American supermodel, Naomi Campbell, has written an open letter to the organisers of the Grammy Awards, after Burna Boy’s lost to Angelique Kidjo at the 2020 edition of the awards.
According to her, it is erroneous to categorize Afrobeats under the World Music Category as it diminishes an entire genre in which such a high standard of talent has emerged.
In the open letter, she said: “First, I want to say deepest congratulations to @angeliquekidjo for her award on January 26, and thank you to you for spreading light and opening minds through your music. And to our African Giant, @burnaboygram, it is only due to lack of education that you have not been honoured with the accolades you so truly deserve. You are always a winner in our hearts. Always.
“And to the @RecordingAcademy, there is something that brings joy, strength, and happiness to myself, and to so many people that hear it, and it is called Afrobeat. “Afrobeat is a musical genre played on mainstream and primetime radio not only across the continent of Africa but across the world.”
We further urged the Organisers to reflect on their perspectives on world music and work on improvement. “Please take the next 363 days to reassess and reflect on your perspective on ‘World Music.’ Did the world get to vote for this award, or was it only the people in the United States a part of the Recording Academy? “What will this neglectful categorisation of music mean to individual cultures? “Cultures who contribute their blood, sweat and tears, and every level of their creativity and work ethic into making music for you and for all of us.”
“Please get up to speed on the state of all popular music today, and include Afrobeats Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and all the subcategories that this genre so deserves – just as any other respected and recognised musical genre,” Naomi said.
Grammy Awards are presented annually by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. According to Wikipedia, the Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually in America.
The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards were held on January 26, 2020, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, with Nigeria’s Burna Boy being nominated for the World Music album award. Burna Boy lost out to Angelique Kidjo from the Republic of Benin.