US Grammy Awards introduce the Best African Music category for 2024 setting up a battle between African biggest stars Davido and Burna Boy
The US Recording Academy which awards the Grammy to musicians who have contributed immensely to music, introduced a new award category titled Best African Music Performance, on Wednesday.
The introduction of the new award category has set up a battle royale between the biggest stars in African music, Burna Boy, WizKid and Davido on who will be the first to win the coveted new award.
African music also know as Afrobeats in the West has garnered popularity in recent years. Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said he was considering adding a Afrobeats category back in September, 2022.
Burna Boy is among the Afrobeats artists that have achieved mainstream success in the West
“We called in producers, songwriters, artists, executives and we had a virtual listening session where we heard from Afrobeats creators,” he said at a September 2022 news conference. “(We) just talked about, ‘What are the different subgenres? What are the needs? What are the desires?’”
In a statement on Wednesday the Academy said the new category “recognises recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent.”
“These changes reflect our commitment to actively listen and respond to the feedback from our music community, accurately represent a diverse range of relevant musical genres, and stay aligned with the ever-evolving musical landscape,” Mason Jr. said.
“We are excited to honour and celebrate the creators and recordings in these categories, while also exposing a wider range of music to fans worldwide,” he added.
African artists became recognised by western audiences following collaborations with Beyonce, Drake, Ed Sheeran and other stars. They have achieved mainstream success on their own albeit in the Global Music category rather than the Rap Music category. Burna Boy, Tems and Wizkid have been nominated several times with Burna Boy becoming the first Nigerian artiste to pick up a Grammy for his Twice as Tall album in 2021.
Both the UK Official Charts and Billboard have both debuted Afrobeats charts in salute to the pulsating and danceable genre from Africa.
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