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7 Top Rated African Grammy Winners Of All Time – [No.1 has 4 to his name]

A Grammy Award, originally called Gramophone Award, is a prestigious honour that is awarded by the renowned Recording Academy. It is awarded in recognition of outstanding talent and achievement mostly in the English-language music industry. The list of the top-rated African Grammy winners of all time comprises of men and women of immense musical talent and skill. Some of them have even managed to bag more than one Grammy award due to their excellent musical talent which has kept Africa and the rest of the world entertained to the maximum.

There are usually thirty categories in the Grammy Awards and they include the following: general, classical, pop and gospel among many others. There are also eighty-three other categories within the aforementioned thirty categories.

For an artist to be settled for as a Grammy Award winner, the Recording Academy’s voting members involve themselves in the nominating process which sets out five finalists in each category. Then finally vote for a winner in each category out of the five nominated finalists.

List of the top-rated African Grammy winners of all time

This list comprises men and women of outstanding talent in music, which has earned them the worlds most coveted and prestigious music award.

Name Nationality
7. Wouter Kellerman (1 Grammy) South Africa
6. Tinariwen (1 Grammy) Mali
5. Youssou N’Dour (1 Grammy) Senegal
4. Soweto Gospel Choir (2 Grammys) South Africa
3. Ali Farka Toure (2 Grammys) Mali
2. Angelique Kidjo (2 Grammys) Benin
1. Ladysmith Black Mambazo (4 Grammys) South Africa

Wouter Kellerman (1 Grammy)

Wouter Kellerman is an award-winning South African flutist and music composer. His immense talent has seen him gain both local and international recognition. He has so far won two South African Music Awards.

His music can be identified as World and Roots music, and it comprises of a cool blend of instruments, a little of classical and contemporary genres. His unique musical style has quite paid off since this 54-year-old all-time African Grammy winner won the Grammy award for Best New Age Album in2015.

Tinariwen (1 Grammy)

Tinariwen is a super talented group of Tuareg musicians hailing from the Sahara Desert locality. The band came into being in 1979 in Algeria a foreign country, due to civil strife. They later came back to their country of origin Mali, after a cease-fire in the 1990s.

At the 54th Grammy awards, Tinawerin was awarded for having the Best World Music Album in 2011.

Youssou N’Dour (1 Grammy)

Youssou N’Dour is a man of many caps. Apart from being known as one of the few African Grammy winners on the continent, he is also a singer, songwriter, skilled composer, percussionist, actor, shrewd businessperson and last but not least, politician.

This Senegalese singer earned his first Grammy award for Best Contemporary World Music Album back in the year 2005.


Soweto Gospel Choir (2 Grammys)

African Grammy winners of all time

Just as its name suggests, Soweto Gospel Choir is a South African gospel group which has so far won two Grammy awards. They won the coveted Grammy award for Best Traditional World Music Album both in years, 2007 and 2008 respectively.

They have also featured in collaborations with other musicians, which have also won this prestigious award. These collaborations include Christopher Tin’s song ‘Baba Yetu’, which won the Grammy for the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.

Ali Farka Toure (2 Grammys)

The late Ali Farka Toure hailed from Mali, and he was a super talented singer cum multi-instrumentalist. Great a singer he was, such that he is dubbed as one of Africa’s most renowned musicians, who has received international recognition numerous times during his lifetime.

He earned his first Grammy in 1994 for his collaborative album with Ry Cooder. His second Grammy also came from another collaborative album with Toumani Diabete.

Angelique Kidjo (2 Grammys)

Also known as Angelique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, this three-time Grammy winner is not only a talented singer but also a songwriter and activist. She hails from Benin and is known for her diverse musical influences and creativity.

Her most recent Grammy was awarded to her in 2016 for her 2015 album, Sings, while the others were awarded to her back in 2007 and 2014 respectively. The most peculiar thing about these all-time African Grammy winners is their passion for music and art, which has many of them spending almost all their entire lives in the studio or performing at concerts.

Angelique’s albums titled Djin Djin and EVE earned her the coveted award in two different occasions.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo (4 Grammys)

On first hearing this name, one would think that it most probably belongs to a lady, which is not the case. Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a South African male choral group. Their vocal styles of singing include isicathamiya and mbube.

They are quite musically talented, such that they have won 4 Grammy awards alongside other multiple musical awards. Their hit song Shaka Zulu put them in the spotlight after it received nationwide as well as worldwide recognition. This was their first song to win them a Grammy award for Best Traditional Folk Recording in 1988.

Their second album to receive a Grammy award is titled Wenyukela. Receiving 2 Grammy awards seemed to have made them relentless and even better, such that they received two more Grammys after this. One for Best Traditional World Music Album, and the final one for Best World Music CD in 2013.

It is no doubt that Ladysmith Black Mambazo deserve all the fame and recognition that emanates from being African Grammy winners of all time.


A Grammy award is the world’s most coveted entertainment award. It is the highest recognition an artist can ever get during the course of their careers. It is the dream of every entertainer to win such an award, as it not only sets one apart and commends them for their immense talent, but results in more album sales, translating to more money in the bank.

The list of the top-rated African Grammy winners of all time comprises of men and women of profound talent and love for music. Some of them as a result of their hard work and creativity, have managed to bag more than one Grammy award, giving credence to the saying, ‘hard work pays.’


Written by How Africa

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