Supermodel Naomi Campbell has criticised the organisers of the Grammy Awards after Nigerian afrobeats star Burna Boy failed to win at the weekend.
Burna Boy was nominated for Best World Music Album for his 2019 record African Giant but lost out to Beninese singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo.
In a long post published on Instagram, Campbell congratulated Kidjo for her win and for “spreading light and opening minds through your music”.
But she then criticised the Recording Academy, the organisation behind the Grammy Awards, for putting afrobeats, a popular genre of music that has elements of West African musical styles, into the World Music category.
“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,” she wrote.
Campbell called for a new category for the genre:
“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.”
Read her full post below:
View this post on Instagram
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 honored 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. ❤️??❤️?? #ForTheCulture #NAOMIAFRICA #grammys
The Recording Academy has not yet responded to Campbell’s criticism.
First published 30.01.20: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-africa