significant change, the Songwriter of the Year prize will not be open to performing or producing artists, but rather focus on working songwriters who often receive little recognition for their contributions, and have lobbied for years for such a tweak to the prestigious music awards.

Artists will also be able to submit their work for Best Alternative Music Performance, Best Americana Performance and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album, a field that will now be separate from the always eccentric audiobook category.

The Recording Academy will also give out a special merit award, chosen by a designated committee, for Best Song For Social Change, which seeks to celebrate tracks that “contain lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes understanding, peacebuilding and empathy.”

The changes follow several years of Grammy category reworks as the academy attempts to quell criticism that its award picks are not inclusive and don’t reflect evolutions in the music industry.

“We’re so excited to honor these diverse communities of music creators through the newly established awards and amendments, and to continue cultivating an environment that inspires change, progress and collaboration,” said Harvey Mason Jr., the academy’s CEO, in a statement.

In 2020, the Los Angeles-based institution made a number of category name swaps, including changing the controversial “urban contemporary” to “progressive R&B.”

The move came amid growing concern in the music industry that “urban” was far too general to encompass the genres including hip-hop and R&B that it came to describe, and belittled the innovations of Black musicians.

Key nominees for the 2022 Grammy Awards

Mandatory Credit: Photo by MJ Photos/REX/Shutterstock (9336009a)
Grammy Awards
60th Annual Grammy Awards, Press Room, New York, USA – 28 Jan 2018

 

 

Here is a list of nominees in the major categories for the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Jazzman and bandleader Jon Batiste leads the pack with 11 nominations, followed by Justin Bieber, H.E.R. and Doja Cat with eight. Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo each nabbed seven.

This year the Recording Academy, the body behind the gala, expanded the top four categories from eight nominees to 10, offering music’s brightest even more chances at Grammy gold.

– Album of the Year –
“We Are” – Jon Batiste

“Love For Sale” – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

“Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)” – Justin Bieber

“Planet Her (Deluxe)” – Doja Cat

“Happier Than Ever” – Billie Eilish

“Back Of My Mind” – H.E.R.

“Montero” – Lil Nas X

“Sour” – Olivia Rodrigo

“Evermore” – Taylor Swift

“Donda” – Kanye West

– Record of the Year, recognizing overall performance on a song –
“I Still Have Faith In You” – ABBA

“Freedom” – Jon Batiste

“I Get A Kick Out Of You” – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

“Peaches” – Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon

“Right On Time” – Brandi Carlile

“Kiss Me More” – Doja Cat featuring SZA

“Happier Than Ever” – Billie Eilish

“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Lil Nas X

“drivers license” – Olivia Rodrigo

“Leave The Door Open” – Silk Sonic

– Song of the Year, recognizing songwriting –
“Bad Habits” – Fred Gibson, Johnny McDaid and Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)

“A Beautiful Noise” – Ruby Amanfu, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, Alicia Keys, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Linda Perry and Hailey Whitters, songwriters (Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile)

“drivers license” – Daniel Nigro and Olivia Rodrigo, songwriters (Olivia Rodrigo)

“Fight For You” – Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)

“Happier Than Ever” – Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)

“Kiss Me More” – Roget Chahayed, Amala Zandile Dlamini, Lukasz Gottwald, Carter Lang, Gerard A. Powell II, Solana Rowe and David Sprecher, songwriters (Doja Cat featuring SZA)

“Leave The Door Open” – Brandon Anderson, Christopher Brody Brown, Dernst Emile II and Bruno Mars, songwriters (Silk Sonic)

“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Denzel Baptiste, David Biral, Omer Fedi, Montero Hill and Roy Lenzo, songwriters (Lil Nas X)

“Peaches” – Louis Bell, Justin Bieber, Giveon Dezmann Evans, Bernard Harvey, Felisha “Fury” King, Matthew Sean Leon, Luis Manual Martinez Jr., Aaron Simmonds, Ashton Simmonds, Andrew Wotman and Keavan Yazdani, songwriters (Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon)

“Right On Time” – Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile)

