King Sunny Ade, Burna Boy & 3 Other Nigerian musicians nominated for Grammy Awards but didn't win

King Sunny Ade, Burna Boy & 3 Other Nigerian musicians nominated for Grammy Awards but didn't win

Winning the Grammy Awards is regarded by many musicians as the pinnacle of their music career.

History was recently made as, for the first time, seven Nigerian and Afrobeat artists were nominated for the Grammy awards in different categories.

This immense achievement comes barely eight months after Tems became the first female Nigerian artist to win the prestigious accolade.

List of Nigerian artists nominated for Grammy's but didn't win.
King Sunny Ade, Femi Kuti & 4 others made the list of Nigerian artists nominated for Grammys but didn't win. Photo credit: @kingsunnyade@70/@burnaboygram/@femiuti
Source: Instagram

However, this isn't the first time multiple Nigerian artists have been nominated at the Grammys but have not won., in this article, has compiled a list of Nigerian artists who have been nominated for the Grammys in the past but didn't win:

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1. King Sunny Ade was nominated twice but didn't win

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Veteran Nigerian singer King Sunny Ade is the first Nigerian to be nominated for the Grammy award.

His first nomination was in 1983 for his album "Synchro System". He was a nominee for the Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording.

King Sunny Ade got another shot at the Grammys in 1999 for his work "Odu"; it was nominated for the Best World Music category

The veteran artist lost on both occasions.

2. Burna Boy has been nominated four times and lost

The Afro-fusion maestro is regarded by many as the most talented musician out of Nigeria at the moment.

Damini Ogulu, aka Burna Boy, was first nominated for his first Grammys' in 2020 for his album African Giant, but he lost.

In 2021, the African Giant was back among the nominees, but this time he won. Just like he did the previous year, he was back amongst the nominees again, but this time for two categories.

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However, he lost on both occasions. Burna Boy, in 2023, made history as he got nominated in four different categories, the highest ever by a Nigerian artist.

3. Wizkid has four nominations, one win

Just like his Ballon d'Or colleague Burna Boy, Wizkid is one of the artists of the modern era who has won the highly coveted Grammy award.

But he didn't get there without his fair share of heartbreaks.

Ayo Balogun has been nominated for the Grammy award four times. The Afrobeat superstar got his first nomination 2016 for Album of the Year as a featured artist.

He got his second nomination in 2021 for Best Music Video for his work on Brown Skin Girl.

Wizkid picked up two other nominations in 2022 for Best Global Music Album (Made In Lagos Deluxe) and Best Global Music Performance (Essence).

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4. Femi Kuti is the Nigerian artist with most six nominations without a win:

Veteran Nigerian musician and the first son of Afrobeats pioneer Femi Anikulapo-Kuti is the Nigerian artist with the highest amount of Grammy nominations.

He got his first nomination in 2003 for his "Fight to Win" album. It was a nominee for the category of Best World Music Album.

Since 2003, he has been nominated five more times, three in the category of Best World Music Album (2009, 2011 & 2013), once for Best Global Music Album and most recently in 2022 with his son for Best Global Music Performance.

5. Seun Kuti has one nomination

Another of the Kuti legacy, Oluseun Anikulapo-Kuti, is another Nigerian who has been nominated but has yet to taste victory.

Seun Kuti got his first and only nomination in 2019 for his work, "Black Times." However, this was a historic moment for the Kuti family as he and his brother were nominated in the same category.

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This was the first two brothers who were nominated for the same award.

6. Tems has two nominations, one win

Earlier this year, the Nigerian vocal powerhouse Temilade Openiyi, aka Tems, won her first Grammy award as a featured artist on Future's song "Wait For U" You.

However, before her win with Future, Tems got her first nomination in 2022 as a featured artist on Wizkid's song Essence; they were nominated for Best Global Music Performance but lost.

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Meanwhile, recalls reporting when Nigerians dug up an old clip of Davido bashing some of his colleague's songs that got Grammy nominations.

He made these comments during an interview with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, who asked him if Afrobeat artists needed to tweak their sounds so they could win the prestigious award.

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However, Unavailable artist responded, noting that even if an artist tweaked his song, it doesn't mean he would get Grammy recognitions.


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