For supermodel Naomi Campbell, the last has not been heard of the recent loss that Nigeria’s Burnaboy suffered when he lost the award to Angelique Kidjo. Campbell wrote a letter to the organizers of the Grammy Awards stressing the need for Afrobeats to be recognized as a genre of importance in the world.
In the letter, Naomi Campbell first praised Angelique for using her music to enlighten people’s mind, then she opined that Burna Boy’s lack of education was responsible for the underhand played him by not giving him the recognition that was his due.
According to the supermodel, placing Afrobeat in the ‘World Music’ category during the just concluded 2020 Grammys rated the genre unfairly considering that Afrobeat has produced talented individuals whose high standard may not be forgotten.
Naomi advised the recording academy to reassess and reflect on the Afrobeat genre as a whole category and the voting pattern of the category, she also urged them to use the next 363 days to reformulate their perspective of ‘World Music.’
The full letter:
First, I want to say deepest congratulations to @angeliquekidjo for her award on Sunday 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 Afrobeats. Afrobeats is a musical genre played on mainstream and primetime radio not only across the continent of Africa but across the world…
Recently, the genre was categorized into your ‘World Music’ category at the 2020 Grammys. This misrepresentation diminishes an entire genre in which such a high standard of talent has emerged; a genre that has been a force of hope and positivity for many, and a vehicle for artistry on the continent of Africa.
Please take the next 363 days to reassess and reflect on your perspective of ‘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 categorization 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 Artist 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 recognized musical genre. •
This is bigger than you, so open your eyes, ears, and minds and treat us right and with the respect we deserve.