The Recording Academy announced the nominees in Los Angeles on Wednesday. This is Burna Boy’s first shot at the Grammys but for the Angelique, it’s her eighth nomination.
The two African giants were nominated in the World Music category for their albums African Giant and Celia, respectively.
Burna Boy and Angélique Kidjo will compete against other top musicians like Altin Gün (Gece, Netherlands), Bokanté and Metropole Orkest led by Jules Buckley (What Heat, US) and Nathalie Joachim with Spektral Quartet (Fanm D’ayiti, Haiti/US).
Burna Boy and Kidjo are the only African artists nominated in the World Music category, as opposed to the 2019 Grammys where four out of the five nominees hailed from Africa. Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa), Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 (Nigeria), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali) and Bombino (Niger) were all up against Russian group Yiddish Glory.
Kidjo will be gunning for her fourth Grammy after winning the coveted award in 2007, 2008 and 2015.
Burna Boy’s has enjoyed success this year. After winning the Best International act in 2019 at the 19th BET Awards, his much talked about African Giant album could make him a strong contestant for the Grammy award. Bokanté featured previous Grammy winner Michael League of Snarky Puppy and is also likely to be the favourite to clinch the award.
Born Damini Ogulu, Burna Boy also featured Angélique Kidjo on the single ‘Different’ off the African Giant album. Ghanaian rapper M.anifest also took glory on “Another” still off the album.
Burna Boy’s success this year also saw his appearance featured in the Black Bonnie & Clyde Drama, Queen & Slim where he worked one of the high-octane soundtracks in the movie. The 17-song soundtrack is a display of Black talent and artistry, featuring a genuinely staggering lineup ranging from rising hip-hop superstars to soul and R&B legends. Other artists on the soundtrack alongside Burna Boy include — *takes deep breath* — Vince Staples, 6LACK, Mereba, Syd, Coast Contra, BJ The Chicago Kid, Lil Baby, Burna Boy, and Blood Orange.
Other African nominees who were recognised for their work include Wizkid (Nigeria), Shatta Wale (Ghana), Yemi Alade (Nigeria) and Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) who were all nominated alongside Beyoncé for her The Lion King: The Gift album, which was nominated in the Best Pop Vocal Album, among others. Nigeria’s Mr Eazi aside his Beyonce feature, was also nominated for his work on J Balvin and Bad Bunny’s Oasis, which was nominated in the Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album category giving him two slots for the 2020 Grammys.Meanwhile, South Africa’s Trevor Noah has also been nominated in the Comedy category, which boasts comedic royalty like Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari and Dave Chappelle.
The Best Spoken Word Album this year also see former US first lady Michelle Obama competing against Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Scott Sherratt & Dan Zitt, producers, Eric Alexandrakis, John Waters and Sekou Andrews & The String Theory.
The 62nd edition of the Grammy Awards will be hosted by Alicia Keys at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on 26 January, 2020.