In 1959, the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held. It was created with the intention of honouring the key figures and contributors to the global music industry. For their originality and creativity, here are 5 African women who have received this honour:
1. Miriam Makeba (South African)
Miriam Makeba was a well-known musician due to her contributions as an advocate for civil rights and a critic of apartheid, she is more popularly referred to as Mama Afrika. She received nine nominations and won one Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording (1965) for her album “An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba.”
2. Sade Adu (Nigerian-British)
Lead vocalist of her own band, Sade Adu is regarded as being among the most prominent female artists from Britain. In 1986, she took home the ‘Best New Artist’ Grammy.
The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter is the first person of Nigerian descent to receive the honour. Four Grammys have been bestowed upon Sade: the Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group with Vocal for “No Ordinary Love” (1993), the Best Pop Vocal Album for “Lovers Rock” (2001), the Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group with Vocals for “Soldier Of Love” (2011), and the Best Long Form Music Video for “Bring Me Home” (2011).
3. Angélique Kidjo (Benin)
Angélique Kidjo is a Beninese actress and singer-songwriter. Her album Djin Djin won the award for Best Contemporary World Music album in 2008. She also won the award Best Global Music Award for ‘Eve’ (2015), and same for Sings, Celia (2020) and Mother Nature (2022).
4. Cynthia Erivo (Nigerian-British)
Cynthia Erivo is both an actress and a musician. She won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for the soundtrack to the movie adaptation of the stage drama The Color Purple.Together with Joshuah Brian Campbell, she also co-wrote the lead song for Harriet, “Stand Up,” which received a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media.
5. Tems (Nigerian)
Temilade Openiyi, also known as Tems, is a talented singer from Nigeria. She received her first Grammy for her contribution to Future’s smash song ‘Wait For U’ in the category of Best Melodic Rap Performance. Tems is also the first non-mixed female musician from Nigeria to receive the coveted honour.