It is no news that Afrobeats is well and truly global. Since 2022, three international award shows; the American Music Awards, the Grammys, and the MTV VMAs have added Afrobeats categories to their roster, underlining the impact of the African sounds on world music in recent times. On Friday 10th November, the nominees list for the 66th Grammys was released. As expected, Nigeria was fully represented on the list, with heavyweights like Burna Boy, Davido and Asake earning nods.
Burna Boy had the most nominations (4), ‘I Told Them’ for Best Global Music Album, ‘Sittin’ On Top Of The World’ for Best Melodic Rap Performance, ‘City Boys’ for Best African Performance, and ‘Alone’ for Best Global Music Performance. Davido earned three nominations, in what is an impressive first showing at the Grammys. ‘Feel’ was nominated for Best Global Music Performance, ‘Unavailable’ for Best African Performance, and ‘Timeless for Best Global Album. South African singer Musa Keys also earned a nomination alongside Davido for ‘Unavailable.’ Asake and Olamide scored their first Grammy nominations for ‘Amapiano’ in the Best African Music Performance category. Ayra Starr and Tyla round up the nominees in the category with ‘Rush’ and ‘Water’ respectively.
How They Fared on the Nigerian Charts
While the Grammys is not a popularity content, it is important to analyze how these nominees fared on the homefront, to understand the basis of their endorsement by the Grammys. Burna Boy’s ‘Alone’ off the ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By’ spent 28 weeks on the Official Nigeria Top 100 Chart, peaking at No. 1, City Boys has spent 10 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 2. ‘Sittin’ On Top of the World’ also spent 16 weeks on the chart and peaked at No. 8. His 2023 album, ‘I Told Them’ spent 10 weeks on the albums chart, peaking at No. 1. It is currently No. 6 on the Official Top 50 Albums Chart.
Davido’s impressive third album ‘Timeless’ has spent 31 weeks on the album chart, peaking at at summit of the chart. ‘Feel’, a single off the album has spent 31 weeks on the singles chart, peaking at No. 3, while smash hit Unavailable spent 28 weeks on the chart, and peaked at No. 2. ‘Amapiano’ by Asake and Olamide has spent 24 weeks on chart, peaking at No. 1. Ayra Starr’s Rush spent 34 weeks on the chart and peaked at No. 1 and Tyla’s Water has spent 7 weeks on chart, peaking at No. 13.
The recognition of these amazing Afrobeats songs and projects is a testament to the growth of Nigerian music over the years. With the structure finally matching the level of talent on offer, it is clear to the world that Afrobeats is here to stay.