Burna Boy and Wizkid receive nominations for 2021 Grammy Awards

MPHO RANTAO

NIGERIA is leading the ranks for Africa with two major nominations in the Grammy Awards, with Burna Boy receiving a nomination for a second year in a row for his album ‘Twice As Tall’. 

Announced  by The Recording Academy, Burna Boy is up against artists Antibalas, Bebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar and Tuareg desert rock group Tinariwen in the Best Global Music Album category. 

The Grammy nominee lost out to Benin singer Angelique Kidjo in the 2019 Grammy Awards, where he was nominated in the same category for his album.

The other Nigerian nominee is Wizkid, who received his nomination for his feature on Beyoncé’s ‘Black Skin Girl’ in Best Music Video, which was featured on her The Lion King: The Gift album and in the music film ‘Black is King’.

The Nigerian superstars are some of the big African names listed on the Grammy Awards nominee list. That list is topped by Beyoncé who leads with nine nominations, while pop stars Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift and rapper Roddy Rich complete the top of the list with six nominations each. 

Beyoncé’s ‘Black Parade’ – a protest anthem released at the pinnacle of the Black Lives Matters protests in June – is her only solo song to be nominated for Song of The Year, while her other nominations are for ‘Black is King’, ‘Brown Skin Girl’ and the ‘Savage’ remix.

Beyoncé in Black Parade. Picture: Youtube

Beyoncé’s nine nominations increased her historic lead as the Grammys’ most-nominated female artist ever. She now has 79 nominations, tying her with Sir Paul McCartney for the second-most nominations of all time. Her husband Jay Z and producer Quincy Jones are ahead of her with 80 nominations apiece.

Taylor Swift received six nominations for her latest creation ‘Folklore’, which was released during lockdown in the United States, while British pop singer Dua Lipa’s nominations include Song of The Year for her popular single ‘Don’t Start Now’.

Hip-hop artist Roddy Rich is the only rapper tied with Dua Lipa and Swift at six nominations, most of which were recognised for his successful single ‘The Box’, which spent 11 weeks at number one earlier this year. 

Megan Thee Stallion leads for female rappers with her first four nominations from the Recording Academy, including Record of The Year for her hit ‘Savage’, and three other nominations for the remix of Savage which features Beyoncé. 

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion on Saturday Night Live. Picture: Twitter

Other nominees include British-Ugandan Michael Kiwanuka for Best Rock Album, Kanye West for Best Gospel Album for ‘Jesus Is King’, Nigerian-American rapper Chika in Best New Artist and Korean group BTS. 

BTS made history with the nomination for their single ‘Dynamite’ in Best Group Performance – making them the first ever K-pop group to be nominated by the Grammy Awards. 

The Recording Academy were also criticised by artists and music fans for the snubbing of some of their anticipated candidates for Grammy Awards, including R&B singer The Weeknd and Ghanian rapper Sarkodie. 

The Weeknd’s most recent work ‘After Hours’ was one of the highly acclaimed albums of 2020, with his hit single ‘Blinding Lights’ breaking the record for most weeks ever in the Billboard chart’s top 10, and being the 2020’s most streamed song on Spotify (at the moment).

The 63rd Grammy Awards are set to be aired live on CBS on the 9th of February, hosted by South African comedian and Daily Show host Trevor Noah.