During her acceptance speech, Kidjo celebrated a new generation of African artists coming up to represent the continent while thanking luminaries who came before her for their contributions to world music, including Celia Cruz.
“Four years ago on this stage, I was telling you that the new generations of artists coming from Africa gonna take you by storm and the time has come,” Kidjo said. “Celia Cruz, for me she’s the goddess of salsa. She’s the queen of salsa. She is one of those artists that taught me at a young age that my gender cannot define who I am, that I can do everything I wanted to do.”
Kidjo beat out fellow nominees Altin Gün (Gece), Bokanté & Metropole Orkest Conducted By Jules Buckley (What Heat), Burna Boy (African Giant) and Nathalie Joachim With Spektral Quartet (Fanm D’Ayiti). She also gave an audience-rousing performance of “Afrika” during the 62nd GRAMMYs Premiere Ceremony.
Meanwhile, thousands of Nigerian music fans who are expecting a second win at the GRAMMY for the country felt disappointed as Angelique Kidjo beats Burna Boy to the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
Burna Boy had been nominated in the category for his acclaimed album ‘African Giant’.
It wasn’t to be as the Recording Academy opted to hand Kidjo her fourth Best Contemporary World Music Album gong for her album “Celia”.
Kidjo who sings in more than five languages and whose career has spanned almost four decades was gracious in receiving the award and dedicated it to Burna Boy.
“This is for Burna Boy,” she said, lifting up her award to cheers, and declaring the “African Giant” as part of the new generation of African musicians that are changing the global perception of Africa and its music.
Burna Boy had trended virtually throughout last week as fans on Twitter, anticipating the awards, took to social media to express their love and support for him.