– Best New Artist –
Arooj Aftab

Jimmie Allen

Baby Keem

Finneas

Glass Animals

Japanese Breakfast

The Kid Laroi

Arlo Parks

Olivia Rodrigo

Saweetie

– Best Music Video –
“Shot In The Dark” – AC/DC

“Freedom” – Jon Batiste

“I Get A Kick Out Of You” – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

“Peaches” – Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon

“Happier Than Ever” – Billie Eilish

“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Lil Nas X

“Good 4 U” – Olivia Rodrigo

– Best Rap Album –
“The Off-Season” – J. Cole

“King’s Disease II” – Nas

“Call Me If You Get Lost” – Tyler, The Creator

“Donda” – Kanye West

– Best Rap Performance –
“Family Ties” – Baby Keem featuring Kendrick Lamar

“Up” – Cardi B

“My Life” – J. Cole featuring 21 Savage and Morray

“Thot S***” – Megan Thee Stallion

– Best Rock Album –
“Power Up” – AC/DC

“Capitol Cuts – Live From Studio A” – Black Pumas

“No One Sings Like You Anymore Vol. 1” – Chris Cornell

“Medicine At Midnight” – Foo Fighters

“McCartney III” – Paul McCartney

– Best Pop Vocal Album –
“Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)” – Justin Bieber

“Planet Her (Deluxe)” – Doja Cat

“Happier Than Ever” – Billie Eilish

“Positions” – Ariana Grande

“Sour” – Olivia Rodrigo

– Best Global Music Album –
“Mohabbat” – Arooj Aftab

“Do Yourself” – Angelique Kidjo and Burna Boy

“Pa Pa Pa” – Femi Kuti

“Blewu” – Yo-Yo Ma and Angelique Kidjo

“Essence” – WizKid Featuring Tems

Grammys Scrap ‘Secret’ Nomination Committees After Criticism

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 28, 2018 Grammy trophies sit in the press room during the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in New York. (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP)

 

 

The organizers of the Grammys said Friday they were scrapping the “secret” committees that select which acts get nominated for the prestigious music awards following criticism from artists and allegations of rigging.

The Recording Academy said nominations for the 2022 awards would be decided by its entire voting membership of more than 11,000, rather than the anonymous 15-30 member expert committees who had previously made the selections.

The Academy said the “significant changes” to the awards process “reflect its ongoing commitment to evolve with the musical landscape and to ensure that the Grammy Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable.”

In its statement, the organization said it was also reducing the number of categories in which voters can vote and added two new award categories, in Latin and global music, to bring the total to 86.

The changes come after R&B star The Weeknd in November accused the Grammy organizers of being corrupt after he surprisingly received no nominations, despite a big year commercially.

“The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…,” the Canadian, known for hits like “Blinding Lights” and “Starboy,” tweeted at the time and pledged to stop submitting music for awards consideration.

Harvey Mason Jr, chairman and interim president of the Academy, said it had “been a year of unprecedented, transformational change for the Recording Academy.”

“This is a new Academy, one that is driven to action and that has doubled down on the commitment to meeting the needs of the music community.”

Last year the Academy’s first female CEO, Deborah Dugan was fired over alleged bullying.

In a legal complaint, Dugan said she was ousted after raising concerns ranging from voting irregularities to sexual harassment and alleged rape.

Former One Direction singer Zayn Malik criticized the anonymous nomination committees in March.

“I’m keeping the pressure on & fighting for transparency & inclusion. We need to make sure we are honoring and celebrating ‘creative excellence’ of ALL. End the secret committees,” tweeted the singer, who has never been nominated either with his former group or as a solo artist.

“My tweet was not personal or about eligibility but was about the need for inclusion and the lack of transparency of the nomination process and the space that creates and allows favoritism, racism, and networking politics to influence the voting process,” Malik added.

Burna Boy Nominated For Best International Act At 2021 BRIT Awards

Burna Boy

 

Shortly after his Grammy win, Burna Boy has been nominated for the 2021 BRIT Awards.

The Afro-fusion singer was nominated for the ‘International Male Solo Artist’ category alongside veteran American icon, Bruce Springsteen; Canadian Singer, The Weeknd; Childish Gambino and Tame Impala.

Burna Boy is a two-time recipient of BET’s Best International Act award and MTV Europe Music Award’s Best African Act.

