Many music lovers especially Nigerians were left disappointed with Burna Boy failing to clinch the award although many also expressed the opinion that Kidjo’s win is a well-deserved one.
In her reaction, supermodel Naomi Campbell has written an open letter to the organisers of the awards to express her dissatisfaction as well as “school them” on Afrobeats as a genre of music.
Praising Kidjo for spreading light and opening minds through her music, Campbell states that Burna Boy has not been given the accolades he truly deserves due to lack of education.
According to her, it is erroneous to categorise Afrobeats under the World Music Category as it diminishes an entire genre in which such a high standard of talent has emerged. She goes on to query the Recording Academy’s voting process while urging them to do better during the next edition as they have 363 days to reflect on their perspective of ‘World Music.’
Her open letter reads:
“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 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 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.”