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FACTCHECK: Burna Boy, Wizkid not first Nigerians to win Grammy


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VIRAL posts on Sunday, March 14, 2021, claimed that Nigerian artistes Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, and Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, otherwise called Wizkid, were the first Nigerians to bag Grammy Awards.

A Twitter user, Ibe, with the username @meettheRichard, tweeted that Burna Boy was the first Nigerian artiste ever to win Grammy Awards.

His tweet read:  “Burna Boy becomes the first Nigerian Artist ever to win #GRAMMYs for their original work. This is just the beginning of more things to come! E choke!”

As of 12 noon of Monday, March 15, 2021, the tweet had already garnered 1,247 likes and 249 retweets.

A separate blog post, on the same day, also claimed that Wizkid was the first Nigerian to win the Grammy Award. The headline read:

“Breaking !! Wizkid becomes the first Nigerian to win a ‘Grammy Award.”

The Claim

Burna Boy and Wizkid are the first Nigerians to win the Grammy Award.

A tweet claiming Burna Boy is the first Nigerian to win the Grammy.
A tweet claiming Burna Boy is the first Nigerian to win the Grammy.

The Findings

The Grammy Award, otherwise known as Grammy, is an award presented by the Recording Academy to recognise achievements in the global music industry.

The first edition of the award held on May 4, 1959. Its  latest edition – the 63rd  in the series – was held on Sunday, March 14, 2021.

Two Nigerians, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu and Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun were part of those that won at the 63rd edition.

Burna Boy won ‘Best Global Music Album’ for his album  Twice as Tall, while Wizkid together with Beyoncé and Blue Ivy won ‘Best Music Video’ for the song Brown Skin Girl.

The FactCheckHub findings revealed that although Burna Boy and Wizkid won at the 63rd Grammy, the duo were not the first Nigerians to win a Grammy.

A blog post claiming Wizkid is the first Nigerian to win the Grammy.
A blog post claiming Wizkid is the first Nigerian to win the Grammy.

In 1991,  Sikiru Adepoju and Babatunde Olatunji won a Grammy for their work in the album Planet Drum produced by Mickey Hart, which won the Best World Music Album category.

In 2009, jazz percussionist, Olalekan Babalola, won a Grammy for his work on Ali Farka Toure’s In the Heart of the Moon album.

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Babalola also  won a second Grammy in 2006 for his work on Cassandra Wilson’s album titled Loverly 

Also, artistes of Nigerian descent like beatboxer, Kevin Olusola; rapper, Chamillionaire; singer, Seal, have all won the Grammy.

Sade Adu, who is also of Nigerian descent and was born in Nigeria, won her Grammy in 1985 for the Best New Artiste category.

She also won Grammy in other categories in 19932001 and 2010.

The Verdict

The claim that Burna Boy and Wizkid were the first Nigerians to win Grammy is FALSE. Nigerians and artistes of Nigerian descent have at different points in time won the Grammy Award prior to 2021.

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