 

The winners of the 2021 awards will be announced at a ceremony on May 11 at London’s O2 Arena, though it is not clear what form the ceremony will take because of coronavirus restrictions.

Under a current government roadmap for easing coronavirus rules live music venues will not be allowed to open their doors until May 17.

The annual ceremony, which normally takes place in February was postponed by three months because of safety and logistical concerns because of the pandemic.

‘Daddy Did It On His Own’: Burna Boy Speaks On Grammy Win

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 18, 2020 Nigerian singer-songwriter Burna Boy poses on the red carpet on arrival for the BRIT Awards 2020 in London. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

 

Grammy award-winning artist Burna Boy on Saturday tweeted that his kids will “confidently beat their chest and say ‘Daddy did it on his OWN, we can do it on our own.'”

The Port-Harcourt-born star apparently was alluding to his win at the Grammys last Sunday where he picked up the award for Best Global Music Album.

In the following tweet, he added: “When you KNOW yourself. NOBODY can tell you about yourself. KNOW YOURSELVES and never go against yourself.”

He then mocked people who thought he would not win the much-coveted Grammys.

“GOD is most definitely NOT A MAN,” the tweet said. “I will never forget how so many of you prayed that I don’t win. Too dumb to understand that you also win if I win. No worry This is just the beginning. God is Great.”

 

Burna Boy, whose real name is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, is famous for his provocative tweets as much as his widely-acclaimed music.

“God bless everyone/anyone who has stood with me! Let’s keep making history!” he added in a later tweet.

#GRAMMYs: Nigerians Salute Burna Boy, ‘True African Giant, Twice As Tall’

 

Afro-fusion superstar Burna Boy emerged winner of a Grammy on Sunday for his Album ‘Twice As Tall’, and that win might be the stamp that affirms his authority as an African Giant of music. 

The afrobeat singer who won his first-ever Grammy for the Best World Music Album, beat other strong contenders, Antibalas, Bebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar, and Tinariwen to secure the top spot.

Burnaboy’s fifth studio album which was released in August 2020, earned him the coveted Grammy Statuette and sent tongues on fire all over Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.

For many Nigerians on social media, especially Twitter, Burna Boy’s latest achievement seals him as a legend and perhaps one of the greatest of all times.

Below are the reactions that trailed the announcement of Burna’s win at the 63rd Grammy Award Ceremony.

READ ALSO: Wizkid Wins Grammy With Beyonce’s Collaboration

 

Megan Thee Stallion Wins Big As Pandemic Grammys Kick-Off

 

 

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion jumped quickly out of the gates at Sunday’s socially distanced Grammys, snaring two trophies including the prestigious Best New Artist prize at the music industry’s top awards show.

She shared her first statuette of the night, for Best Rap Performance, with pop queen and leading nominee Beyonce for the TikTok smash “Savage.”

The normally glam soiree hosted by comedian Trevor Noah was scaled back due to coronavirus restrictions, but was nevertheless in large part live, with a pack of stars performing on stages in the round in Los Angeles, including a chest-baring Harry Styles and bejeweled Billie Eilish.

The ceremony, which falls nearly a year to the day after Covid-19 grounded tours and forced performance venues to close, is an effort by the music world to try to move past a crushing 2020 by celebrating its biggest stars.

In the pre-broadcast ceremony, when many of the Grammys were handed out, Beyonce captured her first trophy of the day for Best Music Video, which she shared with her eldest daughter, Blue Ivy, who was in the clip for “Brown Skin Girl.”

The megastar did not Zoom in to accept the prize from the Recording Academy that many say has failed her in the past, with repeated snubs in past years for critically acclaimed work.

But Eilish and her brother and collaborator Finneas did appear to accept an award for “No Time To Die,” the theme from the forthcoming James Bond film of the same name.

They later performed her nominated hit “Everything I Wanted.”

Beyonce snagged her second prize for her collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion.

“Every artist that was nominated for this award is so amazing,” the statuesque artist, wearing a vivid orange Dolce and Gabbana gown with a hip-high slit, said outside the Staples Center on a balmy Los Angeles afternoon as she accepted the Best New Artist prize.

