• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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BusinessDay

Grammy’s Afrobeats many firsts: New category, first live performance

Burna Boy earned $12m from 8 international concerts — Report

The Grammys may be in its 66th year but for the Afrobeats stars recognised by the Recording Academy, it’s their very first. The 2024 Grammy Awards has witnessed a number of first timers both on the nomination list and stage performance.

Firstly the 2024 Grammy awards will see the introduction of a new category ‘Best African Music Performance’.

When the category was announced last year, Grammys CEO Harvey Mason Jr. stated that it would be able to acknowledge and appreciate a broader array of artists than the two existing global Grammy categories, where African artists have traditionally had the only real chance of scoring a nomination.

With the wide array of sounds and successful music coming out of Africa and becoming mainstream on the foreign scene, Africans began clamouring for more recognition at the Grammys.

In September 2022, The Recording Academy’s CEO Harvey Mason Jr met with Afrobeats leaders on his trip to Ghana in order to promote Afrobeats inclusivity at the Grammys. This event among the agitations led to the creation of the new category.

The new category paved the way for some Afrobeats artists to be recognised as Grammy nominated artists for the first time. The likes of Olamide, Asake, Ayra Starr, all from Nigeria including Tyla and Musa Keys from South Africa all received first time nominations.

Burna Boy who is already a Grammy Award nominee on several occasions and a one time winner will be performing live on a Grammy stage for the first time. This is set to make history as he will become the first Afrobeats artist to perform on the stage of the Grammys.

He’ll be joined onstage by American RnB singer Brandy who hasn’t sung on the show since the 90s and American rapper 21 Savage who is also marking his Grammy performance debut according to executive producer Raj Kapoor.

According to reports, Fatima Robinson, who worked on Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour, will be the creative director for the Burna Boy performance.

Although it wasn’t confirmed, it seems very likely that Burna Boy will perform his single ‘Sittin’ on Top of the World’ which samples Brandy’s 1988 hit, ‘Top of the World’. Brandy featured Ma$e on the hit. Burna Boy featured 21 Savage on a remix of his song.