Fans react as Grammy omits Wizkid and Tems from African winner list


Organizers of the upcoming 66th Grammy Awards have generated buzz by releasing a comprehensive list of African artists who have been honored with the prestigious Grammy Award since the 1960s.

However, the absence of Wizkid and Tems from this distinguished list released on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, has left fans somewhat surprised, especially considering their noteworthy contributions to previously acclaimed songs.

The roster includes iconic figures such as the late South African singer, Miriam Makeba, who holds the distinction of being the first African artist to secure a Grammy. Also featured on the esteemed list is the Nigerian/British pop sensation, Sade, adding to the impressive representation of African talent.

Despite the rich musical landscape in Africa, Burna Boy stands out as the most recent Nigerian musician to secure this coveted accolade. His success at the Grammy Awards serves as a testament to the growing influence of African artists on the global stage.

As the anticipation builds for the 66th Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024, fans and industry enthusiasts are reflecting on the remarkable achievements of African musicians who have left an indelible mark in the realm of international music recognition.

Grammy Award – Africa Winners List

Miriam Makeba (South Africa) — Best Folk Recording (with Harry Belafonte) – 1966

Sade Adu (Nigeria/UK) — Best New Artist – 1986

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

Burna Boy (Nigeria) — Best Global Music Album – 2021

Black Coffee (South Africa) – Best Dance/ Electronic Album — 2022

Recall that in March 2021, Wizkid celebrated a milestone in his career as he clinched his inaugural Grammy award for his contribution to Brown Skin Girl, a 2019 track by American musician Beyoncé. The collaborative project secured victory in the 'Best Music Video' category.

The Grammy success continued in 2023 when Tems, the Afrobeats sensation, marked her own historic achievement by winning her first Grammy award. Recognized in the 'Best Melodic Rap Performance' category, Tems played a pivotal role in the 2022 hit song Wait for U by Future featuring Drake.

However, with the recent release of the Grammy organizers' list featuring African artists, questions have arisen regarding the criteria employed to compile the prestigious roster. The absence of Wizkid and Tems from the highlighted list has prompted curiosity about the selection process and the factors considered in recognizing outstanding contributions to the global music landscape.

Controversy has surfaced among users on X, with debates emerging over the exclusion of Wizkid and Tems from the recently released list of African Grammy winners. Some users contend that the omission might be attributed to the fact that both artists secured Grammy victories as featured contributors, introducing a layer of complexity to the selection process.

Despite these arguments, the precise reasons for the absence of the Nigerian music heavyweights from the list remain undisclosed, adding an air of mystery to the Grammy organizers' decision.

With the 2024 Grammy Awards scheduled for Sunday, February 4, 2024 in Los Angeles, anticipation and discussions surrounding the event continue to intensify. Notably, the organizers have introduced the 'Best African Music Performance' category, underscoring the growing recognition of African talent on the global stage. The category features nominations for Asake, Olamide, Tems, Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, reflecting the diverse and dynamic musical landscape emerging from the continent.