“It’s been a hell of a year but we made it.”

Beyonce’s sweeping “Black Parade” — released in June amid explosive nationwide anti-racism protests after another spate of deadly police violence targeting Black Americans — has her up for the coveted Record and Song of the Year awards that will be doled out later in the night.

Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, and Roddy Ricch each earned six nominations.

Swift and Lipa both lost in the field for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, however, which went to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me.”

South Korean phenomenon BTS was also up for that prize; their loss dashed hopes for a historic win for Asian pop music from the Academy.

Many critics favor the overall chances of Lipa, who took a big risk in dropping a sparkly disco ball of a dance album just as the pandemic took hold — a bet that paid off.

Swift — a onetime Grammys darling who hasn’t won in five years — bagged her nominations for releasing her surprise quarantine album “folklore,” a commercial and critical hit.

And rapper Ricch — who won a trophy last year for his collaboration with the late artist Nipsey Hussle — is a strong contender, including for Song of the Year, which honors songwriting, for his hit “The Box.”

Nas, Strokes first-time winners

Brittany Howard — known for fronting the band Alabama Shakes — won Best Rock Song, as Fiona Apple scored two awards for her album “Fetch The Bolt Cutters,” which many critics hailed as a masterpiece.

The notoriously reclusive Apple said on Instagram she would not be attending the ceremony, explaining she was not up for the scrutiny attending such a show entails.

Though most of the rock fields were unprecedentedly dominated by women, The Strokes won for Best Rock Album for “The New Abnormal,” their first Grammy ever.

Rap legend Nas also won for the first time after 14 nominations, with his “King’s Disease” winning Best Rap Album.

Nigerian superstar Burna Boy was also a first-time winner for Best Global Music Album, ecstatically accepting the prize which he said “is a big win for my generation of Africans all over the world.”

But it wouldn’t be the Grammys without controversy.

The Weeknd has pledged to stop submitting music for awards consideration after he surprisingly received no nominations, despite a big year commercially.

‘WAP’

Rapper DaBaby dripped in diamonds as he performed his nominated hit ‘Rockstar,” and Latin trap king Bad Bunny delivered a club-esque rendition of his hit “Dakiti.”

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion were set to bring their bawdy bop “WAP” — a summer hit that celebrates female sexuality with lurid metaphors — later in the show, with the artists also performing their respective tracks “Up” and “Body.”

“I can’t wait for everyone to see us kill it Tonight” Megan tweeted, after her fellow rapper congratulated her on her win.

AFP

Burna Boy Wins Grammy Award For Twice As Tall

 

Afrobeat superstar Burna Boy has added a Grammy to his growing list of accomplishments. 

After being nominated and losing to Angelique Kidjo for the 2020 edition of the Grammy, the Nigerian singer and songwriter has made a bigger comeback in the 2021 installment of the awards.

The singer won the Best Global Music Album category for his latest body of work, ‘Twice As Tall’.

This marks their first career GRAMMY win. They are the first winner of the recently renamed category, formerly known as Best World Music Album.

He beats American, Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas; a group of Tuareg musicians, Tinariwen; British-Indian composer, Anoushka Shankar and Brazilian-American singer, Bebel Gilberto.

The self-acclaimed African Giant’s win makes him one of only three Nigerians who will be returning home with the Grammy Statuette.

Sikiru Adepoju is the first Nigerian to have won the Grammy.  He won it in 2009 with the “Global Drum Project” a collaborative album with Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, and Giovanni Hidalgo.

Ayo Balogun, the Afrobeats superstar popularly known as Wizkid, is the other Nigerian who has won the grammy; coincidentally he and Burna Boy got their first awards on the same day at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards ceremony.

While Wizkid won for his collaboration with Beyoncé and Blue Ivy on the song “Brown Skin Girl”, Burna Boy who is dubbed ‘Odogwu’ won for his fifth studio album.

The news of Burna’s victory has fans gyrating all over social media, with many saying that the Afro-Fusion star has now placed Nigeria back on the world’s music map.

