After several worthy nominations of Nigerian musicians and expressions of ambition to one day win the gramophone by plenty others, Burna Boy almost achieved the unthinkable. He was in a strong position to be the first homegrown Nigerian to bring the Grammy home at the 62nd edition of the award ceremony.
On the night of the ceremony which was held at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, the entire country stayed up at midnight, rooting for the Nigerian music superstar to become the first homegrown singer to win the highly coveted award. And he nearly did it in style, as he competed for the honour against three-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo, as well as Altin Gün, Nathalie Joachim With Spektral Quartet, Bokanté And Metropole Orkest Conducted By Jules Buckley, in the World Music Category.
Burna Boy’s rise to glory had started from his Burn mixtape days, leading to the release of ‘African Giant’, a critically acclaimed album which nearly earned him the ultimate prize. But he respectably lost to music veteran Angelique Kidjo on the night, leaving the hearts of millions of his fans in Nigeria and worldwide, shattered.
His colleagues, many of whom had been touted to be the first to bring the coveted award home, have commended him on a good showing, saying how proud they are and offering words of encouragement.
Davido, sent his early congratulatory message to Burna, saying: “Congrats in advance fam !!!! Big weekend for you ! It’s already yours in Jesus name.“
Congrats in advance fam !!! 🏆! Big weekend for you ! It’s already yours in Jesus name … #Grammys
— Davido (@davido) January 25, 2020
Don Jazzy had also offered words of support in a series of tweets, writing on his Twitter before the ceremony: “Grammy should better not be unfortunate today.”
Grammy should better not be unfortunate today o. 🇳🇬
— ITS DONJAZZY AGAIN😉 (@DONJAZZY) January 26, 2020
— ITS DONJAZZY AGAIN😉 (@DONJAZZY) January 25, 2020
Wizkid, who himself has gone close to achieving the honour through his collaboration with Drake, has had this to say in support of Burna shortly before the ceremony “King Burna! Bring it home!”
King Burna! Bring it home! 💯🖤❤️🦅
— Wizkid (@wizkidayo) January 26, 2020
It has taken Burna Boy four albums, two mixtapes, one EP and several singles – to nearly achieve this feat. His first mixtape, Burn Notice, was released in 2011 but it was his 2018 hit single, ‘Ye’ from his third studio album, ‘Outside’ that exposed him to a global audience.
This loss comes after a very impressive year of winnings for Burna Boy in 2019, in which he won a BET Award for ‘Best International Act’ and ‘MTV: EMA awards for ‘Best African Act.
Juju maestro, King Sunny Ade (1984 & 1999); Afrobeat king, Femi Kuti (2002, 2009, 2011 & 2013) and Seun Kuti (2019) have also all previously gone agonisingly close to winning the Grammy award.
As the accolades deservedly pour in for Burna Boy, he and his peers will relish the chance to work harder towards achieving the honour, knowing fully well that it is indeed, doable.
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