The Grammy Awards were initially presented in 1959 by the National Institution of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), before many changes shaped the academy into the one we know today.
However, it is not well known that Nigerians have been honored as far back as 1984, when King Sunny Ade was nominated for the first ever Grammy Accolade in the category of Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording, but he did not win the prestigious award.
The nominations have persisted to this day, but many music fans are unaware of them, which is why we've decided to dig deeper and list Nigerians who have been nominated for Grammys.
1. King Sunny Ade
King Sunny Ade is regarded as one of Nigeria's most influential Juju musicians. He's also a singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist from Nigeria. Known as one of the first African pop performers to achieve international fame and recognition, as well as one of the most influential musicians of all time.
In 1984, he was the first Nigerian to be nominated by the Recording Academy for "Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording" - Syncro System, and he was nominated again in 1999, but he did not win.
2. Babatunde Olatunji
Micheal Babatunde Olatunji, the late skilled drummer, educator, recording artist, and activist, is an important figure in Nigerian entertainment history. Hw was born on April 7th, 1927, and passed away on April 6th, 2003, at the age of 75.
Babatunde was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Global Album in 1988 for the song "Love Drum Talk," but unfortunately did not win.
3. Femi Kuti
Femi Kuti is the first son of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the iconic Afrobeat god whom I frequently referred to as the "King of Afrobeat." He was born in London but reared in Laos, Nigeria, and is a Nigerian musician and instrumentalist.
Femi Kuti began his musical career as a member of his father's band, Egypt 80, before forming Positive Force, his own band.
In the categories of Best World Music Album and Best Contemporary World Music Album, he was nominated in 2003, 2010, 2012, and 2014.
4. Seun Kuti
Seun Kuti is a Nigerian musician and vocalist who is the youngest son of Fela Kuti, the legendary Afrobeat pioneer. In 2019, his album "Black Times" was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best World Music Album.
5. Burna Boy
Burna Boy, whose real name is Oluwadamini Ogulu, is a singer and composer from Port Harcourt. He is now the only Nigerian musician whose mother also serves as his manager, and she performs an incredible job.
He was born on July 2, 1991, and he is the eldest of three female siblings. He is the only son of his parents. His maternal grandfather worked as the manager of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a legendary musician. This indicates that his mother has spent years immersed in Afrobeats.
Burna Boy first became interested in music when he was just ten years old. Burna Boy has had an extraordinary path of success since bursting into the limelight in the year 2012.
Wizkid is ranked second on this list of the wealthiest Nigerian artists in 2022. He is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who was born on July 16, 1990. He began recording at the age of 11 and published a joint album with his band, dubbed the Glorious Five, at the age of 12.
After the publication of his debut album, Superstar, a 17-track collection, he rose to notoriety in 2011. This happened while he was signed to EME, a musical label owned by Banky W, a Nigerian artist. Wizkid is a multi-award-winning artist who is well-known not only in Nigeria but around the world. In addition, he is the founder of Starboy Music.
In 2021, he was nominated for his contribution to Beyonce's "Bown SKin Girl.". In addition, the iconic musician has been nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Global Music Performance and Best Global Music Album.
Christened Temilade Openiyi, also known as Tems, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer who is 26 years old. Tems was born on June 11, 1995, in the Nigerian state of Lagos, where she grew up. Tems was nominated for the 64th Grammy Awards alongside Wizkid in the category of Best Global Music Performance.
8. Sikiru Adepoju
Sikiru Adepoju is a drummer and recording artist from Nigeria who is passionate about traditional African and international music. In 1991, he received his first Grammy as a member of Mickey Hart's Planet Drum, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album. It was the first time a Grammy has been given in that category.
On February 8, 2009, he won again as a member of Mickey Hart's newest ensemble, Global Drum Project, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 51st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
9. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
She is a Nigerian novelist who has also written short tales and nonfiction. She was born in Enugu, Nigeria, on September 15, 1955. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was nominated for a Grammy in 2015 for Album of the Year, Beyonce by Beyonce.
Farida Seriki, better known by her stage name Seriki, is one of the ten Nigerian musicians nominated for a Grammy Award. She is a Nigerian singer and composer best known for her song "Fasta" and her collaboration with British DJ Riton on "Rinse and Repeat."
In 2017, she was nominated in the category "Best Dance Recording" for her song "Rinse and Repeat."