READ ALSO: Wizkid Wins Grammy With Beyonce’s Collaboration

Wizkid Wins Grammy With Beyonce’s Collaboration

Wizkid, artist of the year

 

Ayo ‘Wizkid’ Balogun has won his first-ever Grammy Award.

The Nigerian superstar won his first-ever Grammy Award for his collaboration with Beyoncé and Blue Ivy on the song “Brown Skin Girl”.

This was announced at the Premiere Ceremony of the 63rd GRAMMY Awards.

The song ‘Brown Skin Girl’ comes off the 2019 album, ‘The Lion King’.

This win which also marks the first Grammy Award for Beyoncé’s daughter will be shared with Jenn Nkiru who directed the video.

According to the official Grammy website, the Best Music Video award is given to the artist, video director, and video producer.

Their video bested fellow nominees Future with Drake, Anderson Paak, Harry Styles, and Woodkid.

READ ALSO: Burna Boy Wins Grammy Award For Twice As Tall

More details shortly.

Key Nominees For The 2021 Grammy Awards

A Photo Combo showing Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Beyonce, Dua Lipa, and Taylor Swift.

 

Here is a list of nominees in the major categories for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday.

Beyonce leads the pack with nine nominations, followed by Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, and rapper Roddy Ricch with six each.

Album of the Year

Jhene Aiko, “Chilombo”

Black Pumas, “Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition)”

Coldplay, “Everyday Life”

Jacob Collier, “Djesse Vol. 3”

Haim, “Women In Music Pt. III”

Dua Lipa, “Future Nostalgia”

Post Malone, “Hollywood’s Bleeding”

Taylor Swift, “folklore”

Record of the Year, recognizing overall performance on a song

Beyonce, “Black Parade”

Black Pumas, “Colors”

DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch, “Rockstar”

Doja Cat, “Say So”

Billie Eilish, “Everything I Wanted”

Dua Lipa, “Don’t Start Now”

Post Malone, “Circles”

Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce, “Savage”

Song of the Year, recognizing songwriting

Beyonce, Denisia Andrews, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk and Rickie “Caso” Tice, “Black Parade”

Roddy Ricch and Samuel Gloade, “The Box”

Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner, “Cardigan”

Post Malone, Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk and Billy Walsh, “Circles”

Dua Lipa, Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick and Emily Warren, “Don’t Start Now”

Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, “Everything I Wanted”

H.E.R., Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas, “I Can’t Breathe”

Julia Michaels and JP Saxe, “If The World Was Ending”

Best New Artist

Ingrid Andress

Phoebe Bridgers

Chika

Noah Cyrus

D Smoke

Doja Cat

Kaytranada

Megan Thee Stallion

– Best Music Video –
Beyonce, “Brown Skin Girl”

Future featuring Drake, “Life Is Good”

Anderson .Paak, “Lockdown”

Harry Styles, “Adore You”

Woodkid, “Goliath”

Best Rap Album

D Smoke, “Black Habits”

Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist, “Alfredo”

Jay Electronica, “A Written Testimony”

Nas, “King’s Disease”

Royce Da 5’9″, “The Allegory”

Best Rock Album

Fontaines DC, “A Hero’s Death”

Michael Kiwanuka, “Kiwanuka”

Grace Potter, “Daylight”

Sturgill Simpson, “Sound & Fury”

The Strokes, “The New Abnormal”

Best Pop Vocal Album

Justin Bieber, “Changes”

Lady Gaga, “Chromatica”

Dua Lipa, “Future Nostalgia”

Harry Styles, “Fine Line”

Taylor Swift, “folklore”

Best Alternative Music Album

Fiona Apple, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”

Beck, “Hyperspace”

Phoebe Bridgers, “Punisher”

Brittany Howard, “Jaime”

Tame Impala, “The Slow Rush”

Best Global Music Album

Antibalas, “Fu Chronicles”

Burna Boy, “Twice as Tall”

Bebel Gilberto, “Agora”

Anoushka Shankar, “Love Letters”

Tinariwen, “Amadjar”

AFP

Burna Boy Gets Second Shot At Grammys

(FILES) Burna Boy was nominated in the Grammys Best Global Music Album category for his 2020 album Twice as Tall, alongside four others including Malian band, “Tinariwen” and US band “Antibalas”.

