Grammy Awards will shine a spotlight on African music this Sunday with the introduction of its own category.
Harvey Mason Jr., the man behind the awards, expressed his excitement about the inclusion of the Best African Music Performance category, emphasizing that African music has become an integral part of the global pop music landscape.
Among the nominated artists are Tyla, Ayra Starr, Burna Boy, and Davido, representing the diverse talent emerging from Africa’s vibrant music scene.
While the inclusion of the category is celebrated as progress, some critics argue that such recognition should have been granted long ago.
Grammy award-winning record producer Ian Brennan, who has collaborated with numerous African artists, described the move as “long overdue,” highlighting the historic oversight of the Grammys towards music from the continent.
Although African artists have previously won Grammy awards, including the iconic Miriam Makeba from South Africa in 1966 and Nigerian sensation Burna Boy in 2021, Mr. Brennan pointed out the absence of African artists in the Lifetime Achievement Award category, underscoring the need for greater acknowledgment of their contributions.
Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, acknowledged the global influence of African music, citing its prevalence across the world as a driving force behind the decision to introduce the Africa-specific award.