Nigerian Afrobeat artist Seun Kuti, has lost the ‘World Music Award’ category of the Grammys to South African Soweto Gospel group in the 61st annual Grammy Awards which was held at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday February 10.
Nominated for his 2018 released album, ”Black Times’‘, Seun Kuti lost to South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir who grabbed their third Grammy Awards for the album ‘‘Freedom’‘, in a category that had the likes of Bombino from Niger, Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara and Soviet’s Yiddish Glory.
The choir who shared the stage with Beyonce at the Global Citizen Festival in December had previously emerged as Grammy Winners in 2007 and 2008.
The album, ‘Freedom’ was recorded in June 2018 as part of the group’s tribute to the 100 Years of Mandela celebrations and it features a selection of South African struggle songs including their version of Johnny Clegg‘s ‘Asimbonanga.’ and was released in the United States.
Receiving the award on behalf of Soweto Gospel Choir were album producer Diniloxolo Ndlakuse Shimmy Jiyane, Mary Mulovhedzi and Mulalo Mulovhedzi whose late father David Mulovhedzi co-founded the group with Producer/Director Beverly Bryer 17 years ago.
Seun, son of the Legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti was hoping to make it a lucky five time at the awards for the Kuti family following in the steps of his older brother Femi Kuti, who has been nominated on four occasions but failed to win any.
Femi was nominated in 2003, 2010, 2012 and in 2014 for his album ‘No Place For My Dream’.
Seun Kuti had earlier performed at the Premiere event just before the main ceremony.
Another Nigerian who has also been nominated in the past is King Sunny Ade, who got the nod twice in 1983 and 1988.
The night however belonged to Childish Gambino, who despite being absent picked up four plaques including ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Record of the Year.’