 

 

Afrobeat superstar and this year a leading voice of the country’s youth protests, Burna Boy is now hoping to add a Grammy to his growing list of accomplishments. 

Burna Boy has been nominated in the Best Global Music Album category at Sunday’s awards for his 2020 album “Twice as Tall”, alongside four others including Malian band Tinariwen and US band Antibalas.

It is the second Grammy nomination for the singer who has sold out London’s Wembley arena and broken a UK music chart and a Spotify streaming record with his Afrobeat and dancehall style.

He clinched his first nomination in 2019 in the same category, for his “African Giant” album, and while he did not win last year, music critics predict he may have a better chance now.

“This year’s nomination is very specific,” says UK-based Nigerian music critic Dami Ajayi. “There was a plan (by Burna Boy) to get another Grammy nomination.”

Ajayi said it was a deliberate choice to get US record executive Sean Combs as executive producer and to feature world music star Youssou N’dour.

But Burna Boy seems to have always been making deliberate choices.

–  Taking the stairs –
Born Damini Ogulu in Nigeria’s Port Harcourt, an oil-rich region, Burna Boy completed his primary and secondary education in Nigeria before moving to the UK for university.

Two years after he left, the ambitious singer dropped out and returned to Nigeria and in 2013, he released his first studio album, “LIFE” — an acronym for “Leaving an Impact For Eternity.”

“Unlike a lot of other people, I’ve had to go through never-ending steps to get here, whereas other people have taken the elevator up,” he told GQ in an interview published in March 2020.

“I’ve always been too heavy for that kind of elevator, so I had to take the stairs. Now I know every floor and everything on every floor.”

Burna Boy followed the release of LIFE with two albums; “Redemption” in 2015 and “Outside” in 2018 that included Kanye West endorsed song, “Ye”.

In the video, which has over 129 million views on YouTube, the marijuana-toking Burna Boy puffs smoke into the camera while whipping his dreadlocked hair back and forth.

“Dada cover my face,” is a memorable line from the song. He is singing about himself and his locs (Dada is a local term for dreadlocks), bolstering the feel of a tune that is about owning oneself and shunning criticism.

“He seems to have solidified his style,” Ajayi says about the singer’s evolution. “It is so unique, so cutting, and so irresistible. You can say it is the finest fusion of contemporary African music we have at the moment.”

If songs like “Ye” opened international doors for Burna Boy, it was his 2019 “African Giant” album that proved he had arrived.

It got him his first Grammy Nomination, an MTV EMA, and an honourable mention from former US president Barack Obama as one of his favourite songs in 2019.

– African icon –
The album was largely centred on social commentary around governance and classism, bringing comparisons to iconic Nigerian singer Fela Kuti.

Kuti, a Nigerian and West African music icon, was as well-known for his funky, jazzy Afrofusion music as his political activism and social commentary.

“The guy is obsessed with Fela,” Ajayi said. “He samples Fela very closely.”

Burna Boy’s grandfather was once Fela Kuti’s manager, and his mother Bose Ogulu, who is now his manager, left her job as a translator to work with Kuti.

Like Fela, Burna Boy has refused to be silent.

When Coachella music festival listed his name in small letters in 2019, the artist who refers to himself as an “African Giant” asked for a bigger font, causing a stir on social media.

In the same year, at the height of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and others in South Africa, he threatened to never set foot in the country again unless the government took action.

During the #EndSARS protests about police brutality in Nigeria last October, he was very vocal on social media and addressed a rally in London.

He also sponsored several #EndSARS billboards in major locations across Nigeria, started a relief fund for victims, and released a song honouring casualties from the protests.

“We are the new generation, relentless and tireless,” he told the London rally after holding up a clenched fist. “No justice, no peace.”

FULL LIST: Burna Boy Plus Other Nominees At 2021 Grammy Awards

 

The 2021 Grammy nominations are here and Nigerian music star, Damini Ogulu popularly called, Burna Boy, made the list.

Burna Boy’s album, Twice As Tall, was nominated in the Best Global Music Album category alongside American, Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas; a group of Tuareg musicians, Tinariwen; British-Indian composer, Anoushka Shankar and Brazilian-American singer, Bebel Gilberto.

