Behold, Credentials Of Five Nigerian Grammy Award Winners


The Recording Academy Grammy Award is the most respected award every musician aspires to earn as testament to the impact of their career fortunately we have some Nigerian born Grammy Winners, but you probably haven’t heard about them because it takes a rigorous research to find out some of these artistes as some are foreign based with just blood ties to the country while others are old and probably no longer in the entertainment industry.
Some might have the illusion that it is due to their racial differences as to why Nigerians or Africans are not really nominated or awarded the Grammy Award, but as it says, it’s just an illusion because the Grammys had the African culture at heart when they started the world music category over the years thereby striking off any illusion of racism and gives a clear picture for Africans who decide to pitch into the recording academy to include a proper category typifying new fashioned African sounds.
So with thorough search and research we bring to you the five Nigerians who have won these prestigious awards.
Sikiru Adepoju:- He is the master of the talking drum and many other Yoruba percussion instruments. Born in Eruwa, Nigeria, he hails from the traditional lineage of Yoruba talking drummers culturally referred to as Ayan which means one who has descended from drummers lineage.
He began playing under the tutelage of his father, Chief Ayanleke Adepoju at the age of six along with his brothers, Saminu and Lasisi. Sikiru accompanied the family’s talking drum ensemble for several years.
After moving to Sanfransisco Bay area in 1915, Sikiru joined the influential and pioneering Nigerian percussionist, Babatunde Olatunji and his drums of passion. This marked a lengthy period of high productivity from Sikiru which saw him recording and performing throughout the world until a year before Olatunji’s death in 2003.
During this period, he was introduced to grateful dead Drummr, Mickey Hart who had called Sikiru “The Mozart of the talking Drum” and employed him on many of his personal projects, including the award winning albums, Planet Drum (1991) and Global Drum Project, (2009).
Sade Adu: This is the queen of the list. She has four Grammys in her inspirational career and they were won in 1986, 1994, 2002 and 2011. Born Helen Folasade Adu on January 16, 1959 in Ibadan Nigeria and raised in London by her English mother, the singer and musician developed several interests as a teen, including singing, fashion design and modeling.
She sang with a few local band s before singing with Epic Records and recording her first album, Diamond Life in 1984, a huge hit in her native England also had mass appeal across the pond, thanks to such singles as ‘smooth operator’. In 1986 she won a Grammy award for Best New artiste. Sade’s stronger than pride and love Deluxe established her as top selling soul and pop artiste.
She took a new route with her 2000 album, ‘Lovers Rock’ which was released Eight Years after love Deluxe and incorporated a more mainstream sand. The recording and particularly the chart topping single ‘ helped her win over new audiences. Two years later, the album and ensuring tour inspired her first live recording, Lovers Live. Sade returned to the studio and released her sixth album in February 2010, ‘soldier of love’.
Seal: Seal is very Nigerian and even visited the country recently. He has four Grammy Awards, winning three in 1996 and one in 2011. Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel was born in London England on February 13, 1963 of Nigerian heritage. He went on to score a major UK hit ;kilter.
Before releasing his debut album in 1991, he had become an internationally renowned singer and song writer with albums like ‘Human being’ and hits ‘crazy,’ ‘prayer for the dying’ and ‘kiss from a Rase’ which won multiple Grammy Awards.
He was married to Super model and Television host Heidi Klum for several years.
Kevin Olusola: Kevin is a ‘beat boxer’ in the renowned acapella group, pentatonix and has won three Grammy Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He picked up an award alongside his acapella band, pentatonix taking home the award in the arrangement, instrumental or acapella category for their medley “Deft Punk’s Get Lucky”.
Lekan Babalola: Lekan is a Conga player with two Grammy Awards to his name. He won the awards in 2006, and 2009. Born in Lagos State Nigeria where he began playing the Conga at a young age, he has released seven albums and jointly won two Grammy Awards.
Twice Grammy Award winning Nigerian percussionist, Lekan Babalola is well known for his innovation, musical style, using his native Yoruba tongue infused with traditional music, Afrobeat and Funky dance overtones.
However, some Nigerian Icons have also been nominated for this award. The likes of Sunny Ade, Wizkid, Timaya, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Femi Kuti and Seun Kufi who is the latest Nigerian to make the coveted compilation to an extent of even landing a Grammy night performance.