Naomi Campbell Seeks Special Recognition of Afrobeats in the Grammys after Burna Boy’s Loss

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International supermodel Naomi Campbell has weighed in on Burna Boy’s recent loss at the Grammys. Campbell who was recently in Nigeria for the THISDAY Awards took to Instagram to express her thoughts. First of all, she thanked Angelique Kidjo who won the awards for “spreading light and opening minds through your music,” then proclaimed Burna a winner, stating that it was only due to lack of education that he was deprived of a historic win.

Burna was among the list of global artistes who were nominated in the Best World Music Album category of the prestigious awards. Despite great optimism expressed on Burna bringing home the gramophone trophy, on Sunday night when the event was held, it was Beninese music star that took home the coveted award. Kidjo’s ‘Celia’ album knocked out Burna’s beloved album ‘African Giant’.

Although Kidjo during her acceptance speech dedicated the award to Burna, the loss has generated discourse mainly on social media. Twitter has been buzzing with diverse views on the subject.

Campbell concluded her post by addressing the Recording Academy, the body responsible for the Grammy Awards. She implored the Academy to re-examine what constitutes the World Music Album category because boxing Afrobeats in that category is an injustice to a music genre that excites Africans.

“There is something that brings joy, strength and happiness to myself, and to so many people that hear it, and it is called Afrobeats. Afrobeats is a musical genre played on mainstream and primetime radio not only across the continent of Africa, but across the world. Recently, the genre was categorized into your ‘World Music’ category at the 2020 Grammys. This misrepresentation diminishes an entire genre in which such a high standard of talent has emerged; a genre that has been a force of hope and positivity for many, and a vehicle for artistry on the continent of Africa.”

She continues: “Please take the next 363 days to reassess and reflect on your perspective of ‘World Music.’ Did the world get to vote for this award, or was it only the people in the United States a part of The Recording Academy? What will this neglectful categorization of music mean to individual cultures? Cultures who contribute their blood, sweat and tears, and every level of their creativity and work ethic into making music for YOU and for all of us.”

To be sure, the Best World Music Album category recognises international performers exhibiting non-European, indigenous traditions. The award was split into two separate categories for Best Traditional World Music Album and Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2003. In 2012, the two categories were merged back to Best World Music Album.

Campbell in conclusion, urged the Recording Academy to include Afrobeats in “Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and all the subcategories that this genre so deserves – just as any other respected and recognized musical genre.”

See the post below.

First, I want to say deepest congratulations to @angeliquekidjo for her award on Sunday, and thank you to you for spreading light and opening minds through your music…

And to our AFRICAN GIANT, @burnaboygram… it is only due to lack of education that you have not been honored with the accolades you so truly deserve. You are always a winner in our hearts. ALWAYS.

And to The @RecordingAcademy,

There is something that brings joy, strength and happiness to myself, and to so many people that hear it, and it is called Afrobeats. Afrobeats is a musical genre played on mainstream and primetime radio not only across the continent of Africa, but across the world…

Recently, the genre was categorized into your ‘World Music’ category at the 2020 Grammys. This misrepresentation diminishes an entire genre in which such a high standard of talent has emerged; a genre that has been a force of hope and positivity for many, and a vehicle for artistry on the continent of Africa.

Please take the next 363 days to reassess and reflect on your perspective of ‘World Music.’ Did the world get to vote for this award, or was it only the people in the United States a part of The Recording Academy? What will this neglectful categorization of music mean to individual cultures? Cultures who contribute their blood, sweat and tears, and every level of their creativity and work ethic into making music for YOU and for all of us.

Please get up to speed on the state of all popular music today, and include Afrobeats Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and all the subcategories that this genre so deserves – just as any other respected and recognized musical genre.

This is bigger than you, so open your eyes, ears and minds and treat us right and with the respect we deserve. #ForTheCulture #NAOMIAFRICA #grammys
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