His previous album, African Giant, was also nominated at the 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony. He, however, lost to Beninese Music Legend Angélique Kidjo who won the award.

While announcing this year’s nominations on its website, the Recording Academy said the 63rd Grammy Awards will be holding amid the COVID-19 pandemic with the priority placed on the health and safety of artists, crew, and all it workers.

“On Jan. 31, 2021, the 63rd GRAMMY Awards will be happening, rain or shine, COVID-19 vaccine or not. The health and safety of artists, guests, crew, and staff is always front of mind during every GRAMMYs, so, logistically, things will be a little different this year.”

The 63rd annual Grammy Awards is scheduled to hold on January 31, 2021, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

South-African comedian, Trevor Noah, will be the host of the award ceremony.

 

SEE FULL LIST OF NOMINATIONS BELOW:

Record of the Year:

“Black Parade,” Beyoncé
“Colors,” Black Pumas
“Rockstar,” DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
“Say So,” Doja Cat
“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish
“Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa
“Circles,” Post Malone
“Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion

 

Album of the Year:

“Chilombo,” Jhené Aiko
“Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition),” Black Pumas
“Everyday Life,” Coldplay
“Djesse Vol. 3,” Jacob Collier
“Women in Music Pt. III,” Haim
“Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa
“Hollywood’s Bleeding,” Post Malone
“Folklore,” Taylor Swift

 

Song of the Year:

“Black Parade,” Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk and Rickie “Caso” Tice, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“The Box,” Samuel Gloade and Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Roddy Ricch)
“Cardigan,” Aaron Dessner and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
“Circles,” Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk, Austin Post and Billy Walsh, songwriters (Post Malone)
“Don’t Start Now,” Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Dua Lipa and Emily Warren, songwriters (Dua Lipa)
“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish)
“I Can’t Breathe,” Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)
“If the World Was Ending,” Julia Michaels and JP Saxe, songwriters (JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels)

 

Best New Artist:

Ingrid Andress
Phoebe Bridgers
Chika
Noah Cyrus
D Smoke
Doja Cat
Kaytranada
Megan Thee Stallion

 

Best Pop Solo Performance:

“Yummy,” Justin Bieber
“Say So,” Doja Cat
“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish
“Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa
“Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles
“Cardigan,” Taylor Swift

 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

“Un Dia (One Day),” J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy
“Intentions,” Justin Bieber featuring Quavo
“Dynamite,” BTS
“Rain on Me,” Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande
“Exile,” Taylor Swift featuring Bon Iver

 

Best Pop Vocal Album:

“Changes,” Justin Bieber
“Chromatica,” Lady Gaga
“Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa
“Fine Line,” Harry Styles
“Folklore,” Taylor Swift

 

Best Rock Performance:

“Shameika,” Fiona Apple
“Not,” Big Thief
“Kyoto,” Phoebe Bridgers
“The Steps,” Haim
“Stay High,” Brittany Howard
“Daylight,” Grace Potter

 

Best Rock Album:

“A Hero’s Death,” Fontaines D.C.
“Kiwanuka,” Michael Kiwanuka
“Daylight,” Grace Potter
“Sound & Fury,” Sturgill Simpson
“The New Abnormal,” The Strokes

 

Best Alternative Music Album:

“Fetch the Bolt Cutters,” Fiona Apple
“Hyperspace,” Beck
“Punisher,” Phoebe Bridgers
“Jamie,” Brittany Howard
“The Slow Rush,” Tame Impala

 

Best R&B Performance:

“Lightning & Thunder,” Jhené Aiko featuring John Legend
“Black Parade,” Beyoncé
“All I Need,” Jacob Collier featuring Mahalia and Ty Dolla Sign
“Goat Head,” Brittany Howard
“See Me,” Emily King

 

Best R&B Song:

“Better Than I Imagine,” Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello and Gabriella Wilson, songwriters (Robert Glasper featuring H.E.R. and Meshell Ndegeocello)
“Black Parade,” Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk and Rickie “Caso” Tice, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“Collide,” Sam Barsh, Stacey Barthe, Sonyae Elise, Olu Fann, Akil King, Josh Lopez, Kaveh Rastegar and Benedetto Rotondi, songwriters (Tiana Major9 and Earthgang)
“Do It,” Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Anton Kuhl, Victoria Monét, Scott Storch and Vincent Van Den Ende, songwriters (Chloe X Halle)
“Slow Down,” Nasri Atweh, Badriia Bourelly, Skip Marley, Ryan Williamson and Gabriella Wilson, songwriters (Skip Marley and H.E.R.)

