The Grammy Awards have been around since May 4, 1959, and it has been held yearly to honor the accomplishment of various people in the music industry. Giving awards in 84 categories, each category representing an aspect of music. Ever since the Grammy Award inception, several African Grammy Award winners has emerged, bringing the trophy home.
Here are the lists of the top ten African Grammy Award winners
- Miriam Makeba
Zenzile Miriam Makeba, aka Mama Africa, is a South African singer, songwriter, actress, ambassador, and activist; who took African music to a Western audience and popularized the world music, jazz, and Afro pop genres. Makeba famously known for her songs to be against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa; lead to her been considered a symbol of opposition to the system.
Makeba was among the leading African musicians to receive worldwide recognition.
Makeba was nominated for the BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE ALBUM FEMALE in 1960 and 1963, BEST PERFORMANCE – FOLK and BEST NEW ARTIST in 1960, BEST FOLK RECORDING in 1964.
She won the Grammy award in the category, BEST FOLK RECORDING for the album An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba in 1965. And also was nominated for the BEST FOLK RECORDING award.
Makeba died at the age of 76 on the 9th of November 2008.
- Angélique Kidjo
Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, popularly known as Angélique Kidjo is a Beninese singer, songwriter, actress, and activist; who’s music genres were Afro pop, Afrobeat reggae world music, world fusion, worldbeat, jazz, gospel, and Latin. Been eloquent in diverse language; Kidjo sings in French, English, Fon, Yoruba, Gen (Mina), Swahili, and her unique language. Her creativity in her music videos was notable and famous making her, among the top African Grammy Award winners in history.
Kidjo won the Grammy Awards in the categ,ory of BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM for her albums Eve in 2014, Sings in 2015, and Celia in 2019.
She was nominated for BEST MUSIC VIDEO, SHORT FORM in 1994, BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in 1998 and 2002.
Also for BEST CONTEMPORARY WORLD MUSIC ALBUM the year 2004, 2007 and 2010.
- Ali Farka Touré
Ali Ibrahim Touré popularly known as Ali Farka Touré was a Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist (played Vocals, Guitar, Cabasa, and Njarka); whose genres were Blues, Desert Blues, Folk, and Malian Folk. Touré was an international renowned musician, known in the continent of Africa.
Touré ranked number 76 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and number 37 on Spin magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Touré won the Grammy Awards for the category of BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM IN 1994, BEST TRADITIONAL WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in 2005, BEST TRADITIONAL WORLD MUSIC ALBUM for his album, Ali And Toumani in 2010.
He was also nominated for the category of BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in 1999 and BEST CONTEMPORARY WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in 2006.
Touré died at the age of 66 on the 6th of March 2006.
- Owuor Arunga
Owuor Arunga is a Kenyan jazz trumpeter, nicknamed The Pied Piper. He studied Jazz & Contemporary Music at The New School University in New York. Arunga played and recorded along with artists like Charlie Persip, Candido Camero, Billy Bang, The Cadillacs, Robert Glasper, Louis Reyes Rivera, Olu Dara, Jimmy Owens, and Chico Freeman, Ahmed Abdullah, and Macklemore.
Arunga won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2014, and was also nominated for Album of the Year.
- Soweto Gospel Choir
The gospel group of singer known as the Soweto Gospel Choir, in Soweto, South Africa, by David Mulovhedzi and Beverly Bryer, and producers Andrew Kay, David Vigo, and Cliff Hocking.
The Soweto Gospel Choir grew to over more than 30-member; and their songs had the combinations of African gospel, Negro spirituals, reggae, and American popular music.
They won the Grammy Awards for BEST TRADITIONAL WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in 2006 and 2007, for their album Blessed and African Spirit.
They were nominated for the category of BEST CONTEMPORARY WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in 2008 and BEST TRADITIONAL WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in 2010.
In 2018, they won the Grammy Awards for BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM with the Album Freedom.
- Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a group of South African male choral groups, founded in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
These groups are internationally known to be singing in the local vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube.
They won the Grammy Awards in 1987 for BEST TRADITIONAL FOLK RECORDING. in 2004 for BEST TRADITIONAL WORLD MUSIC ALBUM, in 2008 for BEST TRADITIONAL WORLD MUSIC ALBUM, in 2013 and 2017 for BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM.
The Ladysmith Black Mambazo group were nominated 17 times; leading to them ranking the list among the top African Grammy Award winners.
- Youssou N’Dour
Youssou Madjiguéne Ndour, popularly known as Youssou N’Dour is a Senegalese singer, songwriter, composer, actor, businessman, and politician. His genres were Mbalax and world.
He won the Grammy Awards for BEST CONTEMPORARY WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in 2004.
He was nominated for the category of BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM in the year 1992, 1994, and 2000.
- Wouter Kellerman
Wouter Kellerman is a South African flutist, producer, and composer; whose genres were World, Roots, Classical, Jazz, and Instrumental. After winning several South African Music Awards; Kellerman had been focusing his attention on World and Roots music, exploring the versatility of the instrument and the weaving of classical and contemporary sounds.
He won the BEST NEW AGE ALBUM in 2014 and was nominated for BEST CONTEMPORARY INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM in 2015.
Tinariwen is a group of Tuareg musicians; from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali, founded in Tamanrasset, Algeria, in 1979. The band left Algeria and returned to Mali after a peace accord between 1990 and 1995. The Tinariwen guitar style is rooted in West African, and its core elements to be traditional Tuareg melodies and rhythms.
They were nominated for BEST WORLD MUSIC in 2017, GLOBAL MUSIC ALBUM in 2020. They won the BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM with their album Tassili.
- Sade Adu
Helen Folasade Adu popularly known as Sade Adu; is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, actress, and lead singer of her eponymous band. She was considered to be one of the most successful British female artists in history, and her influence on contemporary music.
She won the BEST NEW ARTIST in 1985, BEST R&B PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL in 1993, BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM in 2001, and BEST R&B PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS in 2010.
She was also nominated for BEST R&B PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCAL in 1986, 1994, 2010, and BEST LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO in 2011.