The Grammy Awards is an annual award, presented by the Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievements in the music industry.
The award was first held on May 4th,1959, and has since become a widely-recognized symbol of excellence in the music industry with the 65th edition, held on February 5th, 2023.
Nigerian artist born Temilade Openiyi on June 11, 1995, popularly known as Tems, was among the winners at the 65th edition of the Grammys.
According to research conducted, it has been revealed that while Tems won at the 65th Grammy Awards, she was not the first Nigerian artist to receive the prestigious award, nor is Burna Boy the first, which contradicts the viral claims that Tems/Burna, is the first Nigeria to achieve this accomplishment.
The List of Nigerian Grammy Award winners:
1. Helen Folasade Adu popularly known as Sade Adu won Grammy in 1986
The first on the list to win a Grammy award is Nigerian-born British singer and songwriter, Helen Folasade Adu, popularly known as Sade Adu.
Sade is one of the most successful British female artists in history and is often recognized as an influence on contemporary music. She is the first artist of Nigerian origin to win a Grammy award.
Her first Grammy win was in 1986 for “Best New Artist” then another followed in 1994 with “No Ordinary Love” for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.
She won her third Grammy in 2002 with “Lovers Rock” in Best Pop Vocal Album and bagged her Fourth in 2011 with “Soldier of Love for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals She is known as the lead singer of her eponymous band
2)Babatunde Olatuniji won Grammy in 1991
Michael Babatunde Olatunji born on April 7th, 1927, was a Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist, and recording artist who was part of Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum projects, including the album Planet Drum, which won the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 1991, the first year for which the award was given.
He was an inductee into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2001.
3) Sikiru Adepoju also won Grammy in 1991
Another Nigerian Grammy award winner is Sikiru Adepoju, born on 10 November 1950. He is a Nigerian percussionist and recording artist who is especially into traditional African music and world music. He also plays a variety of instruments and styles.
He first won a Grammy in 2008, as a part of Mickey Hart’s group Planet Drum, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album and that was the first time there was a Grammy in that category.
He won again on February 8th, 2009, as a part of Mickey Hart’s latest group 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.
4) Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel known as Seal won Grammy in 1996
Nigerian-British singer and songwriter, Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, popularly known as Seal, born 19 February 1963, is another Nigerian star who has won a Grammy. award.
He has sold over 20 million records worldwide, with hit songs ‘Crazy’ and ‘killer’. He was also known for his 1994 hit song, ‘Kiss from a Rose’.
Seal has 14 Grammy nominations to his name and has won four. His song, “Kiss From A Rose”, earned him three Grammy awards in 1996, and in 2011, he nabbed his fourth, “Imagine”.
5) Lekan Babalola won Grammy in 2006
Lekan Babalola is a Nigerian jazz percussionist and musician, born in 1960 in Lagos State, Nigeria, who started playing the conga at an early age. He has seven albums to his name and two Grammy awards.
In 2006, he won the Grammys for his work on Ali Farka Toure’s ‘In the Heart of the Moon’, for which he was credited with three tracks.
He also won a second Grammy in 2009 for his work on Cassandra Wilson’s 2008 album titled Loverly.
6)Hakeem Seriki known as Chamillionaire won Grammy in 2007
Nigerian-American rapper, Hakeem Temidayo Seriki, better known as Chamillionaire, is another star who has won a Grammy award.
He won a Grammy award in 2007 for his song, “Riddin”, under Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
7) Kevin Olusola won Grammy in 2015
Kevin Olusola is a Nigerian-American musician, beatboxer, cellist, rapper, record producer, singer, and songwriter.
He is best known as the beatboxer of the vocal band Pentatonix.
Olusola’s musical group, Pentatonix, won the Grammy Award at three different times.
In February 2015, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the Best Arrangement, Instrumental or Acapella category for their song, ‘Daft Punk’ a medley of songs by Daft Punk.
In February 2016, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the same category, this time for Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from their ‘That’s Christmas to Me’ album.
In February 2017, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the “Best Country duo/group performance” category for Jolene”, which featured Dolly Parton.
8) Cynthia Erivo won Grammy Award 2017
Nigerian-English actress, singer, and songwriter, Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo, who was born on January 8, 1987, is known for her performance as Celie in the Broadway revival of ‘The Color Purple’.
She won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album in 2017.
9) Wizkid won Grammy in 2021
Iconic singer and songwriter, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid, won his first Grammy award after featuring in Beyoncé’s Brown Skin Girl Video. They won the Best Music Video category in the 2021 Grammy awards.
10)Burnaboy won Grammy in 2021
Nigerian singer, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, also known as Burnaboy, is another star that has won a Grammy award.
He came to the limelight in 2012 after releasing ‘Like to Party’, the lead single from his debut studio album L.I.F.E.
In the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, his ‘Twice as Tall’ album won the Best World Music Album 2021
11)Tems won Grammy Award in 2023
Nigerian artist, Temilade Openiyi known in showbiz circles as Tems has earned her first Grammy award for her contribution to Future’s hit single ‘Wait For U’.
Tems has joined the list of Grammy Awards winners on 6th February, 2023.
Thus, the claim that Tems /Burna boy are the first Nigerian musician to win a Grammy Award is false.
Story: Ralia Adama