 

Best Progressive R&B Album:

“Chilombo,” Jhené Aiko
“Ungodly Hour,” Chloe X Halle
“Free Nationals,” Free Nationals
“____ Yo Feelings,” Robert Glasper
“It Is What It Is,” Thundercat

 

Best Rap Performance:

“Deep Reverence,” Big Sean Featuring Nipsey Hussle
“Bop,” DaBaby
“What’s Poppin,” Jack Harlow
“The Bigger Picture,” Lil Baby
“Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé
“Dior,” Pop Smoke

 

Best Melodic Rap Performance:

“Rockstar,” DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch
“Laugh Now, Cry Later,” Drake featuring Lil Durk
“Lockdown,” Anderson .Paak
“The Box,” Roddy Ricch
“Highest in the Room,” Travis Scott

 

Best Rap Song:

“The Bigger Picture,” Dominique Jones, Noah Pettigrew and Rai’shaun Williams, songwriters (Lil Baby)
“The Box,” Samuel Gloade and Rodrick Moore, songwriters (Roddy Ricch)
“Laugh Now, Cry Later,” Durk Banks, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Ron LaTour and Ryan Martinez, songwriters (Drake featuring Lil Durk)
“Rockstar,” Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, Ross Joseph Portaro IV and Rodrick Moore, songwriters (DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch)
“Savage,” Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe and Anthony White, songwriters (Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé)

 

Best Rap Album:

“Black Habits,” D Smoke
“Alfredo,” Freddie Gibbs and the Alchemist
“A Written Testimony,” Jay Electronica
“King’s Disease,” Nas
“The Allegory,” Royce Da 5’9”

 

Best Country Solo Performance:

“Stick That in Your Country Song,” Eric Church
“Who You Thought I Was,” Brandy Clark
“When My Amy Prays,” Vince Gill
“Black Like Me,” Mickey Guyton
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert

 

Best Country Song:

“Bluebird,” Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby and Miranda Lambert, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
“The Bones,” Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz, songwriters (Maren Morris)
“Crowded Table,” Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna, songwriters (The Highwomen)
“More Hearts Than Mine,” Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis and Derrick Southerland, songwriters (Ingrid Andress)
“Some People Do,” Jesse Frasure, Shane McAnally, Matthew Ramsey and Thomas Rhett, songwriters (Old Dominion)

 

Best Country Album:

Lady Like,” Ingrid Andress
“Your Life Is a Record,” Brandy Clark
“Wildcard,” Miranda Lambert
“Nightfall,” Little Big Town
“Never Will,” Ashley McBryde

 

Best Latin Pop or Urban Album:

“YHLQMDLG,” Bad Bunny
“Por Primera Vez,” Camilo
“Mesa Para Dos,” Kany García
“Pausa,” Ricky Martin
“3:33,” Debi Nova

 

Best American Roots Performance:

“Colors,” Black Pumas
“Deep in Love,” Bonny Light Horseman
“Short and Sweet,” Brittany Howard
“I’ll Be Gone,” Norah Jones and Mavis Staples
“I Remember Everything,” John Prine

 

Best Global Music Album:

“Fu Chronicles,” Antibalas
“Twice as Tall,” Burna Boy
“Agora,” Bebel Gilberto
“Love Letters,” Anoushka Shankar
“Amadjar,” Tinariwen

 

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical:

Jack Antonoff
Dan Auerbach
Dave Cobb
Flying Lotus
Andrew Watt

 

Best Music Film:

“Beastie Boys Story,” Beastie Boys
“Black Is King,” Beyoncé
“We Are Freestyle Love Supreme,” Freestyle Love Supreme
“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” Linda Ronstadt
“That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” ZZ Top