Monday, June 17, 2024

Top 10 Nigerian Musicians With The Highest Number Of Grammy Nominations


The just concluded 2023 Grammy Award shows how Afrobeats has taken over the global space and made an impact in the western world with international pop stars featuring on tracks by our very own Nigerian Artists. A lot of GenZers think artists like Wizkid and Burna Boy are the only artists that have been recognized with nomination nods by the Grammys. That isn’t quite the case, both duo ace musicians are not the only Nigerian artists to have been nominated for a Grammy. Pioneer Nigerian legendary singers have been getting nominations and win from the Grammys since the 80s and these singers broke the borders and paved the way for top artists like Wizkid, Burna boy, and Tems to have the opportunity to be recognized for their extraordinary talents.

But on the contrary, the prowess and influence of these artists aren’t celebrated or much talked about. However, it is worthy of note that these Nigerian icons are all extraordinarily impactful, as they all have Grammys and nominations to their names.


Taking first place as the pioneer that took Nigerian music to the center stage and opened doors to Grammy nominations for our artists, is none other than King Sunny Ade. He is the first Nigerian ever to be nominated for the Grammys. His 1984 album, ‘Synchro System’ got him to shine at the highly coveted music awards. Thereafter, in 1999, he got nominated again for the Best World Music Album category, with his album, Odu. He has had 2 nominations but he hasn’t won a Grammy.

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Femi Kuti is the oldest son of Afrobeat Legend, Fela Kuti. He is also the grandson of the historical women activist icon, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. Femi is an instrumentalist and an exceptionally talented artist.
He has been nominated six times for the Grammys (in 2003,2012,2014, and 2022)in Best Contemporary World Music Album, Best World Music Album, Best Global Music Album, and Best Global Music Performance.


Known as Folashade Adu, Sade made Nigerian history by being the first artist to win a Grammy.
She was nominated for the Best New Artist Category in 1986 and she won that category. This win made history, as she became the first Nigerian and first Nigerian woman to ever be nominated for or win a Grammy.


Afrobeats Starboy, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid is one of the most influential artists to come out of Africa and cement Afrobeats as a genre on the global map. Wizkid has had 4 nominations at the Grammys and has only won one. His Grammy nomination debut came in 2015 when Drake’s ‘ Views ‘ album was nominated for album of the year which featured Wizkid. Thereafter, he collaborated with the Queen of Music herself, Beyonce on the song ‘Brown Skin Girl’ featuring him and Blue Ivy. The song was nominated for the best music video and it won that category. Then he went along to be nominated for his ‘Made in Lagos’ album in the Best Global Music Album and his hit collaboration with Tems, ‘Essence’ in the Best Global Music Performance category.

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Olatunji was a versatile Nigerian drummer, who was nominated in 1991 and 1998 for the category of Best World Music Album. He was part of the “Mickey Harts Planet Drum Project” with his album “Planet Drum” a category that he won.


Seun Anikulapo Kuti is the youngest son of pioneer legend, Fela Kuti. In 2019, Seun was nominated for the ‘Best World Music Album’ with the album, “Black Times”, alongside Fela’s former band, Egypt ’80. He is the second child of the legend to be Grammy nominated.



The younger generation icon that put afro beats on a larger scale globally is no one other than Burna boy. Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has been one of the very successful Nigerian artists to be nominated multiple times at the Grammys. Burna has been nominated for Best World Music Album with his ‘African Giant and Twice as Tall’ albums and he was also nominated this year for his, ‘Love Damini’ album in the Best Global Music Album category and so also his hit song, ‘Last Last’ in the Best Global Music Performance. He has had back-to-back nomination nods from the Grammys and has won one.


Sikiru Adepoju is a Nigerian recording artist and percussionist. He belonged to Mickey Harts Group,’ Planet Drum’. Which brought about his two Grammy nominations in 1991 and 2009 for Best Contemporary World Music Album with the Global Drum Projects album by various artists. Both categories which he won.


Made, is the son of Femi Kuti. He got his first-ever Grammy nomination at the 2022 edition of the ceremony. He was nominated for Best Global Music Album, for his debut album ‘Legacy +’ which was a collaboration with his dad, Femi Kuti.

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10. TEMS

Groundbreaking alternative afrobeats artist, Temilade Openiyi known as Tems has had revolutionary growth in her rising career. She has had 2 nominations with the Grammys and her first nomination came from a feature with Wizkid on the hit song, ‘Essence’ which was nominated for Best Global Music Performance, and another nomination at this year’s Grammys for a feature on Future’s song with Drake, ‘ Wait for U’ in the category for Best Melodic Rap Performance and Best Rap song, the song won the category for Best Melodic Rap Performance, which gave Tems her first Grammy win.

In conclusion, this shows that afrobeats have placed not only Nigeria but African Artists on the biggest stages and with amazing mind-blowing opportunities that have paved the way for younger generations. With extraordinary talents like this, it’s not surprising that they would be recognized for it. The younger generation would be able to break more borders and place Nigerian artists in the global Hall of Fame.

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