Wizkid, Tems excluded as Grammys lists African award winners


Organisers of the Grammy Awards have released a list of African musicians who have bagged the golden gramophones since the 1960s, with Wizkid and Tems notably omitted.

The list which was released ahead of the 66th edition of the ceremony, sparked a debate on social media after Wizkid and Tems were omitted among the 10 African winners of the award.

The list contains names of African singers like Miriam Makeba (South Africa) who won the Best Folk Recording category with Harry Belafonte in 1966, UK-based Nigerian singer Sade Adu who won Best New Artist in 1986 and Nigerian singer Burna Boy who won the Best Global Music Album in 2021.

Others are Ali Farka Touré (Mali) — Best World Music Album – 1994, Cesária Évora (Cape Verde) — Best Contemporary World Music Album – 2004, Youssou N’Dour (Senegal) — Best Contemporary World Music Album – 2005, Angélique Kidjo (Benin/France) — Best Contemporary World Music Album – 2008, RedOne (Morocco) — Best Dance/Electronic Album – 2010, Tinariwen (Mali/Algeria/Libya) — Best World Music Album – 2012 and Black Coffee (South Africa) – Best Dance/ Electronic Album — 2022.

Recall in March 2021, Wizkid bagged his first-ever Grammy award for ‘Brown Skin Girl’, a 2019 collaboration with American singer Beyonce. The project won the ‘Best Music Video’ category.

In 2023, Tems won her own first-ever Grammy award for ‘Best melodic Rap Performance’ category for her role in ‘Wait for U’, the 2022 hit song by Future featuring Drake.

Questions about what yardsticks were used to assemble the list has been asked since the names were released.

Some users on X have argued that Wizkid and Tems were left off the list because they won Grammys as featured artists.

It, however, remains unclear why both music heavyweights from Nigeria were omitted from the list.

The 2024 Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 4 in Los Angeles.